Vanilla has the most wonderful aroma, and is essential to all things baked and sweet and delicious. I am fortunate to have a mother in law who regularly travels to Mexico and always brings me gifts of vanilla extract. Recently I ran out of my seemingly endless supply, and I decided rather than spending $16 on a teeny tiny bottle of organic vanilla extract, that I would make my own. The image you see here is where my brew is at currently, 1/2 way through the process of slowly steeping whole organic Madagascan vanilla beans in vodka. The mix smells intoxicating, and budget wise, I think it’s a pretty fair option.
I spent $26 on a bottle of vodka, and used 3 whole beans which cost $9, The batch will yield 1L of deep rich pure vanilla extract. The brew is growing darker and deeper in colour each week, and essentially all I need to do is give it a little shake shake shimmy every day or so.
Once it has brewed for 3+ months, strain fluid and bottle. The whole beans and small pod bits can be added to a large jar of organic cane sugar to draw even more flavour into your kitchen!