Homemade vanilla extract
|The dark one is 12 months old.|
Twelve months ago I made my own vanilla extract - one bottle of vodka and 10 beans (cut down the to expose the seeds) and keep in a dark cupboard. Most recipes say that it is ready in 6 to 12 weeks. I have to disagree. By 6 months it had almost lost the vodka smell/taste and by 12 months it was perfect. The longer it is left the better. I have started to use mine and it smells wonderful. And unlike the bought variety, mine has little seeds floating about and contains no sugar.
Here is the bottle I have just started for my son - it really is worth doing. The initial cost can be expensive depending on the vodka you buy and where you source your pods (I bought mine online via eBay) but it does make a lot of extract. I also added a few more vanilla pods to mine, from memory I think I now have around 15! At the end of next year I will start another bottle for myself.