The holidays are just around the corner, and you might start thinking about buying Christmas gifts for your friends and family ahead of the big day. But there’s a small catch in finding the right thing to be gifted, right? Well, be creative this year and get a head start on your holiday gifting with homemade Vanilla Extract!! It comes together in less time and ready to use over two to three months, improving as it ages. While it takes a minimum of two months for the flavor to develop, so you can start earlier and get it matured for baking and gifting in December.
The Making of Vanilla Extract
To make homemade vanilla extract you will need two ingredients – vanilla beans and alcohol. There are mainly three main varieties of vanilla beans – Madagascar, Tahitian and Mexican. Madagascar vanilla beans are processed under a specialized method called the “Bourbon” curing method and known for their sweet, rich and creamy characteristics. Tahitian vanilla has a more nutty, floral and fruity flavor and Mexican vanilla is induced with spicy-sweet flavor. So each variety has its key feature that distinguishes one from the other.
To make the extract, you need to use 5-7 beans per 10 oz. of vodka. You can use a mid-range brand of vodka that is 70 to 90 proof. Then take a knife and split your beans carefully so the vanilla caviar/seeds are exposed. You can also cut your beans into smaller pieces to expose more surface area to the alcohol solvent. Submerging the whole bean pods in alcohol work just as well.
Now it’s time to put your beans in your jars and add the alcohol to submerge the beans. Cut your beans accordingly so that they are completely submerged. You will want a nice bottle that has an airtight seal. When the mixture and the beans are completely covered, close your jars and give them a shake. Now, store your vanilla filled bottle at room temperature and out from direct sunlight. Shake a couple of times a week to activate the interaction of the alcohol and the beans.
The longer the vanilla remains immersed in the alcohol solution, the better the flavor! This is the sweet gift of flavor that keeps on fuming. Here’s a tip:
- While you use your vanilla, top off the bottle with a little more vodka and give it a shake.
- Unused aged vanilla extract will last several years.
- Once you begin using vanilla and keep on adding more alcohol, the beans will eventually need to be replaced.
- Keep on changing the old beans, add fresh ones, shake occasionally, and continue to use/refill.
- Vanilla extract is made with vodka, but you can also use rum or brandy.
Madagascar Beans from FITNCLEAN VANILLA
Our beans are thoroughly investigated throughout the journey from farm to market. First, they pass through quality checks by our experts, who have experience handling vanilla pods. The second inspection is done before bulk vacuum sealing for dispatch, and ensures no mold has developed. The final inspection is done at our warehouse before packing for shipment. We ensure the flavor, quality, and looks are intact and immediately discard the defective beans. Once everything is checked, then we can ship the beans to you.
Finally, when it is the gifting season, get creative with the packaging and turn your bottle of Vanilla Extract into an experience they will enjoy. Happy extracting and baking this festive season!