Whether you’re looking to make a creative gift, or just want a high-quality ingredient to cook with in the kitchen, this homemade vanilla extract recipe is super easy. Just note that it has to set for about 12 weeks, so plan accordingly for gifts!

You’ll definitely want to use a quality vodka or bourbon for this recipe—if you go for vodka, expect the extract to embody a true vanilla flavor. This is because vodka is devoid of distinct character, aroma, taste and color. Bourbon on the other hand will yield a vanilla extract with notes of oak and caramel.

Use a funnel to transfer the final product into Boston bottles then attach the ‘homemade vanilla extract’ printable label on the front! They’ll look charming amongst the other items in your pantry and make great host gifts! We have included gift tags too!

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A bottle of homemade vanilla extract.

Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe

All you need are two simple ingredients to make a good-quality, homemade vanilla extract of your own! But don’t get jumpy! It has to sit for 12 weeks!


Yield: 16 tablespoons (8 oz)
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  • Determine how much vanilla extract you would like to make. A standard 750 ml bottle of liquor contains slightly more than 3 cups of liquid. As a rule of thumb, 3–4 fresh vanilla beans will infuse nicely into 1 cup of alcohol.
  • Use a sharp paring knife to split the beans. Place the vanilla beans into an impeccably clean glass bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Pour alcohol of choice into the container—as an alternative, you can also drop the beans into a bottle of vodka or bourbon—just make sure the beans are completely submerged.
  • Seal jar or bottle tightly then store in a cool, dry place for at least 12 weeks. Once a week, give the bottle a good shake to disburse and diffuse the vanilla beans. The vanilla flavor will intensify the longer the beans remain in the solution.
  • Download the vanilla extract label printable and open in Adobe Reader. Print and cut out the labels where indicated and attach to bottles. Funnel prepared extract into individual bottles, including the beans if desired. Seal well. The extract will keep indefinitely at room temperature! Enjoy!


If you’re looking to go the extra mile, vintage apothecary jars make great vessels for this vanilla extract recipe!
Calories: 33kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.2g, Protein: 0.1g, Fat: 0.03g, Saturated Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 2mg, Potassium: 1mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.1g
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Homemade vanilla extract recipe Homemade vanilla extract recipe