I learned two things this week and it’s only Tuesday. In Vermont you can return vodka bottles for a $.15 deposit and how to make vanilla extract! Having not bought many bottles of vodka I had no idea the bottles were returnable; you learn something new every day!
This week I started my first batch of homemade vanilla extract. It won’t be ready for a while as I do have to let it sit for four to six months. To start your own batch you will need:
A large jar (a gallon or less, depending on how much extract you plan to make)
Vodka (the inexpensive stuff is fine)
Vanilla Beans (which I ordered through Olive Nation)
Begin by cutting through each bean lengthwise, leaving about an inch at the top of each bean so they stay together.
Place all your beans into your jar.
Fill the jar with vodka. Put the lid on and store in a dark place for 4-6 months. Occasionally check the jar out and give it a shake.
Once the time period has passed, strain out the vanilla beans using a coffee filter lined colander. Bottle the extract in dark amber bottles and you’re ready to give it as gifts and start cooking with it yourself!
1 gallon of vodka takes 80 vanilla beans
½ gallon of vodka (1.75L) takes 40 vanilla beans
1 quart of vodka takes 20 vanilla bean