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75% would make again

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Store-bought vanilla extract can be extremely expensive or full of artificially-derived ingredients. With just two ingredients and a lot of patience, you can make your own vanilla extract at home that will keep in your pantry indefinitely. Make a batch ahead of time and decant into smaller bottles for easy, homemade gifts during the holiday season.

Tasty Team
November 14, 2022
Homemade Vanilla Extract


for 24 ounces

  • 1 bottle vodka, 750-ml bottle (3 1/4 cups)
  • 20 vanilla beans, whole or leftover pods from another use

Nutrition Info

  • Calories 74
  • Fat 0g
  • Carbs 0g
  • Fiber 0g
  • Sugar 0g
  • Protein 0g

Estimated values based on one serving size.


  1. Pour out about ½ cup vodka from the bottle and set aside.
  2. If using new vanilla beans, split the pods down the middle and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds directly to the vodka bottle, then add the split pods. If using already-scraped vanilla beans, add directly to the vodka bottle.
  3. Carefully pour as much of the reserved ½ cup vodka as possible back into the bottle, leaving about 1 inch of headspace at the top. Screw the cap on to seal tightly.
  4. Shake the bottle vigorously, then let sit at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. For the first few weeks, shake the bottle daily. After 2–3 weeks, the vodka should start to turn a light amber color. At this point, you can shake the bottle every few days or so. After 5 weeks, the vanilla extract is ready to use. Store indefinitely at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
  5. If desired, pour the vanilla extract into smaller, sanitized, resealable glass bottles to give as gifts.
  6. As you use the vanilla extract, you can add more vodka and vanilla beans for as long as you like, continuing the shaking and infusing process.
  7. Enjoy!
Homemade Vanilla Extract