Most of the recipes I've found for making Vanilla use vodka or rum. When using a light colored alcohol, you get the satisfaction of watching the color change as it is transformed into vanilla extract. That's all fun and good but if you want truly awesome vanilla extract, use bourbon. It adds wonderful flavor to your recipes.
- Use six vanilla beans* per cup/8oz alcohol.
- Cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise, leaving about 1 inch connected at one end.
- Put the beans into the bottle of alcohol and shake gently.
- Cover tightly and store in a cool, dark place for about 8 weeks, giving it a gentle shake about once a week.
Vanilla extract matures with age. I waited 5 or 6 months before I started using the bottle below.
**Shake vanilla bottle before each use. Small flecks of the vanilla pods will be in the vanilla extract - they provide additional flavor. They also appear as dark flecks in light-colored food, don’t shake the bottle if you don’t want the flecks to appear.
Other blog sites on making Vanilla Extract: