How To Make Homemade Vanilla Extract?

Making homemade Vanilla extract is simple and satisfying. 

You only need two ingredients to make homemade Vanilla extract — vanilla beans and alcohol, that’s it! It’s that simple. Of course, it takes a bit of patience to wait for the alcohol to extract the flavor from the beans. But, the result is worth your while - it’s so satisfying and delicious!

So, let’s get started.


  • 5–6 vanilla beans 
  • 1 cup (8 ounces; 240ml) 80 proof vodka (or bourbon, brandy, or even rum)
  • 8-ounce bottle or jar with a tight seal - washed & dried
    • Start by carefully cutting your vanilla bean pods in half along their length using a sharp knife. Careful! No need to completely split the bean just cut down the middle and open them up. This will expose the seeds inside and make the vanilla beans look pretty inside the bottle, like long brown butterflies. If the length of the vanilla beans doesn’t fit into your bottle or jar, you can cut the vanilla beans into smaller pieces. It won’t make any difference in flavor.
    • Place beans into a bottle or a jar and then pour vodka, or another variety of alcohol of your choice, on top. To extract the vanilla flavor from the beans, you’ll want a spirit that is over 40% alcohol and doesn’t come with an overwhelming flavor of its own. A funnel or a measuring cup helps. Add more alcohol if needed until the beans are fully submerged. Seal tightly and give it a little shake. 
    • Store your homemade Vanilla extract at room temperature or a little cooler and in the dark or at least out of direct sunlight. Your pantry is probably good, but not above the stove. Shake about once per week or whenever you remember. 
    • Vanilla can be ready to use in as little as 8 weeks. As the vanilla extract sits, it will get darker and rich. The flavor will only get better with time!


    how to make homemade Vanilla extract

    Voila! Your homemade Vanilla extract is ready to use for any and every delicious baking recipes you want. Enjoy it until the last drop!

    Making homemade Vanilla extract means you can be as straightforward or creative as you like. You get to decide what goes in your Vanilla extract, what type of Vanilla, and how pure you like it to be. Most imitation store-bought vanilla extracts utilize synthetic, artificial flavor, and harmful chemicals and they always taste the same. 

    By using premium or gourmet Vanilla beans for your homemade Vanilla Extract - which have characteristics for a moister, plumper, and stronger aroma will produce significantly better flavor and aroma than those commercially produced extracts. 

    Each different type of Vanilla beans will provide you unique flavor.

    If you are looking for classic rich and creamy flavor, use Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla. Do you prefer fruity cherry-like flavor with exotic floral notes? Then, try Tahitian Vanilla.

    Whether you want to create a single-origin Vanilla extract or you are up to for blending different varieties together, the choice is all yours. It will be uniquely delicious! Want to extract your Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla in Kentucky bourbon whiskey and use it make bonbons? It sounds like a mouthful but it’s sure to be delicious!

    Look no further for fairtrade premium Vanilla beans - check out our delicious Java Sisters Vanilla beans!

    As for alcohol choice to make your homemade Vanilla extract. Vodka has the most neutral flavor, so it will not disrupt the clean Vanilla flavor.

    However, you can also use bourbon, brandy, or rum to create that nice deep flavors and they go nicely with more recipes.

    Homemade Vanilla extract for house use. 

    Vanilla extract is easily added to everything to bring your favorite recipes to a whole new level, you can note how quickly you use up your vanilla. So, it is recommended to make up several batches of homemade vanilla extract at once so you never have to wait for a new batch to brew. 

    Homemade Vanilla extract for a gift.  

    If you are thinking to make Homemade Vanilla Extract for a gift, don’t worry if it won’t be ready in time! Simply prepare it in a pretty bottle, tie some baker’s twine or bows around the neck, then add a handwritten label with when the vanilla will be ready to be used. 


    We, from Java Sisters Vanilla’s family, hope you enjoy this recipe.


    Happy extracting!




    Hi Melissa, thank you for your kind words!
    You are welcome to check out our Vanilla beans here. They are sustainable, fairtrade, and delicious. :)
    Please drop me a message if you have any questions. Thanks.

    Melissa Altman-Traub

    What a great idea! I have not seen vanilla beans in stores: will have to search for them.

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