How To Make Vanilla Extract
If you’ve never made vanilla extract at home you’re missing out on a super fun activity that will transform your recipes into the most amazing vanilla flavoured ones.
Did you know that vanilla was first cultivated by the Aztecs? Yep, that’s right the world can thank Mexico for not only chocolate but also vanilla — among many other foods, of course!
Today I want to tell you about the most amazing vanilla from my friends at Voladores Vanilla.
Voladores works directly with vanilla farmers in Veracruz, Mexico to bring us some of the world’s finest vanilla beans. My friend Nicole and her husband Roberto are the owners of this small family owned business, and if you know me you know how much I love supporting small businesses. I’m so proud of them for the work they’ve done with this phenomenal product.
It’s my pleasure to share a little bit about their vanilla and also show you how to make the most amazing vanilla extract using Voladores vanilla.
When you receive your order it comes in these sealed packages that protect the vanilla bean pods. You know Voladores is top quality vanilla because the pods are soft and bend easily — and the smell out of this world.
You’ll also receive these cards with tables showing you how much alcohol you’ll need and how many vanilla beans for said alcohol amount you’ll need to make vanilla extract. It also indicates the different amounts required when using extract vs gourmet grade beans. My beans are gourmet grade so I only need 5 to 8 beans for the 350 ml of alcohol.
Now you don’t need to do this with such quality vanilla beans, but I want to speed up the wait time so I can use my extract as soon as possible. So I used a paring knife to slice down the vanilla pod to expose the tiny little beans inside.
Since I used these 2 small bottles I needed to cut the pods so they’d fit. In the larger bottle I used 3 pods but only sliced one open, in the smaller bottle I used 2 pods and sliced only one open.
For the alcohol I used vodka, some people like to use rum or brandy or even whiskey, but I like the clean and clear of vodka.
Combined my 2 small bottles required the exact 350 ml of alcohol recommended on Voladores’ card.
Once tightly sealed it’s important to keep the bottles in a cool dark place and everyday should be shaken. Recipes online say the vanilla extract will be ready in 2 months — that may be but I can tell you that just after just a few hours the vodka was already getting that caramel colour of vanilla extract. It’s been about 5 days since I made my extract and the colour is darker and the smell is like heaven! I cannot wait to use the extract and share a recipe with you.
Amigos do buy yourselves some of these super high quality vanilla beans — I’ve never seen this quality or smell. You can find Voladores both on Instagram and Facebook under Voladores Vanilla and you can place your order through either their Etsy shop here or eBay shop here.
Thank you for stopping by and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media so you don’t miss the coming recipes featuring this gorgeous vanilla and much more!
How To Make Vanilla Extract
- 5 pods vanilla beans
- 350 ml vodka (11.84 oz or 1.5 cups)
- 1. Thoroughly clean and dry bottle(s) that you'll be storing your extract in. If you're bottle(s) is shorter than the vanilla beans you'll need to cut them so they'll fit comfortably. You can slice open a pod or two if you'd like, otherwise place them in the bottle(s). Pour in the vodka, tightly seal, shake the bottle(s) and store in a cool dark place for 2 months before using. Every day give the bottle(s) a little shake.
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…