This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
I’ve been wanting to try making vanilla for a long time. I use a lot of vanilla for making muffins and desserts, but always found real vanilla to be expensive. This is an ideal project for an apartment dweller: it requires no special equipment and does not take up a lot of room. And, it will save money in the long run.
Vanilla beans – I chose organic vanilla beans that were grown in Hawaii.
Vodka – choose a decent brand; not the most expensive, but not the cheap stuff either.
- With a sharp knife, slice the vanilla bean across the middle. The vanilla bean was surprising tough.
- The ratio is two vanilla beans to one cup of vodka. Because this is my first attempt, I started with one cup of vodka. Place vanilla beans in a clean glass jar, then pour the vodka.
- Leave the jar in a cool dark place. I left it in an unused corner of the cupboard.
- Shake the jar occasionally. It should be ready in about eight weeks, or longer if you want a stronger flavor. After the eight weeks is up, strain the vanilla and transfer to a pourable container. You can add more vodka and another vanilla bean to start a new batch.
Real vanilla beans smell very fragrant, almost like perfume. After just a couple of days, the mixture was already turning a dark shade. I am excited to see the result. If this works out, I will make a larger batch next time.
© Apartment Prepper 2013
For advice on how to prep on a budget: