I’ve been wanting to make vanilla for quite some time. A 4 ounce bottle of pure vanilla extract costs approximately $7 at the store. Is it cheaper for me to make vanilla rather than to purchase it in the store? Here’s the breakdown:

1.75 Liter of Rum =    $19
15 Vanilla Beans = + $15 ($1.00 each)
Total = $34 for 1.75 liters of vanilla (59 ounces of vanilla)

If my calculations are correct, it costs me $.58 per ounce or $2.32 per 4-ounce bottle of homemade vanilla.  Is it worth my time and money? Absolutely.

So, now that I’ve caught your attention. Here’s how to make your own vanilla.

Ingredients:
15 vanilla beans
1.75 liter of rum (or vodka)

Directions:
Slice vanilla beans lengthwise down the middle. Place them in a large glass container. Add the rum. Cover and let them sit in a dark place for 4-6 months, shaking the jar every now and then.

Once the vanilla has reached the 4-6 month mark, strain the vanilla through cheesecloth into clean jars. 

What do you do with the vanilla beans? DON’T THROW THEM OUT!


#1. Make another batch of vanilla (would either use less rum or let them sit longer).
#2. Make vanilla sugar. Rinse the vanilla beans and let them dry. Once they are dry, place them in a large sugar container. Let it sit for 2 weeks and then remove the vanilla beans. 
#3. Wash and dry them. Save them in a glass container and make Strawberry Vanilla Jam this spring. 

I purchased Madgascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans from Beanilla.com. They had a special of 25 vanilla beans for $25 with free shipping (that’s only $1 per bean). Did you know that 2 vanilla beans at our local store costs approximately $9?! Definitely purchase them online.

Comment and let me know if you decide to make your own vanilla. If you already do make your own vanilla…how did it go?