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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Homemade Vanilla Extract

After 2 days of aging

A couple of years ago, our daughter, Mary, gave us some wonderful homemade vanilla extract. As luck would have it, I dropped the bottle and broke the cap. I never did find a replacement cap, or bottle, so all of the contents evaporated while sitting in a kitchen cabinet.

Needing to replace it, I went to our favorite local grocery store Coopeatenas and found they only carry artificial vanilla flavoring. Not one to settle for less than the best, I started searching the internet for different recipes and finally cobbled this one together.

I just happened to have plenty of vanilla beans stored in a vacuum sealed bag that I had shipped in our sea container when we moved to Costa Rica last year.

8 whole vanilla beans
1¾ cups of cheap vodka
¾ cup of cheap dark rum

Slice vanilla beans in half and then lengthwise. Using a funnel, or a very steady hand, pour the alcohol into a clean, empty bottle. Add the vanilla beans to the bottle and store it in a dark place for a couple of weeks. Once a day, shake the bottle to help speed up the extraction process.

As you use the vanilla in your favorite recipes, you can top off the bottle now and then with some additional vodka and dark rum in a 2:1 ratio. The beans will eventually break down and dissolve, so add more vanilla beans when necessary.

Note to self:  Buy small bottles and more vanilla beans.  May need to make lots more of this for future gift-giving.

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