Bourbon Vanilla Extract

In case you should need a last-minute homemade holiday gift, I’ve got you covered!


Did you know you can make your own vanilla extract? It’s truly truly simple, all you need is some alcohol, some vanilla beans, a container, and some time. The magic formula is 3 vanilla beans for each cup (250 ml) of booze. Go!

I decided to use Maker’s Mark bourbon. It’s my absolute favourite, and I think it will make vanilla extract taste extra rich and round. However, “bourbon vanilla” is not usually made with bourbon — that’s just the name of a type of vanilla beans. For the purest vanilla flavour, you should use a vodka. And if you want to check if your booze is vegan-friendly, I highly recommend Barnivore’s Vegan Booze Guide, which says vegans can go forth and enjoy Maker’s Mark with abandon!

If you’re gifting this for the holidays but only making it now, tell your recipient to wait to open it for a few months. I’m going to leave mine to sit in the cupboard for a few months, and then get some adorable mini bottles to decant it into for friends once it’s done.

I hope your holidays are filled with bourbon, vanilla, love, peace, and lots of time with the people you love most!

Bourbon Vanilla Extract

  • 425 ml bourbon
  • 5 vanilla beans

Use a sharp paring knife to cut a slit down the length of each vanilla bean.

Place the vanilla beans in your jar (I love to use a Grolsch bottle – it holds 450 ml), and use a funnel to pour in the bourbon.  Shake well.

Leave in your cupboard and let the flavours infuse for a minimum of one month.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Vegan, Vegetarian


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11 Comments on “Bourbon Vanilla Extract”

  1. December 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    Great gift idea!

  2. January 20, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    Oh! This sounds yummy! Brilliant idea!


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