This was in the newspaper in the “Dear Heloise” section. I haven’t made it yet but intend to. Thought I would share.


Amount Ingredient 1 liter bottle vodka 2 vanilla beans


1. Carefully cut open each vanilla bean lengthwise. If they are hard to cut, soak them in the vodka until they become soft.
2. Next, push them in the vodka, seal the bottle and let the mixture cure for at least 30 days.
3. Taste to see if it is strong enough. IF not, let it sit for a few more days until you are satisfied with the flavor.
4. As you use the “extract” you can replace the liquid by adding more vodka.


therese379 Says... 2012-01-16 06:41:09

Thanks.. I can't wait to try this.

imagenthatnj Says... 2012-01-16 08:06:51

You won't get vanilla extract with this recipe.

There must be a misprint somewhere. Are you sure it wasn't 20 beans? Two beans in a 1 liter bottle doesn't make any sense. A liter is 1,000 ml. Some people use 18-20 beans per 750ml.

A better recipe is 8 beans per cup of vodka (one cup = 236 ml). And you should wait more than a month. I prefer to use mine after at least 3 months.

Google "homemade vanilla extract" and find the correct amount of beans.

ddaigle Says... 2012-01-16 09:33:56

I don't know imaginethat...I copied the article word for word from Dear Heloise. I didn't think two beans sounded like enough..but I've never worked with vanilla beans before. That stinks that her recipe isn't accurate.

katie1214 Says... 2012-01-16 10:26:16

here's a silly questions - where would i find vanilla beans? do regular grocery stores carry them? or a specialty store? produce dept? i've always wondered this :) thanks!

zespri Says... 2012-01-16 11:17:27

ddaigle, imagenthatnj is right, no way you'd get anything close to vanilla with that ratio I'm afraid. You'd need at LEAST a dozen, preferably more. And yes, you'd need to wait a minimum of three months, before that it's too weak. I think the number of beans you have might determine how soon you can use it. I had a 1 litre bottle with only about a dozen beans in it, it took about five months. The batch I am currently using is eight months old, and it's about as good as the six month old batch I have brewing.

katie - they're for sale at many places, all sorts of different types. I've never tried them, but hear these are good:

writersblock15 Says... 2012-01-16 12:10:06

@katie1214, I buy my vanilla beans from

writersblock15 Says... 2012-01-16 12:12:43

I use 1 bean for every 2 ounces of vodka. Keep the bottle stored in a dark place for 3-4 months. I got my recipe from Martha Stewart.

ddaigle Says... 2012-01-16 12:27:30

Well crap! Heloise must of been smoking dope when she wrote that recipe!! Sorry y'all. Seems like a fun project once the ratio is correct.

katie1214 Says... 2012-01-16 12:43:59

thanks for those links!

46Sis Says... 2012-01-16 13:06:35

I have had a batch on for a few weeks go to"" there are several recipes on there I use 2 vanilla beans( slit down the middle with 8 ounces of Vodka. I have also made it with whiskey but found the whiskey overpowered the vanilla .Several of us have been using this recipe and we leave it cure for 6 months . Shake the bottle every once in a while since it will never go bad and good things are worth waiting for. If you want it stronger use more beans .

cookiekisses Says... 2012-01-17 16:26:38

I buy my vanilla beans at a spice store. You can order from them online too,; they will ship. They make many of their own blends and have very fresh ingredients. For anyone who needs kosher, most of their stuff is kosher under the supervision of the Wisconsin K.

jgifford Says... 2012-01-18 06:21:31

I've made my own vanilla for years. I use 1 bean to 6 oz vodka, since that's the size bottle I had when I started. It take about 2 months before it's ready to use.

gidgetdoescakes Says... 2012-01-18 20:00:18

did you ever taste it....blech haha....

Tails Says... 2012-01-18 22:32:08

I used 8 beans for just under 750ml vodka which worked out fine. I dont see the ratio provided giving any decent results.

lorieleann Says... 2012-01-20 20:33:45

maybe Helloise was more interested in making some vanilla vodka, which is nice with sprite :) Thanks for the updates and corrections. I'm looking forward to setting some up.

jenmat Says... 2012-01-21 17:45:40

I know it sounds weird, but when I make mine I add a little corn syrup. It seems to draw out the flavor and color faster and develop better. Just squeeze a little into the vodka bottle.

And yes, you need WAAAY more beans than that. I get mine from Albert Ulster, theirs are nice a strong.

wessam Says... 2012-01-22 15:30:42

you can buy vanilla beans at Costco too.

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