Vanilla Extract

Recipe from

Southern Living


6 vanilla beans, divided
1 quart vodka
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water


Cut each of 3 vanilla beans into 4 pieces; split each piece lengthwise. Place in a 1 1/2-quart bottle, and add vodka. Cover tightly, and shake vigorously. Let stand in a cool, dry place 3 weeks, shaking bottle every 2 days.

Line a funnel with a coffee filter; pour mixture through funnel into a bowl, discarding beans.

Cook sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cool completely. Add to vodka mixture.

Cut remaining 3 vanilla beans into pieces. Fill small decorative bottles with 1 vanilla bean piece and extract; cover tightly, and let stand in a cool, dry place 1 month.

December 1997
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