Elixirs for Xmas: Homemade Vanilla Extract

I love to make homemade gifts and usually work at it throughout the year, especially with canning up summer’s bounty.   To “mix it up a bit” (pun intended), I decided to make a few elixirs and extracts to give as gifts this year, too.

If you’re planning on giving homemade vanilla extract for Christmas or more potent potables like infused liqueurs, you will need a head start of anywhere from two weeks to two months.

Better get crackin’.   Christmas will be here before you know it.

Toni at Boulder Locavore has sooo many lethal infusions to make.  Check out her 26 Infusions and Liqueurs. At Common Sense Homesteading, you can find out how to make your own vanilla, almond, and lemon extracts.

Here is my rendition for vanilla extract (compiled from a few different sources).

Vanilla Extract
from Eliot’s Eats

10 vanilla beans
750 ml inexpensive vodka (70-90 proof) in a glass bottle

Chop or break the beans into 1/2 inch pieces. Place chopped beans in the vodka bottle.  (If your cheap booze comes in a plastic bottle, transfer to a quart jar.)

Place in a cool dark location and shake the bottle once a day for a month.

Filter extract if desired.   Pour into individual sterilized bottles for gifting.

I ordered my beans from Amazon.

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This photo is from the Amazon site.

Click here for link.   I am making different varieties of vanilla for gift giving using these different Madagascar beans.

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For my first batch, I used the bourbon planifolia vanilla beans.  (That little bottle is from a kit I made last year.) I also received 10 Tahitian vanilla beans and 10 more of the bourbon plinifolia.   I can make two more bottles.  Whoo hoo!

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I will have to do my best to remember to shake it once a day.   (If you think about it, please remind me.)

The chopped beans make me think if tequila worms.

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Just sayin….

Stay tuned for some more elixir recipes that you can prepare for Christmas gifts.

Before I leave today, I wanted to show you what this elixir looked like after just one day.

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Naked
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls


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