The holiday season is just around the corner, and if you’re anything like me, you’re already thinking about what gifts to give to your loved ones. With so many people to buy for, it can be tough to stick to a budget while still giving thoughtful presents that your friends and family will love. That’s why I recommend making homemade vanilla extract. Not only is it a thoughtful and unique gift idea, but it’s also incredibly budget-friendly. Let me show you how easy it is to make homemade vanilla extract! All you need is vodka and vanilla beans, and in just a few minutes, you can have 24 bottles of vanilla extract ready to give away (well, after they marinate for at least 8 weeks of course.)
In this blog post, I’ll walk you through the steps for making homemade vanilla extract and share some ideas for how to package and present it as a gift. Let’s get started! (PS, you can watch a video tutorial here as well)
To make homemade vanilla extract, you will need the following supplies:
I bought my supplies in bulk to save money, but you can adjust the quantities based on your needs. Keep in mind that the vanilla extract needs to sit for at least 8 weeks, so make sure to plan ahead.
Step 2: Prep Your Bottles
Before you start making the vanilla extract, you need to prep your bottles. Wash them with soap and water and dry them thoroughly. You can also sterilize them by boiling them for 10 minutes or using a dishwasher sterilization cycle.
Step 3: Cut Your Vanilla Beans
Take your vanilla beans and cut them in half so they will fit into the bottle. Then, cut them lengthwise to expose the juicy insides of the vanilla bean. This will help release the flavors and make sure that the vanilla extract is as flavorful as possible. (You can use a knife or scissors to do this – whichever is easier for you!)
Step 4: Add the Vodka and Vanilla Beans to Your Bottles
Take your 24 bottles and divide the vodka evenly between them, leaving a little bit of space at the top. Add 2 full vanilla beans to each bottle (four halves), making sure they are fully submerged in the vodka.
Step 5: Let It Marinate
Once you’ve added the vodka and vanilla beans to the bottles, shake them gently to distribute the ingredients. Then, store the bottles in a cool, dark place for at least 8 weeks. Shake them every week or so to ensure that the vanilla beans are releasing their flavors.
Step 6: Package and Present Your Vanilla Extract
Once your vanilla extract is ready, it’s time to package and present it as a gift. You can choose to leave the vanilla beans in the bottles or strain them out using a cheesecloth. Add a label or tag with instructions for use, and package it in a gift box or basket with other homemade treats or baking supplies.
Homemade vanilla extract is a budget-friendly and thoughtful gift that your friends and family will love. With just a few ingredients and a little bit of time, you can create 24 bottles of vanilla extract that will last for months. And best of all, you can customize the presentation to make it truly special and unique. Happy gifting!
Be sure to checkout my other blog posts here for more fun ideas!
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