Homemade Bourbon Vanilla Extract

One of the best and simplest things I’ve ever done is make my own vanilla extract. And bourbon vanilla, at that. Adapted from this recipe.
Course Condiment
Author Wardee Harmon


  • 32 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 gallon vodka or bourbon at least 70 proof


  1. Split the vanilla beans in half, lengthwise.
  2. Scrape out the seeds.
  3. Put the seeds and beans in a clean 1/2 gallon jar and pour in vodka or bourbon.

  4. Cover the jar, then shake it gently.
  5. Put the jar in a dark cupboard.
  6. Shake it up every few days.
  7. Start using it after a few weeks, though after 8 weeks it will be good and dark. Use anywhere you would use normal vanilla extract.
  8. Continue adding vanilla beans and vodka bourbon for an endless supply of vanilla -- 4 vanilla beans for every cup of bourbon.