Home Made Vanilla Extract

Pure vanilla extract is difficult nearly impossible to find here in China.

If you can find it, it is super expensive.

So, we decided to make our own!

We ordered the vanilla beans on Taobao and they were delivered in just a couple of days.

We have no idea what “grade” they are, but they sure do smell good!


The beans cost me approximately $15 USD.

They arrived individually vacuum packed.

The vodka is from Sweden, but we purchased it at Metro.

::No skulking into the liquor store for me::

It is also available at IKEA here in China.  It cost me around $17 USD.

For the best results, cut the beans in half and the scrap out the “caviar.”

It feels like oily sand on your fingers.

Then, chop up the “skins” of the beans.

Put it all in a jar.

(You are supposed to use a dark color jar, but I can’t find one.  This jar is from IKEA.)

Add your vodka… the bottle fit perfectly, and so we just propped it up and left it to drain.

Shake vigorously to get the process started and store in a dark cupboard somewhere.

Mine is in my closet!

24 hours later.

Another 5.966 months to go!

Instructions on Making Vanilla Extract can be found here.


2 Responses

  1. Da says:

    Anne brought out the jar today. It’s only been a few days, but it already smells great! – better than any vanilla I’ve smelled before. I wish we could start using it now.

  2. Ginger says:

    Long ago two of my friends mixed up their homemade vanilla at church. One lady was so furious about the alcohol. My friends asked her what she thought was in her vanilla at home. It was strange but funny.

    I make lots of herbal tinctures the same way. I skulk into the liquor store, because that is the only place to buy booze in UT. Anyway….it is an odd feeling to purchase this stuff. But the tinctures are wonderful.

    Glad you are enjoying China. I can’t wait to read Star’s entries on her blog. And I’ll re-read Pearl Buck’s books in honor of Star.