Make vanilla extract at home

Three items are needed to make vanilla extract at home:

  1. 1 x ounce of vanilla beans.
  2. 1 x 8 ounce (or larger) glass jar with a lid.
  3. 8 ounces of a vodka, bourbon or rum that is 70 to 100 proof. 


  1. Cut, fold or knot your vanilla beans and place them into the jar. 
  2. Pour in the alcohol that you selected, ensuring that all the beans are submerged. 
  3. Close the jar and store the extract in a cool/dark place for 1 year.
  4. Taste test your extract. If you like the taste, begin using it. If you would like more vanilla taste, store another month and continue to taste test in monthly intervals until it is ready. 

Here's a video clip from one of our Facebook live extract making parties of how to make your first extract at home.

While this may all sound easy, we talk to people every day that used too few vanilla beans, used the wrong kind of alcohol, stored the vanilla in warm locations exposed to sunlight, or simply haven't waited for enough time. It's important to follow the instructions above to ensure success every time. 

Order The Art of Extract Making. The first professionally published extract-making book of its kind will begin shipping in October, 2023. 

See our list of top-10 FAQs below. Click on the question for the detailed answer that will help you succeed every time, and learn hundreds of tips and tricks related to the four steps above. Happy extracting!!

  1. How many vanilla beans are in 1oz? 
  2. What kind of jar should I use to make vanilla extract? 
  3. Can't I just put a few vanilla beans in a bottle of vodka?
  4. How do different vanilla beans taste?
  5. Should I cut, slice or knot my vanilla beans? 
  6. Do I really need to wait a year for my extract to be ready? 
  7. How do I taste test my vanilla extract to know that it's ready? 
  8. What do I do with my used vanilla beans when my extract is ready? 
  9. How do I select the right alcohol? 
  10. How do I fix my extract if I don't like the taste?

For 24/7 support about any extract-making question that you may have, join our Facebook group (Making Vanilla Extract by VanillaPura). Ask 95,000+ extract makers from around the world any question at any time!

For all other tips and tricks, visit our extract-making guide center

Happy extracting!!