Brandy is a perfect spirit for vanilla extract if you appreciate rich sweetness. Not only is great VSOP American brandy very affordable, but it also has a sweet taste and aroma that lends itself perfectly to vanilla extract. Its grape and (sometimes) fruit origin result in a blend of flavors that is exceptionally sweet and well rounded. But make sure you use the correct vanilla beans to get the desired outcome.
In this brandy vanilla kit, we have preselected the top 5 vanilla beans that pair perfectly with brandy and we have listed them below in the order of most popular on top to least popular (but still delicious) on the bottom. We recommend using a VSOP (aged) brandy for the best results.
Simply choose the vanilla beans that you want and the bottle that you want, and you'll be ready to begin. The only thing that we can't sell you right here is the brandy. You'll have to get that on your own. We recommend VSOP (Very Special Old Pale) Brandy with no artificial flavorings. Make sure it is between 35% - 50% alcohol (which is 70-100 proof).
What bean should you select? Here's how they smell and taste:
Sweet vanilla with hints of apricots
|Indonesian - Sentani
Subtle, sweet, floral, blackberry
Sweet vanilla, licorice, caramel, floral, chocolate
Bold, creamy vanilla, cinnamon and sandalwood.
|Kerema - PNG
Fruity, floral, cherry notes with bold vanilla taste
This kit includes 1oz of vanilla beans and an 8oz glass bottle. To make your first extract with this kit, follow these 4 simple steps:
- Put all the vanilla beans in the bottle.
- If the beans are too tall, cut them in half (or fold them and insert them into the bottle fold first) to make sure they are fully submerged in the alcohol.
Fill the bottle with the Brandy you purchased. Leave a little air on top.
- Close the lid and store the extract in a cool/dark place for 12 months and...giddy-up...your very own homemade vanilla extract!
There are lots of other tips and tricks to make thousands of different types of extracts at home using a variety of beans and different spirits. If you want to go down the extract-making rabbit hole, click here to dive in!
In summary, if you simply want to make your first extract and you love the taste of Brandy, then choose your bottle and choose your beans within this kit, and you'll be good to go.