Vanilla extract is always one of those things that I get sticker shock on when I have to buy it. Even the cheapest real vanilla extract is $3 for a piddly 1 oz bottle when its on sale.
Here’s my supplies:
1.75L of the cheapest vodka you can find
12 4 oz amber glass bottles & caps
2 Ball 6 oz glass canning jars
14 Madagascar whole vanilla beans (roughly 1/8 lb)
Simply pour the vodka into your bottles/jars. Next take a whole vanilla bean and slice it length wise and then again in half width-wise so they fit into the bottles. Place the vanilla beans into the bottles/jars and you’re done. Let the vanilla/vodka concoction steep for at least 6 weeks, giving it a shake every now and then. Depending on the potency of your beans, once the liquid extract is getting low, feel free to add more vodka to stretch it and let it steep again.
Now to the meat of the matter, the cost:
Vanilla Beans $8
=$31.74 for 60 oz of pure vanilla extract!
If you can plan on making it just for yourself, you can use whatever jars or bottles you have around, making your cost even lower. I plan on giving some away as gifts, so I wanted the cutesy glass bottles. They will look nice with a little ribbon around the top.
To figure your own calculations for supplies, you will need 1 long vanilla bean for each 4 oz of vodka. I ordered my brown glass bottles and vanilla beans on Amazon.com and used regular Ball canning jars for the rest.