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Homemade Vanilla Extract

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“After getting a very poor bottle of vanilla extract from the "fine goods" grocery store a couple years ago I researched how to make my own vanilla from scratch. You may use several different kinds of alochol but I much prefer the heavier sweeter brandy to the more commonly used rum or vodka. I specifically use the Korbel XS because in the distilling process they use extra vanilla and spices in their recipe.”
750 oz

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (750 ml) bottle brandy (Korbel Brandy XS)
  • 3 -4 whole vanilla beans (make sure they are oily, this means they are fresh)


  1. Carefully open the bottle of brandy.
  2. Pour off approximately one shot of liquid.
  3. On a small cutting board slice vanilla beans in half, then again length wise. This will produce 4 strips of vanilla bean husk per each original bean.
  4. With a sharp fine tip paring knife, gently slide the blade flat against the inside of the hull of vanilla husk. Put all gathered vanilla pulp (looks just like fine coffee grounds) straight into bottle of brandy, and then place the husk inside the bottle as well. Repeat until all slices of bean husk have been stripped and dropped into the bottle.
  5. Re-cork/close bottle and gently shake to disburse the vanilla husks and pulp in the liquid. This is a very slow steeping process so do not rush the immersion.
  6. Store bottle on in a space where you will remember to stir/swirl the bottle aprox once a week for at least 2 to 3 months.
  7. When you pour off some of your homemade vanilla into a smaller bottle for easier usage, remember to refill the original bottle back up with fresh alcohol, and begin the immersion process again. The original beans will last at several steeps, in fact my original vanilla has been used for 4 batches now.

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