My original thought was to do this as homemade Christmas gifts but it takes about 2-3 months to make and I thought of it only a few weeks before the big holidays. I'm now in prep mode to buy the best stuff and not mess this up. The 2 ingredients: vanilla beans and vodka. Wahoo so crazy easy! Basically you slice vanilla beans and let sit fully submerged in vodka for 2-3 months and you've got quality vanilla extract.
Those are the basics; now I'm into the details... what beans to buy? from where? Does the quality of vodka matter? What kind of little jars or bottles should I use? Should I make one large batch in the main vodka bottle or distribute into little bottles first then 'make' the extract? How many beans to use? How much should I make? What cute labels should I create?! Should I go all organic? We've gotten organic vodka before, what about vanilla beans?
Oh the choices.
I have some amazon.com store credit burning a whole in my digital pocket so I'm planning on buying the beans through there. Thanks to some surveys it'll cover at least that portion of the project. There are some good vendors it appears there. There is a lot out there: bourbon, Madagascar, Tahitian, Mexican, Indian who knows what else. I'm looking at maybe this:
Then next up will be a trip to the ABC Store and I'm getting some refund money from a double Christmas gift so that should more than cover a cheapo bottle of vodka. Maybe I'll spring for the not bottom shelf vodka; who knows. Depending on how much I get that'll determine (or in reverse order) what little bottles I should buy (where the heck to get the best price and not $$$ on shipping... or local?) then onto the proportions of beans: vodka.
Look how pretty!
ps. if any company wants to send me free vanilla beans to review and blog about please contact me here. Thanks.