Thursday, December 17, 2015

GOOD TASTE: Homemade Vanilla Extract & Free Printable Labels

Friends, I can't tell you how long making Homemade Vanilla Extract has been on my to-do list. I've been wanting to do this for years. 

With a little preparation, I had all the supplies ordered and delivered in time to make these for holiday gifts.

I ordered the bottles from Specialty Bottle Supply - these are Clear Boston Rounds and I bought the 4 ounce size. The vanilla beans are from Beanilla. They carry a variety of beans and although the Madagascar beans are known for superior flavor, I went with the Tahitian Beans because I read that gourmet pastry chefs prefer this bean for baking. I honestly don't think you can go wrong with any fresh vanilla bean.

My mother wanted to join in the fun and so I took the opportunity to snap some photos of her during the process. She's 85 years young and we had a great time mixing up the extract. Here's the simple process.

Cut a bean in half and then slit the half down the middle to expose the flavorful inside known as the caviar. Add one bean (2 halves) to each bottle and fill with vodka. Shake the bottle periodically during the brewing process and the extract will be ready in about two months. 

There's no shortage of free printable Vanilla Extract Labels if you search the Internet but I wanted to make my own and of course, offer them as a free printable which you can grab below.

The front of the label is an elegant but clean black and white label. The back has space to fill in the type of bean used and the brew and ready dates. 

To download a sheet of the labels, CLICK HERE

Of course, I don't need 24 bottles of Vanilla Extract and I'll be using them as gifts. Each bottle will be wrapped in a kitchen towel and tied up with a cute spoon. The towel protects the bottle and serves as a wrapper. Hooray for clever ideas!

It takes a few months for the vanilla to be ready or to brew. This is only about 10 days old and it's already darkening.

Between the bottles, beans and vodka, I would estimate that each bottle cost around $2.50 to make. 

I'm thrilled that I finally made my own vanilla extract. I've already started giving them out as gifts and my friends have been thrilled. 

Thanks so much for stopping by.


  1. I have never heard of making\brewing my own Vanilla extract! Thank you! ...and you mother is so adorable! Let's see more of her!

  2. What a great idea! Beautiful photography too!

  3. Thank you for this tutorial! I love the stickers!!!!

  4. Lovely post! You've given wonderful directions and beautiful photos of your gifts. I've made vanilla and ordered the cobalt blue bottles from Specialty Bottle Supply being a lover of blue. I love your labels and will use them for my vanilla gifts. I wonder if you know how many times we can reuse the vanilla beans? Thank you very much for sharing!

  5. Thanks a lot for such a great idea and tasty recipe. They are definitely in my Christmas gift list for this year. I will be using Infinity Jars for storage and gift as they keep the extract smelling fresh and gives the homemade vanilla extract a premium look.

  6. What kind of stickers did you use?

    1. Hi Tomma,
      I didn't use stickers. I printed them out on plain paper (light card stock) and glued them on. You can use permanent glue stick or spray adhesive for a nice "stick".

  7. what size bottles do you use for 1 vanilla bean?

  8. Hi Carolyn,

    It seems that on a few of your printable labels there are pieces missing. On all but one there is no 4 fl oz annotation. Three labels are missing the underline on which to write the type of bean used. Is this intentional? I would like to use these, as they are beautiful and I love that the directions are provided on the back, but would feel funny having one label on a single bottle printed correctly, and the rest filled in with my handwriting. Anyway, just a question I had. I will probably use these regardless, but if there is a possibility that it was a mistake and you have another version...I will gladly take them!


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