If you have a local spice store near you, I found it to be the best place to start. I stopped in at the Savory Spice Shop in Portland’s Sellwood neighborhood where I found a variety of beans at much lower prices than grocery stores or online. I decided on three different beans, all which, according to the authorities at Savory Spice, will create different flavored vanillas: Madagascar; Mexican; and Madagascar Organic. They were priced at $5-6.75 for a package of three. Add to that the price of a bottle of vodka, around $14, and hinged 8oz bottles (found at Storables), and you’re paying a little more than half price.
This turned out to be super easy. It only requires two ingredients, beans and vodka. The most difficult part? Patience. It takes about 3-4 months to brew.
Step Three. Slice three of your vanilla beans in half lengthwise, and add them to a clean dry bottle. Continue until you’ve filled all your bottles with split vanilla beans.
|Step Four. Carefully pour vodka into each bottle. Seal the bottles. Label them so you remember which bottle holds which flavor of bean. Store the filled bottles in a cool, dry, dark place, giving them a gentle shake every once in a while.|
|Step Five. I attached these labels to keep track of the specific beans I used. Later I’ll design some permanent labels for them.|
That’s it! So easy!
Just leave the beans inside, and as you use the vanilla, add vodka to keep the bottle filled. You can also add a couple fresh beans to the mix and remove a couple every once in a while to keep your vanilla fresh.