Home Made Vanilla Essence

Last year I was given a beautiful dark bottle of home made Vanilla Essence. It was from one of my closest friends and I loved the idea of it. I loved it every time I baked with it. It made me think of Sam each time I used it and I reckon it’s so thoughtful! PS Sam if your reading this, then the above bottle is going to look a bit familiar in about 5 weeks time 🙂

It got me thinking with all the beautiful home made christmas presents on the loose I wanted to share this idea with you! It is a relatively cheap present and not just that it lasts forever! Well so I read but then you can’t believe everything your read. Right? All you have to do is fill it back up with Vodka and let it sit again and you are back in business! I am going to have two bottles on rotate I think so when one gets low, I will refill and then go onto the next bottle while the first get’s down to business!

To make Vanilla Essence in a factory they can sometimes use chemicals to speed up the process or use synthetics. The homemade version may not quiet be as strong as a manufactured versions but you can always add more vanilla pods and the longer you leave it the better it will become.


Did you know that Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world? The first being Saffron. These little babies are a whole lot cheaper if you can buy them in bulk. Check online and ebay. Look for the Organic or Bio-Dynamic Vanilla Pods.


You can also re-use pods. If you use a pod for cooking, and it is still relatively whole give it a gentle wash with cool water. Allow to dry out for a day or two and then place into the bottle of vodka.

To Make:

Use 3 Vanilla Pods per 250ml of Vodka.

Cut the vanilla pod lengthways down the middle. You can cut them in half as well or leave long for the pretty effect in the jar.

Place pods into a clean jar, fill with Vodka and leave sit for at least 4 weeks.


You can use other spirits but make sure they have a minimum of 40% Alcohol. Go for a clear spirt that won’t alter the taste of the vanilla. Vodka is perfect!


Pop on a nice Christmas sticker with the date and when it will be mature to use and a nice personal message or simply make a couple for your own cupboard!


A little Vanilla Latte Recipe…

Serves 6

Add 700ml Milk

A splash of Vanilla Essence (About 1 – 2 tea spoons.)

6 Espresso Shots (We have a coffee machine, but you can make in a plunger!)


Heat till milk reaches 80 degrees on speed 5

Will take between 4 – 6 minutes (time will depend on your milk and espresso temps.)

Turn speed to 6 or 7 for 30 – 45 seconds to give it a touch of froth.


So here is my little bottle of goodness! I will update you each week as it slowly colours!

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