DIY Extracts 101 | By Joe Scrizzi

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By Joe Scrizzi

Are there any Bakers in the Lehigh Valley???? Ohhhhh, I know there are!

If you are a Baker, you know how pricey pure extracts can be, and for the cost and how much you actually get is astonishing, to say the least.

Vanilla Extract is one of the main ingredients in 90% of all baked goods and it can be used in nearly all types of baking from Cookies to Pancakes to Casseroles and Beyond!

I’m a fan of Fusion Cooking, blending flavors and foods together. Kind of a Mad Scientist, if you will. One doesn’t really know if something works until you try it.

Follow along with me for some simple recipes to make on your own and save some $$$.

Vanilla extract requires only 2 ingredients: vanilla beans & alcohol.

Once you make your own, there’s no going back to store bought extracts.

Oh and as a bonus, when your extract gets low you can refill your vanilla (or others) with more vodka as it is the gift that keeps on giving!

How cool is that?!

Now onto the fun stuff!

This recipe will make 12 – 4oz bottles, which can used as gifts.

I split this recipe in half to keep on hand for the upcoming holiday baking, using only 12ozs of each type of alcohol and 6 vanilla beans.

Bourbon Vanilla Extract

12 (4 ounce) boston round glass bottles with caps, or choice

24 ounces bourbon, not flavored

24 ounces vodka, not flavored

12 whole vanilla beans

In a large pitcher or a mason jar, mix together the bourbon and vodka. Set the alcohol aside.

On your cutting board with a sharp knife begin to slice the vanilla bean in half. You want to split the vanilla beans down the long side. This opens up the vanilla and the little seeds is what holds all the flavor. Don’t waste any seeds.

Then place 1 split vanilla bean in each 4oz bottle (or larger bottle if keeping for yourself, you can always pour into smaller bottles later).

Take a small funnel and pour the bourbon/vodka mix into each bottle. Put the cap on and shake it up. That’s it!

Let the vanilla and alcohol brew in a dark place for 4-6 weeks. The longer you let the vanilla extract to brew the stronger the flavor. Over the next 4-6 weeks periodically shake to distribute the vanilla bean seeds.

The best part is you can use the same vanilla extract over and over again. Once you are ready for more extract, simply fill the bottle up with more bourbon and vodka or just vodka. It’s so simple and it can really save you money on buying extracts.


If you prefer straight vanilla extract (no bourbon), use 24oz vodka and follow same steps.

When infusing vodka and/or bourbon, do not buy top shelf spirits. Middle of the road prices, are best way to go.

Recipe easily be reduced or doubled.


Once you established vanilla, try a different flavor of spirit (Orange, Lemon, Lime, etc.) with vanilla beans.

Have Fun!


For more fresh recipes and articles by Joe Scrizzi click here…