Another staple in our holiday goodie baskets are bottles of Homemade Vanilla Extract. Each bottle contains homemade vanilla extract and a fresh, split vanilla bean pod.
Good vanilla is expensive and for good reason – vanilla beans are the second most expensive spice in the world. And vanilla extract is ridiculously easy to make. I haven’t thrown a vanilla pod away in 3+ years. I also haven’t bought vanilla extract in over 3 years.
The Container Store has pretty, inexpensive bottles that work great for vanilla. I’ve used the dark brown glass bottles, hermetic topped bottles, and cork-topped bottles. Dark glass is supposedly the best but I go through it so quickly that I don’t think twice about storing it in small clear glass bottles.
Homemade vanilla extract takes about 3 months to get ready. Didn’t start your vanilla in time? You can still add vodka and a couple of split vanilla beans to a pretty bottle and give them away with instructions to let them finish aging!