I love to give homemade gifts. My family and friends, bless their hearts, can count on it! They are usually the recipients of my homemade inspirations. Well, last night I had an inspired idea to make homemade vanilla. So researching on the net, I found the process is pretty simple. Whole vanilla beans in a cup full of vodka, rum or brandy. The minimum bean count seems to be 3 per cup of high volume alcohol. Some recipes say add a simple sugar syrup or corn syrup, most just use the two ingredients. Well, I had no vodka but I did have some cheap rum and three 9" long pods, so I gave this recipe a go:
Homemade Vanilla Rum Flavoring
3 - 5 whole vanilla beans, more if beans are 5" or less
1 cup of vodka, rum or brandy - different sites recommended cheap some recommended high quality, you decide
Split each bean down its length. My beans were long so I halved them also. Container size will decide if you halve yours or not. Put split beans inside an airtight glass container. I used an old honey jar I had handy, and fill with alcohol. Let sit in dark, cool place for a month, shaking daily or every other day. The longer it sits the stronger the flavor. Supposedly this keeps indefinitely, just keep topping off with more alcohol as contents get low and add a split bean occasionally. Since I will probably make and give future jars as gifts, I will use a pretty jar, strain the vanilla and add a fresh bean.