Now that Christmas has passed I can start sharing on my blog all of the Christmas gifts that I have been busy making the past several weeks. As a simple gift for friends and family I decided to make a bunch of bottles of homemade vanilla extract. The basic way to make it is to infuse a white alcohol, like vodka, with vanilla beans but I thought it would be fun to use spiced rum instead for a different flavor.
To make the vanilla I sliced Madagascar vanilla beans down the middle not quite to the end and trimmed the bottoms so they would fit in the bottles. I then placed two beans in each of the 8.5oz swing top square glass bottles that I had thoroughly scrubbed and then filled them up with spiced rum. I did this all back in November so that the vanilla beans would have enough time to infuse the spiced rum before I gave the bottles as gifts for Christmas.
To label the jars I made a simple design and used my Silhouette Cameo to cut it out from white vinyl. I then used transfer paper to apply the labels to the bottles and the vanilla extract was ready to give.
I made little cards with the following information to hand out along with the bottles:
Homemade Spiced Rum Vanilla Extract
Use in baking recipes just as you would with plain vanilla extract. Discard the vanilla beans when they are no longer covered in liquid or after two months when the beans are fully infused, whichever comes first. Shelf life for the homemade spiced rum vanilla extract is one year.
If you are making vanilla extract at home for yourself you can keep topping up your bottle with alcohol and replace the beans after they have finished infusing.
The homemade vanilla extract was a big hit with my friends and family this Christmas and I have to say that I loved the project so much that I saved a bottle for myself which I am excitedly using.