I don’t mean to be–I genuinely want to love the Christmas season. Basically…I’m here to help anyone else who feels a little frazzled by the time December rolls around.So in October, I’m all excited about Christmas cards and holiday goodies, so really, now is the key time for me to pounce on Christmas, because if I , I’m going to have a lot of half-filled treat bags, undelivered laundry detergent (yes, I give laundry detergent to friends and teachers for Christmas…I’m THAT friend), and Christmas cards that I post on Facebook 6 days after Christmas is over. buying real vanilla extract), and if you make it for gift-giving, you can start now. You’re going to need some supplies–vanilla beans, liquor (yes, vanilla extract is made with liquor–I know people who were genuinely shocked to learn this), and bottles.Use it in ice creams, sweet sauces, whipped cream, jams, jellies, etc.You can also allow the pods to dry out (after you squeeze out their insides) and then grind them up into a powder using a coffee or spice grinder and sprinkle it into anything that you’d like to add vanilla flavor to (or mix it with sugar to make your own vanilla sugar). They call for a whole tablespoon of vanilla, which is part of what makes them so delicious. This is the only way our neighbor/co-worker gifts get done!I’m not including a printable because you might want them to say something different or more customized (plus, chances are your name is not Jones…and what if you use Tahitian vanilla beans? My hands have gotten worse and so far none of the options I have chosen have helped to improve them.Our Word of the Year choice serves as a symbol of each year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends.
So I decided to try using white rum, which is just about as flavorless and straight-up alcohol-y as vodka.
I was actually pretty surprised to discover that even though the vodka and white rum smelled almost exactly the same I added the vanilla beans, once they had brewed for awhile, they were very different.
The vodka vanilla was similar to what you buy in a store, so if that’s what you’re after, go for the vodka. After a few years of making this, I only use white rum to make vanilla because it’s hands-down my favorite. Don’t even think about buying your vanilla beans in a grocery store–they’re, like, /bean, plus 20% of your soul and a security deposit on your firstborn child.
Think about how many bottles you want to make, and shop around for the best price according to your needs. Olive Nation also has really great sales on them sometimes, so be sure to check them out and watch there, too.
If this turns into “your thing” you’re planning on doing every year like me, I’d recommend just kind of watching all of the time, so you can get a feel for how prices are fluctuating. I think these are ideal because it’s the perfect size for gift-giving and the dark-colored glass helps protect the flavor of the vanilla.