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Which Liquors to Choose to
Make Vanilla Extract

Well, I learned how to make vanilla extract years ago, and have always made it with vodka. A cheap, second-shelf vodka works great because it brings virtually no other flavors to the table. Once infused,  you get a pure, clean vanilla taste-no added spices or alcohol taste.  But the more I've learned, I've found that using different types of liquor for vanilla will produce a different type of vanilla extract that can lend itself to a variety of cooking needs.

Learn How to Make Vanilla Extract Here


A regular, inexpensive vodka is a standard, and extremely popular way to make vanilla.  This gives a clean, pure taste and is perfect in light desserts such as crepes and sugar cookies. This clear, vanilla taste is perfect for chocolate chip cookies.


Silver Rum

Silver rum is light and clear like vodka so your pure, vanilla taste will shine through!  It does, however, add a subtle, sweetness, making it delightful in rice puddings, frostings and cream desserts.


Dark or Golden Rum

A nice golden rum adds a fuller, bolder flavor to your homemade vanilla.  The rum brings a natural sweetness that pairs well with with the natural vanilla bean.  Dark rum perfectly compliments heavier desserts like pumpkin pie, spice cake and fruit cake.



Bourbon makes a nice rich vanilla with a deep bold flavor.   Not as spicy as the golden rum, it adds a depth and boldness to rich desserts, spice cakes and especially tasty in chocolate cakes.


The best idea would be to do some experimenting!  Consider purchasing a few airplane sized bottles and try it out for yourself!  I hope this is helpful and I'd love to hear more ideas.

Please share your tips and ideas on how to make vanilla!

Do you have a great recipe or tip about this? Share it!

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