Question from Carole: “Love the store, love this page. Could you please review the vanilla bean process from adding the vodka to finally making vanilla sugar? Thanks!”
Answer: This is what I recommend: Start by filling your bottle with an 80-proof vodka. Let the bottle sit for 2-4 months in a cool, dark place. You can tell by the smell when it is done. Leave the beans in the bottle and use it as you would any vanilla.
Then, refill the bottle and start the process over. After a while (years!), you will be able to tell the vanilla isn’t getting as strong as before, or it might take a lot longer for the vanilla to get to the right strength.
At that point, you’ll want to start splitting the beans one-by-one. You may want to split two beans at a time. The more beans you split, the faster it will infuse, but you will not get as many extractions out of the beans.
When you think that the beans are done making vanilla, you can scrape the beans and use any seeds that may be left over in your baking dishes or anything else that you would use vanilla in.
Or, you can simply let them sit out overnight to dry and then throw them in sugar to make vanilla sugar.
There is no real “right” way to do this process. It’s really your choice. Have fun with the process!
Thanks for visiting us both on Facebook and at our store, too!