We’re not a vodka household. We’re much more fond of gin, thank you very much. But I always seem to have a bottle of vodka in the liqueur cabinet for purposes other than drinking … mainly making tinctures, perfumes and handmade infused liqueurs.
On our recent trip to Vietnam, we got this small bottle of Vodka Hanoi, and I’ve been looking for a way to use up the vodka while still keeping the bottle.
I’ve been out of vanilla extract for a few weeks and have been successfully substituting random liqueurs and other flavorings where needed (Baileys, dark rum, Kahlua, even almond extract!) But this lonely bottle of Vodka Hanoi seemed the perfect excuse to turn a simple rice spirit vodka into something infinitely more useful.
The recipe is simple. It’s not even a recipe, really. Just take some vodka (about 1 cup), and add 2 really nice strong vanilla beans (don’t skimp on quality! I know they’re expensive, but there are only 2 ingredients in this recipe, and the extract will last for ages.) Close the bottle and store in a dark location for at least a month, maybe more.
It’s been less than a week and the vodka is already taking on that dark vanilla-y tinge. I’ll check it after 1 month, and again after 2 months and report back! Apparently commercial vanilla extracts contain sugar, but I’m not going to add any since I use my extract exclusively in sugar-filled baked goods!
I plan to leave the vanilla beans in the bottle while using the extract, and to just top it up with additional vodka when needed throughout the year.
I’ll report back in a few weeks!