I like to do a small gift every year to knowledge the people in your life you care about, but aren’t going to buy a personalized gift for. In previous years, I’ve usually done a cookie bag or candy assortment (fudges, truffles, barks). This year I was inspired to do something different. I’m particular proud of this year’s gift; I made homemade vanilla extract.
It wasn’t terribly difficult – all vanilla extract is an infusion of vanilla beans in alcohol. I bought half a pound of bourbon vanilla beans (there are many different types, but I choose bourbon for the floral qualities that make it good for baking) and 7 liters of vodka (80 proof or better is required). I found 4 oz bottles at www.specialtybottle.com and created labels at www.myownlabels.com . Each bottle got half a cut and spilt bean and vodka. This made 60 bottles. They infused for 6 weeks and I shook them every couple of days. I thought they turned out amazing. How will I top this next year?