Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More homemade vanilla extract & alcohol-free vanilla flavoring

Tonight I made some more vanilla extract.  Since I've made quite a bit already using vodka and Everclear, I decided to try some with rum and cherry vodka.

Have you been to the liquor store lately?  We have a store here in town that has quite the variety of liqueurs.  Not being much of a drinker, especially of rum, I was lost!  Thankfully, a very helpful clerk came up to me and assisted me in picking out a rum.  I was going to get a bottle of Kraken Black Spiced Rum because I liked the cool bottle, but I didn't like how dark the rum actually was.

After his assistance,  I decided to go with Sailor Jersey spiced rum.

I then walked a few more feet down the aisle to pick up a cherry flavored vodka.  I decided upon the 360 Bing Cherry not because the bottle is made with recycled glass, but because the bottle has a cool resealable clasp!  It's all about priorities!

I picked up some more vanilla beans from Vanilla Products USA.  I got the bourbon beans from Madagascar, Grade B, perfect for making extract.  Because of how much I spent with them ($45) they sent me 1/4 pound of split bourbon beans for free.  Also, I had decided to go ahead and use two ounces of beans in the alcohol-free "extract," so I had an extra 1/4 pound of the other beans to use up as well.  Thus my decision to try the rum and cherry flavored vodka.

I liked the label that came on the Sailor Jerry bottle so well that I decided to keep it and write on it the type of beans I used and the date.  I used the Grade B beans in the rum.  I slit them in half and scraped the seeds out, adding them to the rum as well.

For the Bing Cherry vodka, I used the split beans, finished splitting them, since some weren't split all the way up the bean, but I did not scrape the seeds out.

Here is the alcohol-free vanilla flavoring.  Since it doesn't meet the FDA definition for extract, I'll call it flavoring instead.  I used 16 oz of food grade vegetable based glycerin, 6 fl. oz. hot water, and 2 oz. beans.  I did split them and scrape the seeds out, add them to the jars.  Let's cross our fingers that this experiment works!

With the extra beans, I filled a 16 oz. bottle with them (split but not scraped), and used the little bit of the 360 Bing Cherry vodka that was left, and topped it off with plain vodka.  It should have a nice mellow cherry flavor when finished.

Here is a picture of all my work tonight.  I filled the bags that the beans came in with granulated sugar to make vanilla sugar.

I'm now up to 27 bottles of various sizes of vanilla extracts.  I'm running out of places to store them all!

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