handmade gift: homemade vanilla extract
i was so impressed when i received this bottle of homemade vanilla two years ago. look how cute it is!
it's really easy to make homemade vanilla extract, and you can definitely go crazy with the presentation and make it as adorable as you like. it's also such a wonderful gift because you'll know exactly what's in there, and though it's expensive to buy commercial vanilla extract, it's not very expensive to make.
you can use whichever alcohol you like, but the two favorites are probably vodka and rum.
bottles and corks or tops
split five vanilla beans lengthwise down the center to expose the seeds, keeping the ends of the beans intact. place beans in a pint of high-quality vodka, rum or brandy. store in a cool, dark place for at least four weeks. shake the bottle several times a week.
if you fall behind and don't get to start this now, you can just set up the extract and give the gift with instructions to shake and wait. the longer you wait, the better it gets. and, you can add more beans and more alcohol to replenish the stock as you use it up.
vanilla, saffron imports
the vanilla company
cost plus is a great place to get decorative bottles and jars