Bin Ends: How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract from Party Swill



  1. kitchen refuse and scraps of waste food mixed with water for feeding to pigs.
    synonyms: pigswill, slops, scraps, refuse, leftovers;
Let’s forget for a second that now no single person will ever eat my baked goods again. Here’s hoping that is short lived, otherwise I will have no content for the eating section of this magazine. I am two things when it comes to home-related things: frugal (must save money for clothes and booze, not necessarily in that order) and a purist. It is sometimes just easier and cheaper to make things than buy them. Which is exactly the case for vanilla extract. That stuff be crazy expensive. And when you’re making treats like it’s your job, you need to go the DIY route.
You’ll need:
  • a mason jar
  • vanilla bean(s)
  • vodka
  • dark corner of your cupboard
  1. This is the fun part where the aforementioned swill comes in (you knew I would get there eventually…). Ever notice that after a party you undoubtably have six different vodka bottles lying around with a half-cup (or tablespoon) left of vodka in them? Well you can’t mix them all together to make room in your liquor cabinet now can you? Plus no one drinks vodka anyway (especially party swill). Well save all that vodka in a mason jar over time until you have a full jar.
  2. Cut a vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the pod into the vodka mason jar swill.
  3. Throw in the scraped-clean vanilla bean pod.
  4. Cover, shake and store in a dark corner of your pantry or cupboard.

In a few short months you will have lovely vanilla extract to use in whipped cream and your tasty baked goods.

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