Monday Bites :: Vanilla Bourbon

So, did you know that "bourbon" vanilla actually refers to a bourbon vanilla bean? Not the liquor used to extract the flavor? Yeah, me neither. Not until after I filled an old maple syrup jar with split vanilla beans and Maker's Mark. Oops. While I am not sure what the end result of this experiment will be as vanilla extract, I can {rather sheepishly} tell you that a little splash of this in a cup of hot cocoa is down right heavenly. Naughty, I know. Don't tell Santa.

Last year we made Heather's amazing hot cocoa for grown ups. Several times. Pure Bliss. And if you follow her scrumptious little recipe and swap the white chocolate liquor for my vanilla bourbon, you will be quite pleased with the results. Yum.

So, even though my intention was to use this as extract, I must admit I am happy to find that it has dual purpose!




Vanilla Bourbon:

1 madagascar-bourbon vanilla bean, cut lengthwise with scissors

1 cup of bourbon (Maker's Mark is good stuff)


Put the beans into the jar. Top with bourbon. Store in cupboard for 2 months. Shake whenever you look at it. After a month, ours had a nice mellow vanilla flavor, good for adding to cocoa. However waiting the full two months is important if you want to use it as vanilla extract. {and most likely even better in cocoa} Every time you use a little, top off the bottle with bourbon. You'll never need to buy vanilla extract again. I hear it takes years for the beans to lose their flavor! If you have a larger jar to fill, just keep the one bean to 1 cup of bourbon ratio. 


13 thoughts on “Monday Bites :: Vanilla Bourbon

  1. First, thank you for the link. I am really glad that you enjoy that recipe. It is one of my faves for holiday fun, and since Maker’s Mark is one of my husbands all time loves, this recipe will be a great substitution. I am off to make some vanilla bourbon!


  2. Love this recipe. Stephanie, you will have to give us all of your recipes for where and when you use this besides drinking. I love the idea of this in toffee and yea, the pecan pie. It’s just perfect.


  3. I tried some of that straight up, which tasted quite nasty (and strong), but I was just wondering.. I only tried a little of it. Not a lot. But I got extremely afraid that it might kill me. That Madagascar Vanilla Bourbon Extract stuff. And I just needed to know if it will. I doubt that it will, but it might make me a little sick.


  4. I doubt it would anyways because if it was going to potentially kill someone than why would they make it right? They wouldn’t be allowed to sell it if it was going to kill somebody by just having a little.


  5. I think you can assume bourbon is safe to use in making your own vanilla extract. However, different qualities bourbon are more smooth or harsh. If you are making the vanilla bourbon exclusively as a vanilla extract, any bourbon would be fine. If you plan to drink it as a nightly aperitif, I would suggest Maker's Mark or something similar. We make a delicious drink with vanilla bourbon, apple cider & ice. Delicious.


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