Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe with a Mint Twist (Plus Easy DIY Vanilla Sugar)
Learn how to make homemade vanilla extract as well as easy DIY vanilla sugar for your baking recipes. These easy recipes also make lovely homemade gifts, whether you’re making them for a housewarming basket or gifting them for the holiday season.
Keep reading to learn how to make vanilla extract with a chocolate mint twist using herbs and whole vanilla bean. Plus a simple DIY for vanilla flavored sugar to add to baked goods, teas or coffee.
Two things I have wanted to make for some time were my own homemade vanilla extract and vanilla sugar. Well, I finally got around to it. But since I was wanting to also use some of the my chocolate mint before fall wiped out my crop for the season, I decided to put a twist on the traditional vanilla extract and instead made homemade vanilla extract with a chocolate mint twist!
How to Make Vanilla Extract with Mint
My homemade vanilla extract with mint is super easy to make, though it does take some time before you can actually use it. To make your own vanilla extract and vanilla sugar you’ll need the following:
- Glass spice jars with a screw top lid or mason jars – I chose to use spice jars I got for $1 at the local co-op – this also allows these to be used as stocking stuffer gifts, hostess gifts or wedding favors because of the smaller size.
- Freshly harvested Chocolate Mint and Peppermint Leaves – from my garden
- Whole vanilla bean – Also from the local co-op which had these for $1 less than Fresh Market. You can also buy certified organic whole vanilla bean from Mountain Rose Herbs if you aren’t able to source it for a reasonable price locally.
- Vodka – The brand doesn’t matter so much if you’re using the extract for baking, however I plan to use some of mine for mixed drinks as well so I got the good stuff. Generally I prefer Grey Goose Vodka, but my friend Meagan suggested I try Belvedere which is a Polish Vodka. It’s only a dollar cheaper than Grey Goose for a 375mL bottle so I’m assuming its comparable quality. Regardless, the bottle is very pretty.
- Sugar – raw or refined, it’s up to you.
- Washi Tape or Ribbon – something pretty to label and decorate your bottles with.
You’ll want to start by rinsing your fresh mint in cold water to remove any dirt and debris from the mint leaves you harvested.
Once you’ve rinsed your mint leaves, pat dry with paper towels. I used eco-friendly, handmade napkins to cut down on waste and to save money. (I also find paper towels to be ridiculously expensive when you’re on a tight budget.)
Next I filled each of my three spice jars with vanilla bean. Since I used smaller containers, I was able to cut my vanilla bean into three equally sized sections – one for each of the three jars I purchased.
Next, I filled two of the jars just over half way up with my fresh chocolate mint and peppermint. These jars will be the homemade vanilla extract jars. The third jar does not get mint as I made vanilla sugar with it.
Then, fill the two spice jars with the mint and vanilla bean with vodka. Cap tightly. Fill the remaining jar with only the vanilla bean with sugar and cap. Give each jar a good shake.
Finally, label your jars so you know what’s inside. I used washi tape to label my jars as I think it’s so easy to decorate things with. Not to mention it’s just pretty. I wrapped each jar with washi tape, then used Eco-Cotton tape over the washi tape on which I’d written the contents with a Sharpie marker. Eco-Cotton tape also takes stamps beautifully. I tried that first, but I only had a sage green stamp pad and it didn’t show up as dark as I wanted.
Once you’ve labeled your homemade vanilla extract and vanilla sugar jars, all that’s left to do is wait. Place your homemade vanilla extract with mint and homemade vanilla sugar in the pantry. Shake once a day for a month. Once a month has passed you can conduct a taste test to see if they’re ready.
Once the homemade vanilla extract is to your liking, strain the extract to remove the mint and vanilla. Use the extract in baking or to compliment mixed drinks. The vanilla sugar makes a tasty topping for baked goods, coffee and teas. Enjoy!
Baking & Dessert Recipes to Try
If you enjoyed my recipe for making homemade vanilla extract with a mint twist, then you may also enjoy some of my other baking and dessert recipes.
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