DIY Homemade Vanilla Chocolate Mint Extract + Vanilla Sugar

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DIY Vanilla Extract Recipe - Make your own amazing natural chocolate mint and vanilla extract for baking or drink mixes
Two things I have wanted to make for some time were my own 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 and chocolate mint extract!
My Vanilla Mint Extract is super easy to make, though it does take some time before you can actually use it. To make your own Vanilla Mint 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.
Fresh Chocolate Mint and Peppermint from my garden
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.
Drying mint leaves with eco-friendly handmade napkins
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.)
Whole vanilla bean being placed into spice jars
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.
Fill jars with fresh chocolate mint and peppermint
Next, I filled two of the jars just over half way up with my fresh chocolate mint and peppermint. These jars will be the extract jars. The third jar does not get mint as I made vanilla sugar with it.
Fill jars with vodka over the vanilla bean and mint to make your own vanilla mint extract
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.
DIY Vanilla Mint Extract Recipe and DIY Vanilla Sugar Recipe
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 jars, all that’s left to do is wait. Place your homemade vanilla mint extract 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 vanilla mint 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!