We started our vanilla on Tuesday. It’s actually really easy to get going. There’s tutorials on the internet all over the place with pictures and proportions and everything. I looked a bunch of them and then kind of just mixed them together. Ivan bought me a vanilla bean in Hungary and brought it home for a coming home present to me. We wanted two beans, though, to make four ounces of vanilla so we had to find another one. We went to Central Market and they had several to choose from. Apparently Bourbon or Tahitian vanilla beans are the best to use. The cheapest we found was two beans for $7.50 or so, but looking online you can order them for a little over a dollar a bean. If I do this again I’m totally going to order my beans online.
The vodka I’ve already written about. That was a fun experience. Did you know you can spend over $100 for a liter and a half of russian vodka? It comes in a really tall, really cool bottle though. We bought the cheap kind and got 750 ml. We wanted a smaller bottle, but could only find the little individual drink bottles until we were on our way out and had already bought our bottle when we found the quick to-go shelf with a 450 ml or so bottle for cheaper. Oh well.
That night we put it all together. You slit the beans the long way and then cut them so they’re short enough to fit in the bottle and put them in a bottle with the pre-measured vodka in it. Then you let it sit for 4-8 weeks or so. They say ideally you let it sit for 6 months, but you can use it after 4 weeks or so. You shake it every day the first week and then every so often after that. It gets darker and stronger with time. The best part is that it’s reusable. When the bottle is half empty you just pour more vodka in and you’ve got more. I took this picture today, so it’s 4 days old. It’s already way darker.