Aged vanilla extract?

Anonymous writes: Is vanilla extract aged? How long should it be aged? Is vanilla extract from the store aged?

It's generally said that vanilla extract should be aged for one year for the best flavor. Gourmet commercial extract producers may store finished extract for weeks or up to a year, but unless it's labeled there is no way to know for sure.

Homemade extract is aged in the bottle during extraction — some say this yields the best flavor.

Frequently asked vanilla questions.
Vanilla information.
Vanilla extract tutorial and recipe.


  1. My vanilla recipe has more of a strong alcohol smell after three months. How can i fix it? I can hardly smell the vanilla bean.

  2. nancy,If you can hardly smell the vanilla than you don’t have enough in the alcohol. I start with a 1.75 liter bottle of vodka and to it I add 1/4 pound of extract quality beans(grade B). I let that work for about a week and then add 1/4 pound more. After 7 more days it will be VERY brown and smell HEAVENLY. Shake the bottle daily for a month. Then it goes to the cellar(my basement) on a dark shelf where it can work out all its issues for 12 months(remember to label your bottles with a start date). After 12 months taste it. I like to soak a sugar cube. Put the cube in your mouth and move it to the back of your tongue. You should be loving the flavor! If not, let it go another 12 months and taste it. Total cost for this is about ten bucks for the cheapest vodka available that is 80 proof or more, and 7.00 for a half pound of beans. Strained you get 90% of that volume of extract, and it IS extract! You can make friends and family very happy by giving this away for Christmas, or you can be blissfully happy yourself using it in your own recipes. Vanilla frozen custard made with my own duck,goose, or chicken eggs is a real favorite here!

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