Extract alcohol trial results

Extract alcohol experiment.
Photo: Tamami/Coco&Me.

Tamami at Coco&Me posted the results of her vanilla extract experiments using vodka, rum, and brandy:

I made 3 samples – with vodka, rum & brandy – & I can say that the best one was… drum-roll please… with Vodka!! Ta-da!

The clear vodka now coloured rich auburn brown, has the most heady scent of vanilla. Bliss. It’s a “happy-moment”. You know that the vanilla has been fully extracted. It has a slightly syrupy density, & when you shake the bottle then pour, you’d get loads of specks of vanilla beans. Gorgeous.

The other two, the rum & the brandy versions, well, forget ‘em really… The distinct flavour of the alcohol drowned the delicate vanilla scent. Quite disappointing & pointless.

You can read more about Tamami’s experiment with vanilla extract and various alcohols.

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4 comments

  1. Thank you for this information. I’ve been making all of my extracts with vodka because I thought the other liquors had too strong a taste to them. This confirms what I had thought.
    Please give us feedback on the vanilla rum soaked raisin truffles. They sound yummy.

  2. Vanilla Extract with Gin. Very interesting. I just wanted to comment that I once experimented with making it with (Brittish) Gin. Although Gin is rather strongly flavoured just like Rum I did found the outcome rather nice. However, many people do not really like the perfume like small of Gin. For those mixing it with vanilla will NOT be a good idea. If you like the small (and taste) of Gin and vanilla a Gin based vanilla extract will give a nice twist to your dishes!

  3. Regarding the comment about extract made with rum I’ve got to say uh uh come again. Rum is made from sugar cane. Complaints of ‘strong” rum flavor are questionable. Maybe you’re referring to the harsh notes of the cheapest product available?

    Extract made with a decent quality rum and good beans with a little time will yield a stellar extract that is superb in the appropriate dishes. Canele and caramels come to mind.

  4. aetano, I’m inclined to agree with you. In fact, spiced rum makes an excellent vanilla extract. The most popular (in other words, cheap), Captain Morgan, already has a vanilla element to its flavor profile. It really depends on what you pair with the vanilla beans. If vodka has the cleanest vanilla smell, then rum and bourbon (and I think brandies would particularly make a beautiful pairing with vanilla) ought to add a certain depth to vanilla; you just have to find one that highlights vanilla, not dominate or even just complement.

    For example, the Captain Morgan spiced rum also has a subtle caramel flavor. With vanilla, the taste is simply delectable.

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