How To Make Perpetual Vanilla Extract

Perpetual Vanilla, who knew? Defiantly not me.

Welcome friends, did you know about perpetual vanilla? Here’s what I know now.

Perpetual Vanilla

While on a day trip to the North Georgia Mountains I visited my favorite apple orchard.  They always have lots of beautiful apples but they also sell jams, jellies, sauces, honey, relishes, pickles and apparently perpetual vanilla.  When I saw the bottle, I was immediately intrigued.

The label says, “Herbal products handcrafted in the NE Georgia Mountains”.  The company is Hartley’s Herbs in Cleveland, Georgia.

Here is what you need:

  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • 3 Vanilla beans (mine are Madagascar organic beans)
  • 5 ounces vodka or light rum
  • a 5-ounce bottle with a tight-fitting cap

You must remove the wax coating on the top of the Perpetual Vanilla bottle.

After removing the top take the vanilla beans out of the bottle.

 Then cut the beans lengthwise to expose the vanilla seeds,

then place the split beans into the bottle.

Next, cover the beans with vodka or light rum.  Be sure to cover the beans completely by filling the bottle to the top.  Place the cap on the bottle and tighten.

Place bottle in a cool dark place for four weeks.  Shake occasionally.  The vanilla darkens over time.  Whenever you use the vanilla refill the bottle with the vodka or rum you originally used thus the designation “Perpetual”.  With normal use, this pure vanilla extract lasts for years.  This is the “true old fashion” way of making an extract.

 My husband’s uncle who was a pharmacist made vanilla extract and gave it to family members but would never tell anyone how he made it.  My husband’s entire family thought there was a secret to the making of his wonderful vanilla extract.  I used my last bottle his vanilla extract years ago.  I am so excited that now I can reproduce that flavorful extract myself.

You can use the proportion of 3 vanilla beans to 5 ounces of alcohol to make the amount of vanilla extract that you want. 

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  1. Kristine Bengs says:

    Tried to pin but I never could find the recipe!

    • I didn’t give a recipe per se. My Perpetual Vanilla kit came with the bottle with a tight fitting cap, three vanilla beans, and I added five ounces of vodka. You can pin the collage at the bottom of the post which would lead visitors to the post for instructions to make vanilla extract. Thanks for pinning.

  2. My grandmother always had a bottle sitting on the window sill filled with vodka and vanilla beans, (not in the dark). She used the vanilla in all her Danish baking. I even remember scraping the vanilla beans for her once. So I know this works, but I had forgotten until you posted this. Smiles, Sandi

  3. Well, isn’t that interesting?! Pinned, and thanks for sharing, Sharon!

  4. We were going to make vanilla as gifts one Christmas but thought it was too much work! Little did we know!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I finally signed up for your blog so I don’t miss any of your posts; I enjoy them so much.

  6. Jann Olson says:

    I read about this on another blog lately. It really is interesting! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

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