What Vodka To Use For Vanilla Extract

What Vodka To Use For Vanilla Extract

Love making homemade vanilla extract but not sure which vodka to use? You're not alone! Choosing the right vodka can make all the difference in your final product. In this article, we'll guide you through the best options and teach you how to select the perfect vodka for your vanilla extract. Get ready to level up your game and whip up the finest, most delicious homemade extract around!

Best Budget Vodkas Ranked

smirnoff vodka doctors


A global vodka giant with Russian origins, Smirnoff delivers consistent quality and versatility for any mixer.

Alcohol Percentage: 40%

Taste Profile: Crisp, mild sweetness with a clean finish

Best Cocktail Pairing: Classic Cosmopolitan

Best Food Paring: Grilled chicken skewers

Brand Breakdown: Find out more here

absolut vodka doctors


Swedish purity in a bottle, Absolut is distilled from winter wheat, giving a smooth and rich experience.

Alcohol Percentage: 40%

Taste Profile: Smooth with light grain and citrus hints

Best Cocktail Pairing: Absolut Elyx Martini

Best Food Paring: Smoked salmon canapés

Brand Breakdown: Find out more here

ketel one vodka doctors

Ketel One

A Dutch treat, Ketel One is the result of over 300 years of distilling expertise; a refined choice.

Alcohol Percentage: 40%

Taste Profile: Fresh with subtle citrus and honey notes

Best Cocktail Pairing: Dutch Mule

Best Food Paring: Aged cheeses or Dutch herring

Brand Breakdown: Find out more here

Why Vodka for Vanilla Extract?

Before diving into the specific vodka brands, let's briefly discuss why vodka is the go-to choice for making vanilla extract. Vodka is a neutral spirit that allows the flavors of the added ingredient – in this case, vanilla beans – to shine through. It's also readily available, affordable, and has a long shelf life, making it an ideal base for extracts.

Important Factors to Consider

When choosing a vodka for your vanilla extract, there are a few critical factors to take into account:

1. Alcohol Content (ABV)

A higher alcohol content (40-50% ABV) is recommended to extract the most flavor from the vanilla beans. Keep in mind that anything above 50% ABV might make the extract taste too strong and overpower some culinary applications.

2. Filtration Process

Vodkas that undergo a more extensive filtration process tend to be smoother and purer, which can impact the quality of your extract. Look for vodkas that are charcoal or multiple times filtered.

3. Price Point

Given the vast array of vodka options, it's easy to assume that a higher price tag equals higher quality. However, when it comes to making vanilla extract, you don't necessarily need to spring for ultra-premium brands. Stick to well-reviewed, mid-tier vodkas that are known for their smoothness and purity.

Top Vodka Choices for Vanilla Extract

With these factors in mind, here are some excellent vodka options to consider for your vanilla extract:

1. Smirnoff No. 21

A staple in many households, Smirnoff No. 21 is a reliable choice for vanilla extract. Its triple distillation process, 40% ABV, and affordable price make it an excellent option for those who want a solid, tried-and-true vodka.

2. Svedka

Svedka is another popular, wallet-friendly pick. This vodka boasts an impressive five-time distillation process and a 40% ABV. Its smoothness and neutrality make it ideally suited for extracting the subtle flavors of vanilla beans.

3. Russian Standard

Coming to you from St. Petersburg, this 40% ABV vodka is known for its exceptional purity. Russian Standard undergoes an intensive charcoal filtration process, ensuring a smooth and clean spirit perfect for vanilla extract.

4. Reyka

This Icelandic vodka takes pride in its unique distillation and filtration process, which includes using lava rock for filtration. Reyka offers a 40% ABV, making it an interesting choice if you want to bring a touch of Icelandic charm to your extract.

What Vodka To Use For Vanilla Extract Example:

DIY Vanilla Extract Recipe


- 375ml bottle of vodka (of your choice from the list above)

- 6-8 high-quality vanilla beans


1. Using a sharp knife, slice the vanilla beans lengthwise to reveal the seeds inside.

2. Place the sliced beans in the vodka bottle, ensuring they're fully submerged.

3. Secure the bottle cap and give it a gentle shake.

4. Store the bottle in a cool, dark place and give it a shake once a week.

5. After 8 weeks, the extract will be ready to use. For a more concentrated flavor, you can let it sit for up to 6 months.

Now that you've learned about the best vodkas to use for your vanilla extract, it's time to put your newfound knowledge to the test. Try your hand at our simple recipe and discover the delightful world of homemade extracts. Don't forget to share this article with your friends, family, and fellow vodka enthusiasts. For more tips, tricks, and guides on all things vodka, make sure to check out the rest of our Vodka Doctors blog. Cheers!


About Ferdynand Scheuerman

Ferdynand is Vodka importer, exporter and specialist with over 30 years of experience in the Vodka industry. He knows the subtle in's & out's of Vodka. Spending most of his time discovering new brands, new blends and new cocktails.

Related Posts