How To Make Vanilla Extract With Rum

Vanilla extract is made easily with only Kraken rum, vanilla beans, and some time. Making this extract is cost effective and down right delicious!

Vanilla extract is made by placing vanilla beans in a bottle of rum to begin the extraction process.

Vanilla Extract with Rum

Am I the only sucker who needs something sweet after dinner? I know how bad sugar is, but I seriously enjoy something sweet and delicious to end the day.

Since I bake so much and enjoy making everything from scratch, it was just the natural next step to make vanilla extract from scratch using a rum that already has a great flavor.

I can’t wait for ya’ll to taste the difference between store bought vanilla extract and this one! I have used this recipe for years, and I always miss it when I let it run out.

Easy Vanilla Extract

Ingredients to make vanilla extract

  • Rum
  • Vanilla beans

Tips to make vanilla extract

  • Use 80 proof alcohol. Rum is my preferred alcohol to use for this vanilla extract. It’s flavor is only enhanced by the vanilla beans and it really adds a depth to your baked goods that is indescribable. Vodka is a commonly used alcohol for creating extracts. Good quality vodka will take on the flavor of anything and should not have much of a flavor.
  • Use the right amount of vanilla beans. Use about 5 vanilla beans per 8 oz of alcohol.
  • Let is sit in a cool, dark place for a minimum of 8 weeks. Shake the bottle every few days, but patience is key to this extract! The longer the vanilla has to extract, the deeper the flavor will be!

Different types of vanilla beans

  • Madagascar vanilla– creamy and bold flavor
  • Mexican vanilla- robust, smooth
  • Tahitian vanilla- the most common vanilla, floral and rich

What types of alcohol to use

Vodka is a great base for an extract. A good quality distilled vodka will be virtually odorless and tasteless. It will be able to extract and take on the vanilla flavor very easily. Bourbon, brandy, and rum all make for fun alcohols to use in extractions as well. The alcohol must be 80 proof or more to properly extract the vanilla oils. Whatever you choose, the alcohol does not need to be top shelf. I don’t recommend using the most cheap bottle you can find, but something in the middle that is sturdy and reliable.

Vanilla extract is made easily by slicing the vanilla beans in half and placing htem in Kraken Black Spiced Rum to begin the extraction.

How to make vanilla extract using rum

  1. Slice the vanilla beans lengthwise with a sharp paring knife. In half of the vanilla beans, scrape the insides and place in the alcohol.
  2. Put the sliced vanilla beans into the alcohol and make sure they are submerged. I placed mine right in the original bottle. Literally opened it and plopped them in there.
  3. Let it sit and extract for a minimum of 8 weeks or up to 6 months.

Vanilla Extract w/Rum Recipe Ideas

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Vanilla extract is made easily by slicing the vanilla beans in half and placing htem in Kraken Black Spiced Rum to begin the extraction.

Vanilla Extract

Sea Salt Savorings
Vanilla extract is made easily with only Kraken rum, vanilla beans, and some time. Making this extract is cost effective and down right delicious!
5 from 35 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Extraction time 60 days
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 28 ounces


  • 1 750 ml bottle of Kraken Rum
  • 15-20 vanilla beans


  • Open the bottle of rum. Slice the vanilla beans lengthwise. Scrap the insides of half the vanilla beans and put it in the bottle of alcohol. Place all the vanilla beans in the bottle of rum.
  • Place the lid back on the bottle of rum. Give it a good shake, then place in a cool, dark place for a minimum of 8 weeks.
  • When ready to use, just measure right out of the bottle! Mangia!

Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.

Tried this recipe?Mention @seasaltsavorings or tag us #seasaltsavorings!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Sophia J Magri says:

    5 stars
    I never knew! Woah!

  2. Which type of vanilla do you typically use?

    1. sherry brubaker says:

      Hello! That’s a great question! I like to use Madagascar vanilla beans.

      1. sandra duggan says:

        How many beans foe a 1.75 liters

        1. Seasalt Savorings says:

          The original recipe calls for 15-20 vanilla beans for a 750ml bottle of Kraken Rum. The proportion of vanilla beans to rum is roughly 1 vanilla bean per 37.5-50ml of rum.

          A 1.75 liters bottle is a bit more than two times larger than a 750ml bottle. Therefore, you would need approximately 35-40 vanilla beans for a 1.75 liters bottle, using the same proportion.

          You might adjust the number of beans based on your personal taste preferences. If you want a stronger vanilla flavor, use more beans; for a milder flavor, use fewer. Keep in mind that the extract needs to sit for at least 8 weeks to fully develop its flavor.

  3. Bill Beck says:

    Is it required to add some distilled water to the Mix?

    1. Seasalt Savorings says:

      There is no requirement to add distilled water to the mix. The extraction process is entirely facilitated by the alcohol in the rum. The alcohol acts as a solvent, pulling out the flavors and aromatic compounds from the vanilla beans.

      Adding water to this mix could potentially dilute the extract, making it less potent. In general, a higher alcohol content will result in a more effective extraction, which is why the recipe advises using 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume) rum. Therefore, distilled water is not required or recommended for this recipe.

      Please ensure that you’re storing your mixture in a cool, dark place for a minimum of 8 weeks to let the vanilla beans infuse their flavor into the rum effectively.

  4. Doesnt the spices rum add the spice flavor to your baked good as well as vanilla?

    1. Seasalt Savorings says:

      Yes, you’re correct that the Kraken Black Spiced Rum used in this recipe can contribute additional flavor to the homemade vanilla extract, and by extension, to the baked goods you use it in.

      Kraken Black Spiced Rum is known for its rich, spiced flavor profile that includes notes of vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and caramel, among other flavors. When used to make vanilla extract, the vanilla beans’ flavor is extracted by the rum, and the inherent flavors in the rum will also be present in the resulting extract. So, when you use this homemade vanilla extract in your baking, you’re likely adding not only the flavor of the vanilla, but also the other subtle flavors present in the rum.

      However, keep in mind that the flavor of this homemade vanilla extract may not be identical to the more neutral, pure vanilla flavor provided by commercially available vanilla extracts, which are typically made with a neutral spirit like vodka. Some people may prefer the added depth and complexity of the spiced rum-based extract, while others might prefer the cleaner flavor of a traditional extract. It can depend on personal taste and the specific flavor profile you want in your baked goods.

  5. Joann Burnich says:

    I have two batches going already from 2021 and have on hand enough Vodka and enough Capt. Morgan’s rum to make two more quart-batches. However, after reading your article, I note that my alcohols are only 70 Proof, not 80 as you recommend. I’ll make new vanilla using these products, but hope next batches that I can find 80 proof. I live in Utah and things are “strange” here, to some degree. Thanks for your interesting article.