Bourbon has such a buttery and rich flavor. It pairs so well with with fruit like this or citrus too. Imagine the flavors of an old fashioned, citrus and whiskey, one of the most popular whiskey drinks. It’s also perfect when its kept simple like a bourbon and soda or bourbon and coke. I created this Vanilla Bean Infused Bourbon Recipe because it can pair so well in these cocktails and more!
This Vanilla Bean Infused Bourbon can make a fresh and light Vanilla Old Fashioned or a Vanilla Bean Whiskey and Coke. The possibilities are endless. Alcohol infusions are so easy to make, that you will wonder why you haven’t been always making them!
For this recipe, we used Maker’s Mark but you could use any kind of bourbon you like. I recommend bourbon over scotch. But this is your dream! Do what you like. Bourbon just happens to have a smokey flavor that pairs so well with vanilla. It’s also more commonly used in cocktails whereas Scotch is mainly sipping. For the vanilla, I used Penzey’s because it’s the best. I prefer Mexican Vanilla to Madagascar because Mexican is pollinated naturally. It also happens to be closer to me regionally because I’m from Texas y’all.
After you have your ingredients, open the vanilla bean pod with a knife. Then simply add the vanilla bean to the whiskey. I recommend 1 whole vanilla bean for a 750 ml bottle of bourbon. You could always add more or less depending on your palette.
It’s best to start with the measurements I suggest here. Then when you have tried the traditional version you could adapt the amount.
And voila it’s just that simple! The only tricky parts are waiting two weeks for it to steep and gather all that gorgeous vanilla flavor. The good news – you can still sip it and taste it as it brews! You can taste your spirits along the way to see if the vanilla essence is strong enough (it gets stronger over time). And the amount of vanilla you add directly relates to how quickly the vanilla flavor becomes pronounced.
Here’s the recipe card.
Vanilla Bean Infused Bourbon Recipe
- Bottle of Bourbon
- 1-2 Vanilla Bean Pods per 8 oz. of Bourbon
- Split the vanilla bean pods lengthwise and submerge in the bourbon.
- Let infuse for 1-2 weeks.
- Use in your favorite bourbon drink!
Need more recipes with alcohol in your life? How about these recipes below!
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9 thoughts on “Vanilla Bean Infused Bourbon Recipe”
Do I take the Vanilla bean out of the bottle after two weeks, or can it sit in there until I finish the bottle….in a couple of days or less! 🙂
Haha! 2 whole days?! You are a man of moderation. Yes, leave the bean in the bourbon if you like. Then you can even use the bourbon soaked bean in a dessert, perhaps a bread pudding? It will add a touch of vanilla and bourbon flavor to a dish!
Thanks a bunch! I have cousins in Virginia with the last name Bly! Coincidence?
After two weeks, do you remove the vanilla bean.
Do you put the entire bean pod in or a bean from the pod?
Have you opened a vanilla bean pod before? The beans in the pod are teeny tiny. Like super tiny. When anyone talks about using vanilla beans you will want to do 1 of 2 things.
1. Either drop the whole pod in (like in the case.) Check out the photos to see what I mean.
2. Scrape the inside of the pod to add all the tiny little vanilla beans. You can see what I mean in this recipe here.
I have been making vanilla for a couple years now. Using Madagascar, Tahitian and Mexican vanilla beans. I have so far experimented only. But, I’ve always let my vanilla go for 6 to 8 months. Is that not a good idea?
It’s a great idea! The longer you soak the bean, the more deep and complex the vanilla flavor will become. You don’t have any risk of mold because of the alcohol.