If you happen to still be buying imitation vanilla extract, here are a few things that could be in it: chemically synthesized vanilla flavor from cloves or a paper byproduct, toxic blood-thinning substance from the Tonka bean, corn-syrup, sugar, or a vanilla-like substance from coal tar or rice bran. Guess what is NOT in it? Vanilla.
OK! Real vanilla extract only has two ingredients. Alcohol and vanilla beans. You can use anything from top-shelf to bottom-shelf booze for this. Vodka, bourbon, rum or brandy are all good choices. Go with something nicer if you’re planning to slip some into your morning coffee, if not, bottom-shelf vodka works just fine for extract. Continue reading