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rum for making vanilla extract


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I know most people use vodka for making vanilla extract but I was thinking rum would work better--especially for some desserts. Any suggestions as to what type of rum would be best for this grand experiment? or any experienced hands willing to share advice?

(btw, I assume this should go here as opposed to the baking section)

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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For homemade vanilla, I always use bourbon; Wild Turkey.

The idea of vodka somehow does not seem good to me; but then I'm one of those people who actively dislikes the taste of vodka while most say it has 'no taste'.

So, for me, rum or bourbon sounds like a better choice--since many desserts already use them as flavoring.

Can anyone who has use vanilla in vodka describe if they think it adds a discernable taste/flavor? Does it come out very similar in taste to commercial vanilla?

edited to add: you're probably right that this would get more comments in the "pastry and baking" section.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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  • 3 weeks later...

There are a number of vanilla flavored rums and most use an aged rum of about 2 years so that there is some rum flavor as opposed to a highly refined white rum. The old rums already have too much character of their own.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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I find the best way to keep my vanilla beans from drying out or becoming moldy is by storing them in rum. I use Appletons red rum which gives me the added advantage of of a nicely flavored extract with a little bit of depth. Makes for great bananas foster.

On another note, speaking of rum and vanilla, has anyone heard of, or come across, an Indian made rum called Taj Mahal?

I tasted it on several occasions many years ago and found it to be quite pleasant for sipping. It was smooth with a pronounced vanilla taste.

Edited by jaypm51 (log)


You are what you eat.

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I make several flavor extracts and I get the best result with Everclear. It is 95% grain alcohol (190 proof) and extracts more flavor from the vanilla, coffee, etc. It has no residual flavor.

I get it from a local liquor store that orders it for me but it is available online in most states.

It is illegal in several states, they are listed at the bottom of this page:


As for rums, click on rum, then on "More Rum" where you will find three long pages of rum, some extremely expensive. Just skimming on page 2, I saw one for $345.48. must be realllllly good.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett


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