Handmade Holidays: Vanilla Extract with a Twist

There are many people/places on the internet that are showing you how to make your own vanilla extract to give as gifts for the holidays.  The basic ingredients are vanilla beans and vodka.  I wanted to 'jazz' this project up a bit to make it all my own. 

I'm a cherry fan:  dried cherries, cherry pie, cherry soda, fresh cherries....basically the 'bubba gump' of anything cherry.  So, the last time I was at the liquor store, I bought CHERRY flavored vodka instead to do a little experimenting with.  I still had to let my mixture sit for a minimum of two months.  It is finally finished and ready for a taste/smell test.  Let me tell you, this is yummy.  There is just the right hint of a cherry background flavor to perk it up.  I guess you could also use the juice from your maraschino (?) cherry jars but I couldn't give you an exact measurement.  Cherry flavored vodka took the guesswork out for me.  These little treats are ready for Christmas gifts now. I'm thinking black forest cake is the first big dessert on the menu with the extract!

***Just as a little side note:  I also tried to do this with orange flavored vodka but wasn't thrilled with the results.  For whatever reason, the vodka wouldn't soak up as much flavor from the vanilla bean so I just totally canned that one.

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