Homemade Spiced Rum Vanilla Extract

The vanilla extraction process is addicting. You’ll feel half a bonafide member of the home bakers club and half mad scientist. While vanilla extract made with vodka works well, If you’re looking for something with a bit more kick look no further than this Spiced rum vanilla extract.

Kraken black spiced rum and Everclear grain alcohol with Madagascar Vanilla Beans on a vintage white plate.

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If you are on a journey to make your own homemade vanilla extract like I am then you may at some point consider the type of alcohol you want to try next. However, for first-time extractors, I highly recommend Homemade Vanilla Extract with Everclear.

But once you’ve dipped your toe into making your own vanilla extract you will definitely feel the pull to play. Inevitably my new obsession led me to consider different types of alcohol like Brandy, White Rum, Dark Rum, and Bourbon to extract next.

Ultimately spiced rum won this round. But Bourbon may be up to bat next time.


Kraken Black Spiced Rum and Everclear Grain Alcohol with Madagascar Vanilla Beans on a vintage white plate.

Spiced Rum Vanilla Extract

Both of these versions will taste absolutely delicious. However, some things are definitely better when you make them homemade like vanilla bean simple syrup.

Luckily both of these options are fairly simple, don’t cost much money, and are sure to be a treat for every holiday season.

Spiced Rum Vanilla Extract

  • Kraken Black Spiced Rum, 70 Proof
  • Everclear Grain Alcohol, 190 Proof
  • 2-3 oz of Vanilla Beans Grade A or Grade B, Whole Vanilla Beans

See the recipe card for specific quantities.

How to Make Homemade Spiced Rum

This is not a precise recipe as you can add pretty much anything to it specific to your taste preferences. These are some ideas to create your own homemade spiced rum vanilla extract.

For this homemade version, you will naturally want to choose an unflavored rum.

  • Cardamom Pod if you like chai influences
  • Star Anise if you like licorice
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • All-Spice Berries
  • Ginger Root
  • Whole Peppercorns
  • Whole Cloves
  • Fresh-Grated Nutmeg
  • Orange Peel


  1. First, add your spices to your rum and let it soak for 48 hours.
  2. Strain using a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or nut milk bag into another container.
  3. Then pour it back into a glass bottle.
  4. At this point, you’ll add your Everclear to raise the proof.
  5. Stir or shake to combine.
  6. And finally, add your vanilla beans.
  7. Allow it to extract for 18-24 months in a dark place. Shake periodically.

Watch this on Youtube:

Instructions to Make Spiced Rum Vanilla Extract

Kraken Black Spiced Rum and Everclear Grain Alcohol mixed together in a glass measuring cup. Madagascar Vanilla Beans sitting on a vintage white plate.

Step One

Measure out your Spiced Rum and Everclear. Stir and set it aside.

Exactly 2 ounces of Madagascar Vanilla Beans on a kitchen scale.

Step Two

Measure out 2 oz. of Vanilla Beans and drop them into the jar.

Overflowing Spiced Rum and Everclear mixture out of a glass amber jar sitting on a white plate.

Step Three

Then pour your Rum/Everclear mixture on top to fill the jar.

Two full bottles of vanilla beans in kraken black spiced rum and everclear grain alcohol mixture and amber glass bottles.

Step Four

Store in a dark cabinet or any dark place at room temperature. A good place would be above a refrigerator, a nice warm spot. A little bit of warmth helps extract along.


  • Leave the bean pods whole for the best use of the beans themselves. Though split beans (cut beans) will produce faster results, you lose all the delicious caviar. However, the whole beans can be used after extraction to create vanilla bean paste, vanilla sugar, and vanilla salt, or added to a mother jar for more extraction.
  • Make sure to label your Vanilla Extract with all applicable information so you know when your extract will be “good”. Other good information to note would be, what bean type you used, the weight of vanilla beans, alcohol type, and date.

How Can I Use Spiced Rum Vanilla Extract?

The possibilities are pretty endless, but I’ve got a few quick ideas for you to get your imagination rolling.

  • Pies – Imagine a thanksgiving pumpkin pie with a spiced rum undertone. Apple pie, Pecan Pie, there are so many pie flavors that would pair deliciously with the warmth of the spices.
  • Ice Cream – Homemade ice cream is already scrumptious, but a spiced rum vanilla ice cream sounds like a delicacy I need in my life.
  • Various Drinks – Like Chai, Apple Cider, and Spicy Hot Cocoa. Spiced Vanilla with hints of chocolate is a match made in heaven. But I’m sure you can think of quite a few more options, iced and hot.
  • Cookies – For example, I’m dreaming of Christmas Cookie recipes like Gingerbread, Sugar Cookies, and even Thumbprint cookies.
  • Christmas Gifts – Make a big batch and fill up small bottles for the perfect last-minute (or very advanced!) gift.
  • Toppings of Any Kind – For example, Hot Fudge, Homemade Caramel, Infused Honey, or imagine pancakes covered in Maple Syrup with a dash or two of Spiced Rum Vanilla Extract.
Top view of 2 cups of Kraken Black spiced rum and everclear grain alcohol mixture with madagascar vanilla beans on a vintage white plate.

Variations – Types of Alcohol to Use

When making your own homemade vanilla extract recipes it is wise to do your research on both the type of bean, proof of alcohol, and types of alcohol. Here are some of the best options.


Rum is made from pure sugarcane extract that is fermented, distilled, and then aged. It offers the greatest levels of sweetness of all the alcohol types. Therefore it is an ideal choice because it pairs well with the sweetness of the vanilla beans.

Rum is repeatedly distilled very similarly to Vodka and Everclear Grain Alcohol making it extremely smooth and pure. The sweet taste makes rum-based vanilla extract perfect for all your baking needs. Learn more about rum.

Variations of Rum

  1. Light Rum
  2. Gold Rum
  3. Dark Rum
  4. Black Rum
  5. Spiced Rum

Note: Dark and Gold Rum are heavier and pair well with any deep dishes during the cooler months of the year.


Bourbon, the most popular American whiskey, has a clean yet smoky and consistent taste. It also has a sweetness to it due to its high corn content. However, sweeter than vodka, but not nearly as sweet as rum. It is the perfect choice as it pairs well with vanilla without overpowering the aroma of the vanilla bean.


Vodka is the clear winner of the most popular choice awards when it comes to good vanilla extract. The quality of the vodka makes a great deal of difference when it comes to the end result and achieving that full flavor of the vanilla extract.

The quality is determined by the number of times it has been distilled and the specific type of grain. The higher quality vodka you purchase the cleaner and smoother for stronger tones of vanilla in your extract.

The vast majority of Vodka is 80 proof or 40% alcohol. You would not want to use anything below 70-proof and 100-120 is ideal.

Favorite Vodka Brands

  • Grey Goose
  • Kirkland
  • Tito’s
  • Ocean

Everclear Grain Alcohol

For top-shelf pure vanilla extract look no further. This is the clear winner as far as strong vanilla flavor. It is also thought to be the winner as far as high-proof alcohol goes as well and will need to be diluted 1:1 with distilled water before using it in any extraction.

The biggest advantage to using Everclear Grain Alcohol (190 proof alcohol) is the taste of the final extract. Since Everclear has no taste of its own the only thing that will be left after a year of extracting is unadulterated vanilla flavor.

While I think it is the best choice, you can make up your own mind. Read more about Homemade Vanilla Extract with Everclear.


For those of you who are opposed to using alcohol at all, regardless of type for whatever reason, there is a non-alcoholic option. Propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin is typically what is used in store-bought extract and could be your answer!

Variations – Type of Vanilla Bean to Use

  • Tahitian Vanilla Beans
  • Madagascar Vanilla Beans
  • Mexican Vanilla Beans


  • Measuring Cup
  • Kitchen Scale
  • Small Funnel


Store the in an airtight container out of direct sunlight. Some beanies like to cover clear glass with a sock to keep the vanillin away from sunlight. I personally use amber glass bottles to help with this.

Vanilla Extract made with dark alcohol will take twice as long to extract as clear liquids like Vodka and Everclear Grain Alcohol. So anywhere from 18-24 months of extracting.

Vanilla Extract made with 70-100 proof alcohol has a basic unlimited shelf life.

Top Tips

  • I prefer to not split vanilla beans and instead keep my Madagascar beans intact as whole vanilla beans.
  • While doing research to make my choice on which alcohol content to use I learned a few things. Just because certain alcohol may taste good to you will not necessarily reflect how well it will be when used for creating a vanilla extract. But have fun and try it anyway!
Top view of vanilla beans and kraken Spiced rum in a glass measuring cup.

Spiced Rum Vanilla Extract

Yield: 16 oz.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Dark Spiced Rum Vanilla Extract


  • 1 1/2 Cups Kraken Spiced Rum, 70 Proof (or other brand of spiced rum, 70 Proof)
  • 1/2 Cup Everclear Grain Alcohol, 190 Proof
  • 2 oz. Vanilla Beans


  1. Measure out and mix your Rum and Everclear using a 3:1 ratio (70 Proof Rum to 190 Proof Everclear).
  2. Stir and set aside.
  3. On a kitchen scale measure out your 2 oz of Vanilla beans.
  4. Drop them into the jar.
  5. Fill your jar to the top with your Rum/Everclear mixture.
  6. Store in an airtight container out of direct sunlight for 18-24 months for best results.
  7. Shake periodically.


  • To hit 100 Proof, which is ideal for extracting, you will want to use a ratio of 3:1 Rum to Everclear. Using the assumption of 70 proof Rum and 190 Proof Everclear. This equals 3/4 cup Rum to 1/4 cup Everclear.
  • To do a double fold use a 2:1 Vanilla beans to Alcohol Ratio. For a triple fold, use a 3:1 Vanilla beans to Alcohol Ratio. A triple fold is the highest recommended fold, there isn't a noticeable difference in vanilla strength after that, and may just be a waste of good vanilla beans.
  • Recommended Supplies: 16 oz. Glass Jar with Airtight lid (Tall enough to accommodate full-length vanilla beans), Kitchen Scale, Funnel, & Measuring Cup.


Yes. Spiced rum is a favorite among extractors for a great reason. Spiced rum will add a unique flavor to your Vanilla Extract which will pair perfectly with pumpkin pie and a whole range of recipes during the holiday season.

White rum will extract in 6 months to 1 year and dark or spiced rum will extract in 18 months to 2 years. Rum will add a sweetness to the Vanilla Extract. Captain Morgan’s White Rum and Kraken Spiced Rum are two popular favorites.

Homemade vanilla made with clear or light alcohol takes 6 months to 1 year to extract properly. When you make homemade Vanilla Extract with dark alcohol it takes 18 months to 2 years. The darker the alcohol, the longer it will take to extract.

The best alcohol to use to make Homemade Vanilla Extract is hands down Everclear Grain Alcohol. It is the cleanest, purest tasting alcohol in the world. It will leave your extract with a pure vanilla taste.

This is all a matter of personal tastes. Vodka will produce a cleaner vanilla extract flavor while rum will add sweetness.

1 oz of Vanilla Beans per 1 cup of alcohol. Store in an airtight container out of direct light or in a dark closet. For white rum, extract 6 months to 1 year. For spiced rum, extract 18 months to 2 years.

Yes. For the best results extract with alcohol of no lower than 70 proof, but 100 proof will extract faster. This can be a huge benefit when extracting with spiced dark rum since dark alcohol will need to extract twice as long typically than white rum or clear alcohol.

Food safety

  • Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
  • Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
  • Wash hands after touching raw meat
  • Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
  • Never leave cooking food unattended
  • Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
  • Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove

See more guidelines at USDA.gov.

Meet the Author

Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→

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