Set with aromatic vanilla pods and flowers on white background
Food - Drink
To Make A More Robust Vanilla Extract, Swap The Vodka For Mezcal
Vanilla extract is easy to find at a grocery store, but it’s actually not difficult to make it yourself and customize it to your liking. Chefs often use the classic combo of vanilla beans steeped in vodka, and while alcohol is a necessity to draw out the vanilla flavors and preserve the extract, you don't have to be limited to vodka.
Mezcal is a smoky-sweet liquor in the tequila family that is made by roasting agave cores, and it makes for a uniquely-flavored vanilla extract. To get the best outcome, use vanilla beans from Mexico, because slightly caramel-y mezcal is the perfect compliment to the warm clove and nutmeg flavors of this type of vanilla.
Mezcal-based vanilla extract, like other extracts, can be used in cocktails or in sweets like caramels, cookies, and ice cream. Other tequilas like anejo, reposado, or silver tequila also work well with vanilla and will create different flavors, such as fruity or woodsy notes, so you can play with them to find the perfect kind for you.