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Jul 27, 2013 01:07 PM

Homemade vanilla extract with Grand Marnier or Cointreau

Which would be better to make an orange vanilla extract...Grand Marnier or Cointreau?

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  1. both are full of sugar and cointreau tastes bizarrely artificial to me. do you have access to orange oil?

    1 Reply
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      I've never made vanilla extract with flavored oil. How does it come out and how do you use?

    2. If you happen to have both on hand, I'd do a side by side comparison in two small jars and see if you notice a difference, if the orange flavor enhances the v. bean or takes over and which of the two brands (if one, the other or both) makes for an interesting extract. A chance to compare is always interesting.

      Back home, I have extracts going with 4 v. beans in each jar. Dark rum, Grand Marnier, scotch and a Spanish red wine. I buy the small sampler bottles (and had the red wine from a trip) to experiment until I come up with one I like.

      I snip the top and bottom off the vanilla bean so the liquid will transfer up the inside of the bean like a straw. I use the extract & the seeds for cocktails, baking recipes and marinades.

      2 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        Oh! I like your idea about using the bean like a straw. I've only ever split the bean.

        1. re: JolinCO

          I learned that tip watching a CHOW video and it works so well!

      2. A small piece of orange rind with the pith removed would add a fair amount of orange flavor.

        4 Replies
        1. re: scubadoo97

          When I tried using orange rind in vanilla extract it rotted in the bottle. How did you keep the rind imparting orange essence over a long period of time?

          1. re: HillJ

            I didn't but figured the high alcohol content would preserve the peel

            1. re: scubadoo97

              I figured the same thing, like making lemoncello, the lemon zest (I don;t think orange would be that different) is put into alcohol (I used Everclear) for a long time.
              I looked up several recipes for homemade extract, and their directions also say one can leave the orange zest (just the orange part, absolutely no pith) in the alcohol for a long time.
              To be clear (so to speak), the recipes call for vodka, not other flavored liquors.

              1. re: wyogal

                True, I've read recipes that indicate using the citrus peel or zest but so far I haven't had success only rotten peels.

        2. I would probably go with Cointreau since it's clear. Depending on what I'm cooking, I may not want the bright orange color of Grand Marnier tinting the dish.

          1. My personal preference would be Cointreau. But then I'm not a fan of brandy