It couldn’t be easier to make your own vanilla essence. Simply grab a clean jar and fill with brandy or vodka, depending on wether you want that brandy flavour or prefer a more tasteless alcohol. Add 3 vanilla beans, split down the middle and cut in half. Leave the jar in the top of your pantry for 6 weeks, shaking once every week. That’s it! Use as you would store-bought vanilla essence, but without any nasty additives or preservatives.