What Does Vanilla Extract Taste Like? Check Out Vanilla Extract Tasting Notes!


Vanilla extract is a vital ingredient in sweet dishes. This solution is used in everything you can imagine, including cookies, brownies, cakes, custard, ice cream, etc. In this article, we will explore what vanilla extract tastes and smells like and why it is used so often!

What Is Vanilla Extract?

Vanilla extract is a solution produced by soaking vanilla pods in water and ethanol. The result is a dark brown liquid that adds incredible flavors to desserts and baked goods. Vanilla extract also helps bring out the existing flavors of the other ingredients.

What does vanilla extract do? Vanilla extract enhances the flavor of desserts and baked goods while adding a lovely subtle vanilla taste. Vanilla extract is like salt but for sweet dishes. Without vanilla extract, cakes, cookies, brownies, custards, and ice cream lacks flavor and tastes bland.

Vanilla extract is a must-use ingredient when cooking or baking something sweet. Vanilla extract has two distinct effects:

  1. Brings out the flavor of the ingredients
  2. Adds a pleasant and yummy vanilla taste

To see how vital vanilla extract is, run an experiment where you cook something with and without vanilla extract and note the taste difference. Without vanilla extract, your baked goods are likely to taste bland.

 What’s the difference between vanilla extract and syrup? Vanilla extract is bitter with a dark brown color and a watery texture. In contrast, the vanilla syrup has a lighter color, a very sweet taste, and a thick consistency. Vanilla syrup is made by combining extract, water, and sugar, while vanilla extract is made from soaking vanilla beans in alcohol.

Vanilla extract and syrup are similar but very different! Vanilla syrup is very thick, has an incredibly sweet taste, and you can pour lots of it straight into your coffee, tea, or drizzle it over ice cream. Vanilla syrup is made by combining vanilla extract with sugar and water. Vanilla extract, on the other hand, is mostly bitter and incredibly powerful with a deep dark brown color. Vanilla extract is typically used in baked goods to enhance flavors and give a subtle vanilla taste.

Vanilla Extract Tasting Notes

Vanilla extract is everywhere! But what does it taste like, and should you be adding it to your deserts? Let’s find out!

What does vanilla extract taste like? Vanilla extract by itself tastes bitter due to the high alcohol content. You can taste a mildly sweet vanilla flavor, but it isn’t edible by itself. When used in recipes, Vanilla extract adds a sweet caramel flavor and a subtle vanilla taste. It also enhances accompanying sweet ingredients, similar to salt’s effect on savory dishes.

We don’t recommend taking a swig of vanilla extract. You won’t be met with a lovely sweet vanilla flavor. Instead, vanilla extract tastes very bitter with a powerful alcohol flavor. If you search deep into your taste buds, you will be able to detect a very subtle vanilla flavor, but it is completely overwhelmed by the bitter taste. However, when you add vanilla extract to dishes, there is zero bitterness. In fact, the extract adds a caramelesque sweetness, makes the other ingredients richer, and provides a smooth and lovely vanilla flavor.

Does vanilla extract taste like alcohol? Vanilla extract by itself does taste like alcohol because it is 35 percent alcohol, similar to hard liquor. Vanilla extract has a strong bitter flavor and is not pleasant to drink. You can become intoxicated if you consume too much vanilla extract.

Vanilla extract has a strong alcohol taste which is no surprise seeing it has a minimum 35% ABV making it as strong as whiskey, vodka, and rum. Vanilla extract is made from soaking vanilla beans in ethanol. Drinking vanilla extract by itself is not recommended as it has a very off-putting bitter flavor.

See also: 15 Best Vanilla Substitutes For Baking You Must Try Today

Is vanilla extract sweet? Vanilla extra by itself is not sweet at all. In fact, it has an incredibly strong bitter taste because it has a high alcohol content (35%). However, when added to sweet dishes, it produces a sweet caramel taste and a smooth, subtle vanilla flavor.

Vanilla extract is a magical solution! If you take a sip straight from the bottle, it will taste incredibly bitter and foul. You will swear you are drinking alcohol, there is only the slightest hint of sweet vanilla. This all changes when you add it to ice cream, cakes, and cookies. A little bit of vanilla extra can transform your dish from bland to full of sweet flavor!

Why does vanilla extract taste bad? Vanilla extract tastes bad because it has an alcohol content of 35%, which results in a very bitter and unpleasant taste. Vanilla extract is made from soaking vanilla beans in ethanol. The high alcohol content overwhelms the sweet flavor of the vanilla beans.

Even though vanilla beans have a lovely sweet flavor, vanilla extract is very bitter and tastes horrible. This is because vanilla extra is high in alcohol. The alcohol completely wipes out the sweet taste of the vanilla and instead leaves a nasty bitter flavor.

Can you get drunk from vanilla extract? You can get drunk from vanilla extract because it is 35% alcohol, similar to vodka, whisky, and rum. However, the tiny amounts used in cooking are not enough to get you drunk. Also, it is a very expensive way to get drunk, as a shot of vanilla extract will cost around $4.

Vanilla extract is 35% which means you can get drunk from it just like any other alcohol. But the amount used in baked goods is not enough to give you any kind of buzz. Vanilla extract is also expensive, and even if you buy a cheap 4 oz bottle from Walmart for $11.82, a single standard shot (1.5 oz) will cost you $4.43. Let’s say you need 8 shots to get drunk, that is $35.4. You are better off buying a bottle of vodka which contains 16 shots for $20 or less, the drinking experience will be smoother too!

Can you taste vanilla extract? Raw vanilla extract has an unpleasant bitter taste due to its high alcohol content (35%). You can very slightly taste the sweet vanilla, but it is drowned out by the bitterness. It is safe to try vanilla extract by itself but be prepared for a foul taste! When the vanilla extract is used in cooking, you can taste a subtle vanilla flavor and caramel sweetness.

Vanilla extract is a mysterious solution. When you try it raw, it is incredibly bitter and not tasty at all! But when you throw some in cookies, cakes, and brownies, it enhances all of the surrounding ingredients and provides a lovely subtle vanilla flavor and super yummy natural sweetness.

What Does Vanilla Extract Smell Like?

Vanilla extract has a clear initial vanilla smell which is then overpowered by a powerful alcohol smell. Some extracts have a stronger vanilla smell, while others have a more intense alcohol aroma. The alcohol smell is not surprising as the vanilla extract is made from ethanol!

Vanilla extract has two aromas, vanilla, and alcohol. Usually, you will smell the vanilla first and then the alcohol. Also, the concentration of the aromas differs between brands, with some having a more intense vanilla smell while others smell more of alcohol.

Why does vanilla extract smell weird? Vanilla extract smells weird because it has a powerful alcohol aroma. Vanilla extract is 35% alcohol made from soaking vanilla beans in ethanol. If you expect a pleasant and sweet aroma, the strong alcohol smell may shock you.

The weird smell coming from your vanilla extract is alcohol! Vanilla extract is very strong alcohol with a similar concentration to hard liquors like whisky and vodka. This high alcohol content influences the smell of the extract, which is a combination of alcohol and vanilla.

See also: Why Is Vanilla So Expensive? Learn The Truth!

Why does vanilla extract smell good? Vanilla extract combines the smell of alcohol and vanilla to produce a lovely aroma. Brands that have a stronger vanilla aroma tend to smell better than brands that have an overpowering alcohol aroma. 

Vanilla extract has a fragrant vanilla aroma that makes you feel warm and fuzzy. Some brands have a too strong alcohol smell which is off-putting. However, if you find a brand with a strong vanilla aroma, it smells incredible and makes you start dreaming of vanilla ice cream!

Final Thoughts

Vanilla extract is an absolute must-use ingredient when baking cookies, cakes, custards, and brownies. This incredible solution ensures your baked goods are bursting with flavor and provides a natural sweetness combined with a smooth slight hint of vanilla. However, we don’t recommend trying vanilla extract by itself as it is very bitter and has a high alcohol content.

See also: 69 Foods That Start With B: From Bacon To Bagels – Ultimate List

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