I recently transferred a batch of home-made vanilla extract to a smaller bottle. I shook out the vanilla beans left in the original bottle into a container with white granulated sugar as there was a lot of extract and seeds left on them. The extract is vodka-based and contains about 35% ABV.
The end result is that this container of sugar is completely soggy and wet now, and I'm wondering how I can safely store it. From what I've read, dry sugar has an indefinite shelf-life because it is hygroscopic, creating a dry environment where nothing bad can grow. This is obviously no longer the case here. High sugar content seems to play a role in the shelf life of fruit preserves but the bigger factor there is probably sterilisation before canning.
How can I safely dry out this wet sugar mixture?
Should I toss it if it's been sitting at room temperature (with a fine mesh top) for 24 hours?
Is storing sugar when wet a Really Bad Thing?
Will the alcohol inhibit the growth of anything that might survive the high sugar content?