Recently a friend gave me about 30 vanilla beans and I decided no more procrastinating, I was going to do this! It is super easy and I plan to make some more come June to give away as Christmas gifts.
The rule of thumb is 3-5 vanilla beans per 8 oz. of Vodka (that's what I used). I have heard you can use Rum or bourbon as well but I thought I'd stick with Vodka. Instead of going out and buying a bunch of bottles I'd been saving several from a variety of items...red wine vinegar, maple syrup, etc...
Simply take your vanilla beans and slice them down the middle lengthwise. I left the tops intact. Place in the bottle (remember 3-5 per 8oz...I used 5), then pour Vodka in to your bottles using a funnel. Cap, give bottles a good shake and then place in a cool, dark place (a kitchen cupboard is fine). Let sit for 3+ months before using. You can possibly use it sooner, I think I read 6 weeks somewhere, but I think the longer it sits the better it is, so even going 6 months would probably be great. Can't wait to try it out.
I plan to purchase some vanilla beans through Amazon and probably will buy Costco's Vodka again since it was highly recommended by one of my friends. Making your own really does end up saving you money in the long run. A 1.75 liter bottle of Vodka made 5 bottles that were at least 16oz. each. One was 8oz.
I thought I'd share a picture that I took yesterday of my vanilla. This is going on the second week...see how nice and dark it's getting? YUM! It smells amazing.
With Joy UNquenchable,