If you have never tried to make homemade vanilla extract, you need to do it ASAP! It is so aromatic and just as easy as it is good! Only 2 ingredients are required—alcohol and vanilla beans. That is it! Vodka is the most neutral of the alcohol choices, but you can use rum or bourbon if you like. I do prefer the vodka though. Vanilla beans can be ordered from Olive Nation and they usually ship the vanilla beans free which is a great perk! Go to http://www.olivenation.com/Bourbon-Madagascar-Vanilla-Beans-P84C54.aspx to order your beans!
All you need to do is slit each bean almost in half and add to the jar of alcohol in a ratio of 5 beans to 8 oz. alcohol. Make sure jar is sealed and store in a dark place for 5-6 weeks at least. Shake it several times a week. Remember, patience is a virtue—the longer it sits, the better the flavor!
If you want you can top off the extract with more alcohol several times before the beans loose their flavor. Enjoy!