Although the ingredients in store-bought vanilla extract are not bad, you can save a lot of money making your own and it lasts forever. This version with organic vanilla beans is also much less expensive than an organic store-bought bottle.
1 liter bourbon
~14-16 whole organic vanilla beans
I put the bourbon in a clear canister. I wanted the opening wide enough so that I could periodically stir it.
I then split the vanilla beans and dumped them in the bourbon. I closed the lid and put the date on it. I wanted to give it several months to steep so that it would be the most flavorful.
The longer you let it sit, the better the vanilla flavor will be. I have never done it with vodka, so I am not sure if it takes a shorter amount of time, but mine was not really ready for about 4 months. Before that it was just still too bourbon-y. In fact, I started with only 12 vanilla beans and ended up adding about 4 later on. From what I have read on other sites, you may only have to let it sit for a few weeks and it will be done. But if you start now, you will be able to age it for several months before the holidays or gift giving season.
These were the vanilla beans I ordered. I think they are a great deal for the amount you get and the fact that they are organic.
This should make ~ 33 ounces!