Tired of paying between 5-10 Dollars for those little bottles of pure vanilla extract? Most people don't know how inexpensive it is to make and the flavor is much better than store bought. I started making mine last year and I won't go back to store bought.
1Buy your vanilla beans. I buy mine on eBay and you can get them really cheap direct from France, Madagascar or Tahiti. Make sure you buy from a reputable seller, check out their feedback. You can usually buy about a pound or 100 beans for around 30 dollars with most sellers offering free shipping.
2Select your bottle. I use the 1 liter glass Perrier bottles. They make the perfect size and the vanilla makes faster with these bottles.
3Rinse about 20 beans, slice the beans lengthwise and drop down into the bottle. You can also scoop the seeds out of a few of the beans if you want it to make faster.
4Pour rum over the beans to the top of the bottle.
5Put the cap on and in about 6-8 weeks you will have close to a quart of the best vanilla you have tasted or used in a recipe. Shake the bottle about once a week.