2-3wholevanilla beans²I use and recommend grade B Madagascar vanilla beans, see note. Two vanilla beans yield a standard and flavorful vanilla, 3 will yield an extra strong flavor.
Thoroughly clean, wash, and dry bottles and lids that you’ll be using. Cut vanilla beans so that they will fit inside your bottles.
Split beans lengthwise so that the tiny seeds are exposed.
Place cut vanilla beans in bottle. Fit funnel over the top of the bottle and add liquor until the beans are fully submerged. Leave a little bit of space at the top of the bottle so that you will be able to shake the contents as they sit.
Add label, if using, but make sure to mark the date that the vanilla was bottled. Store in a cool, dark place and shake occasionally. Store vanilla for at least 3 months before using.
¹Alternatively, for a richer flavor you can substitute bourbon. A mid-shelf liquor is perfect for this recipe, don’t bother with splurging on anything expensive as it’s not worth it in the end result. I usually use Smirnoff brand but anything similar will work
²I typically buy my beans from Beanilla.com and have always been satisfied with the high quality, plump beans.
Store in a cool, dark place. Homemade vanilla should keep for up to 5 years, but if it smells unpleasant or is cloudy you should discard. You can replenish your vanilla extract supply by simply adding more alcohol as you use it.