We bought our vanilla beans online. They are organic and Tahitian. Tahitian beans- are flowery, fruity and anisic with a smooth flavor. There are three different kinds of vanilla beans so not every extract will be identical. Next step was buying an organic vodka. There were only a couple of organic options at the liquor store we went to. So that is the reason for the selection. You can use any liquor you want for making vanilla extract, but go for one with at least an 80 proof (or 40% alcohol). Vodka is commonly used because of its neutral or “flavorless” taste, allowing the flavor of the vanilla to really come through. Next all sanitized items- a knife/scissors, a mason jar, and a measuring cup.
You need three vanilla beans for each cup of vodka. The one pictured is a 2 cup mason jar. So six vanilla beans are being used.
Each bean has to be cut down the center starting at one end, and leaving the other connected. This exposes the seeds inside to the vodka. As they are split place them in the mason jar.
Measure one cup of vodka, and pour it over the beans.
Measure the second cup of vodka, and pour that also over the beans.
Now shake that baby up! You will see the seeds floating around. Next- place a label with the date on it, because it needs to be stored in a dark and cool cabinet for at least two months. You will need to shake it one to two times each week. You can keep your jar of vanilla extract going indefinitely by refreshing it with additional beans and refilling it with more liquor. Since it’s primarily alcohol, vanilla extract can last decades. Below pictured is what one day old vanilla extract looks like.
I purchased cute amber jars, and have created a vintage style label to print out to be gifted once these babies are ripe and ready. I will post the completed product when they are well and ready for distribution.Source: here