Making top-quality vanilla extract at home is easy and economical, plus it makes a nice, heartfelt gift for friends and family.
Thoroughly wash the bottles and caps in hot, soapy water and allow to air dry.
Slit each vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife, stopping 1/4-inch from each end. Cut each bean in half crosswise, giving you 24 pieces.
Place 4 pieces of vanilla (2 beans) in each bottle. Using a funnel, pour 1/2 cup of vodka into each bottle and push the beans down to submerge.
Screw the caps on tightly and place the bottles in a cool, dark place to steep. The vanilla will be ready for initial use in 6 weeks, but 8 weeks is optimal for the most flavor.