Purchase 1/2 pounds of Grade A Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla beans. You can get these online through many wonderful websites. 1/2 pound of beans will usually get you 50 to 60 plump beans.
For this recipe I use 1/2 pound of grade A - Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans. There are other kinds of beans but these are "THE" traditional vanilla beans rich in classic vanilla flavor and aroma.
Most folks strictly use less expensive Vodka but I'm picky so I chose my favorite mid range alcohols. I'm using Bourbon and Vodka, but in separate batches. My Bourbon Vanilla is great for cookies.
First get 5 pint canning jars with the rings and lids ready by giving them a hot water bath for about 30 minutes. Not a full rolling boil just a gentle boil. Then let them cool on a towel.
Count and separate your beans into equal bunches of 11 or 12 beans. Working with one pile at a time, cut them in half. Hold each halved bean by the end and make a lengthwise slit to open the bean.
You don't need to cut each halved bean from top to bottom. I usually start my cut 1/4 inch down so it stays attached at one end. You're free to experiment but the main idea is to open up the bean.
Place the cut beans from your current batch into one of the pint jars. Top off the jar with 2cups(+) booze making sure all beans are well covered. Put the lid on tight and give it a shake.
The rule is 5 beans / cup of alcohol. For pint jars I use 11 beans cut in half. Slit all of the beans lengthwise, to expose the insides then drop them in the jar. Cover completely with alcohol.
Once you get all your jars filled simply store them in a cool, dry, dark place for anywhere from 2 to 6 months. (6 months is best). Nurture them once a week with a gentle shake.
When you decide your Vanilla is ready to share get some classy jars, fill 'em up, hand them out and be prepared to be worshiped as the Vanilla God you are!
Your beans can be used to make several batches. Just keep pouring on the alcohol making sure to keep them covered. Recording batch dates is a good idea. Use the spent beans to make Vanilla Sugar.