I started by ordering Vanilla Beans on Amazon. Since I used my Discover Rewards it was 'free'. I use free loosely as many finance people would debate that assertion.
Most online recipes recommend using vodka as your liquid medium, but suggest that you can try rum, brandy, etc for different flavors. Since I like to live on the edge I jumped in. I picked up a bottle of vodka and a bottle of rum. I also had a bottle of Cacique Guaro that friends brought back from Costa Rica.
10 Vanilla Beans split lengthwise
1 Liter Vodka
I sliced the beans in half lengthwise to release the seeds for deeper saturation. Fresh beans are soft and pliable, mine where both and the smell was amazing!
I divided my vanilla stalks into 4 bottles making sure that they were completely covered in the liquid. They will mold and destroy the entire bottle if they are not completely submerged.
Store in a cool dark place, and shake every couple of days. After 1 week it is a nice caramel color that will continue to deepen as the flavor permeates. Check back in a few months and I will let you know which combination was the best flavor.