After starting our Limoncello, we also set up some bottles of vanilla extract to steep. This is a super fast and easy gift, that nearly everyone can use. Want to make your own?
You will need:
10-15 Vanilla beans of good quality
40 ounces inexpensive vodka
10 Small glass bottles
Wash your bottles with warm soapy water, and rinse well. Allow to dry.
Once your bottles have dried, you will need to cut up your vanilla beans. I cut mine in halves, but you can measure the length of your beans agains the size of your particular bottles. We used one and a half beans for each bottle of extract.
Add your bean pieces to the bottles, and then use a funnel to fill each bottle with vodka. Wipe down the bottles to make sure they are clean before labeling.
I used the same 2" square kraft paper labels from Avery, and a piece of free clipart for vanilla beans. Since my printer only prints in black and white, I went back with a beige marker and gave some definition to the flowers. Once the labels were on the bottles, they still looked a little plain to me, so I added a twine bow, along with a pewter charm of a cupcake to each one.
Note on supplies: We purchased our vanilla beans from My Spice Sage. I've ordered spices from them in the past for canning, and the quality is always great. (Plus on each order, they let you pick out a 1 ounce packed of spice to try for free, from an extensive list!) Like with the Limoncello, I ordered my 4 oz amber Boston Round bottles from Specialty Bottle in Nashville. They came exceptionally well packed, and shipped right away. While it might be tempting to go with the clear glass, using brown bottles will actually help protect the extract's flavor from being destroyed by light.