Vodka - Shocker, I know, but I already had this in my kitchen cabinets, too. It doesn't have to be top shelf stuff. Any vodka will do!
** The recipe is 3 vanilla beans per cup of vodka. **
1) Use kitchen scissors or a sharp paring knife to cut lengthwise down each vanilla bean, splitting them in half, leaving an inch at the end connected. Since I used the shorter jars, I cut the beans in half short-wise first (that's the opposite of lengthwise, right?), before splitting them in half lengthwise.
2) Put the vanilla beans in a glass jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid. Cover completely with the vodka.
Lasts for years. You can keep topping it off with vodka once in a while as you use it. Just remember to give it a good shake.
These just need a cute homemade tag, and ... voila! ... super cute Christmas gifts! Since these won't be quite ready to use by Christmas, I'll just include the date that it will be ready on the tag ... it's the gift that keeps on giving.
... especially when I calculate how much money this will save in the long run!