Curious about how to make my own vanilla extract from some beans I got as a gift,
I found this site.
Elise uses 1 cup vodka to infuse 3 beans.
I don't like vodka for anything, so I ended up buying one of those 50ml miniature bottles, and infused 1 1/2 bean. I think that other beverages with the same alcoholic degree and neutral flavor (for example, cachaça) would fit as well.
How to make it: cut each bean in half, lengthwise, leaving one of the tips together.
Soak the beans completely in the vodka and shake well, storing in a mason jar or screw lid bottle.
It should be left to infuse for 2 months in a dry spot, away from light, before using.
That's it. According to Elise, you can keep completing the vodka eternally and don't ever need to replace the vanilla beans.
Most vanilla extract available at stores come with some added sugar, to leave a sweet aftertaste. But if your idea is to use it for baking, there's really no need of sugar, because it's already present in the batters and doughs.
Out of Brazil, I don't know where exactly you can find the beans to buy, and how much it would cost. Probably whole food stores and baking supply stores will have it around.