Actually, skilletlicker, as far as "good" vanilla beans are concerned, I was referring to your comment on the pricey ones. I have been getting my vanilla beans at World Market in my area. The price is $1.99 for 2 very long, fat beans.
I steep my beans in the cheapest vodka I can get. Usually 2 cups per 2 beans. Open the beans and scrape the seeds into the vodka. Include the vanilla pods, too. I put this mixture in a glass jar (currently I'm using a clean pickle jar). Store in a cool, dark place for at least 2 years. Shake once in a while.
After about 2 years, I have a nice (very dark) liquid. Smells grand! I prefer to let it sit another year for the fullest flavor.
When I use the vanilla, I replace the quantity with more vodka and another vanilla bean if I think it needs to be added. What can it hurt?
I've given it as gifts and my friends love it. So do I. It's strong and wonderful.
The only difference I can discern is that this vanilla doesn't have any hint of sweetness to it like commercial vanilla. If that's a problem, I suggest you add a touch of corn syrup. It doesn't bother me, I just go for the rich vanilla flavor.
No need for a still. Never had a problem with revenooers!