A few months ago, my buddy Ryan gave me some homemade vanilla extract to bloom and bake with.
Vanilla beans + vodka + cool, dark place + weekly bottle rotation = primo vanilla extract. Ta-dah!
Pretty simple. After all, extract is mostly booze. (I learned that from Family Ties when Tom Hanks played Uncle Ned.) I'm sure it's great in cookies, but I'll have to investigate how it tastes in drinks.