Homemade Vanilla Essence
While watching a Hairy Bikers programme a few months ago they mentioned making your own vanilla essence using brandy. So after a bit of googling I found that vodka was actually the best alcohol to use.
I use a lot of vanilla essence and it is quite expensive.
Buy vodka and vanilla pods (known as beans in the USA)
Split the vanilla pods down the centre and cut in half
Add vanilla to vodka
Keep in a dark cupboard and shake once a week
Ready to use after around 12 weeks