Vanilla Cordial

Interchangeable with vanilla extract. Make sure vanilla beans are fresh; they should be soft and fragrant.
4 or 5 vanilla beans, at least 5-6 inches long, each cut into 4 pieces
4 C vodka
1 C granulated sugar
1/2 C water
1 vanilla bean, left whole
Split each vanilla bean piece lengthwise with a sharp knife. Put in a clean, dry bottle with a tight cap. Add vodka, cap bottle, and shake well.
Shake bottle every few days for 2-3 weeks. A sniff and a taste will help you judge when it’s ready.
Filter into a clean decorative bottle, discard vanilla bean pieces.
Make sugar syrup by boiling sugar and water together for 2-3 min. Cool completely. Add sugar syrup to bottle extract and shake well. Add whole vanilla bean and cap tightly. For best results, the extract should be allowed to mature for another month before using.