This is an excellent suggestion for a home-made gift (or something you can keep for yourself). But if you want to use it during the Christmas holidays, start in early November.
2 Cups dry (unprepared) instant coffee
7 Cups white granulated sugar
1 Quart water
1 Quart 80 proof vodka (no particular brand)
1 Whole vanilla bean
2 1-Quart sized, sealable glass containers
Bring the water to a full boil.
Remove the water from heat and add the instant coffee and the sugar.
Stir the mixture constantly until the sugar and coffee are completely dissolved.
Let the mixture cool. Add the vodka and stir. Pour the mixture into two separate 1-quart, sealable glass containers. Drop one half of the vanilla bean into each container.
Seal the container tightly. Apply a label to the container, or simply tie a note around the container identifying its contents and the date it was made. Allow the product to age by placing the containers in a cool, dark place where they will be undisturbed for at least 30 days; the longer, the better.
Clean, empty 750 ml. wine bottles are great to use as your glass containers. Remove the wine label. Seal the wine bottles with vacuum-type bottle or soda container sealing caps (available at most grocery stores).
Use coffee beans instead of instant coffee.
Do not use freeze-dried coffee.
Store the finished product out of the reach of children.