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How to make Homemade Flavor Extracts

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I’ve been making my own vanilla extract for three years now. It is absolutely delicious and much cheaper than buying pure vanilla extract in the store. Plus, it’s really fun to make. It’s almost time for me to make my vanilla extract supply for the upcoming year so I’ll make sure I share the recipe when I do. Recently, I was wondering if I could make other types of extract and with a little experimentation I came up with recipes for seven homemade flavor extracts.

These extracts are made by soaking a flavor carrying ingredient in vodka for a minimum of three months. The longer you can let your extracts rest before using them the more intense the flavor will be. For my vanilla extract I let it infuse for at least six months to a year before I begin using it. I found these cute little bottles on Amazon for a decent price, but you could use any glass bottle with an airtight lid. I’ve given these homemade flavor extracts away as gifts and they are always a big hit because they are thoughtful, unique, and useful.

A quick note on citrus extracts. When you are peeling the citrus, make sure you are only including the zest (the colored part of the peel). The white pith has a bitter flavor that is undesirable in an extract. After trying a few different techniques I’ve found it’s easiest to use a vegetable peeler and then cut the pieces smaller if needed to help them fit in the jar well.

I’d also recommend chopping the almonds smaller than I did in the picture. They were definitely a little tricky to get out of the bottle later. Also, the more surface area of the almonds exposed to the vodka, the stronger the flavor and the faster it will infuse.

Homemade Flavor Extracts

This recipe will tell you how to make simple almond, cinnamon, lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit, and coconut extracts. These extracts make wonderful gifts and taste much better than artificial extracts.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Infusing Time 90 d
Total Time 90 d 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Other
Servings 12 two ounce jars

Equipment

  • Airtight jars with 2-4 ounce capacity

Ingredients
  

  • Vodka (good quality)
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 20 grams blanched almonds
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 oz. fresh coconut meat

Instructions
 

Cinnamon Extract

  • Place two cinnamon sticks in a jar (I used these jars). Cover with two ounces of vodka and close the jar.

Almond Extract

  • Chop the 20 ounces of blanched almonds (I would recommend chopping them smaller than I did in the pictures) and add to jar. Cover with two ounces of vodka and close the jar.

Lemon Extract

  • Use a vegetable peeler to remove the outward layer of the lemon peel (you don't want any white pith, just the yellow part). Chop into thin strips. Put half of the peel into one jar and cover with two ounces of vodka and close the jar. Repeat with the second half.

Orange Extract

  • Use a vegetable peeler to remove the outward layer of the orange peel (you don't want any white pith, just the orange part). Chop into thin strips. Put half of the peel into one jar and cover with two ounces of vodka and close the jar. Repeat with the second half.

Lime Extract

  • Use a vegetable peeler to remove the outward layer of the lime peel (you don't want any white pith, just the green part). Chop into thin strips and put into a jar. Cover with two ounces of vodka and close the jar.

Grapefruit Extract

  • Use a vegetable peeler to remove the outward layer of the grapefruit peel (you don't want any white pith, just the orangey-pink part). Chop into thin strips and divide between three jars. Cover the grapefruit peel in each jar with two ounces of vodka. Close all three jars.

Coconut Extract

  • Chop the one ounce of fresh coconut meat into strips and place in a jar. Cover with two ounces of vodka and close the jar.

General Instructions

  • Make sure each ingredient (almonds, lemon peel, cinnamon sticks, etc.) is entirely submerged in the vodka. This means that thin tall jars are much better than stout short jars.
  • You can double, triple, or quadruple each extract recipe (or more!)
  • Once your jars are filled and closed, place them in a cool dark place (and out of the reach of children) for at least three months. This will ensure maximum flavor transfer from the ingredient to the vodka.

Notes

Please note, calories per serving is just an estimate for your convenience. 

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