I did a live segment on Fox 19 showing how to make vanilla extract and talked about the others in the photo. I posted the link. You already have the vanilla extract recipe, so here’s the recipes for the others.
Homemade Peppermint Extract
Basically I go with a 1-1 ratio, equal amounts of leaves and vodka.
1-1/2 cups packed fresh peppermint leaves
1-1/2 cups vodka (80-100 proof)
Roughly chop leaves and bruise lightly then put in glass jar. Or put in glass jar and chop up very coarsely with scissors. I use a 16 oz jar but any jar that is big enough for the leaves and the vodka works.
Pour vodka over, making sure all leaves are covered. Tightly seal the jar and give it a good shake before storing in a cool, dark place.
Allow the extract to infuse for about a month, shaking the jar every couple of days.
Once desired strength has been reached, strain the leaves from the extract using a fine strainer or cheesecloth. The leaves will turn a dull green by the time infusing is complete.
FYI I’m experimenting right now with peppermint and citrus food grade oils in vodka to see if that’s a quicker way to make extracts. I’ll let you know.
Homemade Citrus Extracts: Lemon and Orange
There are lots of ways to do this, but basically I like a pretty strong extract so here’s how I do it:
Use washed organic citrus if you can, or make a spray of equal parts clear vinegar and water and spray the fruit. Let it sit a couple minutes, rinse well and dry. This removes any toxins, etc.
Peel thin strips/zests of fruit, the colored part only if you can, but if a bit of some pith/white remains, that’s OK. The pith is bitter, so that’s why it’s not good. Again, I like to add equal amounts of peel and vodka. Some recipes call for using peel from 1/2 of large orange . You do what you want. I like a stronger extract.
Now for the lemon, I use the peel/zest of a large lemon and cover with vodka.
Give both a shake every few days or turn upside down for a little while. Store in a cool, dark place.
After about a month, sniff – it should smell very citrusy.
By the way, I’ve left citrus peels in for over 2 months before straining and it’s just fine.
Now you’re done!
After straining, pour your extracts into bottles. I like glass bottles. Hobby Lobby has them on sale now for half price.