Want to take your cooking and baking game to the next level? Make your very own extracts! It’s actually surprisingly simple, and you really only need two ingredients – whatever item you want to extract (vanilla, orange, etc.), and vodka. Yes, it really is that easy. Look at a few examples below, and check out the video at the end of the article to see examples and recipes for commonly used extracts. These are great to use in your own kitchen, but they make great gifts as well!
The Right Ingredients
First things first – make sure to get the right ingredients and the right equipment. For the purposes of the video, they used clear glass bottles so we could see what was inside. If you’re doing this for yourself, you’ll want to use dark bottles make with amber glass, or something similar. The darker glass makes it harder for the light to filter in, which means your extracts last even longer. You can purchase amber glass bottles on Amazon or find them in a hobby store.
These extracts all use vodka as a means to get the flavor out and infuse it to something else. Therefore, you’re going to want to get a high-quality vodka. Also, make sure you’re getting the best and freshest ingredients possible. It really will make all the difference for the final product!
A popular extract to use when baking is mint. You can use peppermint leaves or spearmint leaves, depending on your preferences. It’s so great to have the option of using different kinds of mint! Make this extract extra-special by growing your own mint. Talk about farm to table!
First, fill up a bottle with loosely packed mint leaves. You’ll want to muddle the mint leaves, as all of the oils and flavor is inside of the leaf. Then, simply pour in vodka, leaving about a half-inch of room at the top. Seal the bottle up and let it sit for at least six weeks before using it. You can either take the leaves out of leave them in, depending on how strong you want the extract to get over time.
Perhaps the most common extract to use in baking is vanilla, so of course we had to include it on the list! If you’re using the best ingredients, be warned that whole vanilla pods are a bit pricey, which makes sense since real vanilla extract is about five times as expensive as the imitation stuff. The good news is, you can reuse the vanilla bean pods a few times before they lose their flavor.
For this extract, simply slice the pods open using a sharp knife. All the good stuff is inside! Place the pods in your container and fill with vodka. Let sit for a few weeks and then reuse the pods for more extracts or in your baking if the recipe calls for it.
Another common extract used in baking is almond extract. You can us this same method for any nut extract – walnut, pecan, peanut, whatever your preference. Isn’t it so nice to be able to have options?
By now, you probably know the proceedure. Put some sliced nuts in your container, about 1/2 cup for an 8oz bottle, and then fill with vodka. Let sit for a few weeks, and there you have it~