How to Make Homemade Botanical Extracts

Use garden elements to create delicious extracts for recipes.
Homemade Extracts DIY

Homemade Extracts DIY

Homemade extracts bring the essence of your garden to the table. These homemade extracts look great in miniature bottles. You can find bottles of all sizes at local craft stores, or hit the antique mall for a vintage twist.

Photo by: Hortus Ltd./Mark Fonville

Hortus Ltd./Mark Fonville

Homemade extracts bring the essence of your garden to the table. These homemade extracts look great in miniature bottles. You can find bottles of all sizes at local craft stores, or hit the antique mall for a vintage twist.

Everyone uses extracts, and they can be pretty pricey at the grocery store. Making your own extract is easy, inexpensive and a great way to encourage experimentation in the kitchen. Feel free to include some recipe ideas with your gift for an added personal touch. Get started on these now though, as steeping can take a month or more, and double or triple the recipes to suit your gifting needs.

Homemade Flavored Extracts

Homemade Flavored Extracts

Pretty old-fashioned apothecary jars make for lovely gift packaging for flavored extracts. Stick-on labels are a great way to enhance your homemade gift, and add a little of your own style.

Photo by: Hortus Ltd./Mark Fonville

Hortus Ltd./Mark Fonville

Pretty old-fashioned apothecary jars make for lovely gift packaging for flavored extracts. Stick-on labels are a great way to enhance your homemade gift, and add a little of your own style.

Mint Extract

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mint 
  • 12 ounces vodka

Directions:

Wash and de-stem mint. Add leaves and vodka into a Mason jar and gently crush mint leaves to release oils. Tightly close lid, and shake a few times. Store jar in a dark, cool place, and shake every day. Let steep for about one month.

When ready to gift, strain and funnel extract into smaller containers and decorate with labels and tags.

Almond Extract

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole, raw skinless almonds 
  • 8 ounces vodka

Directions:

Roughly chop almonds. Add chopped almonds and vodka into a Mason jar, tightly close lid, and shake a few times. Store jar in a dark, cool place, and shake every day. Let steep for about one month.

When ready to gift, strain and funnel extract into smaller containers and decorate with labels and tags.

Vanilla Extract

Ingredients:

  • 4 vanilla beans 
  • 8 ounces vodka

Directions:

Split vanilla beans in half, lengthwise, exposing insides.

Add beans and vodka into a Mason jar. Tightly close lid, then shake a few times. Store jar in a dark, cool place, and shake every day. Let steep for about one month.

When ready to gift, funnel extract into smaller containers and decorate with labels and tags.

Orange Extract

Ingredients:

  • 2 large naval oranges
  • 8 ounces vodka

Directions:

Peel or zest oranges. Zesting reduces bitterness by avoiding the white pith.

Add orange peels and vodka into a Mason jar. Tightly close lid, then shake a few times. Store jar in a dark, cool place, and shake every day. Let steep for about one month.

When ready to gift, strain and funnel extract into smaller containers and decorate with labels and tags.

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