Lemon extract is a delicious addition to pound cakes and many other baked goods, but it can be a bit on the pricey side. Learn how to make your own, and you’ll never have to settle for the imitation stuff. Here’s what you do.
How to Make Lemon Extract
Prep Time: 5 minutes
What You Need:
Vodka (the cheapest bottle you can find)
(2) small, organic lemons (or one large lemon)
A vegetable peeler
A pint canning jar
Brown glass bottles
What You Do:
Zest your lemons. You want the outer peel, but as little of the white pith as possible.
Stick your lemon zest in the bottom of a canning jar (or another glass container), and pour a cup of vodka over top of it. Make sure the zest is fully submerged. Screw the lid on the jar, and store it in a cool, dark place for at least two months (longer is even better).
Here’s a finished batch.
And here are some printable labels that you can use to label your lemon extract.
I like to print my labels on vinyl sheet, since it’s both waterproof and dishwasher-safe. This makes it easy for me to reuse my bottles again and again. It’s available for both inkjet and laser printers.
Many web browsers have their own built-in PDF viewers, but they tend to be buggy. If you’re having trouble printing or editing one of our printables, click here for help.
- Stick with organic lemons, since you’ll be using the peel
- Prefer to use alcohol-free extracts? Just replace the vodka with three parts food-grade liquid glycerin and one part water
- Homemade lemon extract makes a great gift. Make an extra batch (or several) to share with your friends and family
- Save the brown bottles from store-bought extracts, and refill them with your own extracts
- You can also make your own orange, peppermint and vanilla extract
Follow these simple steps to make your own lemon extract. Makes a great gift.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 5 mins
- (2) small organic lemons, or (1) large lemon
- 1 cup vodka
- Zest lemons. Try not to include the pith; it’s bitter.
- Place zests in a jar, and cover with vodka.
- Screw the lid on the jar, and store in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks (longer is even better).
- Transfer your finished lemon extract (minus the zest) to brown glass bottles.
- Make non-alcoholic extract, by swapping out the vodka called for with three parts food-grade liquid glycerin and one part water.
This video shows you how to make several types of extracts, including lemon, vanilla, peppermint and orange.