How to Make Lemon Extract
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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 lemon extract, and you’ll never have to settle for the imitation stuff. Here’s what you do.
How to Make Lemon Extract
What You’ll 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.
Free Printable Lemon Extract Labels
And here are some printable labels that you can use to label your lemon extract.
They’re designed to print to full-sheet shipping label paper. Use Avery 8165, if you have an inkjet, or Avery 5265, if you have a laser printer.
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
- Now that you know how to make lemon extract, try your hand at making your own orange, vanilla and peppermint extract.
Follow these simple steps to make your own lemon extract. Makes a great gift.
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup 1x
- 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.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Ingredient
- Method: No-Cook
- Cuisine: Global
Keywords: lemon extract recipe, how to make lemon extract
This video shows you how to make several types of extracts, including lemon, vanilla, peppermint and orange.
Hi, how much homemade extract do I use in a recipe? The same as a shop bought one? Is it the same amount of extract for the vanilla too? Much thanks. Nicola
Hi Nicola. You’ll use the same amount of extract, whether you are using homemade or store-bought. Hope that helps.
/awesome making my own 😀 you are great! thankyou.
As I said before, you are the canning jar Queen!
Thanks for the lesson but can I use it to mix with lustre dust?
Hi Sandra, You sure can.
Do you know how long the lemon extract lasts once bottled? Being alcohol I wouldn’t have thought it would be an issue, or is it the flavour which becomes weaker? Also, have you tried leaving the lemon peel in the alcohol? What is the reason for removing it? I’ve had vanilla essence with the beans left in the jar and thought to do the same with the lemon. Thanks for your seasoned advice! 🙂
With the alcohol content, it’ll pretty much keep forever. I usually strain the peels out just because it makes it easier to use, but you can certainly leave them in. It won’t hurt a thing.
Thank you very much. I hope to make these for myself and my daughter in-laws.
You’re certainly welcome. It’s a fun project 🙂
Can I use lemon vodka in place of plain vodka ?
I don’t see why not.