Learn how to make lemon extract with only two ingredients. All you need is vodka and lemon peels to make this flavorful extract that will give baked goods that bright lemon flavor.
Who else loves saving money and being more self-reliant?
This journey started for me about nine years ago, and I still love creating new things.
Extracts are one of those things. Have you ever noticed how expensive the store-bought extracts are?
Like, why? Vanilla is super expensive, yet also takes less than five minutes to make and costs a fraction of the store-bought kinds.
Same with the lemon version! They add so much flavor to baked goods. Right now I’m using some to make some delicious sourdough scones with lemon and vanilla. Seriously YUM!
I cannot wait to share the recipe.
Honestly, they are not hard to make at all, and all you need are a few ingredients.
So today, I’m going to show you exactly how to make it.
Lemon Extract Tips
- I use a vegetable peeler, because I feel like it is faster.
- Use quick, light movements to get just the rind and none of the whites, as they can be bitter.
- Choose organic lemons when possible, since you are using the peels.
- Shake once a week and allow it to steep for 3-4 weeks before using.
Is lemon juice and lemon extract the same thing?
No. Lemon juice is the juice that comes from squeezing a fresh lemon, and it contains a lot more water. Lemon extract is made from soaking the peel in alcohol, which gives it a stronger citrus flavor and includes the natural oils.
Can you make alcohol-free versions?
Yes. You can substitute vodka for food grade glycerin, but it does take longer to extract the flavor. Mix together 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup food grade vegetable glycerin until well combined. Pour over the lemon peels, shake and cover. Allow it to sit in the cabinet for two months before using.
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Lemons: Choose organic, whenever possible. Once you peel them, squeeze the juice into some sparkling water to make your own homemade soda, or use them in other recipes like lavender lemonade, lemon vinaigrette, or blueberry lemon bars. The sky’s the limit, and you don’t want to waste those tasty little fruits.
Vodka: Organic versions are hard to find. Many vodkas are made with GMO’s, like corn or soybeans.
Try to find one that is made with wheat or potatoes, like Absolute, Grey Goose, Kettle One, and more. Although they are made from wheat, they are also supposed to be gluten-free.
For a totally gluten free option, look for vodkas made from potatoes or sugar cane. Smirnoff is said to be made with non-GMO corn.
Tools you may need:
Vegetable peeler or microplane
How To Make Lemon Extract
Step 1: Wash and dry lemons.
Step 2: Taking a vegetable peeler or zester, remove the yellow part of the peel, making sure the white isn’t included.
Step 3: Place in a jar large enough to leave two inches free at the top.
Step 4: Pour vodka over lemon peels and add a tight lid.
Step 5: Store in the cabinet for four weeks or more, shaking at least once a week.
Step 6: After four weeks, smell the extract. If it has reached the desired strength or potency, then strain the lemon peels and pour the extract into a clean, glass storage container.
Now, it is ready for your fun baking plans!
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- vegetable peeler or microplane
- mason jar
- 4 lemon peels
- 1 cup vodka
Wash and dry lemons.
Taking a vegetable peeler or zester, remove the yellow part of the peel.
Place in a jar large enough to leave two inches free at the top, then pour vodka over.
Add a tight lid and store in the cabinet for four weeks or more, shaking at least once a week.
After four weeks, check to see if the desired strength or potency has occured.
If it has then strain the lemon peels and pour the extract into a clean, glass storage container.