Homemade Extracts


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Extracts and I have a complicated relationship.  It mostly involves me standing in the baking aisle at the grocery store staring at the extracts and trying to decide a) if I can make this recipe without them and b) if I should be cheap and buy the synthetic, not nearly as delicious, version.  Usually, I decide to skip buying a delicious ingredient and baking something yummy.  It’s a bummer.  So here’s my solution:  homemade extracts.  I’ll start with the two that I use the most often, vanilla and almond.  I know buying vanilla beans does not jive with my cheap out and buy the synthetic strategy but here’s my secret, get some friends together and buy the beans in bulk.  It saves tons of money!  Check out this wholesaler to get started.

For vanilla extract you’ll need a jar with a lid, three vanilla beans and one cup of alcohol that is at least 80 proof.  I used bourbon this time around but you can try vodka or rum too.

Use a paring knife to split the vanilla beans leaving about one inch intact at each end.

Put your split beans into your jar, add one cup of liquor and seal it up!  Store your extract in a cool, dark place shaking occasionally to mix things up.  Let your beans extract for two months.  Then add it to your favorite recipes!

Almond extract is even cheaper and easier than vanilla.  You’ll need another jar with a lid, silvered, raw almonds and one cup of vodka.  I stuck with vodka this time to let the almond flavor shine.  Boulder Distillery is local and makes 303 vodka, a delicious potato vodka, that I love to use for all of my vodka needs.

Combine 1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of slivered almonds and 1 cup of vodka into your jar.  Again, store it in a cool, dark place shaking occasionally for 2 months.  Now you can make all kinds of delicious recipes with affordable, delicious, natural extracts that you made yourself!

HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT (Printer-Friendly Version)

• 3 vanilla beans
• 1 c of alcohol (at least 80 proof)
• Jar with lid

1. Use a paring knife to split all vanilla beans leaving about 1 inch intact on each end.
2. Put split vanilla beans into a clean, resealable jar.
3. Add 1 c of alcohol (I used bourbon but you can use vodka, bourbon, rum, etc.)
4. Seal jar and store in a cool dark place for 2 months. Shake jar occasionally.
5. Use in your favorite recipe!


• 1 Tbs and 1 tsp silvered, raw almonds
• 1 c of vodka
• Jar with lid

1. Add almonds to a clean, resealable jar.
2. Add 1 c of vodka.
3. Seal jar and store in a cool dark place for 2 months. Shake jar occasionally.
4. Use in your favorite recipe!




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8 thoughts on “Homemade Extracts

  1. I made the almond extract hoping to give some to my mom for Mother’s Day since she loves everything almond. I am sad to report that this did not work at all.

    I started it on 01-Mar-14 and it still smells like alcohol. I have been successful making vanilla, but was sad this did not turn out.

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  3. How do you think the almond extract would work with rum or brandy? Granted, I’ve never made extracts before but I feel like almond extract needs a warmer kind of base.

    • I’ve never tried to make the almond with a different base but I definitely think it would work. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

  4. I have done the vanilla one before (so I know it is awesome), but how did the almond turn out?

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