How to Make Your Own Flavor Extracts

What’s so great about making your own extracts? Besides avoiding all those weird chemicals that end up in the imitation flavors, you get to create your own flavor combinations!  Infuse lime with basil or maybe combine coconut and pineapple, the possibilities are endless!  I experimented with a coconut extract and a cherry extract to bring a little umpf to my frostings. The hardest part about the whole thing was having patience to let these little jars of goodness do their thing.

Organic, unsweetened shredded coconut ready to make some yummy extract!

Organic, unsweetened shredded coconut ready to make some yummy extract!

Be sure to use quality ingredients, select organic when possible. If you buy shredded coconut, select the unsweetened variety to avoid propylene glycol.  The spirits are really up to you and the flavor profile you’re looking for. Vodka is the most versatile and imparts no flavor. You can use rum or bourbon too; it just changes the flavor of your final extract.  Bourbon is a really nice choice for vanilla, it makes a rich final extract.

What you’ll need:

1. Airtight jar

2. 6-8 ounces of vodka or spirit of choice.

3. Flavorings

Ingredient

Amount

Steep Time

Fresh herbs

1 cup, washed and trimmed from stem

2-3 days.  Remove old herbs and replace with fresh and steep again for 2-3 days for a stronger flavor.

Fruit, citrus, coconut

½ cup, washed and chopped

3-4 weeks

Vanilla

4-5 beans, split and cut to fit your jar

1 month

Nuts

½ - ¾ cup, toasted and chopped

2-3 months

 

How to:

1. Wash and prepare your flavoring.  Fruits should be rough chopped.  Citrus should be sliced with the rind still intact. Nuts and coconut should be toasted and chopped. Herbs should be washed and trimmed from the stem

2. Place in jar and pour spirits over ingredient until completely covered. Usually about 6-8 ounces.

3. Cap and store in cool place for time specified in above table.  Gently shake or turn once every day.

4. Begin to taste near the end of the recommended time. You can steep additional time if you’d like a stronger flavor.

5. Strain ingredient out of final extract. Store in tightly capped jar in a cool, dark place. 

All capped and ready to steep for 3-4 weeks, don't forget to shake daily!

All capped and ready to steep for 3-4 weeks, don't forget to shake daily!

How to Make Fruit Reductions

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