Sunday, April 10, 2011

Orange and Lemon Extract

Extracts are easier than I could ever have imagined to make... why on earth have I been paying so much for those tiny little one ounce bottles of lemon or orange extract when I could have been making my own?

I didn't know!

I started reading and searching and found a few super simple recipes for extracts.

Here's how I did it...

First, wash half pint canning jars and sterilize them by either boiling them in water or if your dishwasher gets as hot as mine does, just wash them up in it and keep them hot. Simmer jar lids and rings in water for 10 minutes or so. You always want to start out with clean, sterilized jars and lids.

The ingredients for extracts are pretty simple...
For lemon, I used
2 lemons
1 cup vodka

For orange
1 orange
1 cup vodka

To prepare...
Use a vegetable peeler and peel the fruit (just the colored part, try not to get any of the bitter white part of the peel)

Peel two lemons

Peel one orange

Place the peelings in a half-pint canning jar (you won't fill the jar or pack tightly, just put them in the jar).

Then fill the jar with vodka up to about a half inch from the rim.

Tighten the lid on and give the jar a shake.

There's no need to heat or seal the jars, just keep the lid on so the liquid doesn't evaporate.

Store the jars in a cool, dark place, giving them a shake once a day. You will have lemon or orange extract in about six weeks. After six weeks or so, you can strain the fruit peel pieces from the liquid and discard... but you don't have to... it will continue to strengthen the longer it sits. The extract will last pretty much indefinitely, especially if it's stored in a cool, dark place.


Add vodka, filling to within about a half inch of the rim.

Orange and Lemon Extract

Canning Granny©2011 All Rights Reserved


  1. do you think I could do this with lemon/orange peel purchased in bulk from Frontier foods? I'm going to give it a try to see what happens, but I'm wondering if anyone else has tried that already.
    I already have vodka in my long term storage for JUST this reason! Can't wait to try it. I was going to wait til I depleted my stored premade stuff but I may try it now just to be sure I've got the process down.
    I'm wondering how one would do almond, peppermint, etc.

  2. Well, I don't see why that wouldn't work, give it a try. It's the oils in the peels that give the flavor and they never completely go away even with drying. Experiment a little with the amounts/ratios before you make a big batch and you should be good to go. Good luck! I'm waiting patiently (actually not so patiently, LOL!) for my peppermint plants to grow this year to make peppermint, I plan to use the fresh leaves, chopped up. A friend of mine is experimenting with black walnut so I'm sure almond would work as well.

  3. cool!! Unfortunately I can't have alcochol in my house. But WELL DONE!

  4. That's a wonderful idea! I'm going to try it.

  5. tried it with a different ratio of peels to vodka. Will see how it turns out and if wrong i will remake with more peels . Mines ONE orange or lemon and 2.25-2.5 cups of vodka. I'm assuming it will simply take longer.. if not I could add more peels to strengthen it

  6. Awsome! I've done this with vanilla beans but never tried orange or lemon. I will try this. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Is orange extract the same as orange essential oil?

    1. No they're completely different things. ~~Granny


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