Do you have an abundance of lemons in your kitchen? Make lemon extract! This simple homemade extract uses two ingredients; lemon peel and vodka! Use it to flavor your favorite recipes!
I always love to learn how to create food and products from scratch! I’ve learned how to make coconut oil and various other kitchen staples and lately I’ve been interested in making extracts! While I’ve been making vanilla extract for years, it’s only been recently that I’ve started to branch out and make other extracts like coconut and mint extract.
There are many reasons you may want to learn how to make lemon extract. For me, it’s because I want to reduce food waste and find ways to use the plants and produce I have in my kitchen and garden. I’ve been going through lemons like crazy lately and have been finding all sorts of ways to use the leftover lemon peels. I’ve made lemon infused vinegar and now homemade lemon extract!
This recipe for making lemon extract is so easy to make, you won’t ever have to buy it again!
How To Make Lemon Extract from Scratch
For this recipe you will need 5-6 fresh lemons (I like to use meyer lemons) and alcohol. I used everclear, but any vodka will due.
- Start by washing the lemon to remove any dirt or residue. Then, dry them well.
- Use a zester or grater to carefully remove the lemon rind. Only zest the outer layer of the lemons and avoid the white part as much as possible.
- Transfer the zest to a clean glass jar and fill with alcohol.
- Seal the jar and place it in a cool dark place.
- Allow the lemon zest to steep in the alcohol for at least 4 to 6 weeks. The longer the infusion time, the stronger the lemon flavor will be.
- Shake the jar once a week to help distribute the citrus flavor evenly.
- Once the vodka is infused, strain the lemon peel from the jar.
- Pour the extract into a clean jar with an easy pour spout.
- Use in place of lemon extract, lemon essence or lemon oil in culinary recipes.
How To Use
There are so many ways to use this extract, but these are my favorites!
- Add to your favorite ice cream to add a delicious lemon flavor.
- Use a teaspoon of lemon extract in place of vanilla extract in cookie and cake recipes.
- Add to homemade salad dressings.
- Use to make coconut flour scones to add a lemony flavor.
- Substitute when you don’t have fresh lemon juice in recipes.
Making your own extracts is a great way to use up lemon peels and herbs in your kitchen! This homemade lemon extract is easy to make, made with only natural flavors, it’s gluten free (make sure your alcohol is gluten free). Homemade extracts make a great gift to any foodie in your life!
Yes! Use orange zest instead of lemon to make orange extract.
No, you need to use fresh lemon zest to make this extract.
DIY Lemon Extract
Making homemade lemon extract is a simple process that allows you to infuse the vibrant flavor and aroma of lemons into your culinary creations.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 4-6 weeks
- Total Time: 6 weeks
- 5–6 organic lemons (to ensure no pesticides or wax are present)
- Vodka or another high-proof alcohol (such as Everclear)
- Clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
- Thoroughly wash the lemons under cold water to remove any dirt or residue. Using a zester or a fine grater, carefully remove the zest from the lemons. Ensure you only scrape off the outermost colored part of the peel, avoiding the bitter white pith beneath.
- Place the lemon zest into a clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Make sure the jar is large enough to accommodate the zest and still have space for the alcohol.
- Pour vodka or another high-proof alcohol over the lemon zest, ensuring it covers the zest completely. The alcohol acts as a solvent, extracting the lemon flavor and essential oils.
- Securely close the jar with the lid, ensuring it is tightly sealed. Give it a gentle shake to mix the lemon zest and alcohol.
- Place the sealed jar in a cool, dark place, such as a kitchen cabinet or pantry. Allow the lemon zest to steep in the alcohol for at least 4 to 6 weeks. The longer the infusion time, the stronger the lemon flavor will be.
- During the steeping period, give the jar a gentle shake every few days to help distribute the lemon flavor evenly.
- After the steeping time is complete, strain the liquid to remove the lemon zest. You can use a fine-mesh sieve, cheesecloth, or coffee filter for this step. Squeeze the zest gently to extract any remaining liquid.
- Transfer the strained liquid into a clean, airtight bottle or jar. Label it with the date and contents for future reference.