I get such a kick out of figuring out how to make commonly purchased items from scratch.
Homemade vanilla extract is super-duper easy to make, and there are tutorials all over the place. But did you know you can make other extracts too? This homemade stevia extract and today’s mint extract recipe are two of my favs!
I had a TON of mint this year (it appears as though it’s the only thing I can’t easily kill…) and it even survived our first snow storm. It’s tough stuff.
Mint Extract Recipe
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves (I used Peppermint, but feel free to play around with other varieties)
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups of vodka
1. Harvest the mint, and give it a quick rinse. Pat dry.
2. Remove the leaves from the stems, and discard the stems.
3. Crush and smash the leaves in your hands–this will help to release some of the oils and give the process a jump start.
4. Place the leaves in a pint-sized glass jar, and fill the jar the rest of the way with vodka.
5. Give it a shake and set aside in a cool, dark place.
6. Allow the mixture to steep for one to two months. Take a peek every so often to see if it’s strong enough for you.
7. Strain the leaves, and bottle the finished extract in cute little jars.
- The amounts on this don’t have to be exact- feel to use more or less mint/vodka. The most important thing is that you completely cover the leaves with the alcohol, so they don’t mold.
- I usually use the cheapest vodka I can find for my extracts.
- Yes, I feel really weird dragging my two small children into the liquor store so I can buy a giant jug of vodka. I kinda want to scream, “It’s for homemade extracts! Really!” when I go to check out.
- Some folks make alcohol-free extracts using vegetable glycerin, although I have yet to try that. Here’s a link for making alcohol-free vanilla, I’m assuming you could follow this method for other varieties…
Homemade extracts make classy gifts (Christmas IS coming folks!)- but they take a month or two to make, which is why now is the perfect time to start in order to have them ready for the holidays.
Package a cutely labeled bottle of mint extract, along with some homemade vanilla extract (now is the perfect time to start it too!) and you’ll have the perfect little gift basket.
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