The BEST Lemon and Vanilla extracts!!!

I gave away all of my Lemon and Vanilla extracts for Christmas this year so it’s time to make more!  I found a great deal on these beautiful glass bottles (here)*, so I’ll be making THREE of each this time … don’t want to run out again 🙂

Below are the recipes for both the Lemon and Vanilla extracts.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!!

Lemon extract:

  • Zest of 3 medium organic lemons
  • 2Tbs filtered water
  • 16 oz glass bottle 
  • Vodka

Add the zest and water to the bottle, then fill the rest with Vodka and seal the top. Shake to combine. Let steep for 6 months shaking occasionally.

Vanilla extract:

  • 2 large vanilla beans
  • 2Tbs filtered water
  • 16 oz bottle
  • Bourbon whiskey

Slice the vanilla beans open along the length of the bean. Using the back of the knife, scrape out the vanilla bean caviar. Put both the bean and caviar in the bottle. Add the water and enough bourbon to fill the bottle.  Seal and shake to combine. Let steep for 6 months shaking occasionally.

Side comment for the vanilla extract.  The first time I made vanilla a few years ago I made two different batches.  One with vodka the other with bourbon, the bourbon was delicious and made wonderful baked goods, ice creams and flavored coffees.  The vodka vanilla however, was mediocre at best and was not worth the effort.  

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6 Replies to “The BEST Lemon and Vanilla extracts!!!”

  1. We use Vodka for our vanilla but have learned over the years that the brand makes a difference. Just buying cheap vodka means getting a cheap vanilla. A slightly higher quality brand will have much better results. We love our homemade vanilla now that we know what brand of vodka we like.

  2. Thanks for your comment Sara! I used the vodka pictured for the vanilla, its my favorite for a good martini ;). The bourbon brought in an extra level of flavor from the barrels its brewed in that definitely took that vanilla to a new level for us! I love the vodka for the lemon extract though. What kind of vodka do you use? I'd love to try it!

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