How to Make Extracts II

The other day I was wishing I had some orange extract so I could make marshmallows with a hint of orange. I briefly thought about buying some but couldn't do it. I know that making extracts yourself is just so cheap. I make vanilla and lavender extracts at a considerable savings - see my previous post on How to Make Extracts. Luckily, I had some citrus fruits on hand...

Just buy the cheap vodka (minimum 80 proof/40% alcohol). I don't see any reason to buy anything expensive. Grate the fruit. Don't go into the white pith because it's bitter tasting. Put the grated peel in 4 oz. bottles (I used mason jars) and cover with vodka. The general rule is a half cup of vodka (4 oz.) per one lemon. Oranges are about the same size as lemons, so the same rule applies. Since limes are smaller, I use 2 limes for every 4 oz.

Screw the lid on tightly. Store the jars in a cool, dark place for 3 to 6 weeks. Take them out every 3 days or so and give them a shake. After the weeks have passed, strain out the peel, put the extract back in a jar and use as you would any extract.

Don't waste the juice from the fruit! If you don't need it right away, squeeze it over ice cube trays and freeze. You can add a cube to a glass of water (I use the small cubes for this purpose). I drank the orange juice because, hey, fresh squeezed orange juice. Who can resist?

I haven't done the math, but I know these extracts cost me just a few cents to make.

How do you use citrus extracts? I'm thinking orange in marshmallows, lemon in pancakes, and lime in buttercream frosting. Those are just a few ideas! What will you use them in?


  1. Looks easy and yummy! I started my starter again last night so we'll see how it goes. (-:


  2. I've made vanilla extract but I never thought of making anything else. Now I want to make this. Thanks!

  3. @K, I sent you an e-mail yesterday. If you didn't get it, check your spam box.

    @Vanessa, Great! I hope you like it!

  4. I like to put orange extract in pancakes or waffles

  5. I so can't wait to try this! Also can I ask where you got your small ice cube trays? Are they BPH free? DO you have any homemade receipes for making like taco seasoning by any chance. I am looking for an organic receipes for things like that too.

  6. The ice cube trays are available on Amazon. I added the link to the post (at the end).

  7. What do you use to strain them? Should I use a cheesecloth?

  8. can u use these extracts by not using vodka, what if you are pregnant - pregnant people can't eat them, would like to know of other options... thanks in advance....

    1. Yes, pregnant women can use extracts. The alcohol cooks out when heated.


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