When you have a bottle of Vodka and it has been sitting in your cupboard for sometime, what do you do with it? Yes, you can make your own extracts and flavorings for your baking. As for me, I bought a bottle of Absolut Vodka back from the duty free liquor shop at Changi Airport just for this purpose. I have been wanting to try making my own vanilla , lemon and orange extracts from the day I started baking, but never had the opportunity to do so until recently I was given some Madagascar vanilla beans from my brother who stays in the States and my dear friend Gertrude of My Kitchen's Snippets. Homemade extracts taste much better than store bought ones and easy to make too. I just have to add a few drops of the extract into my cake batter and the aroma lingers .
Yesterday, I did a second batch of vanilla extract and I took the opportunity to also make some orange and lemon extracts as I do not want to keep the already opened Vodka for fear that the alcohol might evaporate or lost its taste if unused for a long period :) A bottle of 1 liter Absolut Vodka ( Sweden made ) can made 4 bottles of extracts of these size as shown in the picture above. To make good quality extracts, make sure to use good quality vanilla beans and a not too low grade alcohol as it will affect the taste of the end product. You can use Vodka, Rum or Bourbon. Making your own extracts guaranteed quality extracts. Not cheap as the price of vanilla beans and Vodka are expensive over here in this part of the world :p So happy that I can make my own extracts and flavoring from home :) You can do it too ! Not hard to make and I will have a whole year supply of quality extracts for my baking !
Soak and wash 2 Sunkist oranges (USA) and 3 lemons (Turkey)
to remove wax coating, wipe dry them with the kitchen towels
Madagascar Vanilla Beans - split open extract more flavor
oranges/lemon- use the rind and try not avoid the pith
my measurement - I filled the bottles with 1/3 of rinds for fruit extracts
and 6 vanilla beans and fill vodka to the neck of the bottle.
I bought the bottles from Daiso..just testing it out
and see if they are air tight as claimed to be :)
I have 2 bottles of vanilla extracts and 1 bottle each of orange and lemon extracts
to last me a year or two :)
Some pointers when making your own extracts
Getting the Right AlcoholYou don't have to buy the top shelf stuff, but it's important not to use low-quality alcohol as it affects the taste of the end product. For some extracts, you can choose from a few different types of alcohol based on your taste.
Steeping Your Extracts
hile your extracts are steeping, you need to store them in a cool, dark place and give them a good shake about once a week. After it's done, be sure to remove the ingredients and strain the extract before storing it so it doesn't keep getting stronger.
Split 3 vanilla beans and cover them with about half a cup of vodka, bourbon, or rum. Let steep for about two months.
Orange And Lemon Extract
Using the rind of the fruit, but it's important not to include any of the white pith because it's very bitter. Cover the rind of one large lemon or navel orange with half a cup of vodka and steep for 5 to 6 weeks.
Enjoy and happy baking with your own homemade extracts
I know I will :)