I love making my own extract so I thought I would try my hand at lemon. It turned out so fresh and lemony, so much different than store bought.

Make Your Own Lemon Extract

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I love making my own extract so I thought I would try my hand at making homemade lemon extract. It turned out so fresh and lemony, so much different than store-bought. It’s great to make your own spices and flavorings so you know just what’s in them and they taste better too!

I love making my own extract so I thought I would try my hand at lemon. It turned out so fresh and lemony, so much different than store bought.

It’s not difficult to make extracts. I make them and it’s fun and easy! I love using them to enhance the natural flavors in my dishes.

Here are some of my homemade extracts:

bottles of lemon extract on the counter

All you need to make lemon extract is some alcohol and a few lemons. You want to have a clear extract for lemon so it can be yellow, so vodka is the place to start.

I don’t know much about alcohol as I don’t drink it, so when I go to get some for extracts, I have to ask for help. You want to find a medium-grade vodka, not the cheap stuff, but you don’t need anything fancy. I ask for the middle of the line.

lemon extrac supplies, vodka, lemons and a jar

Lemon Flavor

The flavor that homemade lemon extract has is going to surprise you. I’m always surprised how much better homemade extracts are than store-bought. When I use lemon extract in my recipes along with the juice or zest, it just gives it a depth of flavor that I don’t get any other way.

Pure Lemon Extract

You want your extract to be pure, not full of chemicals like the store-bought kind, so making it yourself is a great way to get that.

Start with your vodka and some lemons. Use a potato peeler to cut just the yellow part of the lemon peel. Make sure not to get any of the white, it’s bitter. I like to scrub my lemons really good and wash them first to get as much of the pesticides off as I can. I like to use organic lemons, but they are hard to find in my town.

Lemons zested

Once you get all of the peels off of 2 lemons, place them in a mason jar and cover with 2 cups of vodka. Place the lid on the jar and close tightly. Then store in a dark cabinet for 3-4 weeks. You can turn the jars over to mix everything together a couple of times a week.

pouring vodka into a jar of lemon zests

At the end of your time, strain the liquid to remove all of the lemon peels. You could toss them in sugar and roast them in the oven and eat them on top of your desserts if you’d like.

Pour the yellow vodka into small jars and label it for later use.

You’re going to love making your own extracts. It’s super simple and so fun. I feel like a mad scientist. I love it.

Recipes to make with lemon extract:

You can use this extract in a ton of great lemon recipes, even if they don’t call for it, it enhances the flavor like crazy!

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  1. Thanks for sharing. I have made the vanilla extract, but will be trying lemon extract & lemon powder. I canned from the time I was 17, am now 75. Since moving into an apartment in Baton Rouge, I don’t do as much. I loved canning.

    1. Hi Linda,
      What a wonderful legacy of preserving food. I hope you enjoy the lemon! I think you will. I love it. Thank you for checking out the article.

    1. Hi Jackie, thank you for asking. Most of my recipes have the option to print, but this one isn’t set up that way since it’s just vodka and lemon zest. I’m glad you’re interested in making your own lemon extract. I hope you enjoy it!

  2. I’ve made lemon extract but find that it loses its flavor fairly quickly so I’ve stopped. Have you found that they last longer? I’m not sure why.

    1. I have some that’s a year old and it still has its flavor. Maybe you could leave some zest in the bottle?

    1. Hi Shawn,
      Yes, you only marinate them for 3-4 weeks and then remove them. If you leave them in too long it can get pithy tasting. Thanks for checking it out and for asking.

    1. The link to it is in the article for the lemon, here it is https://littlesproutslearning.co/super-easy-vanilla-extract-2/. I hope that helps. Thanks for checking it out.