The extracts make great gifts, just decorate and label your jars and add to a gift basket or make several flavors of extract as a housewarming or bridal shower gift. These can be fancy or down-home country.
4 oz. jars with air tight lids
Cheesecloth or muslin (can use coffee filters)
2 Vanilla beans (split)
4 oz. Vodka (any brand) for each jar
Ribbons, labels, fabric if decorating the jars
Place the vanilla beans into the jar and pour alcohol over the contents to 1/2 inch of the top.
Lightly rotate the jar, top to bottom, side to side daily for up to 2 months to distribute the flavor evenly through the extract. (no need to shake, just a gentle rotation is all that is necessary).
Strain the extract through a fine sieve covered with cheesecloth. Pour into small jars or extract bottles. Store air-tight in a dark pantry or cupboard. These will last up to a year and most likely longer because of the alcohol content.
Once you have made the extracts you may like to try Rosemary-Vanilla, Raspberry, Cranberry or other fruit extracts, or other Herb, Coconut or Almond extract. The list is endless, just use the formula of 1 part peel/fruit/nuts/herbs to 3 parts alcohol, for a suitable extract using your favorite flavors.
Other alcohol can be used such as Rum, Brandy or Bourbon, reliant on the flavors you wish to impart and reliant on the type of alcohol you prefer. Once you've made vanilla extract, you can easily make a vanilla liqueur to use in your favorite vanilla based cocktails. The definition for liqueur, is a sweetened spirit, that utilizes fruits, nuts, herbs, oils or extracts. I do know that making homemade liqueur is the same basic process as making an extract, with the addition of a simple syrup and sugar and allowed to infuse before using. The benefit of making your own is that many commercial varieties contain high fructose corn syrup, and if that is an issue to you, then it makes sense to simply make your own so you have control of what goes into it.
Rum and Coconut extract would be a perfect combination. Vanilla and Brandy, Cranberry and Vodka etc. Any combination of your favorite liquor and flavor will provide your own unique signature to beverages or baked goods. And you can even use them in your own homemade beauty and skin care products, though they may not be as strong as using essential oils, they will impart fragrance, making them a better option.
The longer you leave the fruits, nuts or herbs to infuse the stronger and more flavorful the finished extract will be. When using herbs, always use the freshest herbs, and leave in the alcohol up to a week, then remove. Since the volatile oils in herbs can be very strong, you will want to test the flavor after a couple of days to see if it is strong enough, if not, leave for another couple of days. All other extracts should be left to infuse up to 2 months.
The extracts can be used within two months, just use the amount needed, recap the jar or bottle and allow the mixture to continue to infuse flavors.
Precaution: Because of the alcohol content, keep out of the reach of children. These extracts are intended as additives to baked goods or to enhance hot or cold beverages, not intended for drinking the pure extract.
For my Rosemary Vanilla Extract, refer to the link: justfowlingaround.weebly.com/seasoning-and-sauces/rosemaryvanilla-extract
For my Citrus Extract refer to the link: http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/seasoning-and-sauces/citrus-extract
For my Cranberry Extract refer to the link: http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/seasoning-and-sauces/cranberry-extract
Try adding a bit of homemade lemon extract to my Hot buttered Lemon beverage or my Lemon Curd. You may also like to try additional extracts for use in baking or beverages.
Follow the link for my Lemon Curd: http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/sweets-treats-and-drinks/lemon-curd
Follow the link to make your own Liqueur:
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