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Commercial varieties contain 83% alcohol, citrus oil and water. Homemade, is 100% -- 80 proof-Alcohol, fresh citrus rind and no added water. These will be stronger and more flavorful than commercial varieties, so you may want to use just a little less than what may be called for in a recipe. Adjust to taste.
You may wonder why you would want to make your own, when you can just purchase it, and one reason might be that it's cheaper than commercial varieties, it's pure for another reason, you can make all kinds of flavors and it adds zip to muffins, cakes, lemonade, popsicles cookies and sweet bread, pastries or even yeast type breads. Added to your favorite adult citrus based beverage will give it a boost that you won't find at any nightclubs unless they happen to make their own. The added benefit of Vitamin C may be beneficial to ward off colds and flu when added to hot tea or other hot beverages.
Regardless of whether you make lemon, orange, grapefruit or lime extract, you will find many uses for it once you start. 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)
Micro-plane or double sided peeler
1 citrus fruit peel or zest for each jar
4 oz. Vodka (any brand) for each jar
Ribbons, labels, fabric if decorating the jars
Wash the citrus fruit. Peel, Grate or Zest the citrus peel, being careful to avoid cutting into the white pith. The white pith is where the bitter comes from in citrus. Place the peel 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 citrus extracts you may like to try Vanilla, Raspberry, Cranberry or other fruit extracts, or Herb, Coconut or Almond extract. The list is endless, just use the formula of 1 part peel/fruit/nuts 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.
Rum and Coconut extract would be a perfect combination. Vanilla and Brandy, Cranberry and Vodka etc.
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.
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 links below for the recipes.
For my Hot Buttered Lemonade refer to the link:
For my Lemon Curd refer to the link: http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/sweets-treats-and-drinks/lemon-curd
For my Cranberry extract refer to the link: http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/seasoning-and-sauces/cranberry-extract
For my Rosemary Vanilla Extract refer to the link: http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/seasoning-and-sauces/rosemaryvanilla-extract
For my Almond Extract refer to the link:
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