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How to Make Lemon Extract

Yesterday, I made a batch of lemon extract in my attempt to use as much of the lemons as I can. This was super easy, the hardest part was getting up the courage to go into the local liquor store. I did take the “clergy” hanging sign off my rear view mirror, you know, just in case. 🙂

Extracts are so super easy to make. You just need vodka, a jar and the thing you want to “extract”.

Yield: varies

Lemon Extract

lemons and lemon zest on table with a bottle of vodka and a mason jar

Extracts are so super easy to make. You just need vodka, a jar and the thing you want to “extract”.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 month
Total Time 1 month 25 minutes


  • Lemon zest from 3-5 lemons
  • Vodka


  • Mason jar with lid
  • Brown paper bag
  • Strainer
  • Funnel


  1. Zest the rind of 3-5 lemons making sure not to get the pith – which is the white bitter part.
  2. Put in a a mason jar and add a cup and a half of vodka.
  3. Put it in a brown paper bag and put it in the pantry.
  4. Try to shake it each day for a month. It should be ready after a month but the longer it sits, the stronger it gets.
  5. When it’s as strong as you want, strain out the zest and store the extract in a bottle…preferably a dark bottle.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Thanks for sharing with your friends!


Monday 10th of February 2014

I have never made my own extracts, but would love to give this a try. Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Greens!

Angi Schneider

Wednesday 12th of February 2014

It was really easy. I think I'm going to have hard time buying extracts now after seeing how easy it is.

Chris Dalziel

Monday 3rd of February 2014

I live in a very small town with very big mouths. But I only go into the liquor store twice a year -- once in July when I'm making herbal tinctures and once in November or so for vodka for extracts. After 10 years they know me and always ask what's in season and what I'm going to use the medicine for. When you don't show up weekly, they understand and are quite supportive.

The clergy sign is a different story! You have to deal with the people who sign your pay cheque. Glad I don't have that issue. :D


Tuesday 28th of January 2014

Wow, I'm embarrassed to admit I had no idea making extract was that easy! Pinning this for later and adding bottles of Vodka to the Costco list. Thanks for sharing!!

Visiting from the Homestead Barn Hop!


Angi Schneider

Tuesday 28th of January 2014

I know! I was amazed when I found out. We don't have a Costco here but I wonder if Sam's sells vodka....then I could hid it under all my other stuff and not have to into a real liquor store...;-)


Monday 27th of January 2014

It's okay, as long as your breath doesn't smell like lemons.............;) I have had my lemon extract "brewing" in my cupboard for a couple of months now. It smells so good! I am also extracting vanilla, orange, almond and mint!

Angi Schneider

Tuesday 28th of January 2014

I can't wait for my mint to grow so I can make some extract. I've never made almond - what do you use it for?

Linda Steiger

Sunday 26th of January 2014

I have a potted Meyer Lemon tree (first year) - its under a light by the window for the winter (too cold for outside here in Western NY) but I put it out on the deck for the summer months. I had 19 lemons for my first crop this fall. Cannot wait to try the lemon extract. Nice thing is you can zest off the rind and then use the juice of the lemon for something else! Have just discovered homemade vanilla extract and I'm already on my 3rd batch!


Friday 13th of February 2015

!st I didn't know extract used vodka, 2nd I love my lemon tree, and 3rd I freeze the juice all year and use it or share it w/ friends. How do I make vanilla?

Angi Schneider

Monday 27th of January 2014

That's a great first harvest, Linda. I bet your tree is so pretty inside, I love that look.

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