Making homemade extracts is pretty easy to do, but we’ve figured out a shortcut—essential oils—to make some extracts even easier. Normally, extracts are achieved by steeping vanilla beans, citrus peels, fresh herbs (such as peppermint leaves), dried herbs/spices (including cinnamon sticks), or coconut meat in alcohol for several months. As it steeps, the alcohol takes on the flavor of the added substance and an extract is produced. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the flavor tends to be.
We used the alcohol extract method to create this Homemade Vanilla Extract. Since then, we’ve learned that there are alternate solvents, such as vegetable glycerin, that can be used instead of alcohol. By using vegetable glycerin, we can create an extract that is alcohol-free and has a more pleasant taste. However, it is important to keep in mind that these extracts may only last about 14–24 months (whereas alcohol extracts can last 4–6 years).
Vegetable glycerin extracts usually use a glycerin/water combination and need to have at least 70% glycerin with 30% (or less) distilled water (if you are making extracts from fresh herbs, you’ll need to account for the water in the plant). The common ratio for herb to glycerin/water is 1:8.
To make most extracts, it is important to let the substance steep in the glycerin for a minimum of 4–6 weeks (preferably 10–12 weeks or more for a stronger flavor). However, we’ve found that if you use essential oils for some extracts, you can use the extract within days of steeping.
Place vanilla beans, coconut meat, or sweet almonds in the bottle. Add glycerin and water to the bottle. Screw the lid on, and shake to combine.
Let steep for at least 4–12 weeks before using. Shake as often as possible. The more you shake, the sooner it will be ready. (Your extract can be ready as soon as 2 weeks if you shake it at least once every day.)
After 12 weeks, strain out the vanilla beans, coconut meat, or sweet almonds, and pour the liquid back into the bottle.
You can make this recipe in bulk using mason jars and then place the final liquid extract in smaller bottles (such as the 2 oz. Glass Bottle with Black Lid) for gifting.
As you’ve been inspired by others’ success, you can more accurately see the next step in your upward journey. Confidently take that step! In this blend, fennel inspires courage to move forward. Pink pepper
helps increase alertness and focus. Marjoram promotes patience and peace along the way. Sandalwood calms and balances the effects of the other oils.
Looking for a DIY holiday gift that’s easy, affordable, and on trend? Look no further than the “12 Sprays of Christmas” labels. They come with a downloadable recipe sheet of the blends as one of our holiday gifts to you.
Looking for a warm, woodsy autumn blend for your diffuser? Autumn Leaves is a delightful way to welcome the new season! The fresh, sweet aromas of bergamot and ginger harmonize with the warm, rich touches of frankincense and ginger. Together, these essential oils promote energy and awareness and help relieve tension.