Thursday, May 7, 2009

Peppermint Extract ... for Jenny :)

I found the original post where I talked about making peppermint extract. Sometimes being a pack rat comes in handy ;).

Here it is:

Fill container halfway with Vodka.

I used a pint-sized canning jar - one of those ones with the glass lid held on by a wire-thingy. The old-fashioned kind that used a rubber ring to seal it.

Anyway, it was about a 1/2 cup of Vodka.

Add 1/2 cup fresh, chopped peppermint. I didn't chop mine, as the leaves were still pretty small. We just hand-shredded the bigger leaves and left the smaller leaves.

Fill rest of jar with water. I used filtered, room temp water we keep on the counter for drinking, but tap water would probably suffice.

Let sit for three weeks and strain through a cheese cloth to remove leaves, etc.

**I (still) haven't done this part ;).**

You can use, roughly, the same recipe to make Vanilla extract. You half the beans lengthwise and let them steep in the vodka. I actually don't strain my vanilla beans out, but leave them in the jar and just add more vodka when the liquid starts getting really low.

I imagine, although I haven't tried it, you can make just about any herbal extract/tincture in, roughly, the same way. And if you're into herbal vinegars or oils, they're made the same way, sans the water. Just stuff a container full of the herb and pour the warmed oil or vinegar over top of it, let it steep for several weeks, strain out the spent leaves, and voila! - gourmet oils and vinegars that are one-fifth the cost of what you'd spend at the store.

I don't know if my stuff is better than store-bought, but it's certainly less expensive ;).


  1. My sis swears by her bourbon vanilla extract for adding incredible flavor to her baked goodies. She simply replaces the vodka with bourbon (not QUITE the quality that she likes for drinking, but not the cheapest stuff, either). Said it enhances the creamy flavor of the vanilla exponentially (sp?). Then again, she's a single girl, I'm sure she can afford to waste drinking-quality alcohol on extract. *wink*

    Thanks for sharing your technique for Peppermint extract with us, Wendy!

  2. Yum yum!! A BIG thank you!!! I'm off to go pick some peppermint. I found it by accident, would you believe?? Moved a chair over to make room for something else and caught a whiff of something-- smelled good. Picked a leaf and ah-ha! Ohh it smells so good. Every time we walk to the garden, we pass it and pick leaves to sniff. Quite a large peppermint patch.

    I make a lot of peppermint flavored fudges and candies in the winter, and I'd be curious to see what the difference in taste would be.

    Thanks again for re-posting!! :o)

  3. Wendy, Can you explain the Vanilla Extract Recipe in steps for morons? Like what size container, how much vodka, how many vanilla beans, what size, and how long or whatever? Thanks!