This homemade mint extract recipe is a great cost effective alternative to the store-bought version. It is super easy and quick to prepare. All you need is a lot of patience waiting for the mint leaves beans to infuse and turn into a well flavored extract.
- ❤️Why you will love this recipe
- 📝The Ingredients
- 👩🏻🍳How to make Mint Extract at home
- 🍴What can homemade mint extract be used for?
- Make it a gift
- Frequently asked questions
- Other homemade recipes you might like:
- 📖 Recipe
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The season is coming to an end. The mint is still growing like crazy in our garden and wants to get used up before the cold fall and winter days hit. I am a huge tea fan and could drink mint tea all the time. With the leftover mint I love to make homemade tea blends. However, my boyfriends sister introduced me to everything mint during Christmas time in the US. So I obviously had to start thinking of mint recipes I could make during that season that are not tea. Normally you need mint extract for recipes which is very hard to get here in Switzerland. So, I decided to make my own mint extract from scratch.
❤️Why you will love this recipe
There are several reasons why you will love this homemade mint extract recipe:
- Superior flavor: By using fresh mint leaves, this recipe ensures a mint extract with an exceptional and vibrant flavor. The natural oils released from the mint leaves during the steeping process create a more authentic and aromatic taste compared to store-bought extracts that often rely on artificial flavorings.
- Customizable strength: With this DIY recipe, you have the freedom to control the strength of your mint extract. After the initial steeping period of six weeks, you can taste the extract and determine if it is strong enough for your liking. If not, you can continue steeping it for a longer duration until it reaches your desired intensity.
- Cost-effective: Making your own mint extract is significantly cheaper than purchasing pre-made ones from the store. With just two simple ingredients you can create a generous supply of mint extract that will last for months, saving you money in the long run.
- Easy and rewarding: This recipe is incredibly easy to follow, requiring minimal effort and equipment. The waiting period may require patience, but the satisfaction of creating your own high-quality mint extract is truly rewarding.
- Versatile applications: Its refreshing and minty flavor adds a delightful twist to a wide range of recipes, allowing you to explore and experiment with different flavor combinations in your cooking.
- Natural and additive-free: You have full control over the quality and purity of the ingredients. There are no artificial additives, preservatives, or unnecessary chemicals present in this homemade version. It's a wholesome and natural extract that you can feel good about using in your cooking and baking endeavors.
To prepare mint extract, you will need the following equipment:
- Sterilized jar with a tight lid: This will serve as the container for the mint leaves and vodka mixture, ensuring a clean and hygienic environment for the extract to steep. The jar should be made of glass or another food-safe material to maintain the quality of the extract.
- Measuring cup: Required to measure the desired amount of vodka (4 dl in this case).
- Strainer or cheesecloth: Used to remove the mint leaves from the extract once it has reached the desired strength, ensuring a smooth and debris-free final product.
- Optional label maker: Helps to label the jar with the date of preparation and any additional notes regarding the extract's flavor development.
With these equipment and tools, you can easily make your own homemade mint extract and enjoy its refreshing flavor in various culinary creations.
- Fresh mint leaves: The star ingredient that infuses the extract with a refreshing and aromatic mint flavor. Ensure the mint leaves are fresh and free from any wilting or discoloration and pests for the best results.
- Vodka: Vodka is the most commonly used alcohol for extract-making due to its neutral taste and high alcohol content, which efficiently extracts and preserves the flavors of the mint leaves. It's important to note that you don't need to use a high-quality vodka for this recipe. Choose a vodka that you enjoy and that fits within your budget. Vodka is the most commonly used alcohol for extract-making due to its neutral taste and high alcohol content, which efficiently extracts and preserves the flavors of the mint leaves. It's important to note that you don't need to use a high-quality vodka for this recipe. Choose a vodka that you enjoy and that fits within your budget.
With just these two simple ingredients, you can create a homemade mint extract that surpasses the quality and taste of store-bought alternatives. The freshness of the mint leaves combined with the pure and potent nature of vodka ensures a delightful and authentic mint flavor in your culinary creations.
👩🏻🍳How to make Mint Extract at home
Making mint extract really could not be any easier. I honestly do not know why not everyone is doing their own mint extract at home all the time. It is so much cheaper than buying it and you can adjust the mint flavor to your taste.
First you have to sterilize your jar. Here is a blog post explaining you different methods on how to do that: How to sterilize your jars
Next you have to wash your mint and remove the leaves from the stem.
Release the oils of the mint by putting the leaves between your hands and clap on them a few times or just gently crumple them up in your hands.
Add the mint leaves to the jar. Then fill up the jar with vodka to the top till all leaves are covered. It is very important that the leaves are completely covered so they do not get moldy. Close the jar tightly and shake it.
Store the extract in a cool, sun protected spot for at least 6 weeks. Every few days you have to shake the jar again to mix everything well and let the flavors move and also avoid molding.
After 6 weeks check if the extract is strong enough for you. Once you are happy with the flavor you can remove the mint leaves if you want and use the extract. The mint leaves do not have to get removed. However, I would switch them out with fresh ones after a few months.
The longer you let the extract sit the better the flavor. I usually let it sit for several months.
Once you have prepared your homemade mint extract, it's important to store it correctly to maintain its flavor and freshness.
Store the jar in a cool, dark location, such as a pantry or cupboard, away from direct sunlight. Properly stored, the mint extract can last for an extended period, often up to a year or more. Label the jar with the preparation date for reference. As time passes, the extract's flavor will intensify and develop, offering a delightful homemade mint essence to elevate your culinary creations.
🍴What can homemade mint extract be used for?
You can use this mint extract exactly the same way as store-bought one. It can get used in:
- Baking: Add a dash of mint extract to your favorite cookie, cake, or brownie recipes for a refreshing twist. Mint-chocolate chip cookies, mint-flavored cakes, or mint-infused frosting can bring a delightful flavor to your baked goods.
- Beverages: Enhance your favorite beverages with a hint of mint. Add a few drops of mint extract to lemonade, iced tea, hot chocolate, or even cocktails like mojitos or mint juleps for a cool and invigorating taste.
- Desserts: Drizzle mint extract over ice cream or gelato for a refreshing topping. Use it to flavor homemade whipped cream or incorporate it into homemade ice cream recipes for a minty treat. You can also infuse the extract into puddings, custards, or mousse for a subtle and delicious mint flavor.
- Sauces and dressings: Incorporate mint extract into sauces or dressings to elevate their taste. It can add a refreshing element to fruit sauces, like strawberry or raspberry sauce, or be used in homemade minty vinaigrettes for salads.
- Culinary experimentation: Get creative with your mint extract by trying it in unexpected recipes. Consider using it in marinades for grilled meats, incorporating it into homemade chocolates or truffles, or adding it to fruit salads for a unique and refreshing twist.
These serving suggestions are just the beginning; let your imagination run wild and explore the versatile and delightful ways to incorporate your homemade mint extract into various culinary delights.
Make it a gift
Christmas is coming guys! Better start preparing! Do you have your Christmas presents already planned? Or maybe you need a birthday gift and want to make something yourself?
Homemade mint extract makes a wonderful gift for friends, family, or food enthusiasts. Consider pouring the extract into small glass bottles and sealing them with a decorative label or ribbon. You can also include a personalized recipe card or note with suggestions on how to use the mint extract. Ensure the bottles are clean, sterilized, and airtight for proper storage and gift presentation.
Remember to use clean, sterilized, and airtight bottles for optimal storage and presentation. For a robust flavor, let the mint extract sit for at least 6-8 weeks, though longer steeping times are recommended. To ensure an attractive presentation, remove the leaves from the final bottled extract, providing a clear and appealing appearance. Spread the joy of homemade goodness with this delightful mint extract gift!
Frequently asked questions
Q: Is there a specific type of mint that works best for this extract?
A: While various mint varieties can be used, spearmint and peppermint are popular choices for making mint extract. Their robust flavors lend well to extracting a distinct mint taste. However, feel free to experiment with different mint varieties to find your preferred flavor profile.
Q: Why does my mint extract smell like alcohol?
A: The extract will smell like alcohol a lot in the beginning. This is normal. The extract will need some time till the flavors of the mint get strong enough and the alcohol smell fades.
Q: How often do I have to shake my mint extract?
A: I recommend shaking the jar once a day the first few weeks and then every other day.
Q: Why is my mint extract not green?
A: After a some soaking the mint leaves will turn brown and look disgusting. That is totally normal. You can simply remove them once the extract is ready if you want.
Q: Can I adjust the strength of the mint extract?
A: Absolutely! After the initial steeping period of 6 weeks, you can taste the extract and determine if it's strong enough for your preference. If it's not, you can continue steeping it for a longer duration until it reaches your desired intensity. Remember to shake the jar regularly during this process.
Q: How long does the homemade mint extract last?
A: When stored properly in a cool and dark location, the homemade mint extract can last for an extended period, often up to a year or more. However, it's best to use your judgment and rely on your senses. If the extract develops any off odors, flavors, or discoloration, it's time to discard it.
Q: Can I make a larger batch of mint extract?
A: You can easily scale up the recipe by increasing the amount of mint leaves and vodka proportionally. Just ensure you have a larger jar or multiple jars with tight lids to accommodate the larger quantity of ingredients. The steeping time and storage guidelines remain the same.
Q: Can I use this mint extract as a substitute for peppermint extract in recipes?
A: Yes, you can use this homemade mint extract as a substitute for store-bought peppermint extract in recipes. However, keep in mind that the flavor profile may differ slightly, as commercial peppermint extract often contains a blend of peppermint and spearmint oils. Adjust the quantity to match the required amount of peppermint extract in your recipe, and taste test as needed.
Other homemade recipes you might like:
Homemade Mint Extract
- Jar (sterilized)
- 1 handful Mint leaves
- 4 dl Vodka
- Wash your mint and remove the leaves from the stem.1 handful Mint leaves
- Release the oils of the mint by putting the leaves between your hands and clap on them a few times or just gently crumple them up in your hands.
- Add the mint leaves to the jar.
- Now fill the jar with vodka to the top till all leaves are covered.4 dl Vodka
- Close the jar tightly and shake it.
- Store the extract in a cool, sun protected spot for at least 6 weeks. Every few days shake the jar.
- After 6 weeks check if the extract is strong enough for you. Once you are happy you can remove the mint leaves and use the extract.
- The longer you let the extract sit the better the flavor. I usually let it sit for several months.
- Sterilize jar: Here is a link with several methods to do this: How to sterilize your jars - Oh Sweet Cultureshock
- Mint: Make sure at least ¾ of your jar is filled with mint. Every mint works.
- Vodka: The Vodka doesn't have to be a high quality one. Just use one you like and is within your budget.
- The mint will turn brown. This is absolutely normal, just keep letting it sit and shake it every few days and make sure the mint is always covered with alcohol.
- The extract will smell like alcohol a lot in the beginning. This is normal. The extract will need some time till the flavors of the mint get strong enough and the alcohol smell fades.
- Storage and shelf life: The mint extract basically has an endless shelf life. As long as it still smells normal it is still usable. I do recommend storing it in an air tight jar or bottle to keep it fresh. Always store the mint extract in a cool and dark spot.
US Customary conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.
Nutrition information is calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.