Homemade Mint Extract Recipe
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.
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
Easy: Making your own extracts really could not be any easier. You just have to mix 2 ingredients and then wait a few months.
Simple ingredients: To make homemade extract you only need alcohol and the ingredient you want to infuse it with.
Better than store-bought: Making extracts yourself is not only much cheaper but also makes a better tasting extract. Many store-bought ones use artificial flavoring. However, this recipe uses fresh mint leaves which will make the best tasting mint extract.
Ingredients for homemade mint extract recipe:
- Mint leaves: Make sure you clean your mint properly first. Especially when you use mint from your garden check that there are no bugs or anything else on them. Depending on how big your jar is you wanna use more or less mint leaves. Make sure at least 3/4 of the glass is filled.
- Alcohol: Alcohol is the base of every extract. The most commonly used alcohol is Vodka which is also what we will use in this recipe. The Vodka doesn’t have to be a high quality one. Just use one you like and is within your budget. You might ask yourself: Can I use a different alcohol for mint extract? I personally do not recommend it. Vodka is very neutral and perfect for extracts as it is not overpowering.
What kind of mint should you use?
Honestly, every kind of mint works! The ones you normally can get are peppermint and spearmint.
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.
How to store mint extract and what is its shelf life?
You might ask yourself, can mint extract go bad? No, it 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 protected from sunlight.
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:
- Hot chocolate
- Cocktails & mocktails
- Ice cream
- and much much more
Can I use mint extract as 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? This mint extract is perfect for any occasion.
Let the mint extract sit for at least 6-8 weeks, better longer to be sure that the flavor is strong. I recommend making the extract in a big jar. I would take the leaves out as they don’t look pretty. Either gift the whole jar or fill the extract into cute little bottles and give those away.
Frequently asked questions
Why does my mint extract smell like 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.
How often do I have to shake my mint extract?
I recommend shaking the jar once a day the first few weeks and then every other day.
Why is my mint extract not green?
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 3/4 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.