Kirbie's Cravings

DIY Extracts

Making your own extracts is really easy and they are perfect a perfect gift for the holidays.

photo of different bottles of DIY extracts

Making your own extracts is really easy and they are perfect a perfect gift for the holidays.

I recently made some vanilla, spearmint and mint ones that I plan on giving to friends. You can customize them too, with different bottles, labels, etc.
close-up photo of spearmint extract bottle
I have to hand it to Mr. K, he didn’t even blink when I randomly told him at 10 AM that I needed vodka. He’s used to my crazy requests. Later that day, we went to buy a giant bottle so I could start making the extracts.
close up of three bottles of extracts

photo collage showing ingredients
Of course I had to make vanilla, since I use vanilla in my baking all the time. I recently got some complimentary vanilla beans sent to me from Frieda’s Produce. I am loving the items they have been introducing me to, especially green dragon apples. They are by far the sweetest, juiciest apples I’ve ever tasted! If you find stuff on their website you are interested in, you can always email them to find out what stores carry it. I immediately emailed them and found out that Ralph’s carries their apples. I plan on stocking up soon and also using some for fruit gift baskets.

I also chose to use the mint and spearmint from my herb garden. I rarely use it, except in the occasional cocktail and both herbs have grown very well, nearly overtaking my garden beds. Speaking of gardens, we recently discovered that our backyard has become a hangout for birds. I can’t understand why. They don’t eat our fruit (though they walk around it and inspect the fruit trees). Instead, they just hang out. All day. It’s really strange and I don’t know if I should be shooing them away or what.

Making the extract is quite simple. You add your ingredients to the bottle and let the alcohol do the rest. It takes a few weeks to reach full potential, but you can always gift it early and let your friends know to wait a little bit before using.
close-up of vanilla extract

photo of six bottles of extract lined up
When you first make it, everything will look clear and bright. After a few days, the herbs will lose their color and become more muddled, but it still looks pretty cool. I actually made some big batches in mason jars and then used a funnel to pour them into the smaller containers. I hope everyone who receives one this year will enjoy!
close-up of extracts


2 oz clear glass bottels*

Chalk Labels*

*Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).

DIY Extracts

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Course: DIY
Making your own extracts is really easy and they are perfect a perfect gift for the holidays.


Vanilla Extract

  • 3-4 vanilla beans split beans in half, lengthwise, so that the inside content is completely exposed
  • 8 oz vodka

Spearmint Extract

  • 1 cup spearmint stems removed
  • 12 oz vodka

Mint Extract

  • 1 cup mint stems removed
  • 12 oz vodka


  • For vanilla extract, add vanilla beans and vodka into a jar. Tightly close lid, then shake a few times. Keep in a dark, cool place. Shake every few days. Let sit for about 4 weeks before using.
  • For mint and spearmint extracts, add leaves and vodka. Lightly crush leaves while in jar, to let the oils out. Seal jars and shake. Keep in a dark, cool place. Shake every few days. Let sit for about 4 weeks before using.
  • When extracts are ready, pour into smaller bottles using a funnel. You can add fresh mint leaves and vanilla beans before gifting.

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!


Subscribe to receive new post updates via email

don’t miss a thing!

Get new post updates via email:

62 comments on “DIY Extracts”

  1. Hi, I was looking to make some apple extract but I cannot find any recipe for that…..Any ideas?

  2. question for you 🙂 I was curious if you have ever let it gone longer than 4 weeks? Our season is kind of short up here…and we harvest in Sept/Oct. I grow my own herbs and want to do this for Xmas gifts. I want to use my herbs because I know where they come from…do you think it would be ok if I let them go till Xmas time?

  3. I’m totally gonna make these! They’re great gifts to keep around in case you need a spur of the moment gift!

  4. me encanto, maravillosas ideas,gracias

  5. I understand extracts have alcohol content. Since I don’t use alcohol as a general rule, how does the alcohol content in your homemade extracts compare to commercial products? Melanie

  6. Hello, I would like to know what ratio to use for a lavender extract. I recently wanted to try a recipe and could not find it in any stores where I am.

  7. I use a lot of almond extract. Any idea how I would make that? How to use the almonds and how many? I’m definitely making my own vanilla though. Thanks

  8. Is there any substitute for the vodka?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating