DIY Lemon Extract

This is the first year that our lemon tree has given us a pretty significant amount of lemons, and I was thrilled to juice them all with dreams of dreams of

blackberry lemonade

this coming summer. However, I didn't want to throw away all the lemony zest of the leftover lemon peels. What can one make with a lot of lemon peels? Well, lots of things, but most importantly, lemon extract! The real stuff costs a pretty penny, but there is nothing like the taste. Once you know how easy and inexpensive it is to make it yourself, you will never run out again!

What you will need:

- Lemon peels (LOTS of lemon peels)

- glass jars

- Vodka (the cheapest kind you can find)


1. Zest the lemon peels or use a vegetable peeler or mandolin to remove only the yellow part of the peelings. You don't want to get any of the white pith because it will add a bitter taste to the final product. I could have zested, but when making this much I opted for the much less time consuming vegetable peeler. Be sure to juice your lemons and freeze it in an ice cube tray for easy use in other projects!

2. Put your peelings in a sterlized glass jar. It took about 18 lemons to fill a one quart jar.

3. Fill the jar with vodka and seal it.

4. Shake the jar every day or two and keep it in a dark place for 3-6 weeks. 

5. Strain out the peelings and enjoy as many lemony recipes as your heart desires!

So simple. So delicious. So inexpensive. 

It's amazing how such a small project can make the whole day feel productive!