Making flavored extracts at home opens up a lot of options for customizing flavors that can be used in baking. Homemade extract like strawberry extract can also be made to your personal tastes by controlling how intense the flavor is, which becomes stronger the longer the extract is allowed to steep. Extracts made fresh will provide a natural strawberry flavor as opposed to the sometimes-artificial taste of store-bought extracts like McCormick strawberry flavor.

Making strawberry extract at home is very similar to infusing water or vodka, but the proportion of liquid to strawberry is significantly lower. Note that other types of alcohol like bourbon or rum can be used to make extract, but the flavor of those alcohols will influence the overall notes and flavor of the extract.

Though it takes several months or longer for an even more concentrated flavor to develop, once an extract is made, it will keep for many more months to come. Follow these recipes to make both strawberry extract or any other extract you would like.

How to Make Strawberry Extract

Total Time: 8 weeks | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 1 bottle of strawberry extract

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup strawberries, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of vodka or vinegar

Equipment:

  • 1 clean glass jar
  • Cheesecloth
  • Funnel
  • Clean, dark-colored dropper bottles

Directions:

  1. Place all the parts of the glass jar into boiling water for 15 minutes to cleanse it before use for the extract.

  2. Dry the glass jar and both parts of the lid and allow it to cool.

  3. Finely chop the strawberries and add them to the clean, dry glass jar. The jar should be two-thirds filled with diced strawberries, so if the jar is not nearly filled, add more fruit.



4. Pour the vodka or vinegar over the strawberries, making sure the fruit is entirely submerged in the liquid. Do not be afraid to gently push the fruit down as well to ensure it will be submerged.

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  1. Store the fruit and vodka or vinegar mixture in a cool, dark place such as a pantry for 8 weeks, shaking the jar daily to turn the mixture and check that all fruit remains submerged in the alcohol or vinegar.

  2. If at some point the fruit is not under the vodka or vinegar, add more liquid until all solids are completely covered.

  3. Once the 8 weeks have passed, strain the mixture through cheesecloth. This will help keep any seeds or sediments from passing into the strawberry extract.

  4. Using a funnel, pour the strawberry extract into the clean, dark-colored dropper bottles.

  5. Store in a cool, dry place.

How to Make Any Fruit Extract

Total Time: 8 weeks | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 1 bottle of extract

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup chosen fruit, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of vodka or vinegar

Equipment:

  • 1 clean glass jar
  • Cheesecloth
  • Funnel
  • Clean, dark-colored dropper bottles

Directions:

  1. Place all the parts of the glass jar into boiling water for 15 minutes to cleanse it before use for the extract.

  2. Dry the glass jar and both parts of the lid and allow it to cool.

  3. Finely chop the fruit and add it to the clean, dry glass jar. The jar should be two-thirds filled with diced fruit, so if the jar is not nearly filled, add more fruit.

  4. Pour the vodka or vinegar over the fruit, making sure the fruit is entirely submerged in the liquid. Do not be afraid to gently push the fruit down as well to ensure it will be submerged. 

  5. Store the fruit and vodka or vinegar mixture in a cool, dark place such as a pantry for 8 weeks, shaking the jar daily to turn the mixture andcheck that all fruit remains submerged in the alcohol or vinegar.



    6. If at some point the fruit is not under the vodka or vinegar, add more liquid until all solids are completely covered.



    7. Once the 8 weeks have passed, strain the mixture through cheesecloth. This will help keep any fruit sediments from passing into the extract.

    8. Using a funnel, pour the fruit extract into the clean, dark-colored dropper bottles.

    9. Store in a cool, dry place.

Tip

Try adding vanilla pods cut into 3 sections each, mint leaves or other ingredients for more extract options.

About the Author

Molly Harris

Molly is a freelance journalist and social media consultant. In addition to Leaf.tv, Molly has written for Teen Vogue and Paste magazine. She is the former assistant editor of the Design and Style section of Paste magazine. View her work at www.mmollyharris.com.