I’ve written this for Peppermint Extract because it’s easy to grow mint in your own garden, but it basically applies to any kind of flavouring you might use an essence or extract of; vanilla, almond, lemon, orange, cinnamon or pretty much anything else you might like to use.
This recipe makes 120ml, which equates to four of the 40ml bottles you’d buy from the supermarket. Brace yourself… it’s complicated.
4-6 sprigs fresh peppermint
Sterilise your jar (make sure it’s airtight, like a jam jar) and put in the peppermint.
Pour in the vodka.
Seal the jar and leave for 1-3 months in a cool, dark place, depending on how strong you want it. Give it a shake whenever you remember.
When ready, seive out the peppermint and decant the essence into it’s final container.
Quantities for other essences:
Almond* – 1 oz almonds, ground to powder in a food processor or pestle and mortar. When ready, you’ll need to strain the infusion through a paper, liquid filter (like a coffee filter) before decanting.
Cinnamon – 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half.
Hazelnut* – 2oz hazelnuts, ground to powder. Strain through a coffee filter.
Lemon – Zest a lemon and put all the peel into the jar, being careful to remove all the pith. You can add fresh peel during infusion.
Orange – Use the zest from an entire orange but be careful to remove the pith. You can add fresh peel during infusion.
Vanilla – 3 vanilla pods, each split down the middle.