Ready for a dose of citrus flavor? Homemade lemon extract is easy to make and it’s delicious in muffins, pancakes, cookies and frosting. It’s especially yummy in angel food cake or cheesecakes and other vanilla sponge cakes.

All you need is vodka and fresh lemons! The final product is perfect lemon essence without the sourness or acidity that comes from using pre-made juice.

The process is simple, but it does take some time (8–10 weeks) for the extract to come together. Flavors only improve with age, so you could even let the batch sit for up to 3 months.

Follow our recipe and you’ll have plenty of lemon extract for the long haul!

A bottle of homemade lemon extract next to two whole lemons.

homemade lemon extract recipe

It’s easy to make homemade lemon extract using just lemons and vodka.


Yield: 16 servings/tablespoons
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  • 1 cup vodka, good-quality
  • 7 - 8 lemons zest of lemons, no pith


  • Place vodka and fruit peels in a clean glass jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid.
  • Seal tightly and store in a cool, dark place for 8–10 weeks.
  • Strain to remove peels and bottle the extract.


Shake the container once a day for the first month to get the most flavor from your lemon extract!
Calories: 33kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.3g, Protein: 0.03g, Fat: 0.01g, Saturated Fat: 0.001g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.002g, Potassium: 3mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 0.1g
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