Want to add a cool, minty twist to your favorite chocolate brownies, hot cocoa, ice cream, or peppermint patties?
This is the simplest of the diy projects I know!
With this two-ingredient mint extract recipe, it takes only five minutes of hands-on prep time plus a several months for the extract to “age,” and soon you’ll be be stirring it into whatever else your mint-loving taste buds desire. This is the real ‘natural mint flavor’ food manufacturers are trying to imitate with unnatural processing techniques!
This mint extract can be ready by Christmas (or 2 months from reading this)! It makes a classic, inexpensive gift for the food-lovers in your life.
Cost Comparison of Homemade vs. Store-Bought
Store-bought mint extractcosts anywhere between $1.50 and $4.50/ounce.
Here’s the cost breakdown for this recipe:
- I used vodka – my cost was $0.25/ounce (Kirkland brand at Costco ~$14.00/59 oz (1.75 L)
- Organic mint leaves (peppermint, chocolate mint, spearmint) ~$2.89 per bunch at the supermarket or free from the garden.
Total store-bought cost – Between $18.00 and $54.00 for 12 ounces (depending on the quality and purity of ingredients).
Mint Extract Recipe
- 1 1/2 cup fresh (or 1/2-3/4 the amount dried) mint leaves, biggest stems removed (dried herb will make a more potent extract!)
- 1 1/2 cups (or 12 oz.) vodka, rum, or bourbon
- Wash and remove thicker stems from leaves. Pat dry.
- Add leaves to a jar, crushing or distressing them so they will better release their essential oils.
- Cover them with the alcohol and press down until the leaves are totally submerged.
- Cap the jar tightly and store in a dark cabinet for 1-2 months, shaking every so often. The mint extract (and leaves) will darken as the oils are drawn out. When the mint extract has reached the depth of flavor you prefer, strain out the used-up leaves from the extract. Store your extract in either a dark bottle or in a dark cabinet.
Learn more on how to make other kinds of tincture here.
My Glycerin Version of Mint Extract
Glycerine is a non-toxic, non-GMO natural food substance. It is a good solvent of herbal constituents and a preservative. To top it off, glycerine is also sweet tasting but does not cause blood sugar problems.
The fresh herb is ideal for using glycerin because glycerin excels at preserving the fresh plant juices. However, glycerin is not as effective as alcohol at drawing constituents out of the cell structure of dried plants.
You can make a glycerine tincture by filling a jar 1/3 – 1/2 full of dried peppermint leaves (or any herb you want to make into an extract) (1/2 full makes the brew stronger).
Add just enough hot water (not boiling) to get the herbs wet and fill the jar to about 1/2 inch from the top with glycerine.
After closing the jar tightly, place it in a crock-pot with a small towel underneath to keep the jar from breaking. Fill the crock-pot with water up to the top of the jar (not touching the lid), and leave it on the lowest setting for 3 days, keeping the glycerine hot but not boiling, and add water as necessary. Strain herbs through cheesecloth, squeezing out excess glycerine. Store in a tightly-sealed jar or tincture bottle, being sure to label. (photo source)