Bonnie is at it again, and this time she's making lemon extract, in addition to the coffee extract and orange extract that she has already shared with us. You can see Bonnie's posts and progress in our private Facebook group, Making Vanilla Extract by VanillaPura

In Bonnie's pictures and in her own words, here is how she makes her own, homemade lemon extract:

Simply take the peels from 11 lemons. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the rinds for the cleanest cut. 

I use a mason jar with a wide mouth for easy access that also allows me to use a glass weight (pictured below) to press the lemon rinds down to keep them submerged in the alcohol. 

Once the peels are ready, I place them in the jar with the glass weight on top. Then I add to 8 ounces of Blue Steel Vodka. 

Leave the lemon rinds in the vodka for one month, then remove from the mason jar and pour into a more decorative jar for everyday use. 

That's it! 

Lemon extract

Lemon extract

jar weight

VanillaPura Vanilla Pro


How long does it take to make?

— Joyce Sears

I just started my first jar of lemon extract. Love lemons so much. I cut in wedges and eat them. Lol. I make a lot of lemon desserts, so I always juice any peeled lemons and pour them into ice cube trays to freeze, then pop them into a freezer bag. Always handy when needed. Thanks for this recipe. Would never have thought of making my own extract.

— Linda Wasko

No matter how hard I try, my lemon peels still have a wee bit of white on the inside. Is this alright, or do I have to try and scrape more of it off the peel?


When making lemon extract, is it necessary to take lemon zest out of bottle before using? What will it hurt to leave it in? First time making it! 😳

— Debbie

Great recipes Bonnie, thank you!
I have two questions.
1 should I be careful not to get the white plinth with the peel? I think it is bitter?

2 what do you guess the shelf life would be of the strained extract? As it is in alcohol perhaps forecer?

— Pat

You can freeze whole lemons that you used for zesting. Freeze up to 3 months.

— J. Ann Hardman

I fill my mason jars to just under the rim so no weights needed and when I shake I prefer the rinds/zest to swim freely to get all the goodness I can

— Michelle

After my lemon extract was done. I strained then dehydrated the peels then added with turmeric peppercorns in blender and grind until a jive fine or course powder for lemon turmeric pepper! Absolutely Devine and with added benefits

— Michelle

Has anyone tried drying and powdering the rinds after removal from the alcohol?

— Debbie White

Mine still has a strong alcohol smell, & it’s been a little over a month.
I’m wondering if I should change the peels out & wait another month?
Target has weights – I bought 2 different sizes online.

— Pat

People in the group have said they’ve gotten the glass weights through Amazon.

— Carol

Would love to know where you found the glass weight.

— Monique

Hi Jody and Abbe! We don’t specifically have a recipe to use with the leftover rinds, but we know many individuals who make sugar with leftover rinds. We have seen orange sugar and even strawberry sugar! I think lemon sugar could be fun to use in all lemon-type treats!

— VanillaPura

Hi do you have a recipe for the lemon rinds after you’ve
finished extracting? Thank you.

— Abbe Leavitt

What do you do with the lemons after you peeled them. I would hate to throw them away.

— Jody Ruhf

I’m very interested in finding that glass weight. You are an inspiration!

— Karen Lonaberger

Is there a special cleaning process of the fruit before zesting?

— Glenn Kiss

Where do you buy the glass weights and do you remember about what they cost?

— Grace Baker

Do you candy the rinds, or do you have to leave them in the liquid?

— Judy

Thank you for the recipe! I have my 1st batch going. Where can I find a glass weight? Thanks again!

— Judy