Cherry extract is a wonderful extract to make in the spring and summer months before the fall holiday season. (Or any time of year, really.) It is also a perfect gift to make for the holidays, Easter, Mother's Day, 4th of July, birthdays, anniversaries, wedding and baby showers and much more. It can be used in any recipe in place of - or blended with - the vanilla extract called for in the recipe. 
This recipe makes roughly 4-8oz of tart cherry extract.
What you will need:


  1. Add 1oz of broken/crumbled freeze-dried fruit into a glass jar, 8oz or larger.
  2. Add 8oz of your favorite spirit. Light spirits are recommended.
  3. We recommended adding 1 whole vanilla bean to the jar, folded or tied in a knot to ensure it is fully submerged. Set it on top of the fruit.
  4. Close the lid and store in a cool/dark place for 8 weeks. The fruit will often turn to a dark brown color, and that is just fine. 
  5. After 8 weeks, pour the extract through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the fruit chunks, crumbs and particles and to firmly press out the extract from the fruit. 
  6. IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep in mind that freeze-dried fruit will act like a sponge. It will absorb a lot of the alcohol. So you will need to spend some time pressing every ounce of extract liquid from the fruit through the strainer, like you would press a sponge. Even then, you will notice that you may only have 4-6 ounces of finished extract after starting with 8oz of alcohol, and that is OK. 
  7. For a double-fold, extremely sweet taste, repeat the steps above a second time, but make sure you top off the alcohol after the first extraction so you begin your second extraction with 8 full ounces of spirit. Just like the first extraction, the second extraction may only yield 4-6oz of finished extract that will be extremely sweet. 
  8. Keep the vanilla bean in the jar as long as you wish, or until it is no longer submerged. Then remove it to make vanilla powder, vanilla sugar or to start a mother jar

Once you make your first extract, you will find that there are countless other extract-making applications and your journey into the extract-making world begins. Visit our extract-recipe center and our vanilla extract how-to guide center to learn valuable information to make sure each extract turns out great! 

Other uses of freeze-dried fruits:

  • Healthy snacks
  • Trail mix
  • Garnish on frostings/pastries
  • Fruit smoothy 
  • Added in cereal
  • And much more. 
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Tagged: fruit extract