Being a big fan of Clotilde Dusoulier (I love her edible idioms!), I’m a devoted reader of her blog, Chocolate & Zucchini. While visiting C & Z last week, I made an amazing discovery (at least it was to me). You can make your own vanilla extract! So maybe I’ve been under a rock or something, but this was news to me.

After my discovery, I decided to do a little more digging. Guess what I found? You can make pretty much any extract you want at home. Interested in making homemade extracts? Be sure to check out Clotilde’s tips here and pay a visit to Tip Nut. Tip Nut also has recipes for homemade lemon extract, orange extract, and lavender sugar. I can’t wait to try them all!

As you’ll see (if you check out the links to these recipes), you can use almost any liquor, but the most commonly used is vodka or rum. Have you experimented with homemade extracts? If so, which liquor do you recommend? I think I’ll start with vodka since it’s so neutral, but I’m thinking rum could be good too.

I shared this news with my mom and I swear she got the same gleam in her eye that I did. 😉 So, if you’re on my Christmas list, be forewarned…you may be getting jars of homemade extracts, sugars, salts, and whatever else inspires me between now and December. Personally, I think homemade gifts are terrific. Kevin’s aunt from South Carolina recently sent us a couple jars of homemade jelly. Yum!