Homemade Cherry Extract Using Vodka or Bourbon

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Cherry ExtractI've been making my own homemade vanilla extract for years. I've also experimented with Apricot Extract and now I would like to share Cherry Extract!

I started three jars of Cherry Extract:

  1. Bourbon whiskey with cherries and vanilla [affiliate link] beans
  2. Bourbon with cherries
  3. Vodka with cherries

I am totally loving the Ball Wide-Mouth Plastic Storage Caps and these jars are just perfect – they are Ball Jar Wide Mouth Pint and Half Jars – I have never seen jars like these but totally dig them. They are super tall – I guess one primary reason is so you can can asparagus but they were exactly what I was looking for.

All three jars were tucked away in a dark cupboard and stayed there for several months until I brought them out into the light of day to see how they turned out.

The resulting extract was really good. I have a friend who likes to make mixed drinks and she loves the cherries!

Cherry Extract in Vodka

This foray into making extract started when my son mentioned almond extract. I had never used it before and barely knew it existed. I set out to figure out how to make it since usually it is so much cheaper to make extracts yourself, rather than to buy them.

I discovered that almond extract is made from bitter almonds [affiliate link], or it can be made using cherry pits or apricot pits. Some people use peeled almonds but apparently this practice comes nowhere near the flavor achieved with bitter almonds or stone fruit pits.

There is a small problem in that there is apparently is a minute amount of cyanide in the pits if you break them open. I've been researching this on and off for days, and I still can't decide how I want to proceed. Some sources state if you heat the pits you will destroy the enzyme that causes the problem, while others say the amount is insignificant unless you ingest large quantities. Some sources say crush the pits, while others say that's not necessary and avoids the cyanide issue altogether.

So in the meantime, I decided to start some cherry extract. I think it will be good in ice cream, or baked goods… like maybe certain loaves of bread.

I've read having cherry extract is a way to have cherry flavor when it's out of season.

I am having a blast making my own extracts, the options are just endless.

Here's how I made my cherry extract:

  • 1 cup vodka or bourbon
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and cut in half
  1. Place the cherries into the alcohol and seal.
  2. Place in a dark cupboard for three months or longer.
  3. Enjoy!

Here are some sites with information:

Do you make any of your own extracts?

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