The Right 'Tract 

Make your own extracts, or try the new ones from Whole Spice 

| National   Cooking | Kaitlyn Goalen


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We’re always impressed with the power of extracts.

From vanilla to peppermint, the contents of those tiny bottles deliver a wallop of flavor to our favorite sweets, such as cookie dough, ice cream bases and beyond.

But we never considered making our own until we came across Whole Spice, a mom-and-pop business based in California.

Each of the company’s new iterations is made with only grain alcohol, the main ingredient, and perhaps some citric acid as a preservative. That simplicity, combined with the formidable results, inspired us to try our hand at some bottlings of our own.

The process is amazingly simple, and it's a great way to harness your favorite ingredients. We harvested some mint from our overrun garden, loosely packed it in a sanitized mason jar, then filled the jar with high-proof vodka--a process much like making bitters.

After two months, the resulting liquid has absorbed all of the flavor and aroma of the plant, but with a significantly longer shelf life.

If you’re not the patient kind, order a bottle from Whole Spice. The coffee iteration ($18) is a mean addition to a vanilla milkshake.  

Buy Coffee Extract
See a Recipe for Coffee Liqueur
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