Make Your Own Extracts

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

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.