Here are several recipes for making flavored extracts and syrups (using oranges, lemons, lavender and vanilla). These can be used in baking or to flavor items such as ice cream.
I also tucked in a garlic syrup recipe (found at the bottom of the page), this is used by some as a health/home remedy treatment.
First, here are the different extracts you can make…
*First published December 2, 2006
1/2 navel orange (large)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vodka
- Peel the half of navel orange, remove all white pith and dice roughly
- Combine ingredients in a sterilized glass canning jar
- Cover and store in a cool, dark place to steep (for 3 to 5 days before using)
- Can be used for up to one year
Tip for gift-giving: Strain and pour into sterilized apothecary bottles or decorative glass jars. Insert spirals of orange peel to add a nice touch.
(First published December 2, 2006)
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup water
- Prepare as directed above
- Combine ingredients into a large glass jar, seal
- Store for 5 days before using
1 large lemon
1/2 cup vodka
- Prepare peel as directed above
- Add to vodka and heat to boiling
- Pour into a glass jar and seal
- Set aside for at least two weeks then use as needed
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vodka
- Prepare peeling as directed above
- Combine ingredients in a large glass jar, seal
- Set aside and steep for 5 days before using
- Do not store in direct sunlight
- Can be used for up to one year
- Make sure your glass jars and bottles are sterilized before using
These would make lovely gifts, just pour into little glass bottles and tag with the recipe.
I kept the instructions for making homemade vanilla extract on a separate page since the details are quite extensive, you’ll find that page here .
*First Published November 19, 2009 and moved to this page for better organization
What is vanilla oil and how is it used? Use it for any recipe requiring vegetable oil (cooking, baking, vinaigrettes), it will add a nice vanilla kick to your dish. It’s so quick and easy to make, here’s how:
1 vanilla bean
2 cups vegetable oil
- Cut open the bean and scrape out the seeds.
- Warm oil on top of the stove over low to medium heat.
- Add the seeds to the warm oil then stir with a whisk to mix the seeds and oil. Heat for about 5 minutes, stirring with a whisk frequently.
- Pour the oil into a sterilized glass jar and add the cut vanilla pod, submerge the pod completely in oil.
- Seal then store in a cool, dark location. Good to use after sitting for a few days, discard after ten days.
Gift idea: Fill a decorative bottle with your homemade oil (one that has an airtight seal) then wrap with raffia and attach a recipe card .
Here are a few flavored syrups you can try…
(First published May 14, 2007)
2 qts. boiling water
8 cups sugar
2 ozs. citric acid
- Pour boiling water over sugar, acid and orange rind. Cool–add fruit juice and let stand overnight. Strain and put in sealers. Will keep refrigerated.
- Pour a little in glass and fill with water for a refreshing drink.
*Recipe found on loose page of old cookbook
1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 TBS dried lavender buds
1 strip lemon zest
- Dissolve sugar into boiling water
- Remove from heat
- Add lavender and lemon zest
- Sit for 20 to 30 minutes
- Strain and refrigerate, use for cooking or on foods
*First published December 18, 2006
Garlic is an old-time cure-all eaten regularly by many for a variety of reasons, they believe it helps reduce cholesterol, fight coughs, colds and infections, ridding worms (!), calms the hysterical, cancer prevention, asthma treatments and respiratory ailments, vampire protection as well as develops courage if you’re a Roman Gladiator (hehe), and many more.
Instead of eating raw cloves, some prefer taking Garlic Syrup daily. This stuff can get pretty pricey to buy in the herbal/natural remedy stores, so for DIY’ers and frugalites, here are several different ways you can make your own.
1 pint water (boiling hot)
3/4 cup honey
2 ounces garlic cloves
1 TBS white vinegar
- Remove skin and crush cloves and put in sterile glass jar.
- Pour hot boiling water over the cloves.
- Refrigerate overnight. The next day strain the water and add the vinegar and honey to water.
- Refrigerate and take up to 1 TBS three times daily.
3 bulbs garlic (skin removed)
2 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
- Add cloves and water to a non-aluminum saucepan and simmer until the water reduces to 1 cup (garlic should now be soft).
- Remove cloves and place in a sterile jar or airtight container.
- Add both the honey and the cider vinegar to the water in the saucepan and boil until syrupy. Pour over garlic, seal and refrigerate overnight.
- Refrigerate and take up to one teaspoon daily.
4 bulbs garlic (approximately 50 cloves)
1 quart apple cider vinegar
- Peel and chop cloves. Place in a sterilized quart jar, cover with vinegar.
- Shake jar daily.
- Take 1 tablespoon up to 3 times a day (adult). Sweeten as you like if needed.
8 ounces garlic (skin removed & minced)
- Put garlic in a sterile jar and cover with olive oil. Seal and refrigerate. Strain and use as needed–1 teaspoon per.
*Olive oil is also purported to help with cholesterol
1 pound garlic cloves (skin removed and crushed)
apple cider vinegar
1 cup glycerine
1 cup honey
- Add cloves to a sterilized 2 quart jar. Fill jar 3/4 full with equal parts vinegar & water. Seal and refrigerate for 4 days, shaking jar 3 times daily.
- After four days, add the glycerine and shake well to mix thoroughly. Set aside another day, shaking 3 times throughout the day.
- The next day strain through cheesecloth. Return mixture to jar and add the honey, mix well.
- Store in refrigerator.
Make sure you have bunches of fresh parsley on hand to chew regularly if you use this, your breath will be nasty. Cases of breath mints too. Your family will thank you :).
Important: It’s always a good idea to run home or herbal remedies by a doctor first. You never know if an ingredient can conflict with current medications or health issues.
Added: I happened across an article about garlic and oil, it should be refrigerated and consumed within a week  to prevent danger of botulism. There’s also this information instructing to add vinegar:
It is therefore essential that sufficient acid is added to the vegetable before oil is poured on so that any C. botulinum or other potentially dangerous bacteria can not grow. Vinegar prepared for domestic use contains 4 per cent acetic acid. Vinegar should be added to the vegetable component of these preserves before any oil is added so that the ratio of vegetable to vinegar by weight is not greater than three to one. For example, to make 400 grams of preserved garlic, one would mix 300 grams of garlic with 100 grams of vinegar. The resulting mixture will then contain approximately one per cent acetic acid which would ensure a final pH below 4.6. This will not guarantee that the products will not spoil if not kept properly refrigerated, but it will ensure they do not become toxic.
Source: Preservation of vegetables in oil and vinegar .
Interested in trying some homemade coffee syrups? See this page  for lots of ideas.
The above information had been previously published on Tipnut and combined on this page for better organization.