DIY Flavor Bombs: Assorted Homemade Syrups & Extracts

Here are several ways for making flavored extracts and syrups (using oranges, lemons, lavender, mint and vanilla). These can be used in all sorts of baking, to enhance beverages and also to drizzle over treats such as ice cream.

At the bottom of this article you’ll find a collection of garlic syrups included, these are touted by some as a good health/home remedy option.

Are you interested in additional flavor bomb ideas? I have more recipe collections for:

Extracts

Orange:

1/2 navel orange (large)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vodka

  • Peel the half of the 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 containers. Insert spirals of orange peel to add a nice touch.

Lemon (Three different recipes):

1 lemon
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup water

Steep for 5 days

1 large lemon
1/2 cup vodka
*combine & heat to boiling first

Steep for 14 days

1 lemon
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vodka

Steep for 5 days

General Directions:

  • Carefully peel the fruit, remove all white pith and dice roughly.
  • Combine ingredients in a large glass jar then seal.

Tips:

  • Do not store in direct sunlight
  • Can be used for up to one year
  • Make sure your glass containers and bottles are sterilized before using
  • These would make lovely gifts, just pour into little glass bottles and tag with the recipe.

Mint:

1 C. freshly picked mint leaves (best when picked first thing in the morning)
1 1/2 C. vodka or rum

  • Wash leaves well then pat dry.
  • Roughly chop or tear the leaves, bruising them a bit too so they release their oils.
  • Pack them in a sterilized glass jar then cover with the alcohol.
  • Seal tight with a lid, shake well (daily) and store in a cool, dark place for about 4 to 5 weeks.
  • Strain then pour into a clean & air tight glass container.

Vanilla:

I kept the instructions for making homemade vanilla extract on a separate page since the details are quite extensive, you’ll find that tutorial here.

Infused Oils

Vanilla

This can be used in any recipe requiring vegetable oil (cooking, baking, vinaigrettes), it will give a nice vanilla kick to your dish. It’s so quick and easy to make, here’s how:

1 vanilla bean
2 C. 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 then stir with a whisk to combine the ingredients. Heat for about 5 minutes, stirring with a whisk frequently.
  • Pour into a sterilized glass jar and toss in 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: Pour a batch into a decorative bottle (one that has an airtight seal) then wrap with raffia and attach a recipe card.

Syrups

Lemon:

2 qts. boiling water
8 C. sugar
4 oranges
3 lemons
2 ozs. citric acid

Directions:

  • 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.

To Use:

  • Pour a little in glass and fill with water for a refreshing drink.

*Recipe found on loose page of old cookbook

Lavender:

1 C. sugar
1 C. 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

Coffee:

Interested in trying some homemade syrups that will give a yummy flavor to your coffee? See this page for lots of ideas.

Garlic:

Garlic is an old-time cure-all eaten regularly by many for a variety of reasons, it is believed to help 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 this 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.

Recipe #1

1 pint water (boiling hot)
3/4 cup honey
2 ounces garlic cloves
1 TBS white vinegar

Directions:

  • 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 liquid and add the vinegar and honey to mix.
  • Refrigerate and take up to 1 TBS three times daily.

#2

3 bulbs garlic (skin removed)
2 C. water
1 C. cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey

Directions:

  • Add cloves and water to a non-aluminum saucepan and simmer until this reduces to one cup (cloves should now be soft).
  • Remove cloves and place them in a sterile and airtight container.
  • Add both the honey and the cider vinegar to the liquid in the saucepan and boil until syrupy. Pour over cloves, seal and refrigerate overnight.
  • Refrigerate and take up to one teaspoon daily.

#3

4 bulbs garlic (approximately 50 cloves)
1 quart apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  • Peel and chop cloves. Place in a sterilized quart jar, cover with vinegar.
  • Refrigerate.
  • Shake daily.
  • Take 1 tablespoon up to 3 times a day (adult). Sweeten as you like if needed.

#4

8 ounces garlic (skin removed & minced)
Olive oil

Directions:

  • 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

#5

1 pound garlic cloves (skin removed and crushed)
apple cider vinegar
distilled water
1 C. glycerine
1 C. honey

Directions:

  • 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 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 and friends 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.

Updated: I happened across an article about garlic and oil, it should be refrigerated and consumed within a week to prevent danger of botulism (source: Government of Canada www.hc-sc.gc.ca page no longer available). 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: csiro.au: Preservation of vegetables in oil and vinegar (page no longer available).

The above information had been previously published on Tipnut and combined on this page for better organization.

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