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Homemade Mint Extract Recipe

Learn how easy and affordable it is to make your own Homemade Peppermint Extract! This homemade mint extract recipe makes wonderful gifts. If you have a pressure cooker, I’ll even teach you to make it in the Instant Pot.

A bottle of homemade peppermint extract with mint and lavender on a wooden board

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Innocently plant some mint in your garden and within a few weeks, you’ll be a full-fledged mint farmer. Trying to decide what to do with some of that excess? Homemade peppermint extract is the answer you have been looking for.

If you have mint leftover after making the extract, try your hand at freezing mint to keep a delicious stash in your freezer.

Are peppermint oil and extract the same thing?

Nope. Extract has a weaker flavor profile and the oils/flavors are suspended in a liquid. Quality essential oils are only pure oils in a bottle and are more heavily concentrated.

While some people will advocating using essential oils in cooking or in capsule form, this should only be done under strict supervision. Extracts, on the other hand, are safe for internal consumption assuming you don’t have any sensitivity to alcohol.

What Kind of Mint Should I Use?

Honestly? Any kind works fine. The fresh mint available in most stores is actually spearmint and not peppermint. It’s a mad, mad world we live in.

How Do I Use Homemade Peppermint Extract?

Use it in a 1:1 ratio as you would storebought peppermint extract. It’s great for cooking, in Mint Chocolate Ice Cream, or Virgin Mojitos.

process shots for making homemade peppermint extract

Can we be frank about appearance here for a minute? The pressurized leaves are butt-ugly after they have been processed. If giving this as a gift I like to strain the finished extract from the old leaves, decant to another bottle, and add a few fresh mint leaves.

A jar of peppermint extract with mint and lavender on a board

Want printable labels for your own homemade peppermint extract?

Click this link to get and print the template I use. Labels print to Avery print to edge round labels in kraft brown (Avery 22808).

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes:

  • You may notice that the Instant Pot extract still smells of alcohol after the extract process. This is normal and the alcohol smell should fade over the next week.
  • I have an 8 quart Instant Pot and chose to use two 8 oz jam jars for this process.
  • Some recipes will have directions to place the jars in the Instant Pot uncovered. I find this caused too much evaporation of the vodka during the pressure cooking process.
  • Fingertip tight means you tighten the lid and ring and then loosen it just a tiny bit. This should prevent the jar from forming an actual seal. If that does happen, use a bottle opener and pop it loose when it has cooled. There is no harm in it sealing.
  • I made multiple batches of this to test it out and found that a longer processing time in the Instant Pot did not result in a more “minty” flavor.
  • This homemade mint extract recipe has a pretty infinite shelf-life as long as it is stored with an air-tight lid.

Other Recipes Like This:

A bottle of homemade peppermint extract with mint and lavender on a wooden board
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Homemade Peppermint Extract

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Pressurizing/depressurizing1 hr
Total Time35 mins
Learn how easy and affordable it is to make your own Homemade Peppermint Extract! Homemade mint extract makes wonderful Christmas and holiday gifts.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups peppermint leaves {packed}
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup water {only needed for Instant Pot method}

Instructions

Instant Pot Method:

  • Rinse mint leaves and add them to a canning jar. You may need to pack them in with a spoon to get everything to fit.
  • Pour vodka over the leaves. Add the lid and ring and tighten to fingertip tight.
  • Place 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot and place a wire rack inside. Add the jars.
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot, set the vent to “sealing” and press Manual>high pressure>30 minutes.
  • Allow for a natural release. Carefully remove the hot jars from the Instant Pot and place on a towel to fully cool.
  • Store in a cool dry place and use in a 1:1 ratio as store-bought extracts.

Traditional Method:

  • Rinse mint leaves and add them to a canning jar. You may need to pack them in with a spoon to get everything to fit.m
  • Pour vodka over the leaves. Put a lid on the jar and shake a few times.
  • Store in a cool dark place, shaking once a day for the first few weeks. After that, shake it whenever you think of it.
  • The mint extract will be ready when the liquid smells strongly of peppermint and not alcohol.  

Notes

You may notice that the extract still smells of alcohol after the Instant Pot extract process. This is normal and the alcohol smell should fade over the next few weeks.
Fingertip tight means you tighten the lid and ring and then loosen it just a tiny bit. This should prevent the jar from forming an actual seal. If that does happen, use a bottle opener and pop it loose when it has cooled. There is no harm in it sealing.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Peppermint Extract
Amount Per Serving (1 tsp)
Calories 16
% Daily Value*
Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 19mg1%
Carbohydrates 0g0%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 0g0%
Vitamin A 145IU3%
Vitamin C 1.1mg1%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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42 comments on “Homemade Mint Extract Recipe”

  1. Amazing idea for homemade Christmas gifts – so glad I found this tutorial in time! I had no idea it was so easy!5 stars

  2. I love this idea! I have always made my own vanilla extract, but have never delved into other kinds of extracts until now. I had no idea it was so easy, but holy crap, it is! And this stuff smells incredible. Can’t wait to put it to use with my holiday baking.5 stars

  3. I have some vanilla extract going right now, though I need to add more beans to it. I have a lot of vodka left AND I happen to be growing some mint in a pot on our terrace so…
    Thanks for this!

  4. Or, you know, sometimes you don’t plant mint at all but SOMEONE (ie the people who lived at your house before you) must have planted at least one mint plant sometime in the past and you go outside to find that the mint orgies have been going strong in the five minutes you looked away and now half your planter box is taken over by mint. Guess I should go buy some vodka!

    • Isn’t it insane Alli? Mint is invasive AF! I had a small pot of mint for years and decided to upgrade to a giant metal tub this year. Within a week it had doubled in size. Within three weeks it was ready to take on the world.

  5. Could this work somehow with elderflower? I tried elderflower gin at Christmas and OMG…MOUTH EXPLOSION!!!

    • I think you could, but it might turn out to be more like a tincture (herbal medicine steeped in vodka). Give it a shot, and see what happens. That is always my motto! ;-D

  6. Thanks! I know the store-bought ones have alcohol in them. I didn’t word my question well, but I was trying to ask if the amount of minty vodka I would need to flavour anything would be enough to get me tipsy. I’m also a super lightweight. I only add a couple drops of store-bought extract, so if I only needed to add a couple drops of homemade then that would be great. I could always add more mint to make the concentration stronger, right?

  7. I would love to do this, but won’t the vodka affect me? How strong is this compared to store-bought extract? I always put either cinnamon or a couple drops of mint extract into my hot chocolates, but I don’t want to get boozed up in the mornings. Well, not every morning. Would I still only need a couple drops of the homemade extract to get the strong mint flavour?

    • Check your current extract; chances are it is probably alcoholic anyway. I just use a splash, and it doesn’t seem to impact me. And I can get drunk off of beer battered shrimp.

  8. Awesome! I’ve been looking for things to do with the mint in my backyard, this sounds perfect. And I picked up some cute little bottles at a thrift store a few months back that would be great for this.

    Just a quick question though: you mentioned that the homemade vanilla extract could last for a couple of years by adding some more vodka as you use it. Do you think the same goes for the mint? Or should we take the mint leaves out after a couple months? (Just wondering if the mint leaves go bad after long enough.)

    Thanks 🙂

    • I’ve left the mint leaves in my bottle since the vodka kind of “pickles it”. It has been fine so far!

      • Hey I was wondering if you have any tips or reasons why my mint extract didn’t quite work I personally did the traditional method and it’s been over 2 months and it still taste strongly of vodka. Do you have any reason why it ended up like this? If so could you email me.

      • Hi Ethan,

        I shot you an email. Sarah

  9. Dang, I wish I had 4-6 weeks until Christmas. I guess this will be NEXT Christmas gifts. ;D

  10. Duh! That IS a genius idea!