How to Make Lemon Extract

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

 Likes  Comments

If you haven’t incorporated lemon extract into your kitchen in some way, you are missing out on a delicious and potentially beneficial ingredient for your overall health.

What is Lemon Extract?

Lemon extract is primarily a flavoring agent that is made by soaking a lemon peel in some form of alcohol, typically ethyl alcohol, although vodka and other types of alcohol can also be used. This process allows the natural oils of the fruit to bind with the alcohol, resulting in the alcohol taking on the flavor of lemon, without absorbing all of the citric acid and other components of lemons. Alcohol, in this case, functions as a binding agent that holds the flavor in place over time, whereas normal fruit juice or the peels themselves would eventually lose this quality. The extract is commonly used in baking applications and other flavoring uses in the kitchen, as well as for some natural health remedies.

Lemon Extract Uses

Lemon extract can help to cure acne, boost the immune system, cut down on stress, and act as an anticancer agent, among others.


Apply a small, diluted amount of this extract on acne patches can speed healing, reduce redness, and tackle the underlying bacterial issues causing the inflammation.

Immune System

This extract is known to slow the spread of microbial and bacterial growth, making it a booster for your immune system’s defenses.

Anticancer Potential

Peels of citrus fruits, including lemons, are a source of flavonoids. These are compounds which offer a range of biological activities. According to a study published in the Biomed Research International journal, these extracts could also have anticarcinogenic effects.


The aroma of this extract is known to impact stress hormone levels in the body and reduce anxiety when used in aromatherapy applications.

Canker Sores

Mixing a small amount of this extract with warm water and gargling with it can help eliminate canker sores very quickly, due to its astringent properties.

Difference Between Lemon Essence & Lemon Extract

As mentioned earlier, this extract is made by extracting the essential oils and flavor from lemon peels. Lemon essence, on the other hand, is either an imitation extract, flavored like lemon through the use of certain chemicals, or it is a highly concentrated form of lemon extract – often 3-4 times more powerful than a traditional extract.

How to Make Lemon Extract With & Without Alcohol?

There are two main ways to make lemon extract – with and without alcohol. Most extracts, by definition, are made by soaking the desired material (in this case, lemon peel) in alcohol, but that isn’t the only option.

Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

How to Make Lemon Extract with Alcohol

Sunshine in a bottle, that's exactly what lemon extract is.  If you have a bottle of lemon extract with you at all times, it would come handy to make delicacies like poppy seed muffins or lemon bread with vanilla glaze. It is very easy to make it at home. There are two ways of making lemon extract at home - with and without alcohol. Let's take a look at them below :
Course: Condiment
Keyword: lemon extract
Servings: 1 small mason jar


  • To make lemon extract with alcohol, first thoroughly wash and dry the lemons. 
  • Thereafter, remove the peels from 2-3 lemons and add to a small mason jar.
  • Cover the peels with vodka and seal tightly.
  • Allow this extract to sit for 3-4 weeks before removing the peels.

How To Make Lemon Extract Without Alcohol

  • To make lemon extract without alcohol, remove the peels from 2-3 lemons and add them to a small mason jar.
  • Cover the peels with a mixture of 3 parts food-grade glycerin and 1 part water.
  • Allow the extracts to sit for at least 2 months before using.
  • These extracts don’t need to be refrigerated and should last for up to 5 years!


Note that glycerin takes longer to ripen than alcohol. Thus, it is likely to take longer than six weeks, depending on the temperature of your home. It also depends on how strong you want it to be. 

Connect With Us

If you have tried this recipe, we would love your feedback in the comments section below. And while we can’t taste it, we would love to see how it turned out! You can connect with us on Facebook or Instagram and tag your picture with #organicfactsrecipes. Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 4.4 out of 5.0 based on 9 user(s).

Latest Health News:

Words 'deja vu' highlighted in printed text

Déjà Vu Followed By A Postdictive Bias, Not Premonition

Most of us have been through the feelings of déjà vu, the feelings of having gone through this before. Some of us might also feel that we gain a sense of the…

An adult polar bear sitting with the arctic snow in the background

Virtual Reality Could Help With Chronic Pain Therapy

What sort of distractions can work when trying to deal with pain? A team of researchers now concludes that scenes from the Arctic on a virtual reality headset…

A hospital bed

Copper ICU Beds Could Reduce Hospital-Based Infections

Despite following strict hygiene standards, the risk of microbial infection in patient care facilities often exceeds risk levels. Hence, the focus on…