There’s really nothing simpler than making your own extracts. Mostly it just takes TIME. It takes a few ingredients and at least a month of time to let the flavors come out. I made vanilla extract in bulk last year for Christmas gifts and regularly stock my mom up with lemon extract for her smoothies. These extracts deserve to be used in recipes featuring them, like vanilla custard or lemon meringue pie!
The basic concept is to get your fruit or spice in a bottle, cover it with alcohol, and store it somewhere dark for a month or so. I have tried heating the alcohol on the stove for just a few minutes, until it’s warm, and then making extracts. This will be ready in a few weeks instead of months. I made orange and grapefruit extracts today, and next up is almond! Other ones to try include raspberry, cherry, coconut, hazelnut, cinnamon, and mint! I plan to use them in ice cream this summer in place of vanilla, in my homemade lattes (recipe for that coming soon), and in all my usual baked treats. The possibilities are endless!
Here’s the tutorial I use: http://www.spoonforkbacon.com/2012/12/homemade-extracts/
Give it a try and create endless flavors and perfect gifts!