Star anise is known for having a strong liquorice flavour and is a popular in cooking and baking. This spice is native to the Mediterranean region. It is fairly simple to make an anise extract using only a few household ingredients, and it stores extremely well. Extracts are concentrated flavouring agents commonly made by dissolving the spice in alcohol. Making your own at home is less expensive than purchasing this expensive extract at the supermarket.
Grab a half pint sized glass jar, or however many you'd like depending on how much extract you plan to make.
Fill the jar to the top with whole star anise. You can find this spice at your local supermarket.
Pour in the vodka until it reaches the top and close the lid.
Store the jar in a cool, dark place. Shake the container every two weeks to mix the solution. Allow at least three months for it to mature before using. Flavour becomes more intense over time, so if after three months you feel it is not strong enough, try letting it sit a bit longer.
Strain the extract into another jar or decorative bottle once it has matured. This will separate the extract from the star anise.
Anise extract makes a thoughtful gift and they last up to a year in storage. Make a few extra jars for friends or family members who would enjoy cooking or baking with this extract.