Do you want to know how to make liquid stevia extract at home? Turns out, it’s a simple process, similar to making many herbal tinctures. The difference, though, is that when you make liquid stevia extract, you want it to taste sweet. I’ve tried various methods for making liquid stevia extract, and most create something too bitter or too “grassy.” This method will help you extract the most sweetness with the least residual aftertaste.
Why would you want to make liquid stevia extract instead of buying it at the store? First, it’s cheap! Second, you feel like you’ve accomplished something. And third, you know what’s in it. The refined, white powder version of stevia remains a mystery, often containing maltodextrin (corn) or undisclosed “natural flavors.” And while some store bought liquid stevia extracts may be made from the stevia plant, others are made using the refined stevia. Unfortunately, there’s almost no way to tell which is which. So, if you want to be certain that you’re getting a healthy, natural sweetener, you need to learn how to make liquid stevia extract at home.
How To Make Liquid Stevia Extract
- dried stevia leaves, chopped finely (where to buy dried stevia leaves)
- glass jar with a lid
If you harvest your stevia at home, begin by washing your cuttings to remove dirt. Remove the leaves from the stem, as the leaves are what contains the sweet-tasting glycosides. Let them dry in the sun or a dehydrator until crisp. Then, using a knife chop your dried stevia leaves finely. Do not powder your leaves as the powder is hard to filter out later and creates a residue that settles at the bottom of your finished extract.
If you don’t have a stevia plant, don’t worry. You can find dried stevia leaves just about anywhere you can buy herbs. (See where to buy stevia here.)
Place your crushed stevia leaves in a glass jar, then pour vodka over them to coat. We are using vodka instead of water to extract the glycosides because we’ll get a much sweeter end result this way. Opt for vodka over other liquors because it’s flavorless and cheap.
Put the lid on your jar, shake it up, and let it sit on your counter for 24-36 hours. Don’t let it sit for longer than 36 hours, as it will turn more bitter. I used to make a liquid stevia extract the same way that I made other herbal tinctures, letting it sit for weeks. While this may improve the medicinal quality of the extract, it sacrificed a lot of sweetness to do it.
Next, filter out the leaves. You can do this by pouring the extract through a coffee filter or cheesecloth.
At this point, you have two options.
1) Keep the alcohol-containing liquid stevia extract. To do this, transfer into a colored glass bottle (for light reduction), and store in a room temperature, dark place for up to 2-4 years.
2) Remove the alcohol from the liquid stevia extract. To do this, gently heat the extract over low-heat for 20-30 minutes. DO NOT BOIL. If your extract comes to a boil, you will overheat the glycosides and destroy the sweet taste. The longer you heat the extract, the thicker and more syrup-like it will become. I’ve found that on my electric stove top on low, 20 minutes is about ideal. Transfer into a colored glass tincture bottle and store in your refrigerator for up to 3 months.
You will only need a drop or two of your liquid stevia extract at a time to sweeten a beverage, so I recommend storing it in an amber glass tincture bottle with a dropper (like these).
Now you know how to make liquid stevia extract! Pretty easy, right?
(photo credits: top by michellekc, lower by land_camera)
Lori @ Laurel of Leaves says
This is fantastic! I can’t believe how easy it is to make this yourself. I will definitely be trying it!
Amazing. I was at my Mom’s house last Spring and she had a Stevia plant. I tasted it and immediately wondered if this could be done. Thanks for showing me what to do.
so, if we leave the alcohol in its shelf stable for years, but with the alcohol removed it will go rancid at room temperature?
I wanted to have a bottle at my desk at work for my morning coffee. But if I make it stable at room temp my work may become a bit… creative.
I doubt it. You still only need a drop or two to sweeten your entire beverage. You probably don’t fret the alcohol content of your vanilla extract, so why would you be concerned about this small amount?
I shared the alcohol-free version for those who are sensitive because of restrictive diets.
Would you mind emailing me your alcohol free stevia recipe, please? Thanks!
Where is the alcohol-free version? I’d love to find it.
She’s already included the alcohol-free recipe in this article. You cook it out. 🙂
Quantities, how much of the stevia? and how much vodka? what was your exact-ish, recipe? I grow stevia, so making up a pint would be great, wanna have it to make a gallon of lemonade, from my lovely meyer lemon tree. 🙂
Does this homemade stevia have an aftertaste like the storebought stevia does? The stuff I bought from the store tastes like Aspartame or something.
Stevia does have an aftertaste. The only way to avoid it is to process it to death and create something that’s not stevia — like Truvia. That said, this way of making the extract produces the least noticeable aftertaste of any of the other methods I’ve tried.
I have 2 questions – could we use fresh leaves? Similar to making a mint julep (macerating the leaves)?
And any thought’s on adding flavors? I buy some of the flavored liquid stevias like Lemon, Mint, Chocolate and Vanilla – they’re great for adding to water (or tea) while dining out. I’d love to be able to make my own flavored stevia!
It does better with dried leaves. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it concentrates the glycosides?
Once you’ve got your extract, you can add other extracts to it to get your flavor. I’d start by adding a small amount of the flavor extract and work up until I found the blend of flavors I was looking for.
Does it work the same with water instead of vodka? Thanks
No, you need alcohol to pull out (extract) the medicinals in herbs, and water goes bad, breeding bacteria and other bad things. Her instructions above do include how you can get rid of the alcohol by warming it after you have your extraction. The only downside is that it doesn’t stay good for as long and needs kept refrigerated. Alcohol is a preservative.
Dried works better than fresh due to Chlorophyll content in the fresh leaves, which will give it a “green” taste. Letting the leaves dry naturally and cure at proper humidity levels @45-55% humidity will break down the Chlorophyll and get rid of that bitter green taste. In general this is true for almost all plants that you want to make a tincture out of from my experience.
What is the ratio of dried leaves to Vodka? Do you weigh the leaves or measure? Thanks!
You use enough vodka to cover the chopped leaves. I don’t weigh or measure anything.
Laura Paugh says
Ah! I’ve got my reply now. didn’t see this before. Thank you, Kristen. 🙂
definitely looking into getting a stevia plant next time I see one at Whole Foods.
Home Depot has them all the time in their herb section during the spring for cheap.
I’ve been using stevia for a while (store-bought liquid extract). But I was wondering if anyone knows if it affects testosterone levels? If it does in only large amounts, what would a large amount be? I read about one study in mice, but couldn’t find much besides that.
Kendahl @ Our Nourishing Roots says
Kristen, this is awesome! I have stevia seeds I need to plant and grow. I will eventually dry the leaves and make this. In the meantime I am anxious to buy some dried leaves and try this. Thanks!
Thank you so much! I was needing a recipe for this. I’ll be making some tomorrow.
Yeah… I just bought half a pound of stevia from Bulk Herb Store (dot com) and was just going to put crushed leaves in with tea blends. Now I’ll have two ways of using them!
Thanks for this post.
Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares says
I want to try this, too. Didn’t quite know what to do with our stevia plant, other than eat a leaf or two as I walked by.
Stevia seeds are available from Suffolk Herbs- http://www.suffolkherbs.co.uk or Tel 01376 572456
Thank you for this information. I grew some Stevia plants this year and did not know how to use them. I will definitely be trying this next season.
Great! I have a stevia glycerite that has been steeping on my shelf for a couple weeks. Hmmm, wonder if it will be bitter? I will try this too. Normally i do tinctures with dried leaves at about half the jar full to.allow for the leaves to absorb the liquid. Do you always fill your jar completely?
I add enough liquid (alcohol) to cover the leaves. So, how full the jar is depends on how many leaves I’ve got in it!
D. Ann says
Sara Jo Poff says
This is awesome! I bought a 1-pound bag of crushed stevia leaves. It’s pretty much powder. Would that work? Maybe I wouldn’t even need to strain it?! Thank you! I’m pinning this!
You will definitely want to strain it, otherwise you’ll get a weird residue at the bottom of your extract. I recommend using chopped leaves over powdered leaves for just this reason — they’re easier to strain.
Wonderful!!! I have jars and jars of dried Stevia and didn’t care for the taste from the other methods. I’m giving this way a try soon~tfs!
Nora Clark says
What are the proportions of leaves to vodka? Thanks!
Bipul D. says
I have searched and tested many ways that didn’t work out for me but this post help me to find out best one for me. Now i would like to say thanks to you because now I can Make Liquid Stevia Extract. Thanks
Thanks for the post and saving others time by trying the different methods.
I made the stevia extract with the dried leaves and vodka like you instructed…I heated the mixture after it sat for 32 hours to get the vodka taste out..but it’s still a bit bitter and alcohol flavored. I didn’t boil it, but let it sit on low for probably an hour. What do I do? Should I use water instead with a little vodka? I miss the powdered stevia from TJoe’s but would rather make my own. Help!!
Awesome post! I have a thriving stevia plant and made a small batch like I make herbal tinctures and have been letting it sit for 6 weeks! Now I know for my next batch. Thanks!
Also, I wonder what the medicinal properties are since I now have a stevia tincture?
We you simmer the mixture on the stove, does that remove the sugar that is in the vodka?
I purchased some dried stevia at our local amish store a while back, but didn’t know what to do with them. Searched today for flavored stevia and almost passed out at the price…so I remembered the leaves, found your site, and stuck a vanilla bean in with the stevia and vodka…can’t wait to see how it turns out!
it takes six weeks to six months to make a full flavored vanilla extract. If you are willing to spend the time, make your stevia extract, then add the vanilla bean and put it away for six months and you’ll have vanilla/stevia extract. as a plus, the vanilla bean will absorb some of the vodka and hopefullly your blend will be much sweeter.
Thanks for the post, I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. I now have my dried leaves and am ready to go. I do have a question though. Can you make the extract leaving in the alcohol, and then go back into the alcoholic batch and take some out to simmer as needed? Or must you leave it alcoholic after you have stored it that way for a while? I hope that makes sense. Thanks!
Hi, thanks for sharing. In as much as I am very excited to try, I am unable to do so. Your steps said that to pour vodka over them to coat instead of water to extract the glycosides. You suggested to opt for vodka over other liquors because it’s flavorless and cheap.
Sorry, do you have an alternative to vodka? I can’t take vodka.
You can use any white spirirt – like white rum etc.
Otherwise, search for the alcohol-free version if it’s for dietary reasons.
Just wondering – could you leave the lid off the jar and allow the alcohol to evaporate over the course of a few days instead of cooking it down?
Would there be any difference?
Did anyone try to bake with this liquid extract?
Will it leave bitter aftertaste in cakes?
Anyone tried this? Please share results! Thanks
Is there any way to make this without the alcohol? I buy the stevia tincture with glycerin, but curious if I could make it? There are a lot of us who no longer have the ability to tolerate alcohol or working with alcohol. Thanks! Cara
yes you can make extracts with glycerine. google glycerites. I think that’ll provide the info you need, basically soak the leaves in the glycerine but you may need to allow it to soak longer. you could experiment with a quarter cup of leaves and a quarter cup of glycerine to see if leaving it longer would make it more bitter.
What ratio of stevia/vodka should I use?
Angie Meara says
How do I infuse a flavor like chocolate? I love adding the store bought chocolate stevia to milk for my kids once in a while for a special treat. I’d also like to make this as a holiday gift.
Can you give me an idea about quantities? Given that more than 36 hours causes bitterness, is it possible that you can put too many leaves with too little vodka? Or vice versa? Have you found a good ratio? Or am I simply being too detailed?
Thanks so much!
Alexandra Earle says
Thanks for this recipe. I tried this today and after 25 hours of letting the stevia sit in the vodka I drained it and had a pretty sweet extract. I decided to try heating it to remove the alcohol as I have some friends who prefer not to have alcohol in their final product, but I found that even after heating it for a little on very low heat (got nowhere near boiling) I could smell a lot of sweetness in the air and the extract itself was much more bitter than it originally had been? Any thoughts on what I could have done wrong? Does heating it always make it lose some sweetness and increase the bitterness? Thanks!
try a double boiler next time so that the heat source doesn’t actually get near the extract. it will provide a more even heat and I suspect that’s what the problem is. the liquid at the bottom of the pan was hotter than the surface and was the source of the bitterness.
Angie Meara says
Can I stick vanilla beans in it after it steeps for 24-36 hours? Or, should I include the vanilla beans in the original steep w/ the stevia leaves?
For those who want a shelf stable product without so much alcohol, I’ve bought bottled extract that was glycerine based rather than alcohol based. I prefer to use half alcohol and half glycerine so I don’t taste the alcohol.
Also, all the stevia on the market that I like has a slight flavor of vanilla, probably to mask the aftertaste. I plan on putting about half of an 8th tsp of vanilla in a pint of stevia extract to see if that does the same job.
When its warmed does all of the alcohol come out? Is it safe to give to kids?
You’re only adding a drop or two to a beverage. If you’ve ever given a child a sauce that was made with wine or other alcohols, chances are you’ve given them more alcohol than 2 drops of this.
Even if you simmered this mixture (which you don’t want to do, only warm it) for 3 hours, you still would not be able to remove all the alcohol. Alcohol content would still be at around 3-5%
Unwarmed is perfectly safe for a child for a drop or 2, and keeping it bacteria free by leaving the alcohol in is probably more safe. The less processing you can do the better, always. Just don’t hand the bottle to a child and let him drink the bottle 😉
One caution: if you use heat to boil off the alcohol – use an electric stove with your vent fan on. Alcohol vapor is flammable so using a gas stove (or any open flame) can ignite the vapors.
can you tell me what is in the plant that acts as a contraceptive..is it to do with eostrogen / progesterone… I have infertility as a reslult of too much eostrogen and have never ovulated till later in life…I lost weight in that time and had regular cycles, and still do but am putting weight back on??? and now I am wondering if it is to do with stevia, I consume only the powdered certified organic pure form, but that would not have anything to do with the homonal affect of stevia…..very interested ???
Miriam Mabrey says
Can you use powdered stevia leaves?
Kristen Michaelis says
It’s not recommended. In the post, I say, “Do not powder your leaves as the powder is hard to filter out later and creates a residue that settles at the bottom of your finished extract.”
I would like to try this, but its not clear to me how much vodka or dried stevia leaves to use. Can you advise? Thanks.
Kristen Michaelis says
Use enough vodka to cover the chopped leaves. I don’t weigh or measure anything.
Joe martino says
Would grain alcohol impart less taste than vodka? I will try both cause I use a lot of stevia and enjoy it much.
cu buivan says
Many thanks to author and commentors to have great natural benifit
Darlene Holmberg says
Fresh and dried stevia is good in tea, anywhere you are already “herbal.” My dry, ground stevia floats, doesn’t mix or dissolve, and tastes good in tea. The flavor is grassy, so doctoring for general use is preferable – I don’t think this would be okay in coffee or frosting. . .
Thanks for the instructions! What’s the stevia leaf – vodka ratio for this? I want to do it but don’t know the amounts
Sorry, just saw that this question has been asked and answered several times.
Have you tried pulverising the dried leaves into a green powder with a high-speed blender and using the powder as a sweetener? I tried to do it but my blender is not very powerful so the stevia wasn’t powdery enough. I just ordered a Vitamix and can’t wait to get it and start doing flours, nut butters, etc.
Valerie Sober says
Please please respond by email, if you can. I need to know, if the finished product after evaporating off the alcohol, is an oil, that I can mix with other oils.
Hafizur Rahman says
I want to make extract from stevia leaf as I am harvesting the stevia tree,
I shall be highly glad how I can make the liquid extract from leaf of stevia.
Laura Paugh says
Question, how much vodka do I add to the dried leaves? THANK YOU!
Laura Paugh says
Never mind. I found my answer above. Thank you though! 🙂
Amber Little says
So…I have an abundance of Stevia Extract made, but I am not sure how best to use it. I feel like I am all dressed up and no where to go! I would love to know of recipes. I love to bake, but I cannot figure out the best alternative to sugar. I currently use xylitol from birch, but if there is a way to make this stevia work for baking, I would love to know your tricks. In the past I used brand named liquid and powdered processed stevia and all recipes were disastrous. I would love to have a cheat sheet for how to properly substitute this stevia (and other binders) for sugars. Thanks so much in advance.
Ooh yes! I second this request, please! Recipes? Cheat sheet for baking? This would be most appreciated!
Jillian Poette says
can this recipe for stevia extract be used medicinally to treat lyme? According
to some articles, and an article on dr. axe sight, alcohol only will be a strong
treatment, more affective than antibiotics they claim.
Jillian Poette says
how much stevia and how much vodka
Hi, thanks for your information!! really useful!
I have a couple of questions: hoy do you know that you are done heating the extract??
Have you left it for so many years yourself? how does it turn out? thank you!
I’ve seen several replies asking for the ratio of leaves to vodka but no one seems to know the answer! The only answer seems to be to fill a jar with dried chopped stevia leaves and add enough vodka to cover the leaves. When I get some leaves I’ll try this method but in the meantime I have this rather large container full of Stevia powder that I bought before I found a recipe for making the tincture. I made a small batch using the powder and just estimated the amounts of vodka and powder. This only made enough to half fill one of those small bottles that are sold with an eye dropper in them; needless to say it didn’t last very long so I want to try making a much larger quantity. Guessing how much powder to add doesn’t seem very efficient and I’m afraid of using way too much powder. If anyone has any idea how much stevia by weight to use for a given amount of vodka, I for one would greatly appreciate that information.
By the way, if anyone is interested I used a cotton spice bag that I found for sale near the bulk herbs at Whole Foods. It’ll get most of the powder out when your done with it, which makes it easier to strain the liquid. I don’t think it’s possible to get all of the powder out but the little that is left will settle to the bottom of the bottle and the after taste was almost completely un-noticeable to me.
Incheon Electroland Elephants says
Does this still work for people?
gifts her says
Thanks…with the rise of legality in the UK around medical uses, i think ideas like this are sure to catch on here
This liquid very nice..
Jay raj says
I currently use xylitol from birch, but if there is a way to make this stevia work for baking, I would love to know your tricks. In the past I used brand named liquid and powdered processed stevia and all recipes were disastrous
mawar melati says
your post very useful information. thank you
Abu Toyib says
This is fantastic!
Hey, I am really glad I have found this information
I can’t believe how easy it is to make this yourself. I will definitely be trying it
wow awesome this one is great
Naman Modi says
Thanks for the article, this helped me a lot. Sir, please continue posting wonderful information
Side Hustle says
I did not expect it to be that easy, thanks for sharing.
Thankyou for sharing this amazing post!! Stevia is an intensely sweet-tasting, zero-calorie plant extract that’s gained interest as a replacement for sugar. stevia and sugar are very different, particularly because stevia adds nothing to your daily calorie totals. Other sugar substitutes (aspartame, saccharin, sucralose) are also almost completely free of calories.
Nice idea about how we make liquid stevia extract at home, thanks for sharing.
Bitcoin Price Prediction 2019 says
I have made liquid stevia extract but that was not good enough, will try your way.
Pir Sangar says
Nice Post about stevia plant, and you explained it perfectly. Will make this extract
Mark Stephen says
I am especially looking for this information because I want some dishes which is made up of stevia with liquid. Thank you for sharing it is very interesting and healthy.
Chloe Madison says
I will be making this on my own. Thanks for taking the time and writing this for us. Awesome post.
Thanks for posting this nice recipe. It’s very easy to use
Wow nice article keep share with us.. thank you
Thanks for Sharing post
Great to read your post…really informative post for sharing …thanks for sharing
Dean Toscano says
My friends at Ayala Vertis North brought me here. This is great! Love how easy it is to be prepared. Might give it a try.
wahoo wonderful post, I have tried it and it works, thanks for sharing
D Ann says
Hi Kristen, Thank you so mych for being a food renegade! Tell me “how much” voda you pour over – lets say a cup of dried stevia crumples? We need you!! Many thanks, Ann
when I boil down the tincture can i add a vanilla bean to make this flavored?
Sue Rogers says
I her 2 runs off of mine 1st I use the alcohol then I risk the leaves in water drain them and use that more quickly
Pamela Dawn Worley says
Im currently working on making the liquid form. Im just curious, why does it need to be in a dark glass and not a clear jar?
Stevis Kitchen says
This is awesome information about making the stevia extract by own. At first, I read your article’s title and scared of its aftertaste, as I had some bitter experiences with it. Maybe it’s my fault. I gonna try to make the extract in your way. Thank you so much for this informative article, It’s pretty straight forward and very informative.
Cathy Nyman says
What alcohol percentage do I use ? 80% ?
Have you ever flavored your extract with other homemade extracts such as vanilla, mixed berry or chocolate? I have any homemade extracts of all kinds and I am wanting to make flavored stevia drops, just unsure how to go about doing that, thought maybe you could help. Thanks!
Ray Butterworth says
You say “store in a room temperature, dark place”. Does that mean that it must not be kept in a refrigerator?
Hi Kristen. I’m so happy to have come across your site!
I am making my first batch of liquid stevia that I cut from my 2 stevia plants. I used vodka and did one jar of fresh, slightly chopped stevia, the other jar I left the fresh leaves whole…. I wanted to see if there was a difference in ‘marinating’ the leaves differently; both jars were left for 28.5 hours, strained with cheese cloth, put in jars in the fridge (It was too late for final step and I went to bed.)
The next day, I put liquid in a pot on the stove, a with the tiniest flame, I am simmering the vodka out (careful not to boil).
My question is: after two 10 minute simmerings, (going on 3), I can STILL smell the alcohol! I keep simmering and setting a timer; my liquid is still watery and strong smelling. Is it possible that I just need to keep simmering until the strong smell of alcohol is gone, it’s thicker, and reduces more – for it to be finished- even if it takes a lot longer? Or should I up the flame more to larger bubbles (less than boiling); mine is very miniscule bubbles – more swirling with air swirling.
Thank you for any suggestions you can give me.
Paj from Italy
Luke Ray says
This is fantastic. I tried this recipe and it actually worked