Home made gifting is a great way to show your appreciation to your loved ones, while keeping it personalised and low cost.
Making your own infused oils is an easy DIY gift you can squeeze in around your busy holiday calendar, there are just a couple of tips to bear in mind when infusing oils.
Quality matters. Always start with a good-quality extra virgin olive oil as the base for your infusions.
Balance Flavours. Consider balancing strong flavors (like garlic or chili) with milder ones (such as basil or lemon).
1. Select your ingredients...
When selecting your herbs, spices and citrus, consider the warmth of rosemary, the kick of chili, the zest freshness of lemon, and also just what you have on hand. Wash and dry the fresh herbs/citrus. If you’re using dried herbs or spices, you can use them as they are. Cut citrus fruits into thin slices or zest them for a concentrated flavour.
2. Infusion time!
- Heat the Olive Oil: Pour the olive oil into a saucepan and warm it over low heat. Don’t let it boil or simmer. Aim for a gentle warmth; this helps the oil absorb the flavours better.
- Add Your Ingredients: Add your chosen herbs, spices, and citrus slices or zest into the warm oil. Experiment with different combinations – a classic rosemary-garlic blend or a spicy chili-lime infusion, perhaps?
- Let it Simmer: Let the mixture simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure the oil doesn’t overheat.
- Cool and Strain: After simmering, allow the oil to cool to room temperature. Strain the oil through cheesecloth into a clean bowl to remove the solid bits. This ensures a clear infusion.
4. Bottling Magic!
Using a funnel, carefully pour the infused oil into your glass bottles. Make sure to leave a little space at the top for expansion. Secure the bottles with corks or screw caps.
5. Personalise your gift
Get creative with your labeling! Write a heartfelt message, add cooking instructions, or simply name the infusion. Tie some twine around the bottle neck and perhaps attach a sprig of the infused herb for a decorative touch.