Making infused cooking oils and vinegars is ridiculously easy, but it's time to get on it if you want to give them out as Christmas gifts, since they do need to sit awhile in order to, well, infuse. Here are my handy dandy instructions as well as some resources you can use to get every thing you need for this project!
First off, let me just say that there is no cut-and-dried way to do this. You can easily play around with different ingredients that sound good to you to make an infusion you and your family will like. The ingredients I'll list here are just a starting point that you can use for ideas. Don't feel like you have to follow it to the letter.
To begin, let's define what an infusion is:
- A drink or extract prepared by soaking the leaves of a plant in liquid.
- The process of preparing such a drink, remedy, or extract.
- Olive oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Sesame oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Sunflower oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Rice vinegar
- Red- or white-wine vinegar
- Citrus peels
- Nuts or seeds
- Olive oil + basil + garlic
- Sweet almond oil + cinnamon + nutmeg + vanilla beans
- Sesame oil + green onion + mustard greens
- Rice vinegar + garlic + nutmeg
- Grapeseed oil + peppers + cumin + chili powder
If you're going to be making these infusions to give as holiday gifts, I would suggest getting them together now so they have a few weeks to sit. If you put it off, though, just include a little note with the gift that says “Will be ready on X/X/XXXX!” They need about 4-6 weeks to infuse, though the longer they sit, the more flavorful they will be!
A lot of the stuff you'll need for this little project will be available at most grocery stores. If you want to shop online, though, you'll probably save quite a bit of money and get great-quality ingredients if you shop through one of my favorite sources:
- Mountain Rose Herbs – A long-term favorite, MRH is my go-to for herbs and spices. They also carry the base oils. I thought they would have nice bottles to use, too, but unfortunately I didn't find any that I loved for this particular project.
- Abe's Market – This is quickly becoming one of my favorite resources for natural goods – they have all kinds of products. You can really get everything you need there except, again, the bottles.
This post is part of a series on homemade holiday gifts. Be sure to subscribe, like, or follow so you don't miss any of the tutorials! xo
Original image: Bottle_Octopus1 by Amanda Siska on Flickr