Make Homemade Infused Honey for yourself & gifts
If you’ve ever tasted raw, local honey you’ll be amazed at the complexity of its flavour. It’s nothing like the stuff that comes out of squeezy bears and depending on what the honeybees were foraging on, the honey can taste naturally of flowers and herbs.
You can create your own even more powerful versions of ‘flower honey’ by infusing honey with your own delicious additions. Imagine vanilla & cinnamon honey dribbled onto porridge, lavender honey on greek yoghurt, or chili honey on goats cheese canapés. Delish!
Ingredients & Materials Needed
Above you’ll find a full video tutorial for this project and below you’ll find the written instructions. Using just a few ingredients and materials, you can make a delicious golden treat for yourself or handmade gifts for your loved ones.
- Light, runny honey — your own or buy honey in bulk
- Jars & Lids — I’m using Pint sized Mason/Kilner Jars but you can also re-use the jars the honey comes in
- If you need additional lids, I use Tattler BPA free canning lids
- Herbs: Rosemary, Thyme, Peppermint, Lemon Balm, or your own choice
- Spices: Vanilla bean, Cinnamon sticks, dried Chilis, Orange Peel or dried Garlic
- Edible Flowers: such as Lavender, Calendula, & Rose petals
- Kraft paper circles 5-1/2″ in diameter to decorate
- Bakers Twine to decorate
Dried versus Fresh Herbs
There is some discussion over whether it’s safe to use fresh herbs when infusing honey. The short answer is that if you’re making infused honey for other people, then you need to use dried plant material. If you’re making it for yourself and planning on refrigerating it, then by all means use fresh as I’m doing.
Honey is a generally acidic and low oxygen environment and not a hospitable environment for microbes. However, by adding moisture it can encourage the growth of bacteria, fungus, yeast, and viruses including Botulism.
I cannot find any cases of people being affected by botulism in infused honey but it’s possible that wet plant material could create habitats for it to grow. And yes, the spores could be on fresh herbs.
How to make Herb Infused Honey
The process for making infused honey is really very simple. Once made, it can have an indefinite shelf life as honey can last a very long time without any need of artificial preservatives. If you choose to use fresh herbs to infuse in your honey, please refrigerate it and use within a month.
You can also decorate the jars with paper wrappers and Bakers Twine for gifts. I cut out circles of brown parchment paper 5-1/2″ in diameter and tied them with string. You could also write a personal message on the top of the paper or hang a gift tag from the twine. These tags that look like little jars are so cute!
Step 1: Fill the Jars with Additives
Place your chosen herbs, spices, and flowers into clean and sterilised jars. You can sterilise them by running them through a dishwasher or by placing them in an oven at 130F/54C for 30 minutes. Allow them to come to room temperature before filling.
When filling, the general rule is to use 3-6 teaspoons of dried plant material per cup of honey. If you’re using fresh, you can double that amount if you wish. The more herbs and flowers that go in, the stronger the flavour will be.
With spices it’s more of a guessing game based on your own experience and taste. A teaspoon of cloves is going to be a lot stronger than a teaspoon of cinnamon stick!
In the video, I show how to make three types of infused honey and this is how much I used for each pint: 2 stems of rosemary; 7 stems of lavender; one vanilla pod, a cinnamon stick, and two cloves.
Step 2: Fill with Honey
Ladle or pour honey into the jars and fill them up to about 1/4″ from the top. Screw the lids on and place the jars in a warm window to infuse. Every day or so, gently shake the jars to help the flavours infuse.
After a week, you can dip a spoon into each and have a little taste. If you want the flavours to be stronger, leave them to infuse for longer. When you’re happy with the flavour, strain the herbs and spices from the honey and discard. If you use ground spices you won’t be able to strain them out so a lighter hand with them will probably be for the best.
If you’re planning on gifting your infused honey and wish to keep the herbs inside for decoration, make your honey a week before you give it. Instruct the lucky recipient to strain the herbs themselves on the gift tag.
Buying Infused Honey
Hey, sometimes you love the idea of something but don’t have the time to make it yourself. OR you want to try something before you end up investing in making a few dozen jars of it (smart move). The items below are infused honey that you can order direct from Amazon and I think will give you an excellent taste of what this DIY project holds.
- Gourmet Lavender infused honey from a small batch beekeeper
- Red Chili Infused Honey
- Cinnamon Infused Honey