Homemade gifts may have gotten a bad rap in the past, but with the rising embrace of a rustic but cool slow living aesthetic (Think Kinfolk and Local Milk), it’s a fine time to get reacquainted with a DIY favorite. Making your own infused olive oils is the perfect way to celebrate the magic of herbs and create a lovely holiday gift for food lovers. Plus, herbs like rosemary and sage are available year-round, so you can whip up this recipe a week or two before the holidays and still be in rhythm with the season: Meyer lemons and olive oil also make for a dreamy seasonal combination.
As this excellent post over at The Kitchn explains, it’s important to begin with high-quality olive oil to ensure a clean and strong flavor. After washing your herbs, let them dry. Overnight is best as lingering water on the herbs encourages bacterial growth. Bruise the herbs and then tuck them into a very clean bottle like this one. Other recipes call for heating the oil. Either way is fine, and depends only on your preference. Let the oil infuse for a week or two (even a few days is fine), testing occasionally for flavor.
Add a sweet little tag and you’re ready to gift this delicious bit of craftiness to your lucky recipients. Don’t forget to remind them to use it all up within a month for optimum freshness. Just think how happy they’ll be to pair it with a fresh loaf of crusty bread or a crisp green salad during the deepest doldrums of January. Pure winter magic!