But it is December now and I did not make any herbal vinegars or oils during the summer months. It will be my goal to not only grow more herbs next growing season, but to preserve them in oils and vinegars so that I can enjoy them next December!
Making homemade herbal infused oils and vinegars is not a skill that I currently have. I have been reading up on how to make them and I think I have a pretty good idea of what I want to try first. I still have rosemary out in the garden so I think I will try that pared with olive oil for my first go at infusing oils. Wish me luck!
An Internet search came up with these instructions on how to make herbal infused oils and vinegars:
A medicinal herbal oil begins with plenty of clean, dried herbs, for example dried calendula or arnica blossoms. When you have accumulated enough dried blossoms to fill a pint jar, you can start a batch of infused oil.
- Sterilize a new jar, and make sure it is thoroughly dry.
- Fill it with the dried herbs, stuffing them in with your fingers or a spoon if needed.
- Heat about 1-1/2 cups of vegetable oil to very warm and pour it into the jar of herbs; most people use olive, almond or safflower oil. Push herbs down with a wooden spoon if necessary.
- Screw on the lid, and place the oil infusion in a very warm place, such as a sunny windowsill.
- Shake every day, and then place the jar upside down.
- After one to two weeks, strain the oil through a coffee filter, and store the infused oil in a clean jar or bottle in a dark, cool cabinet.
To make sure you have a potent preparation, it’s best to make fresh batches of infused oils each summer.
- Thoroughly clean about two cups of fresh herbs, for example basil, oregano or tarragon.
- Allow them to dry, or gently dry them with a hair dryer set on cool.
- Lightly crush the herbs with your hands, and place them in a clean jar.
- Cover with vinegar that has been warmed almost to a boil, screw on the lid, and shake. Place the jar in a cool, dark place.
- Shake every day, and then turn the jar upside down.
- After one to two weeks, strain the vinegar through a coffee filter, and pour into sterilized glass bottles. Place a sprig or two of fresh herbs in the bottle, and screw on the top or insert a tight cork.
I think this would make a wonderful homemade Christmas gift! I plan to make a few and give them, along with some of my homemade soaps as gifts this year.