Infused oils and waters are popular right now, with so many books and websites dedicated to this new delicious trend. And they couldn’t be easier to make and teach. You don’t need fancy expensive equipment to make these. Infused oils, vinegars, and alcohols make great homemade gifts, where as infused waters give your party or yourself a special flavor to regular water.
Infused oils and alcohols take a little longer to make than waters, which can be consumed immediately after mixing. If you want to make infused oils or vinegar for gifts, you may want to invest in some decorative bottles which can be bought at any craft or home goods stores. Tie a ribbon around the neck of the bottle with a tag reading what is in the concoction. Infused alcohols can be mixed and presented in mason jars. Make sure which ever bottle or jar you use is clean and dry. Any moisture left in the bottle can turn an oil rancid.
Infused water is a wonderful treat for scorching summer days, after a work out, or at a party. You can use a regular pitcher to set your fruit and herbs in, let sit for about 30 minutes and serve. Fruit frozen in ice cubes makes a pretty addition to your waters. To find some fun and delicious combinations, go to Infused Waters for inspiration.
Infused oils make a beautiful addition to kitchen decor, and even better when they are homemade. For recipes start at Instructibles. It gives step by step instructions on how to make infused cooking oils and oils for skin. The most important thing to remember when working with oils is to use clean, dry bottles or jars. Any moisture left can cause the oil to spoil and turn rancid, as will any herbs not submerged in oil. Let your giftee know that when they use their gift to tuck the herbs down into the oil or to simply cut it off and use it for cooking. Oils need time to steep so make sure if you are wanting to use it as a gift, start at least three months in advance of the gift date. Keep your oil in a warm, dark place and just let sit until you are ready to use it.
Infused alcohols are a fun and easy gift for those who like to make more complex mixed drinks. Like the oil, it needs time to infuse. For some great ideas head over to Booze and Infused. Any kind of hard liquor can be used for infusion. Use the bottle it came in or put your mix into a tall ball jar with a label. Place your infusion in a dark, cool place for several months to let steep.
Vinegars can also be used for a flavor infusion. A step by step recipe can be found at Organic Authority. Like the oils, vinegars look great in a decorative glass bottle. Don’t forget to label your newly concocted creations! And don’t forget to sample!