Infusing honey is an easy way to spice up a simple sweetener and make it fancy. Spicy, citrusy, or herbaceous, you can use your homemade flavored honey in herbal tea or cocktails. It also makes for a wonderful gift! I'm excited to share my favorite infused honey recipes and how to make infuse honey below.
Are you ready to make your own infused honey?
Infusing honey is easy, and you can use lots of flavors! Browse the recipes below for some simple infusions and even a couple more complex ones. Learn the basics of making your own infused honey, and get some suggestions and tips below!
Why infuse honey?
You should infuse your honey with herbs and spices for many reasons. Here are just a few reasons to try it out:
- You can create many new flavors of honey that are unique and delicious.
- You can enjoy the health benefits of herbs and spices without having to eat them alone.
- You can make flavored honey to give as gifts or to put on raw food desserts like fruit tarts, cakes, and muffins.
- Making your own flavored honey is fun and easy, and you can give it to friends as a gift.
Ingredients and Substitutions
First, let's talk about what flavors to add to your herbal honey infusions. You can use any kind of fresh herbs that are available in your area and create unique flavors. There are two key ingredients.
- Honey: You can use whatever kind of honey you'd like, but I recommend using raw or local honey if possible. No matter what kind of honey you have on hand, it's important to ensure that it's pure! Wildflower and clover honey will have a light floral aroma. A darker forest fruit honey will impart a complex treacle flavor profile, so many possibilities!
- Herbs, spices, fruit or vegetables: The possibilities here are endless: Try lavender, rosemary, lemon balm, jalapeno peppers, or fresh ginger slices—the possibilities are endless!
Flavored infused honey is also very easy to make with spices like cinnamon, cloves, or fruit such as vanilla and strawberries (you'll get two flavors per jar!). If you're looking for more flavor suggestions, check out the list below!
- Whole cloves: this is a great choice if you want to infuse a sweetener that will last for months or even years. Cloves are powerful and have a strong flavor, so adding 1 or 2 will give your honey a nice kick.
- Rose petals: They are delicate and fragrant, adding an interesting twist to your infused honey without overpowering it with flavor. If you want something sweeter, try using dried rose petals instead of fresh ones.
- Star anise: star anise has a warm, woodsy aroma that makes it perfect for fall/winter holidays and cocktails (I like this one!). It also goes well with gingerbread cookies or other baked goods.
- Vanilla bean: vanilla beans add subtle flavor to your honey without having harsh alcohol notes as extract does! If you want something more potent
- Lemon: Sliced lemons or Lemon zest is great for adding some zing to your infused honey. My lemon fermented honey is a favorite of mine and tastes like sunshine!
- Lavender: lavender honey is one of my favorite infusions! Lavender's floral notes make it an excellent choice for homemade honey and baked goods like scones or shortbread cookies.
Use your imagination! You can hone your skills and make flavored honey for yourself, and it is a perfect gift. Adding fruit slices (such as apples) or spices like vanilla or cinnamon sticks will give you more options for infusing honey than just using herbs alone.
Raw Honey vs. Pasteurized Honey
One of the important things to consider is the kind of honey your use in your recipe.
Raw honey is the way to go if you're looking for a healthy, natural alternative to sugar that's good for your body and wallet. Raw honey is unfiltered and unpasteurized, which means that its nutrients remain intact. It also has more enzymes than pasteurized honey does.
For example, it's been shown that local raw honey can help fight allergies by reducing histamine levels in the body—a chemical produced when an allergy occurs. This makes sense because raw honey contains pollen from flowers where those plants are growing naturally (like dandelions).
Equipment and Infusion Methods
There are several different ways to make infused honey, and choosing the best way for you depends on your goals. The cold-infused process allows for honey to retain its raw benefits in its purest form.
However, this infusion process can lead to honey fermentation, which can have significant benefits, but it's good to read up on the best ways to store and treat raw honey infusions.
When it comes to infusing honey, you've got a lot of options. However, I will focus on the most popular: using a mason jar, double boiler, or slow cooker.
Mason Jar (Cold Infusion)
A mason jar is perfect if you're looking for a very easy way to infuse your honey. All you have to do is add the ingredients of your choice (see below) and put them into a clean jar along with your honey. Then, seal it tightly and store it in a dark place out of direct sunlight for at least two weeks.
You'll want to shake your jar every day to help evenly distribute the flavors throughout the honey. This method is great if you just want a subtle flavor added to your honey or if you don't want any chunks of fruit floating around in there!
Double Boiler/Small Saucepan (Heat Infusion)
Those who want more control over how their infused honey turns out may wish to use a double boiler or small saucepan instead of just putting everything in one big container, like with the mason jar method above.
This infusion process involves steeping herbs or spices in a double boiler (a pan with water in the bottom and another pan that sits right on top). You can use any pot as your double boiler, but a saucepan will work just fine.
In addition to being an excellent sweetener, honey is a great base for infusions. If you're looking for ways to experiment with this technique, here are some serving suggestions:
- Use it in your morning cup of tea or coffee.
- Add it to cocktails (it works especially well when paired with whiskey).
- Add a drizzle of honey to your favorite salad dressing recipe.
- make a delicious spread or add it to fresh fruit
- Use it as a sweetener in a seasonal crisp or pie
- Top your peanut butter toast, add it to your cheese plate, or add to vanilla ice cream
Frequently Asked Questions
Infused honey is simply regular honey that has been infused with spices or herbs. Infusing the spices or herbs into the honey will result in a uniquely flavored product that can be used in many ways, from baking to sweetening hot tea!
The process of infusing your own flavored honey is simple and easy as adding honey and your ingredients to a clean jar and storing it in a cool, dark spot for a few weeks. You can also use a double boiler to infuse honey at low heat
Manuka honey is known to be the healthiest honey.