DIY Infused Olive Oils

December 17, 2011

I’m really excited about Christmas this year. We’re going up to see Dan’s family again, which is always fun, but even more exciting — the cousins are doing a Kris Kringle gift swap! The only other time I’ve been part of a gift swap/Secret Santa exchange was freshman year of college, and I remember it being a lot of fun. There’s something really exhilarating about sneaking around behind someone’s back, gathering data and trying to figure out what they want for Christmas…

The only problem with being Secret Santa for Dan’s cousins is that I don’t know all of them that well. Over the years I’ve tended to have more interactions with some than others – nothing personal, just a timing/geography thing. And, wouldn’t you know it, I ended up picking one of the less familiar cousins out of the Kris Kringle hat. Shit. What do I get for someone I’ve met only a handful of times?

Obviously, my first reaction = panic, but after some further thought and a few deep breathing exercises, I realized that this was actually a great chance for me to get to know said cousin better. Plus, like I said: reconnaissance is fun. So, I reached out to Dan’s mom, who poked around for me and came back with a list of possible gifts that told me two important things: (1) the cousin likes to cook; and (2) he/she is into the whole “eco-friendly” thing. Awesome!

The first thing that came to mind was homemade infused olive oils. I’d infused alcohol before, but never cooking oil. Same concept, though. So, I headed to FoodGawker for some ideas, and came away with 4 flavors to try: garlic, rosemary, chili, and lemon. All simple to make, delicious, and incredibly versatile — any of the 4 infused oils can be used for salads, sandwiches or any other kind of cooking. And, the bottles came out really pretty, don’t you think? I can’t wait to see how Dan’s cousin reacts when he/she opens his/her present! Let’s just hope that no one in Dan’s extended family reads this blog.

“On the 8th day of Christmas, my kitchen gives to youuuuuu…”






Garlic-Infused Olive Oil (Click here, for the recipe)
** It can be dangerous to infuse oil with raw garlic cloves, so be sure to follow the instructions at the link above and take all the necessary precautions for food safety!


  1. Maria Elena Ortega says:

    I was browsing the web just for this!! Great idea, thanks for sharing!!

  2. Maia Campbell says:

    Looks delicious! Be careful with garlic-infused oil though. I don’t know if pouring warm oil over whole garlic cloves cooks the garlic enough to reduce the risk of botulism. Garlic stored in oil at room temperature (even in the fridge for long periods of time) can become unsafe to eat. Botulism is type of food poisoning that can be real serious (even fatal). Symptoms include blurred or double vision, speech and breathing difficulty and progressive paralysis.

    • justputzing says:

      Thank you for letting me know! I’m actually going to re-do the garlic and rosemary-infused oils just to be safe. And, I’m definitely going to store them in the fridge this time! :)

  3. Kaitie Kerr says:

    Where did you purchase the bottle/cork combination?

  4. mjskit says:

    What a fantastic idea for holiday gifts and definitely something I would LOVE to receive! Your bottle, bottling and packaging look wonderful. Thanks for linking back to my garlic infused olive oil!!! I’m going to give your lemon infused oil a try. I’ve never had that nor even heard of it for that matter, so it appeals to me. Great post!!!

    • justputzing says:

      Thanks! I’ve never tried lemon-infused olive oil either before this post, but if it tastes as amazing as it smells, it’s definitely going to be a hit!

  5. Kailey says:

    Where do you get the cute oil pourer?

  6. kdd says:

    Please be careful with your oils, not only garlic. Botulism can grow where any water is present. Garlic (more common) lemon peel, and any fresh herbs are at risk. To avoid any chance, refrigerate and use within a week. Other methods are using dried OR preserved herbs/garlic (vinegar or brine) and just adding oil (or heating oil) together.

    • justputzing says:

      Thank you! That is excellent advice :)

    • mery says:

      Hi! Thanks for this, I had no idea about the risk of raw olive oil with raw garlics. I cant eat garlic and I read about garlic infused oil so I just put some cloves in a glass olive oil bottle. I kept them 6 days at room temperature and mostly cooked with it (so I guess heat reduced risks?) but also used it raw a couple of times. After reading this of course I’ve thrown it away, but do you think it might have been harmful? Thank you.

      • justputzing says:

        I can’t say for sure if your batch was harmful or not, but there are definitely risks any time you have raw vegetation hanging out for extended periods of time, you know? Degradation, mold, etc. are all issues to be aware of. I think throwing your oil away was probably a good call!

  7. Linda says:

    Quick question, what if you were to do this with Coconut oil? Would it have the same effect? or would there be a difference? would you know by any chance?

    • justputzing says:

      I’m sorry, but I never work with coconut oil so I really don’t know. If I had to guess, I would say that it should be the same, but I’m not sure. If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out!

  8. Mastin says:

    Thank you for this! Another excellent place where you can find bottles is at I get all of my bottles to infuse olive oil from there.

  9. Deanna says:

    Do you think you could do this with other things? Like Lavender or rose petals? For your skin? I know you can use olive oil on your skin but maybe something lighter like avocado or apricot oil? (I wouldnt use coconut oil – because im aware of the forests it comes from and the death and destruction caused (not trying to get all activist on you all) and im allergic to coconut ). Perhaps something to look at trying too?

    • justputzing says:

      You know, I’m not sure but I think it’s a great idea. I bet rose petal-infused oils could be kind of amazing. I would try avocado or apricot oil…I’ve never been able to wrap my mind around putting the stuff I use to cook with on my skin!

  10. Jessica says:

    I would like to do this as a gift, but I am possitive the recipiant wouldn’t use all of it within a week.

    Is it possible to infuse the oil for a couple of days then remove the garlic or rosemary so you are able to store the oil in the pantry for an extended amount of time normally? Or would you still be at risk of becoming unsafe to consume?

    • justputzing says:

      I think if you infuse the oil, keep it refrigerated, and then remove the herbs/garlic you should be fine. I believe the risk comes from the possibility of the plants/vegetables decomposing.

  11. Connie says:

    I think I did something wrong. I made the rosemary olive oil like you said but my olive oil
    Is cloudy. Do you have any idea what happen.

  12. Delphina says:

    Thanks for sharing. Thank you

  13. Rebecca says:

    You said to use or throw out the lemon infused olive oil within 10-14 days. How long do you suggest the others will keep?


    • justputzing says:

      Anything with actual plant matter in it won’t keep too long. I can’t give you an exact date, but I think if you refrigerate all the oils, they will last longer. They will prob last even longer if you take the rosemary/garlic/whatever out of the oil after a day or two of infusing. The link to the originating garlic-infused oil recipe might have a more exact time frame for that one.

  14. N says:

    Hey i am making the lemon infused oil, but the lemon is burning and it smells really bad… What can i do about this?

  15. Alice Nancy Bosoni says:

    OMG Why do you heat the oil!? This is so wrong. It just alters the good properties of the oil.

    In Italy we just infuse things in the oil using dark glass bottles and storing them in a cool and dark place like a cupboard.

  16. Connie Bee says:

    How would you make mustard oil?

  17. Allie says:

    I noticed the comment about using within 10-14 days for the first recipe but not the rest. Is the lemon oil the only one that needs to be used quickly or should they all be used within that timeframe?
    Ps. love this ides, very cute and practical!

    • justputzing says:

      Thanks! They should all be used in that time frame. I think basically any time you have live plant matter inside your oil (and will eventually decay), it doesn’t keep long.

  18. Wendy says:

    HI,I have just been reading your site and I need to know, was Dan’s cousin pleased with your gift ? I am off to try some now .thanks for great ideas.

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