Handmade Gifts: Rosemary Infused Olive Oil

Update: this project has done very well on pinterest and as such a ton of folks are putting it to good use! If you are worried about mold, please read through the comments in addition to this post. Mold is scary but is very possible in a project like this if the herbs are wet, the full bottles are exposed to air as well as a variety of other factors. I recommend choosing a bottle with a solid seal (like this one), refrigeration and using the oil as soon as possible. A few other infusions you may enjoy: sweet kahlua, cranberry & lavender simple syrup (for holiday cocktails!), lavender & lemon sea salt, homemade vanilla extract. xo

This weekend I finished my first batch of handmade Christmas presents. Warning friends and family – you may or may not be gifted one of the several projects that I’m planning to feature over the next two weeks. If you are, pinky swear you’ll act surprised.

This first gift is inspired by our love of cooking. Kevin and I are the type that really dig those unusual (and sometimes a little crazy) gifts of thyme-infused syrup, lemon sea salt, curry pistachio paste, pickled potatoes… you know, the weird stuff that you can experiment with in the kitchen. This actually happens to be my favorite find of all time, I keep containers of it in our pantry and add it to almost every finished dish. Especially raw avocados. Mmmm.

My goal was to make something unique – and not too crazy – for kitchen use for friends and family. Actually, many of my homemade ideas this year stem from some sort of favorite cooking or bartending technique.

Pretty, inexpensive and not too time consuming! The trifecta of handmade gifting. I really enjoyed spending this past Saturday morning decorating for Christmas with this delicious fragrance roaming through the house in the background. A homemade gift that I highly recommend.

The infusion will now sit in the fridge until Christmas, soaking up all of that wonderful rosemary goodness while the oil becomes the perfect base for salad dressings and marinades, or drizzled alone over sliced heirloom tomatoes or crusty bread.

Rosemary Infused Olive Oil

Materials for six 8oz bottles: 15-20 fresh rosemary sprigs, one half gallon of olive oil, small glass bottles with a sealable lid

A quick note on materials. You really could swap out any fresh herb in exchange for rosemary (or even lemon, garlic or roasted veggies, for that matter – though you’ll want to read up on how to prep these to avoid bacterial growth). Olive oil is completely subjective to taste but I’ve read that original (and not extra virgin) is ideal for taking on infused flavors. I imagine EVOO would work great as a substitute in a pinch. I considered ordering a fancy gallon of olive oil online and then I read the rave reviews and blind taste testing results for Costco’s very own and was sold. It’s supposedly one of the best! Finally, any glass bottle will do (even canning jars) and I’ve heard that Ikea carries a nice selection as well.

One big secret here is to use fresh herbs, preferably those that you grow just under your window sill (or in your front yard, we have waaay too much rosemary in our front yard, but it does smell fresh and yummy year round).

I found my little glass bottles at Save-On-Crafts after searching and searching (my kind sister noticed my dilemma over Thanksgiving and a day later she pointed me to a pinterest link for these adorable bottles! Thanks sis. UPDATE: if I were to do this project over again, I’d choose a bottle with a screw top lid such as these.) and was pleasantly surprised at the quality, price ($1.29 each!) and adorable little corks. When the bottles arrived, they received a thorough dishwasher washing and were allowed to completely dry.

The rosemary, mind you it’s straight from the garden where bugs live and children play, was cut down to sprig size and thoroughly rinsed. The whole bunch was left to soak in a water bath for about an hour. This is a sure fire way to uncling any unnecessary flavoring, if you know what I mean, from the sprigs. Followed by a few more rinses.

Once the rosemary is thoroughly washed, allow it to thoroughly dry (either out on the counter or by speeding up the process on a low temp in the oven). This is especially important for the rosemary sprigs that will go straight into the bottles (rather than the infusion) – any type of moisture allows for the possibility of mold. Update: my very first batch began showing mold at the very top of the rosemary in several jars after two weeks. I did a bit of research and realized that by soaking the rosemary I had allowed too much moisture into the bottle. For my second round, I let my rosemary dry out for several days so that no water was present during bottling.

To prep my infusion, I poured half of the olive oil and half of my clean rosemary into a large pot on low heat. To keep the olive oil from frying the herbs, ensure all goes in at the same time and that the oil is not spattering when you dust a little water over its surface, the oil should be luke warm. Let the mixture sit and infuse for 5-10 minutes, there’s no science to this process but you’ll know that much of the flavor has been steeped out of the herbs when they begin to wilt and turn a different shade of green. Turn heat off and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, use the other half batch of fresh rosemary to fill your glass bottles. You don’t want to reuse the same rosemary in the above process, this rosemary is now a sad shade of green and will droop in your bottles.

I used a small liquid measuring cup to scoop out the rosemary infused olive oil from the pot to pour slowly into each bottle. It’s okay if some rosemary leaves and even sprigs are transferred with the oil. Fill each bottle half way with warm, infused olive oil and half with your remaining fresh olive oil.

Pouring over a foil lined cookie sheet makes clean up a breeze. Simply scrunch up the mess when you’re done, no gooey oil to sop up.

Oh it smells sooo good.

Cork well and let sit for 1-2 weeks for a full infusion. If you’re planning on gifting right away, the oil will still be deliciously infused after just a few days, but mention to the giftee that if they let it sit in the cupboard for a full two weeks the olive oil will reach its peak. If they plan on using the olive oil slowly over time rather than immediately, the fridge is the best place to keep it to prevent it from spoiling.

I made these labels on my computer at home and printed on brown card stock. A little stamp in the background adds a subtle handmade touch. Fonts include: Pea Shally, SkinnyNess and Century Gothic.

Update: So thrilled there are so many of you who would like to try this out! I’ve made a generic pdf template without the ‘Love, Morgan & Kevin’ that you can download here, you could always leave it blank or write in your own name on the printed version. I apologize but I’m not able to individually email out tags anymore! The response has been overwhelming but awesome. Hopefully the downloadable pdf is just what you’re looking for though :).

A couple of snips, a grommet and some twine later, and my rosemary infused olive oil project is finished.

Did I mention it’s delicious with just plain bread and salt? Oh man.

 Happy cooking!

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  1. Tee says

    Can i use my oil diffused a week ago stored in jars now to transfer into individual gift bottles( with a cork)? And how much longer shelf life does oil have?if refridge required doesnt oil get hard?Im so concerned now about bacteria .ooo 1 more Stupid question the sprigs in the gift bottle is it freshly cut or DRIed?? Please help asap ty!!

    • says

      Hi! These are all great questions and I’ll help where I can :).

      I’m sure you can transfer oil from your jars to bottles without issue – just watch for air gaps because that breeds bacteria. I am not sure about the shelf life but I don’t recommend too long outside of a cool place. The sprigs that I used were fresh but dried by me. I hope this helps! My bottles were enjoyed at our house within a month or so :). Take care!

  2. Kate says

    I love your idea. I think this is a beautiful gift. Would you mind sending me your label template?
    Thank you so much.

  3. Karen Scheidhauear says

    I have made the oil and now must make the tags. Could you please send me the template? I can’t wait to give these out to all of my co-workers!

  4. Valerie Evans says

    Great Job! Going to attempt this for favors at a rehearsal dinner that I’m hosting soon. Could you please email me the template for the tags.

  5. says

    Can you please send me the template? Such a great idea! Can’t wait to try it out. Question: Will the oil turn cloudy if it sits in the fridge?

  6. says

    Can you please send me the template? Such a great idea. Can’t wait to try it out! Question: If the olive oil is left in the fridge, will it get cloudy?

  7. Beth Caldwell says

    I would like to have the tag template for your rosemary infused olive oil
    Thank you

  8. kristy chyun says

    What an awesome idea– I will be making these for Christmas gifts this year, for sure!
    Can I please get the file for the tags?? Much appreciated!!!!

  9. Shirley Stuhmer says

    Just what I was looking for. Please send me your template for Labels, thanks so much.

  10. Lottie says

    Hey I’m making flavoured oils this year just wondered if you know lemon olive oil process? Is virgin olive oil ok? And please can I get a copy of your template! Many thanks, lottie

    • says

      Hi Lottie, I’m afraid I don’t know the steps for lemon olive oil, but i’m sure you could soak lemon rind in the oil and get a similar result. Virgin olive oil should be okay.

  11. says

    I have made rosemary oil for myself and have found it so delicious, especially on my morning eggs. I wanted to make some as gifts and your recipe and directions give me the confidence to attempt this.
    Thank you and please e-mail me the model for your tags as the would add the perfect touch..

  12. Rosemary Ehlers says

    I’m so excited to start this project for friends and family! Would you mind sending me the template for the labels? I would like to add “The Ehlers Family” in the correct font at the bottom. Also, do you think there is a spot to recommend refrigeration? I want the oil to last as long as possible! Thank you!

  13. Tamara says


    Thank you so much on this idea! I even downloaded pattern :) So I did everything as you said, just one thing I got wrong, I didn’t let it cool down before i pour it in a bottle… Will it affect the taste or do something bad??? It’s on balcony right now cooling down, but in bottle… :/

    One more thing, how do you make it with garlic???

    • says

      Hi, I don’t think allowing the oil to cool in the jar vs the pot will affect the overall taste, just be sure they’re very cool before you put them in the fridge so the glass doesn’t crack. You’ll want to keep them cool as they store and infuse to prevent any bacteria growth. I think you should be able to add cloves of garlic (without skin) right to the jars during the infusion. Good luck!

  14. Nicole says

    Love this idea. We are doing an Italian themed dinner for our clients in a couple of weeks and I’d like to do this for favors. I’m a little nervous to get it just right, as I’m reading that sometimes it can mold. But I’d like to try. Would you kindly send me the template? Thank you!

    Love this!!!!

    • says

      Here you are! Best of luck. Just tell the guests to refrigerate and that it doesn’t have a long shelf life and you should be fine :).

  15. Emily says


    I wondering what the shelf life on these oils are? I am interested in making these for gifts, but I didn’t want to make in case they spoil fast. Could you please let me know?


    • says

      Hi Emily, if you keep all herbs fully submerged in the oil and oil containers in the fridge you should be okay (even when you’re infusing/storing). I would make them a couple of weeks before you gift them and be sure to tell the recipients the same for storing!

  16. Mary Yocum says

    Love your olive oil infusion idea. Many helpful hints. I just ordered the bottles and downloaded the label template. Can you please tell me the font for the name signature?

  17. Lynn says

    Could you please send me over your label template – think it looks great and looking forward to trying your recipe.

    Many thanks

  18. Vicki says

    I received infused oil as a gift last year. Loved the idea! But it began to mold fairly quickly, and it came from a local store! I intend to make several batches of your recipe, so thank you for the tip about being sure the herbs are dry!! Good to know! Love your tags. Would like the template if you get a chance!! Thanks a bunch!

    • says

      Here you are! I would definitely recommend refrigerating the olive oil to prevent any mold – I had that issue with my first batch, too :). Enjoy!

  19. Susan says

    First of all, THANK YOU!

    Even though I have the urge, I have not one creative bone in my body.

    It’s people like you that give me ideas and encouragement!

    Now, I started my own batch of Vanilla flavoring over 6 mths ago and have it in the dark recesses of my pantry.

    I was looking for additional ideas to make little gourmet gift baskets and thought of Rosemary infused olive oil since I planted Rosemary this summer.

    My problem is, I really wanted something that kept well outside the drive, so is it necessary to refrigerate the olive oil after infusion, or can it be stored on the counter or in cupboard as long as it is used in a reasonable amount of time?

    Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Susan! I’m so glad you found the infusion recipe and the blog :). The batches of olive oil that I have made have been quite temperamental. The rosemary sticks inside the jars themselves are what begin to go bad over time if left out of the fridge, so your options might be to omit the pretty spring of rosemary from the jar and to watch it carefully (for white mold) or to use it in just a few weeks so that it doesn’t have time to turn on you.

    • says

      Hi Patricia, You can let the rosemary and olive oil steep together (in a refrigerated area) for a few days or a few weeks, the taste will vary but this is a gift that can be prepared in advance or last minute.

  20. Chris says

    I have a beautiful herb garden this summer and would like to make some gifts. If possible, can you email the template for the labels. They are super cute!

  21. Ben Williams says

    Love your blog. Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge and experience. I can’t wait to try this!

  22. Judy says

    Could you please send me a template for the labels. Looking forward to making the oil. Thanks, Judy

  23. Sue says

    Love the idea and the labels.
    Please email me the template for the labels.

    Thanks so much!

  24. says

    Morgan, this is one of the best tutorials about infusing olive oils out there!!! I will be using lots of your ideas (and text) in my post when I write about this!! I have my bottles & rosemary drying right now and will be making this in the next day or two as the favors for my wedding next weekend! I’ll be posting about it soon, please check out my post (I will link back to you) – thank you so much!

    • says

      Thanks so much, Rachel! Good luck with your infusion (make sure those leaves are extra dry to avoid any molding) and enjoy :-).

  25. Joanne Polanowski says

    Hi Morgan – I am making these for my wedding August 10th. Theme OLIVE JUICE (really oil) but when you say it, it looks like I LOVE YOU.

    Can you please send me the template so I can add our names – Steve and Joanne

    Appreciate it greatly!

  26. Pennie says

    I’m just wondering, what’s the shelf life of this Rosemary Infused Olive Oil?

    • says

      Hi Pennie, I recommend keeping the olive oil in the fridge to prolong the life of the infusion. If left out or in a cabinet for too long the herbs will begin to mold (just like any fruit/veggie/herb exposed to air). I hope that helps!

  27. says

    I just sent you an email as well but I am not sure if I sent it to the correct email address so I wanted to write on here as well.
    I am making my own olive oil for my wedding favors for June 8 and LOVE your labels!! I am going to use your recipe for the rosemary for sure but am also going to make a Garlic Olive Oil as well so was wondering if you have the templates where I can change the word Rosemary into Garlic? Also, I would love to add our names at the bottom like you did because it’s perfect! Our names are Dan and Alyssa.
    Let me know if you can send the templates my way and if I can add our names and change it to garlic as well as the rosemary :)
    I LOVE your blog! I will be following you now :)

    • says

      Hi! Happy to help, Alyssa – I’ll send over the templates via email and congrats on your big day!!

  28. says

    I am SO wanting to eat fresh bread dipped in your rosemary-infused olive oil right now! This is such a great idea for a Christmas gift – I think I may have to try making a batch this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration :-)

  29. says

    You beat me to it! We have a huge rosemary plant in our backyard and I was planning on giving my co-workers rosemary infused olive oil and lemon-basil butter for Christmas. (I’ve since changed my plans, but still want to make the oil) Your bottles and tags are gorgeous, too!


  1. […] Rosemary Infused Oil makes a beautiful gift.  If you are gluten free, you might want to try these savory Rosemary Crackers.  Truly one of the most wonderful ways to eat rosemary, is with lamb or chicken. […]

  2. […] birthday parties.  Fun ideas might be: a package of homemade mini chocolate chip cookies, a jar of homemade infused olive oil, a live succulent or tulip plant, or a cool flask. Personally, I like the homemade gifts the best, […]

  3. […] birthday parties.  Fun ideas might be: a package of homemade mini chocolate chip cookies, a jar of homemade infused olive oil, a live succulent or tulip plant, or a cool flask. Personally, I like the homemade gifts the best, […]

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