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. Anna says

    Hi- thanks for posting this, I’m so excited! Unfortunately I made a little mistake during the process and walked away for one minute while the oil & rosemary was warming on the lowest burner setting, but when I came back it was boiling . I am guessing I should start over? I already have the bottles cleaned and half of the dried rosemary in them. Will they be ok to leave dried in the corked bottles for another couple days (to give me time to get more rosemary, rinse it and dry it properly?). Or do you think I should start over all together? What a bummer!

    • says

      I haven’t run into this issue so I can’t say for sure… But before scrapping your first batch I would give it a go by allowing to completely cool and then tasting to see if boiling altered it. Good luck!

  2. says

    They look exquisite, but I’m a little afraid after all the comments that it will turn out cloudy. I will try a batch just for home use! The blog is beautifully photographed. I linked to it from here: 50 Holiday Meal Gifts, I hope that sends you more visitors.

  3. Dina says

    Hi everyone,

    I just made some rosemary infused olive oil following the directions provided and the final product is cloudy. Any ideas why? The bottles were clean and dry and not in the frig. Any help will be greatly appreicated.


    • says

      Hi Dina! I’m hearing this from a few commenters :(, I wish that I had experience with the cloudy part because that only happened to me if I refrigerated the oil for an extended period of time. Are you storing the finished product in a really cool place? That can be good for preservation but will make the oil cloudy until it’s room temp again (I think…). Best of luck. xo

  4. Lisa says

    Hi there – I fell in love with this recipe and I thought they would be a great idea for a cooking party I was hosting at my house for favors~ I ordered the bottles and loved them, and I followed the recipe, but they all turned cloudy???? They were perfect when i poured them in, but then about 10 mins went by and they all went cloudy!! What did I do wrong. ;( so sad!,

    • says

      Hi Lisa! Check through the comments a bit, some of the other readers had this result as well. I didn’t experience the cloudy issue so I’m not 100% sure what happened :(, you could try to let them sit a bit in the pantry and see if that helps clear them up? or consider straining out the rosemary and leaving just the infused oil in the (freshly cleaned) bottles?

  5. Cass says

    Thank you so much for sending this, planning to do it for wedding favours. Could u please send me the template. Many many thanks.

  6. Sharon says

    As adorable as these are, flavoured oils can be really, really dangerous. As the website below illustrates, the oil doesn’t need to taste or smell ‘off’ to be potentially fatal. I don’t mean to scare monger, but these must be kept refrigerated and used within 3 days to avoid any potential issues. xx

  7. Barb says

    What a great idea, will be trying this with my granddaughters. Would appreciate it if you would email me the template for the labels.

    Thank you

  8. Isabel says

    We made 150 bottles of rosemary infused olive oil for wedding favors.
    I thought we had cleaned the rosemary and dried it thoroughly and washed the and dried the bottles suffieciently. 3 weeks later mold in almost every bottle. My question is, do you have any suggestions on how to make this safer as we are going to have to do it again. The bottles all have labels on them, so we have to wash them very carefully. Should I infuse the oil in a pot and forget about adding the sprig to the bottle? Should I add vinegar to preserve but….help!

    • says

      I’m so sorry that this happened! And I’m not sure why… it could be that air snuck into the bottles at some point, the rosemary could have been damp… if you do this again it would be my recommendation that you leave the sprigs out completely. I have not ever tried adding vinegar…

      • Isabel says

        Thanks for getting back to me. In your reply about leaving the sprig out, would your just warm the rosemary on the stove as in your directions but just not put the sprig in the bottle? Or did you mean something else?

        Thanks again!!!!!

        • says

          I would infuse the olive oil with rosemary on the stove and not add the sprig to the final product. In my one experience with mold I started noticing it growing on the sprig itself in the bottle and I think that that can be the culprit if air gets involved. I hope that helps!! Good luck :).

  9. Rosa says

    I am obsessed with these bottles. They are perfect for wedding favors at our wedding. How can i get the template with mine and my fiances name on it??


  10. Jocelyn says

    We made these this last weekend for our wedding on August 22nd (coming up).

    Unfortunately, we ran out of infused olive oil part way through the process, and had multiple bottles which were half full of non-infused olive oil. We decided to cork them and start up again the next day since we were out of rosemary.

    The next day, we added the infused olive oil, and these bottles are now cloudy. Do you have any suggestions? I saw the comments regarding mold. We picked our rosemary and dried it in the sun until it was dry – so we’re pretty sure there was no water on the rosemary. We purchased the same bottles with the little corks from save-on-crafts too. Are we going to make our guests sick by giving them bacteria? Thanks in advance for any guidance!

    • says

      Hi Jocelyn! Without seeing the bottles I’m not sure, did you refrigerate them? That will make them cloudy (take them out a few days before you plan on giving them away). You can always add regular olive oil to top off infused olive oil as well. And be sure to tell your guests (on the label, etc) to use right away. I hope that helps…

  11. Rhonda says

    I love your recipe and am making it this week for my best friends. May I impose upon you to send me the link to the adorable gift tags? Many thanks!!

  12. Lorna lynch says

    Hi Morgan

    Your website is great, thank you for your tips and ideas.

    I also ( like you) have a massive rosemary bush outside and wanted to do something with the beautiful sprigs my hubby cut off while trimming. And so I looked up on google and found you. X

    I did all you said in you website but after 2 weeks alas I saw mould appear … My bottles were dry, my rosemary was dried and my oil is not extra virgin just simple olive oil.
    What did I do wrong ?.

    Saddened i decided to drop you a line.

    Please help ..

    Thank you

    From Sydney

    • says

      Hi Lorna, oh I’m so sorry to hear that. I had that happen with my first batch too and I researched and researched online for answers. For my second batch I was so careful about everything being very dry and herbs being completely submerged in the oil, and didn’t run into any issues. That being said, a quick google search will show that there are many culprits to mold, including a bad lid system (if I did this over again a third time I’d choose something tighter than cork). You might also try infusing the olive oil with rosemary and then straining it all out so that mold has nothing to grow on. Not as pretty, but a beautiful label would make up for it! I’m sorry that you’re having issues – best of luck.

      • lorna lynch says

        Hi Morgan

        Bless you for your reply. I shall try again with what you have said – fingers crossed.

        I’m so enjoying this little project so am going to start another batch today and will keep you posted.

        I am hoping to have a few bottles up and running for gifts at Christmas.

        Have a great day.

        • says

          Of course, I’m happy to help. Let me know if you come across any other helpful hints and how your next batch turns out!

  13. Hing Lun Kwok says

    hi i have just started to dry my rosemary sprigs! could i have the template? cheers :D

  14. says

    I love looking through a post that will make people think.
    Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

  15. Krystle says

    I want to try to do an oregano and lemon infused olive oil. If I dry out the ingredients, do I have to refrigerate it?

    • says

      Hi Krystle, refrigeration is probably the safest way to go just to be on the safe side… but you could always experiment.

  16. Kate says

    I want to make all of my xmas gifts this year, and I have always wanted to infuse olive oil fo rmyself! Do you kow of glass jars that would be acceptable to ship? I am afraid of the corks popping off during shipping… also, I would love it if you shared the template :)

    • says

      Hi Kate, the same company may also make jars with lids (actually, I think I have ordered them there before). I’ll send you the tags!

  17. Liana says

    Hi there, beautiful favours! I plan on using this idea for a backyard soiree coming up! Would you be able to send me the template for your tags.. they’re adorable!

    thanks :)

  18. Jocelyn says

    Your tags & idea are adorable! Would you be willing to send me your template file too? Thank you!

  19. Jocelyn says

    Your tags and idea are adorable! May I also have the template you made for the labels? Thanks!

  20. Candace says

    These are adorable! Can you please email me your template for the tags? Thank you for sharing!

  21. Colleen says

    Dear Morgan I love your labels . Could you please send me the template?


  22. Eleanor says

    This is exactly what I have been looking for – I had the idea for these bottles as wedding favours as my fiance’s late mum was called Rosemary, and we wanted to include her in our wedding

    I too would appreciate the template for the tags please, I plan to tweek it a bit to include each guest’s name and the fact that Rosemary represents love and faithfulness x

  23. Julia says

    Hallo Morgan,
    Deine Etiketten sind wunderschön, könntest Du mir die Vorlage schicken und wenn möglich auch die Schriften, die Du verwendet hast?
    Vielen Dank!

  24. Samantha Freshwater says

    Hi there,
    This is such a great idea!
    I am making these as wedding favours as they suit our theme perfectly :)

    Could you send me the template?
    Also what is the font that you used for the words ‘rosemary infused’ on the tag?
    Thank you so much for posting this great idea :)

  25. Christine says

    Howdy! I think these are great and I was hoping to make these for Mommy’s Day gifts. Would you mind emailing me the template for the labels? Thanks!

  26. Erica says

    Hi there!

    I tried making these two weeks ago. Some came out amazing, others the oil is cloudy and I have to redo them. Any idea as to why this may have happened? Not sure if it’s the rosemary that caused it or the oil itself. :-/

  27. kathy says

    loved your rosemary olive oil, do you have and could i borrow your lemon olive oil and or garlic olive oil?

      • kathy says

        i need to print up sheets like i did with your rosemary oil but with lemon oil and garlic oil.i am not very good on computers and you made this so easy to print up ur design,ty, kathy

  28. says

    Sonoma Farm is the supplier of Infused Olive Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Bulk Olive Oil, and Grape Seed Oil. Get free shipping on purchase $75 or more.

  29. Melissa says

    Hello! I love your labels . Could you please send me the template??
    Thank you!

  30. rebecca says

    Hello would you please send me the template used to make the tag….these are so adorable for and very affordable for a bridal shower! thanks

  31. Rachel says

    Hi, Can you email me the template please? I LOVE these for our wedding favors. We enjoy cooking together, do so frequently, and always use olive oil. So these are perfect!

  32. Erica says

    Hi there,

    could you please send me the template! I’d like to make these for my bridal shower! Thanks!

  33. Nisha Hubbard says

    What a fabulous idea. You are very clever. Definately doing this for my wedding favours next year. Could I please be emailed the template? Thanks so much

  34. Rebecca says

    How long will this last? If kept in the fridge….and does it have to be kept in the fridge?

    • says

      Hi Rebecca, that’s a good question. We used ours up fairly quickly. It will get cloudy in the fridge but unless you’re using right away I suggest storing it in the fridge to prevent any bacteria growth.

  35. says

    How did you sterilized the corks as they did not come sterile. Can you wash them with bottles and air dry, Please advise?

  36. Linnea Sauer says

    Can you please send me the template for the labels, I am so excited to make these are favors for my upcoming wedding. I have been looking for a great DIY to incorporate!

  37. Amanda says


    I love the whole concept and look of your olive oil. Its adorable. Could you email me the template as well. love the idea for wedding favors and it would be a great help. Thank you so much.

  38. Ashley R. says

    I would love it if you could send me your template! We are making these for wedding favors!

  39. Laura says

    Hi! I just made some of this and my kitchen smells HEAVENLY. I also made some with lemon thyme. Perfect Christmas gift for parents, aunts & uncles and the like. And it looks so pretty in the bottles! Thanks!

  40. Karyn says

    Hi – I just made a few bottles of your ingenious homemade holiday gift: rosemary infused olive oil, and they are fabulous! Could you please send me the template as well for labeling these amazing homemade gifts?

    Thank you!


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