Ever thought of making your own line of honey without becoming a beekeeper? Need a project to do with school-aged kids while making gifts for friends this season? Today is your day!
This year, I decided to infuse Sacramento honey with garden herbs! To gift 12 special people in my life, I spent about $2.50 a person.
Here is what you will need:
- 5 days lead time
- Honey (I got 5 lbs because I wanted extra, talk to the honey people)
- 12- 4oz mason jars
- Dried Herb – choose one herb type per jar. If possible, dry the herb on the stem
- Large soup pot
- Tea kettle
First, stop by Sacramento’s famous Sacramento Beekeeping Store, located near X & 21st Street. Did you know they have a tasting area? For real though! You can taste all sorts of local honey and decide which one would go best with the herb of your choice. Also, they can help you calculate how much honey you will need. Why is that important? Because honey is very dense and is measured by weight verses ounces. For a 4oz jar you need 5oz honey. Honestly, my brain cannot even handle the calculations and lucky for me the beekeepers are there to help.
Okay, a note about your dried herbs. The jar will look cuter when the herb is dried on the stem. A trimming of rosemary or mint can be dried upside down in a paper bag. You can also use a dehydrator but be careful with your delicate babies. The key is to have completely dried herbs that are fresh (if not dried all the way, they will mold).
I wanted to use lavender but quickly learned a couple facts from reading up on it. First, only English Lavender is edible. That’s important, right? Second, only the flowers have enough flavor to infuse. My plants at home are not in season so I made due with purchasing local buds from my honey friends.
So you’re ready? Let’s do this!
Sanitize your mason jars and lids. I boil the pieces for about 5 minutes and then let air dry.
Put a sprig of herb in the bottom of your container or along the side. I used flower buds so I put 1/2tsp in the bottom of my jar. Meantime, warm water in your kettle until it’s screaming. Then pour water into a soup pot. Place the honey (in the container you purchased it in) into the hot water to warm it until it’s nice and syrupy. The runnier the honey the better. Add more water as needed.
Once the honey is warmed, pour it into your jars. You will notice that the herbs want to rise to the top. That’s okay!
Close them up and store them upside down for 5 days.
All that’s left is to make them cute and give them away!
Side note, if you want to infuse more flavor than what this recipe suggests, a drop or two of edible essential oil of your herb will do the trick. Just warm the honey jar in a water bath, add and stir.
Did you know that honey never goes rancid? If it crystalizes, you can just warm it up in a water bath and it will be as good as new.
That’s about it. Have fun giving your one of a kind honey to your friends!
Written by Mariah Cook, Sacramento mom and lover of bees everywhere. After making and giving this honey, she was was asked if she has her own bee hive. She thinks the beekeepers in Sacramento are doing a mighty fine job and she will gladly support their work.