Edible Gift

The World's Easiest Edible Gift is Infused Honey

If I were on an episode of MTV’s True Life, it’d be “I’m a Mike’s Hot Honey Addict.”

It started, like many things do, innocently enough: a drizzle here, a drop there. But, soon, I found myself using Hot Honey on pizza (with soppresata, of course), all sorts of sweet and savory toasts, roasted vegetables, salads, oatmeal, yogurt, and ice cream.

Photo by James Ransom
Photo by James Ransom

And as I bought bottle-after-bottle and felt more and more guilty—okay, not that guilty—a thought occurred to me: You have honey. You have dried chiles. Why not make your own?

So began a new episode of True Life: “I’m An Infused Honey Obsessivore.” Because I couldn’t just stop at Hot Honey. There was lavender-vanilla, rosemary-lemon zest, cardamom, and ginger-mint—and the end has yet to come.

Photo by James Ransom
Photo by James Ransom

The “problem” with infused honey is that it's easy come as it is easy go. Essentially, you’re adding dried herbs (or spices) to honey and waiting a long (like a week or two’s worth) time. That’s it.

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A jar of infused honey makes for one sweet gift—literally. But no one can blame you for keeping said gift to yourself either—at least I won’t.

Photo by James Ransom

A note on botulism risk: I consulted canning and preserving expert Cathy Wheelbarrow on the risks of honey infusions. "Most scientists regard honey as anaerobic and therefore not a hospitable environment for bacterial growth. Nevertheless, I would be hesitant to use fresh herbs or fresh chiles. Dried herbs and dried chiles do not carry the same potential for bacteria." Bottom line: Stick to dried flavorings.

Place the herbs, spices, etc. in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and pour the honey overtop.

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Top Comment:
“I have infused honey that I canned last year in my cupboard (it got lost in the back! so sad!) Is it safe?”
— TheFritschKitchen

Once you've poured half the honey, stop and give the mixture a stir with a wooden skewer or chopstick, then continue pouring the rest of the honey.

Photo by Linda Xiao

Cover the jar with its lid and allow to sit for 7 to 14 days. The longer the honey sits, the stronger the flavor will be. When it's all infused, strain the honey into a clean glass jar.

Photo by Linda Xiao

Gift or hoard for yourself—no one will judge.

All the ways to use it:

What would your True Life episode be called? Confess in the comments!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Windischgirl
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I fall in love with every sandwich I ever meet.


Windischgirl September 16, 2018
Any thoughts on infused maple syrup? I recently saw some at a gift shop in VT and thought that could be done at home just as well!
Nancy October 14, 2018
Windischgirl...haven't done this in a while, but memory and checking recipes say to refrigerate the maple syrup once you add spices.
Leanna M. August 27, 2018
I’d love to do an apple infused honey, any suggestions?
Anabel January 15, 2016
This recipe is a little disappointing -- even after letting the honey infuse for well over 3 weeks, no heat was imparted to the honey.
SharynSowell December 21, 2015
In exactly 7-10 days I will be indulging in lavendar honey and vanilla honey... if only I'd seen the article in time to do a few for Christmas. Is this not the perfect gift? Genius, that's what you are!
TheFritschKitchen December 11, 2015
How long will the honey be good for? What if you keep the spices in it? I have infused honey that I canned last year in my cupboard (it got lost in the back! so sad!) Is it safe?
Anabel December 9, 2015
Can't wait to try this! What kinds of dried chiles would you recommend? Thanks!
Jen S. December 9, 2015
Brilliant! Earlier this year I purchased honey infused with cinnamon in Germany and I became obsessed. It was incredible. I had never thought of infusing my own honey. Thanks for sharing!
Skylar December 9, 2015
About how many dried chiles would I add? I'm a novice at infusing most anything but would love to make some for a friend, he likes it HOT!
Niknud December 9, 2015
True Life: I may love my sourdough starter more than I love my children.....
Sarah J. December 9, 2015
Riddley G. December 9, 2015
I second that ha!
Danyelle H. December 8, 2015
Doesn't Mike's Hot Honey have vinegar in it? Any suggestions on making a closer match?
Riddley G. December 9, 2015
It does indeed! When I made it at home, I tried the hot honey with both vinegar and without it and preferred the taste without. However, if you'd like to give it a go I would try adding a half tablespoon to a tablespoon or distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to the mixture!