When the holiday season rolls around, do you start to panic as you wonder what to give the numerous coworkers, distant family members, and friends who you don't necessarily want to spend a lot of money on, but who deserve some sort of gift? Homemade, infused olive oil, placed in personally designed bottles, is the perfect holiday gift for these people. You can make a large batch, bottle it attractively, and know that it will be enjoyed by your recipients. These instructions show you how to make 10 6-ounce bottles of citrus infused oil. You can easily double or triple the amounts called for in the instructions if you need to make more.
Step 1: Purchase your supplies.
The first thing you'll need is 10 6-ounce bottles with corks or screw-style lids. These can generally be found at craft stores. Dark-colored bottles are preferred, since they will prevent the extra virgin olive oil from breaking down in the presence of light. If you can only find clear bottles, that's okay -- but you'll need to instruct your gift recipients to keep their oil in a dark place.
Also, purchase 60 ounces of good quality, extra virgin olive oil. Spanish olive oil is a good choice, since it has a fruity, nutty taste that will pair well with the citrus in this recipe. French olive oil is also a good choice, thanks to its overall mild flavor.
The other supplies you need include the following:
- 3 fresh oranges
- a metal citrus zester
- cheesecloth or a piece of fine mesh
- a large, glass bowl with a lid
- a second large bowl (no lid needed)
- a funnel
- 10 feet of colorful ribbon
Step 2: Order your bottle labels.
The bottle label is one of the central elements of the gift, since it makes a personalized statement to your gift recipients. There are companies that allow you to create your own bottle labels and order them online. Use their design tools to create a label that includes:
- The words "citrus-infused olive oil."
- A brief message to your loved ones, such as "From our home to yours this holiday season" or "A homemade gift, made with you in mind."
- An image that is meaningful to you or your recipients. This could be anything from a picture of your family to a classic holiday symbol. Use your imagination!
If you can find self-stick bottle labels, these are the easiest to apply. Otherwise, purchase some basic rubber cement adhesive to attach your labels. Order a few more labels than you have bottles, since you may make mistakes when applying them. You can continue reading more about bottle labels at the websites of these businesses.
Step 3: Prepare and bottle your oil.
One you have your supplies in hand and your labels ordered, it is time to actually make your infused oil. Follow these steps:
- Use the zester to remove the zest from the 3 oranges. Place the zest in your large glass bowl.
- Slice up one of the oranges, and add it to the glass bowl. Discard the other 2 oranges (or eat them).
- Pour the olive oil into the bowl, and place the lid on it. Place the bowl in a dark place, and let it infuse for 3 days.
- Have a friend hold the cheesecloth or mesh over the second bowl, and pour the olive oil through the cheesecloth to filter out the orange and orange zest.
- Pour the filtered olive oil through the funnel and into your 10 bottles.
- Place the lids on the bottles.
- Use a dish cloth dipped in soapy water to wipe down each of the bottles, removing any traces of oil.
- Attach the labels to the bottles, either by moistening the self-adhesive with a damp cloth, or by applying rubber cement to the back of the non-adhesive labels and then sticking them to the bottle.
- Tie a 1-foot length of ribbon around the neck of each bottle.
- Step back, and admire your great work.
With any luck, your bottled olive oil will look professional yet personalized, and it will taste delicious, too. Tell guests to try the oil on salads, as a dipping sauce for bread, and drizzled over fresh fruit. Save a bottle for yourself, too!