Weekend Project: Flavored Honey

Cook, Try This at Home, Weekend Project

A jar of honey, the product of an age-old dance between bees and flowers, is truly a gift of nature. You can further enhance the flavor of honey with fresh herbs, flowers, spices and citrus — keep reading to learn how and to see unique combinations of ingredients.


Ingredients to Try


All sorts of flavors, from floral to piquant, complement honey’s earthy sweetness. Try fresh herbs such as lavender, mint, rosemary, thyme or lemon verbena; organic rose petals; grated citrus zest; peeled and chopped fresh ginger; spices like cinnamon, cloves, allspice, star anise or cardamom; or add heat with red pepper flakes or a sliced fresh chile.


Ginger-Cardamom: For 1 cup honey, add 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped, and 6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed.


Lavender: For 1 cup honey, add 6 to 8 fresh organic lavender sprigs or 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers. For added flavor, place a few small lavender sprigs in the jar.


Lemon  Verbena: For 1 cup honey, add 18 to 20 fresh lemon verbena leaves and 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest. For added flavor, place a few lemon zest strips and a few small lemon verbena leaves in the jar.


Rose-Lemon Thyme: For 1 cup honey, add 20 to 25 fresh organic rose petals and 6 to 8 fresh lemon thyme sprigs. For added flavor, place a handful of rose petals and a few lemon thyme sprigs in the jar.


How to Make


Rinse and dry your flavoring ingredients (see above). Combine the honey and flavorings in the top pan of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl. Set over (not touching) simmering water and clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the honey reaches 185 degrees F on the thermometer. Simmer at 185 degrees F for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the honey from scorching. Remove from the heat and let stand for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours. Have ready a hot, serilized jar and its lid. For added flavor, place fresh flavoring ingredients in the jar before adding the honey. Reheat the honey over low heat until warm and strain into the jar. Seal the jar tightly. Store at room temperature for up to 1 year.


Ways to Use


Top wedges of a sheep’s milk cheese such as Manchego with a drizzle of lavender-flavored honey; add apple slices or figs and Marcona almonds to round out the cheese plate. Make an Asian-inspired salad dressing with ginger-flavored honey, lime juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce and Asian sesame oil. Stir lemon-flavored honey into a cup of hot water, and add a splash of brandy and a squeeze of lemon juice for a hot toddy.

19 comments about “Weekend Project: Flavored Honey

  1. Jesse

    One of my favorite infusions has to be a mix of grated lemon and orange peel with some madagascar vanilla beans split open. I’ll occasionally throw in a cinnamon stick, but it takes a considerably longer time for the cinnamon to steep than the other two flavors.

  2. norma

    I have a question… how long does the infused honey wirh fresh ingredients last?

      1. Elissa Jane Mastel

        Incorrect, using fresh ingredients instead of dried ingredients is very dangerous. I’m super surprised Williams Sonoma would invite consumers to do this. You can end up with fermented and / or molded honey in just a few days. NEVER put fresh ingredients into honey. Super super bad idea.

  3. araucano

    I love your website,congratulations!!!
    How do I flavor honey with ginger???
    Many thanks in advance for your reply.DV.

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  5. Elissa Jane

    Actually, putting fresh ingredients in is not archivable. Using fresh ingredients is in fact dangerous as the moisture can create mold in the honey. Always use dry ingredients… if you want to be safe.

    1. Penny

      Hi there, you are so right about using fresh ingredients. I learned it the hard way. I once infused a jar of good quality honey with fresh ginger and lemon verbena. It turned moldy. I had to toss it away. Always use dry ingredients.

      1. Elissa Jane Mastel

        Oh what a bummer Penny. I have a few recipes with ginger. Ground powdered ginger is lovely blended into honey, and you can infuse with dried ginger. I use Ginger in a few recipes including my chai spice and ginger & orange (made with dried orange peels)

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    1. Elissa Jane Mastel

      You can try infusing honey with dehydrated blackberries, but I don’t know how that would turn out. I suspect some companies add “flavor” instead of infusing ingredients.

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    1. Elissa Jane Mastel

      It depeneds Tori. Some dried fruits work great. I use lemon peel and orange peel in my infusions. You can accent them with cinnamon or thyme or dried ginger to make them pop. As long as you used totally dried herbs or fruits anything is possible, although I imagine certain ingredients have a harder time infusing flavor.


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