One of my favorite things to do in the Fall, as the temps reach into the 40s at night, and I must harvest the Basil or it will turn black, is to make herbal vinegars and herbal sugars.
I wander through the garden harvesting all the basil plants at ground level. As they are annuals, they will just die, so I remove the entire plant. As I wander I collect in my basket any other herbs that need a trim or look to be large enough to handle another cutting.
This bounty gives me a great opportunity to make herbal vinegars to preserve that fresh herb flavor. Additionally it is a great time to create herb flavored sugar and honey as these are best made with fresh herbs.
I give the herbs a wash and lay them out on the counter on paper towel to air dry. I cannot make any of these items with water wet herbs, so I am harvesting after the dew has lifted, washing as needed and letting them dry completely before I begin work.
My purple sage with the vinegar I made just a few days earlier, already turning that great shade of burgundy. To make herb flavored vinegar you just put fresh herbs in a jar, pour vinegar over them, bruise the herbs, and either warm the vinegar or not and let infuse for two to four weeks. Then strain out the herbs and rebottle for using or gifting. For details on making Herb Vinegar, check out this post on my main blog.
Herb Flavored Sugar
To craft herbed honey, you marinade the fresh or dried herbs in honey for one to three weeks. Strain out the herbs and you have a flavored honey that can be used to cook with or to drizzle on toast.
Herb Honey is a wonderful gift, especially if you can find a local beekeeper to get local honey to mix your favors into, then you can have the taste of home to use or share.
We give the details of making herbed honey in this main blog post: How Tuesday Making Summer flavored honey