Herbal Oxymels

Natalia Karoway

Herbal Oxymel Recipe

With summer on my mind and fresh herbs growing rapidly, I wanted to share one of my favorite warm weather beverages with you. I love creating herbal oxymels (vinegar + honey extractions) and topping them off with sparkling water for a sweet, tart + herbaceous summer mocktail. Adding in some fresh fruit puree makes it even better. Yum!

So first, how to make oxymels. If you've ever had the famous (and now controversial) herbal remedy called Fire Cider, you've tasted an oxymel. I love making them both as herbal medicine and herbal pleasure. Some folks make them just as vinegar extractions and then add honey after straining out the herbs. Others, like myself, use both the honey and vinegar to extract.

Ratios of vinegar to honey are also a choice. While I like 50:50, others may choose 2/3 vinegar to 1/3 honey for a less sweet finished product. Both apple cider vinegar and honey are wonderful medicinals on their own; adding in herbs brings them to the next level. I prefer to use delicious, aromatic herbs for my oxymels, either alone or in combination.

Some of my absolute favorites are tulsi and anise hyssop. I also enjoy using nettles for a deeply nourishing tonic. Right now, I have a lemon balm, tulsi, and spearmint blend sitting and I can't wait to try it! You can also add dried spices, but use them in lower quantity than the fresh herbs.

Sometimes I take oxymels as medicinal shots (think Fire Cider again). Soothing herbal oxymels also make an amazing heartburn remedy. Maybe it sounds counter intuitive but indigestion/heartburn symptoms are often a result of low stomach acid. I also often use them as salad dressing along with good quality organic olive oil. Fire Cider is my favorite for this.

Oxymel Recipe

- raw apple cider vinegar
- local raw honey
- fresh aromatic herbs
- a clean jar with a plastic lid (vinegar corrodes metal lids)

To Make
1. Chop your herbs finely and fill a jar 2/3 full, loosely packed.
2. Pour in honey so it will be about 1/2 of your liquid.
3. Pour in vinegar until your jar has about 1" of space at the top.
4. Stir with a wooden spoon or chopstick. The honey will likely not mix in completely at first, but will dissolve over time.
5. Top off with vinegar to the absolute top of the jar and cover. You do not want any air remaining.
6. Let sit in a dark space for 2-4 weeks. It's helpful to place the jar on a coaster; sometimes it leaks due to being filled so high. Shake daily with prayers of honoring to make amazing medicine.
7. Strain the herbs out with cheesecloth and rebottle.
8 . Enjoy as medicinal shots, as a salad dressing ingredient, or with sparkling water for a delicious mocktail.

Oxymel Mocktail Recipe

- 1 cup of your favorite herbal oxymel
- a big handful of fresh fruit
- sparkling water

To Make
1. Place the oxymel and fruit in a blender.
2. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour 2TB to 1/4 cup of this mixture into a glass. This will be to taste depending on how much you like the sweet & tart flavor of oxymels.
4. Top off with sparkling water. Add ice if desired. I love the combo of strawberries and tulsi, but I'm excited to hear what your creative combinations will be!


  • Eva,
    I think it’s fine if there’s a little air since you’re using dry herbs. It’s the fresh herbs that can mold with air exposure.


  • Why is it important to have NO air in the jar? I am using dry herbs and corks for lids.


  • Oh my goodness, Shino!! That sounds so delicious! I am definitely going to have to try star anise in a blend. I also love how the oxymels become syrupy, they really are a treat!! So happy you tried and loved it!! XO Blessings!!!


  • Hi Natalia!
    I’ve been wanting to make this since I read your first post about it – and I finally did it a month ago! A metal-lidded jar was all I had at the time, so at the end it took a very strong flatmate to open it up for me lol. Anyway, I stuffed a 500ml jar with rosemary, a few sprigs of thyme and a few anise stars (because those were the only aromatic herbs I had lol), but ohhhh it’s so delicious in a way I didn’t predict! The honey makes it slightly syrupy and heavy and the anise star gave it a woody licorice softness:) I sipped it neat and had it with sparkling water, and loved it both ways. Honey is pretty expensive here, but this makes such an unusual and delicious drink I’ll definitely make this from time to time and have it in my cupboard! Thank you for opening the doorway to another myriad possibilities of delicious healthiness! Much love xxx


  • Bonita,
    Oxymels are vinegar and honey extractions of herbs.


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