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New Oils Coming in August!




A few months into running the store, we've decided to make some changes to our pricing, and it BENEFITS YOU!

Most oils and vinegars have actually gone down in price.  This includes ALL Balsamics (Dark and White), most infused Olive Oils, and some of our Varietals.  A few Varietals and all Agrumato (Fused) oils have gone up slightly.

This along with our New Free Shipping offer will give you more bang for your Oil & Vinegar buck!

Bold Commerce Collaborator
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Free Shipping!

You read that right!  If you spend $40 or more on the online store, we'll throw in shipping for FREE! 
Since taking over the store, I've been focusing on getting the online business up and running, and free shipping can only help!  Sure, it cuts into our margins, but it helps us spread the joy of high quality, small producer olive oils and balsamic vinegars!
Bold Commerce Collaborator
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What does Extra Virgin mean anyway?

You've heard it all your life and seen it on supermarket shelves...

"Extra Virgin Olive Oil", or as Rachel Ray made famous, "EVOO!"

But what does that mean?  Well, "Virgin Olive Oil" is usually fit for human consumption, and is loosely defined as:

"Virgin olive oils are the oils obtained from the fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea L. ) solely by mechanical or other physical means under conditions, particularly thermal conditions, that do not lead to alterations in the oil, and which have not undergone any treatment other than washing, decantation, centrifugation and filtration."

Within "Virgin" oils, Extra Virgin is the highest grade of olive oil available.  By regulation, the International Olive Council defines EVOO as:

"Virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams, and the other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard."

So it comes down to chemistry?

Well, sort of...

The olive oil industry has had a dark side for literally thousands of years, but that's a different story.

The IOC definition above is good, but, the IOC is a voluntary organization, not a government regulatory body.  In addition, it is an industry group that includes many large oil producers with a vested interest in lowering their expenses.  

So, while there is a definition that is "sort of good", most countries aren't strict about enforcing it.  In the past, the FDA has even taken the position that they don't care to enforce regulations about the term "Extra Virgin" as long as people don't get hurt.

The result is that many times, the "EVOO" you buy at the grocery store may not meet the standard, or it may contain oil that did meet the standard at one time, but has been cut with other, cheaper oils.

This produces an "extra virgin" olive oil for $4 a bottle, but it isn't true EVOO and you can taste it!


Of course, this hurts both smaller-scale olive oil producers AND consumers.  Smaller-scale producers can't compete on price with mass-produced, lower-quality, mislabeled "EVOOs".

On the consumer side, EVERYONE has heard about the health benefits of EVOO.  But if what you are buying is supermarket-brand "EVOO", you aren't getting those benefits.

So what is a consumer to do?

There is an awakening happening in the world of olive oils.  

Stores like The Olive Basket source our olive oils from distributors that purchase direct from the smaller oil producers.  Our distributor purchases bulk oils from some producers, and purchases olives from others to produce the highest-quality EVOOs available.

In addition, all of our EVOO varietals comply with the newer Ultra Premium certification, which is a higher quality standard than the IOC requirements mentioned above.

Even our fused and infused oils start out as true EVOOs (they just can't keep the name when other flavors are added).

So there are chemical requirements and standards and all that, but what it really comes down to is flavor.  A true EVOO should have a fruity bouquet, a pungent flavor, and a peppery aftertaste.  To learn more about how our oils compare to standards, check out our Olive Oil Chemistry page.

And of course, stop by for a sample.  We are sure you will love it!


Eric Gisler
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RECIPE:  Tropical Shrub

RECIPE: Tropical Shrub

Tropical Shrub
2 cups of Peach White Balsamic
1 cup of fresh strawberries roughly chopped- smashed
Ingredients when serving:
1 cup of fresh strawberries sliced
1 lemon thinly sliced
Fresh mint leaves
8 cups of chilled sparkling water or seltzer water
In a 1 liter mason jar or container add the strawberries, pour Peach White Balsamic and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to four hours. The longer it sits, the more pronounced the flavor of the infused fruit will be. Strain, keep in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated up to two months.
To serve, add 1-2 tablespoons of shrub for every 8oz of chilled sparkling water or seltzer water. Add fresh fruit, lemon and mint. Serve chilled over ice.
Eric Gisler
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RECIPE:  Caprese Salad w/ Cilantro Pesto and Lavender Balsamic

RECIPE: Caprese Salad w/ Cilantro Pesto and Lavender Balsamic

Caprese with Cilantro Pesto and Lavender Balsamic
Cilantro Pesto
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed, washed, and dried
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
4 green onions, white portion only, chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded, ribs discarded, chopped (optional)
1/3 cup of Chilean Picual
Juice from 2 small limes, about 1 tablespoon
sea salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup of Lavender Balsamic
Fresh Basil
16 oz Fresh Mozzarella – sliced
Place all of the pesto ingredients into a blender or a food processor. Pulse until no large chunks remain, and the sauce is pureed. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Arrange the tomato slices, mozzarella, and basil. Drizzle Cilantro Pesto with Lavender Balsamic.
Eric Gisler
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RECIPE:  Caramelized Brussels sprouts & Mushrooms

RECIPE: Caramelized Brussels sprouts & Mushrooms

1 -1/2 pounds small, fresh brussels sprouts, dried end trimmed, and cut in half
1/2 pound fresh Cremini mushrooms sliced in half
1 medium shallot thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
Heat a heavy-duty 12" saute pan, add the inused olive oil. Add the shallot and sauté over medium until translucent. Add the mushrooms and brussels sprouts and sauté over medium-high heat until the mushrooms and brussels sprouts begin to caramelize (about 6 minutes). Add the 2 tablespoons of pomegranate balsamic to the pan stirring and scraping to de-glaze it. (Make sure to scrape up the browned bits of mushroom and shallot at the bottom while evenly coating the brussles sprouts). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Eric Gisler
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RECIPE:  Grilled Halibut!

RECIPE: Grilled Halibut!

If you are looking for recipe ideas try this Grilled Halibut, featuring our Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil.
Eric Gisler
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We have Food Items!

We have Food Items!

The Olive Basket has FOOD!  Come by the store or take a look at our online selection!
Eric Gisler
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July Oil & Vinegar of the Month

For July heat, we have selected an oil and vinegar combination that is light and refreshing:  Persian Lime Olive Oil and Cinnamon Pear White Vinegar!

Both are great with fish recipes, and Cinnamon Pear Vinegar is excellent as a seafood glaze or in a vinaigrette for salads.

And, of course, both of these make a nice addition to vanilla ice cream!  

Eric Gisler
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New Ownership Announcement

To Our Customers:

I am very pleased to announce that I have recently purchased The Olive Basket!

My family and I are very excited to continue offering some of the best olive oils, vinegars, and specialty items in the world to the Athens and Oconee communities for years to come, and we look forward to meeting you all!  

With this pandemic going on, we are pleased to announce that our website (this website) is fully functional so you will be able to order our wonderful products and have them shipped, pick them up, or request local delivery.

Thank you for your support and we hope to see you soon!


(New) Owner, The Olive Basket

Eric Gisler
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