It’s never too early to start prepping for Christmas particularly if you’re the sort of person that likes to give homemade gifts or get ahead of the game before December rolls around. With winter now officially in action and the indoors being a comfortable retreat from the cold weather, there’s no better time to get started on your gifts and this blog has some ideas for using mini milk bottles.
Christmas is a time associated with a bit of indulgence and alcoholic gifts are some of the easiest to make and some of the most well received, not to mention trendy. Just about any alcohol can be infused with flavours of your choosing and then stored in a mini milk bottle and decorated with ribbon, labels or even some festive tinsel. Simply select a spirit, add flavourings such as fruit rind, sugars, herbs and spices and leave to infuse for around 4 weeks, shaking every so often. Then either strain these out or leave them inside for a more visual gift.
Juice it Up
Know someone who is always on the January health kick? If you want to give a healthier option, juices and immune boosting home made cordials are a great alternative to alcohol. Ginger and lemon cordial are simple to make and has many health benefits and can be taken as a wellness shot or diluted with water for a refreshing drink. Boil ginger and lemons with a tiny bit of sugar or sweetener and some water and boil rapidly for about 15 minutes. Strain into a mini milk bottle and wrap ready for the big day.
Mini milk bottles make quirky containers for holding gifts besides liquids and can be used for small sweets to gift to children or someone with a particular sweet tooth. Being clear, you can layer different colours of sweet for an aesthetically pleasing design or even try and replicate a popular drink brand in the container! For example, you could fill one with orange smarties for someone who like Iron-Bru.
Gardening season is slowly starting to wind down and as we get ready to overwinter some crops, tidy out the greenhouse and prepare for frosts, some of the most delicious fruits and vegetables are just coming into their best. Autumn is well known for many British staples which can be turned into some truly delicious foods. We’ve put together some of our favourite autumn recipes to use up any gluts you might have at this time of year.
You can’t beat an apple chutney on a cheese board, smeared across a sandwich or even just straight on a cracker and with a variety of apples in season, you can make any variation you like. Start with a kilo of apples, 750g of light muscovado sugar, 2 medium onions, 500g of raisins, 2 tsp of ginger, 2 tsp of mustard seeds, 700ml of cider vinegar and a tsp of salt and add to a pan over a high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil before turning down to a medium heat and simmering uncovered for about 35 minutes. Once ready, add to your sterilised glass jars and eat or store.
Fennel is a delicious flavour that tastes great in pasta, on pizza, on sandwiches or in salads and you can preserve it in a pickling solution so that you have it on hand at all times. Simply add vinegar, sugar, salt and spice of your choosing to a pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, and the spices are aromatic. Then, prep your fennel by chopping it into pieces and layering into a glass jar of any size. Pour over the pickling solution and then leave for a minimum of 4 hours to infuse.
It can be harder to grow herbs in the colder months if you don’t already have an established plant, so using those that you do have to make pesto means you can add them to cooking all year round. You can use just about any herbs to make pesto, simply add them to a blender with pine nuts, parmesan cheese and olive oil and blitz into a smooth paste.
Swing top bottles have been a staple in many kitchens for centuries and they have a delicate way of adding charm and a rustic feel to kitchens. Thanks to their upscale and classy appearance, they make a great vestibule for homemade gifts, making them appear expensive and a little bit more upmarket. Whether you are a beginner when it comes to home made gifts or you’re always in the kitchen around Christmas, we’ve got some fool proof ideas that look fantastic in swing top bottles.
Infuse Some Oil
Infused oils are a great gift for those who like to cook or are experimental in the kitchen and while they sell for a pretty penny in the supermarket, they could not be more straightforward to make! Simply choose an oil such as olive oil that absorbs flavours easily and add your chosen flavourings inside a swing top bottle. Go fiery with some whole chipotle chillies or keep it classic with garlic and thyme or get creative and try star anise or cinnamon for a more Asian taste. One of our top tips though – keep whatever spices or herbs you use whole as they look great when surrounded by deliciously oozy oil and will be proudly displayed in the recipient’s kitchen
Create Some Cordials
Cordials aren’t just for children and can be diluted with water, sparkling pop or even a little bit of prosecco and taste absolutely delicious either way. Their high sugar content helps to preserve them which makes them a great addition to a home bar and is a thoughtful and useful gift for any would-be bartenders! Simply choose a flavour and boil it down with water and sugar, leaving to cool and infuse before straining into a swing top bottle. White elderflower, rhubarb and rosehip are great adult flavours that are as stunning as they are delicious.
Jam is one of those quintessentially British foods that can be made from just about any fruit, vegetable and even spices that tastes fantastic on bread, cakes and pastries at any time of the year. Autumnal berries like blackberry and raspberry are a breakfast staple where as summer varieties like cherry and apricot are delicious sandwiched between a scone and whatever the season is producing jams can be made from January through to December!
Autumn Winter Jams
Winter isn’t renowned for its ample harvest, but there are some still fruits that may not grow in the UK, but are readily available in supermarkets thanks to their foreign seasonality. Seville oranges are on offer throughout January and February and make the most mouth-wateringly tart and tangy marmalades. Large and juicy in size, these oranges can produce huge quantities of marmalade, so make sure you stock up on jam jars for the occasion.
Spring is planting season for many UK growers and if you’ve planned ahead for this season then chances are you have an abundance of rhubarb and onions, both of which are delicious in preserves. Rhubarb jam is simple to make and is an exceptionally trendy flavour making it a great addition to cakes, biscuits and pastries at this time of year. Fill up you jam jars and then try a rhubarb Danish pastry, jam tart or even crumble cake for a showstopping teatime treat. Onion jam on the other hand is a savoury sensation that comes alive when served with cheese and crackers on a spring day.
The sunshine at this time of year ripens the classic flavouring of strawberries which goes perfectly on scones, served with cream or pavlova on those hot and humid days. Strawberry jam is brilliant on its own or can be enhanced with other flavourings such as champagne, other berries or even balsamic vinegar for a very foodie twist.
Glass Jars and Bottles supply many businesses across the UK with a variety of packaging for their small, medium and large enterprises. As well as offering retail packs of glass bottles for market holders, small batch producers and home enthusiasts, we also offer wholesale quantities on many of our products, making us an ideal packaging partner for those with larger quantities or more customers to serve.
Our miniature range of glass bottles are extremely versatile and have been ordered by a diverse range of business. They are great for portioning out single serve spirits, cocktail mixes or flavouring drops and have been used by alcohol companies, syrup companies and even wedding venues over the years.
Available in miniature sized or up to 1 litre milk bottles are one of our most in demand products at the moment. As a re-usable item they are fantastic for businesses that are pushing their environmental friendliness and can be used by return and refill businesses looking to minimise their packaging costs. By encouraging customers to pay a price for the packaging and then return to refill when necessary, businesses such as juice bars, diaries and coffee houses can do their bit for the environment.
Sauces and Oil Bottles
The clue is in the name with these glass bottles and our extensive range goes from 60ml to 250ml, in a variety of styles. Sauce and oil production companies can make use of them for retail applications or restaurants can decant larger quantities into smaller sizes to sit on tables or serve alongside food. A range of caps can be purchased including pouring caps and tamper evident pourers for extra security and less spillages.
To see our full range of glass bottles for businesses, see our website.
Summer might have only just technically started, but for those of us who like to enjoy the juicy, bold and sweet flavours of summer throughout the year, it’s time to get started on our winter stocks! If one thing has been proven so far in 2020, it’s that our favourite foods and drinks can sometimes fall out of stock in the supermarkets, so it’s best to be prepared and have some backups available. So where to start?
Canning is a process that has been done for centuries and is one of the most effective ways to preserve food. Typically, it involves preparing and processing food and storing it in airtight containers under a specific set of circumstances and it can give produce a shelf life of anything from 1 – 5 years. Freeze-dried goods can even last up to 30 years if canned properly! Canning can take up a lot of space and so its best to use a glass jar with a lid that is appropriate for your quantities, using larger jars for large batches rather than lots of small ones.
Preserving food is a broad term, but typically this type of processing requires added ingredients to ensure food remains in an edible state. Whether it’s adding a stabiliser like sugar to fruit to make a jam, or adding vinegar to veggies to make pickles, there really is no end to the fruit and veg that can be stored this way. Providing you use airtight glass jars with lids, jams, chutneys and pickles can be dry-stored so you don’t have to worry about them taking up room in the fridge or freezer.
One of the most obvious ways to preserve food, freezing goods can extend the shelf life of produce by around 1-3 months. Most produce can be frozen as is, but fresh vegetables often need to be blanched first so that they keep their textures.
Canning is a centuries old practice used to preserve food and while it looks much different today than it did when it was conceived, the process is very similar to a time gone by. You may not know it, but any form of preserving is classed as canning, so all those jams, chutneys, terrines and pates that you’ve made – all technically canning! We’ve put together some of our favourite canning recipes that use nothing more than this seasons produce and hinged jars!
A classic pickle, beetroot slices are great additions to salads, sandwiches and burgers, making them perfect for picnic and BBQ season. Simply get your hinged jars, slice up your beetroots, or keep them whole for baby beetroots, add them to the pickling vinegar made up of white wine vinegar, sugar, salt and any spices that you like. Mustard seeds, mace, cloves and peppercorns all pair well with the rich a earthly flavour of beetroots so try some of these for a simple and savoury level of spice.
For this recipe, start by roasting a butternut squash and 4 garlic cloves in the oven. Once cooked, peel the flesh of both out from their skins and mash in a bowl. Add some thyme or rosemary, a tablespoon of olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon and 50g of almonds before pulsing in a food processor. You can serve this chunky or smooth in a hinged jar as a vegetarian starter, sandwich filling or even just a dip!
Carrots are great in both savoury and sweet recipes and carrot curd can be either! Make half a cup of carrot and ginger juice in a juicer, ensuring it is a smooth as possible. If there are lumps make sure to press the juice through a fine sieve to remove them before moving on to make the curd. Next, cream together ¾ cup of butter, 6 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt until smooth, then add 2 eggs and 4 egg yolks until just combined. Next add the juice, and then heat the mixture for 20 minutes over a low heat, stirring all the time until the mixture is thick and curd like. Just transfer to a hinged jar and enjoy on cakes, sandwiches or yoghurt.
We’ve all turned our hands to new things over the lockdown period, whether it’s rediscovering a long lost art or trying something completely new. If you’re running out of ideas and want some inspiration for ways to pass your time and be productive, then you are in the right place! We’ve put together a guide on how you can get creative, with just a few jam jars.
Build a Bar
One of the most common lockdown trends we’ve seen across social media is people making their own bars in their home, in place of the usual Friday night visits to the pub. Whether it’s a new shelf for liquor or a full garden hang out, home-style bars can easily replicate the décor and styles of our more traditional haunts. Jam jar candles set the mood for a piano style jazz bar, cocktails in jam jars give off the quirky club vibe or you could go the whole hog and make some hanging jam jar light fittings for the avant-garde lounge feel.
Get In The Garden
If you’re the green-fingered type, then jam jars have a number of uses that can help your hobby to flourish. Getting seeds to germinate outdoors with the unpredictable British weather can be a challenge without a greenhouse, but you can make a miniature one with the help of jam jars! Pop those seeds into their growing spot and then place a clean, clear jam jar over the top to create a baby-sized greenhouse for your new fruits and veggies to start their life in. Once they are sprouted, you’ll want to keep the pesky slugs and snails away, so simply turn over the jar and fill with beer for a quick slug pub.
Empty jam jars are great for repurposing in the kitchen and can be used for more than just jams, preserves and chutneys. Bake individual puddings for a quirky and delicious treat at your next dinner party, make overnight oats for a healthy breakfast on the go or even store small portions of soup and salad for an eco-friendly container.
Milk bottles are soaring off the shelves at the moment, with more people than ever looking to use these glass bottles as opposed to plastic alternatives. It’s no secret that reusable milk bottles are kinder to the environment, whether you use them to get refillable milk from a dairy or use them store excess produce. There are so many uses beyond this though, and everyone can benefit from owning a milk bottle!
Nothing says lazy Sunday brunch like a jug of fresh juice and whether you’re an apple or orange fan, it couldn’t be simpler to make your own. With the aid of a juicer, any sort of juice can be made in bulk and stored in our milk bottles for use at a later date. If you’re holding a brunch, then our 1-litre size is perfect for serving larger groups and makes a fantastic rustic addition to the table setting, or if you’re making enough juice for you to use in the week, our 250ml sizes are great for portioning out, so you can just grab one and go! Why not make a different juice for every day of the week and freeze any excess in another sized bottle, prepping you for weeks to come!
Infuse Some Booze
Whether you’re a flavoured gin connoisseur or a spiced rum savourer, our milk bottles are great for infusing your favourite tipples. Simply add your booze of choice, flavourings and sugar to the bottle, seal and leave for a minimum of six weeks. Some of our favourite seasonal fruits and veggies make delicious additions to white spirits including strawberries, rhubarb and even rocket and our clear milk bottles look chic and rustic, so you won’t mind leaving them on display around your home, filled with colourful harvested goodies!
Make Your Own Milk
While our milk bottles are great for refilling with locally sourced milk, you could even try and make your own dairy alternatives. Oat milk, nut milk and even hemp milk are simple to create at home and will last significantly longer when stored in the fridge in a glass bottle. Go double green by reducing your dairy intake and your plastic use!
Most people don’t stop to consider just how useful glass jars with lids can be and many of us associate them with preserves, pickles and jams, but their uses stretch far beyond these delicacies! Employed by many for their ease of cleaning, reusability and freshness, the humble glass jars can come in handy in almost every room in the house!
Keep Veg Fresher
With airtight seals, glass jars with lids are ideal for keeping food and produce fresher for longer. One of the latest trends people are trying is cutting up their vegetables, submerging them in water in a jar and then screwing the lid on. This unique way of storing vegetables is said to preserve their shelf life and keep them crisper and fresher than just storing in the fridge, or in an empty container. This is a perfect solution for those who find themselves throwing out lots of vegetables every time they stock up the fridge, and with jars in a range of sizes, its ideal from everything from carrots and squash to baby onions and peas!
Shake it Up
Glass jars with lids are ideal for making food and drinks that require shaking, whether it’s salad dressings, cocktails, or even beaten eggs. Perfect for single portions, those in a hurry in the morning can use a traditional 8oz jar to store their breakfast smoothie, pre-made omelette mix or even overnight oats. But don’t worry, the night owls can benefit from them too, add premeasured cocktails, sauces and salads to them for dinner (and drinks) on the go!
Stick to a Plan
We’ve all been there….you’re trying to drop a few pounds and the lure of the chocolate at the back of the cupboard is compelling us to break our diet. Using glass jars with lids to portion out meals and snacks that are quick and easy to grab when temptations strikes, makes us far more likely to stay on track with our healthy eating and less likely to give in to temptation!
To purchase glass jars with lids in a range of sizes, visit our website.
Karen Taylor - also known by some of our customers as 'Jam Jar Karen'..