Category Archives: Glass Bottles

Miniature bottles for wedding favours

image1Miniature bottles for wedding favours

Spring is just around the corner, which means that wedding season is almost upon us. Whether you are getting married in the coming months or your wedding is still a long way off, you are no doubt keen to learn simple ways to create budget-friendly special touches for your big day. Whilst it might be hard to take a homemade approach with your wedding dress or the wedding meal, some aspects of the event lend themselves perfectly to a little homemade flair. DIY wedding favours are a good example and in today’s blog post we come up with some great ideas for how to fill empty miniature bottles with all sorts of delicious things to create unique and inspired wedding favours.

Creative wedding favour ideas with miniature bottles

By filling empty miniature bottles with your own unique blends or infusions you can create your very own wedding favours that are tailor-made for your wedding theme. Simply decanting your favourite single-malt into empty miniature bottles is a great way to save money, but you can get a whole lot more creative with your own infusions. Rhubarb gin or vodka will have your guests clamouring for your secret recipe, whilst traditional sloe gin is always a firm favourite. Homemade limoncello with give your wedding a touch of the Mediterranean, whilst lavender gin will impart a real ‘country chic’ feel and work brilliantly for weddings in rural or outdoor venues.

As with many things, the devil is in the detail. To pull off these wedding favour ideas, you need to think about presentation. Gorgeous handwritten labels can look superb, while a short ribbon around the neck of the bottle will top everything off perfectly. We have seen some great ideas on Pinterest; for example, labels have been printed with the phrase ‘Drink Me’ just like in Alice in Wonderland.

Simple luggage label tags tied with string or twine give a chic but definitely homemade feel to your wedding favours, keeping costs down at the same time. If you want to jazz them up a little, look out for vintage-themed rubber stamps to add colourful designs to the labels.

Which miniature bottles to choose

We have an excellent choice of empty miniature bottles here at Wares for you to choose from. There are miniature whisky bottles, wine bottles, and bottles for spirit-based infusions. We even have some more unusual miniatures, including the cork-stoppered Gladstone bottle that looks like it has come straight from the pages of a Harry Potter novel. Why not browse our range today to find the perfect bottles for your wedding?

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Need lots of glass bottles – wholesale?

Need lots of glass bottles – Wholesale? 

various jars of fruit jam on wooden table

The foodie market in the UK is going from strength to strength, with increasing numbers of people wanting to learn about the provenance of the food they eat, to shop local and to support small-scale producers. Up and down the country, farmers’ markets and food festivals are thriving and more and more people are deciding to become artisan producers, selling their own unique ranges of chutneys, pickles, sauces and salsas.

If you are an artisan producer of preserves or juices, one of the biggest challenges you are likely to face is finding a reliable supplier of quality glass bottles and jars. Some suppliers source bottles and jars of inferior quality, whilst others have prohibitive trade terms or are unreliable when it comes to delivery timeframes. Here at Wares of Knutsford, things are very different, which is why our wholesale customers return to us time and time again for a consistent and professional service.

Buying glass bottles wholesale

If you are making large volumes of drinks, cordials or sauces, it makes sense to buy your glass bottles wholesale. The cost savings of buying in bulk are significant, and you can even order mixed pallets – subject to pack sizes – for each type of bottle or jar you want to buy.

To qualify for our wholesale terms, the minimum order value is £450, excluding delivery and VAT. Spread across a range of glass bottles and jars, this quantity is easy to achieve – our ‘mix and match’ approach means that you do not have to overstock or buy more than you really need to lock in the best prices.

Glass bottles wholesale delivery

Wholesale orders are despatched securely wrapped on pallets for safe and secure delivery and ease of storage once they arrive. We always telephone our wholesale customers to confirm the delivery date, so there are never any unexpected delays or unscheduled visits from the courier company.

Wholesale prices

We show a small selection of wholesale options on our website. If you would like a full wholesale price list or a tailored quote for a specific order, simply get in touch with us on 01477 537224 and we will be delighted to work through your requirements.

For customers who can take even larger quantities, the price savings are even greater for single item bulk purchases. A pallet contains just one size and style of bottle or jar, typically containing around 1,000 units.

If you are an artisan producer looking to take your business to the next level in terms of professional presentation, look no further than Wares of Knutsford.

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The many uses of swing top bottles

The many uses of swing top bottles kilner bottles lemonade 2

We have mentioned before how certain kitchen or household items have the power to whisk us back to our childhood, evoking warm and nostalgic memories of days gone by. For us, one of these items is the vintage-style swing top bottle, which reminds us of summer days spent out in the fields with homemade cloudy lemonade to refresh us, or of picnics at the seaside when we would take a big swig from a swing top bottle to wash away the sand we had swallowed in our sandwiches. If memories like these mean something to you, you can recreate this nostalgic feeling with your very own set of swing top bottles.

Swing top bottles from Wares of Knutsford

Here at Wares we stock over 30 different designs of swing top bottles for you to choose from. We have tiny bottles that are just 7ml in size through to 250ml bottles that are close to the size of a modern-day drinks can or plastic drinks bottle. We also stock much larger bottles, in 750ml or 1l sizes. Style-wise, we have traditional smooth bottles, faceted bottles, and bottles with coloured glass. The coloured bottles, which are from iconic brand Kilner, are available in pastel shades of blue, green and pink. Whilst Kilner is perhaps the most well-known brand we stock, we also carry an excellent range of economy swing top bottles that are well worth checking out.

A recipe for those swing top bottles

Having waxed lyrical about the nostalgic joys of swing top bottles, we thought we would suggest a suitable recipe for using them. This orange cordial is simple to make and a joy to drink.

Ingredients

3 large oranges
500g sugar
650ml water
15g citric acid (available from pharmacies or home brew stores)

Method

Peel and zest the oranges, then put the zest in a large saucepan with the water and sugar.
Boil the mixture, then reduce the heat to a moderate simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Add the orange juice and the citric acid, stirring well to ensure it is mixed thoroughly.

Leave to cool, then strain into your sterilised swing top bottles.

To serve, dilute in a similar ratio to store-bought squash.

If you have made your own fruit cordials or other drinks, such as lemonade or even dandelion and burdock, we would love to know how you got on. Be sure to share your recipes and photos with us on Twitter and Facebook, as we really enjoy seeing what our customers create at home.

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Blending essential oils in oil bottles

Blending essential oils in oil bottles

Herbal oil and lavender flowers on wooden background

It is widely known that essential oils have unique powers to affect our mood and sense of wellbeing. Some oils invoke feelings of calm and tranquillity, whilst others leave us feeling uplifted and rejuvenated. Some oils can help with relaxation and promote restful sleep, and others can help with mood swings and irritability. You can also make scents to spray on clean laundry or on your pillowcases, or creams to use as hand creams or body moisturisers, which can all be enhanced by the use of the right combination of essential oils.

Oil bottles filled with your own unique blends

Whilst some oils work brilliantly on their own, the results can be much better if you blend two or three oils together. Each adds its own unique qualities; combined, they can bring out more subtle influences. The best way to get to know how essential oils work together is to blend your own. By investing in a core set of oils and some good-quality oil bottles, you can practise your own bit of alchemy and magic to produce tailor-made blends that really work.

It is a good idea to keep a blending notebook when you create your own new mix. In this way, you will know exactly what you have added to each oil bottle, and in what quantities. When you find something you like and that works for you, you can easily grab another oil bottle and mix up another batch.

After this, it really is a matter of experimenting. Whether you are blending essential oils to produce a scent or to create a therapeutic blend, it is best to find oils that sit well together to avoid creating something that smells unpleasant or that invokes conflicting emotions or responses. Try dividing the oils you have into distinct groups, such as spicy, floral, citrus or medicinal. When it comes to blending oils, they stand a better chance of working well together if they are from the same group. Oils from different groups could compete against one another, or one of them could overwhelm another.

The final thing to say here is that in addition to essential oils, you will need some carrier oils. Since essential oils are extremely potent concentrated forms, they always need to be ‘carried’ in a milder base oil. Suitable carrier oils include sweet almond oil, coconut oil and jojoba.

Our oil bottles

If you are serious about blending your own essential oils, it is important to use the right oil bottles for your blends. Check out our range today and get started on this fascinating and therapeutic hobby.

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Vintage swing top bottles

Vintage swing top bottles 

Homemade ginger ale

If, like much of the population, you are in love with all things vintage, you are probably always on the lookout for the perfect homewares item, decorative piece or gadget to add a little vintage chic to your home. From traditional blankets in the bedroom to kitchen gadgets from yesteryear, giving your home a vintage-inspired makeover has never been easier. In today’s post, we take a look at one of our personal favourites – the swing top bottle – and rustle up some ideas for making an old-fashioned cordial to serve in these delightful bottles.

Swing top bottles

These bottles, with their iconic metal and ceramic clip top fastenings, conjure up memories of childhood for many of us. Days spent ‘playing out’ without a care in the world, until Mum called us in for a refreshing glass of homemade lemonade or some cordial she had made herself. Picnics at the beach, with sand in our sandwiches and cool drinks in the summer sun. With such memories attached to the bottles, it is no wonder we all want to recreate a little of times long gone by using these bottles today and making our own drinks.

Our range of swing top bottles

When thinking about these bottles, many people think of Kilner bottles, as they are well-associated with the swing top style; however, Kilner bottles are not the only brand to use this type of fastening. We stock a wide range of other bottles featuring the classic swing top; for example, our faceted Costolata bottles are hugely popular and come in a range of great sizes, from 500ml up to one litre. The one-litre Sorrento bottle is another great swing top choice, while the economy swing top range is perfect for anyone on a budget.

Filling those swing top bottles

If you have decided that you would like to add a little vintage chic to your kitchen with these gorgeous bottles, you may be thinking about what you will serve in them. Why not try a delicious homemade blackcurrant cordial, which is guaranteed to taste a million times more amazing than a shop-bought cordial? Put 1kg of blackcurrants in a pan with 350ml of water, and cook for 10 minutes or so, squashing the blackcurrants at the same time. Strain the juice through a sieve, pressing the blackcurrants to allow the juice to pass through. Put the juice back in the pan with 300g of sugar for every 500ml of juice. Heat until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and add one teaspoon of citric acid. Pour into sterilised bottles and serve diluted.

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The useful 50ml bottle

The useful 50ml bottle image1

When it comes to miniature bottles, we think it is fair to say that our range is second to none. If you read our blog because you are a home preserves enthusiast or a keen cook, you may be wondering what on earth such a small bottle can be used for? Read on and all will be revealed, as the 50ml bottle is hugely popular and ideal for a wide range of projects.

Uses for a 50ml bottle

These miniature bottles are not designed for actually making things in, of course, but they are perfect for decanting your homemade drinks and infusions to use as wedding favours or to give as gifts to friends and family. Many wedding couples choose to give individual drinks to their guests as favours, such as a small bottle of infused gin or vodka, or perhaps a dram of the finest single malt whisky.

Once you have decided which miniature bottles you want to use for your wedding favours or gifts, you also need to think about presentation. A cute label, handwritten with the details of the contents and the recipient’s name, will add a warm and personalised touch. Set the whole thing off with a pretty ribbon around the neck of the bottle for the perfect finishing touch.

A 50ml bottle – the choices

We have quite an extensive range of miniature bottles to choose from here at Wares, so there is bound to be a bottle that perfectly suits your project or creative idea. The most popular bottle in this range is the 50ml Gladstone bottle with its dinky cork stopper. These gorgeous little bottles appear to have come straight from Harry Potter’s chemistry lessons, and they look so charming when used as gifts or wedding favours. Try them filled with traditional sloe gin or go a little more contemporary with rhubarb gin, which is really on trend at the moment.

Another great choice in a 50ml size is the miniature whisky bottle. Looking every inch like a scaled-down version of a traditional whisky bottle, this one is particularly popular with wedding couples who are getting married in Scotland and want to keep a Scottish theme running throughout their big day.

Our third 50ml pick is the flask-style bottle that looks like a miniature hip flask bottle. Again, these work brilliantly for homemade drinks such as sloe gin. They are also suitable for infused spirits such as apricot brandy, strawberry vodka, and blackberry and apple gin.

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A recipe for Christmas sauce bottles

A recipe for Christmas sauce bottles

tomato sauce with raw ingredients

The secret to a stress-free Christmas Day is preparation, and we have all heard the trite saying that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Whilst this might do little more in an office environment than irritate your co-workers, it is not without merit when it comes to a smooth and enjoyable Christmas dinner. For the full traditional Christmas celebration, there are several meals to plan, including starters, main courses and desserts, and plenty of leftovers to use up. This means that having a range of different sauces to hand can really help to turn an ordinary meal into something special. From bread sauce to cranberry sauce and from sage and onion sauce to salted caramel sauce, both sweet and savoury dishes can be enhanced by a good sauce. In today’s blog post we take a look at a recipe for cranberry ketchup, which is guaranteed to surprise and delight.

Sauce bottles at the ready!

This recipe will make around 500ml of sauce, so be sure to get your sauce bottles ready in advance.

Ingredients

350g frozen cranberries
1 red onion, finely chopped
450ml water
175g sugar
225ml apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 cinnamon stick
5 allspice berries
½ tsp peppercorns
½ tsp mustard seeds

Method

Put the cranberries, onion and water in a large pan. Cook on a medium heat for around 15 minutes until the cranberries burst. Allow to cool and then pour into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the sugar, vinegar and salt, stirring to combine. Place the cinnamon, mustard seeds, peppercorns and allspice in a muslin bag and secure the top, then add this to the mixture. Cook on a medium heat for around 30 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.

Remove the muslin bag and allow the sauce to cool. Pour into sterilised sauce bottles, seal and label, and store in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Our range of sauce bottles

Here at Wares, we have quite an extensive range of bottles for sauce to choose from. The 250ml hexagonal bottles for sauce have a certain vintage appeal, whilst the round sauce bottle has a very chic look and will appeal to artisan producers in addition to home cooks.

Whilst this recipe will not guarantee a smooth and stress-free cooking experience this Christmas, it will deliver a great-tasting treat that will liven up that cold turkey and Christmas ham!

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A recipe for swing top bottles

A recipe for swing top bottles

last drop of empty water bottle on white background

We can hardly believe it, but the season of festive cheer is almost upon us and there are just a few weeks to go until Christmas. This means it is time to think about homemade gifts to give to friends and family, and about making some unique and appealing creations to take to parties and get-togethers. In today’s blog post, we take a look at a special Christmas recipe for a great festive drink that works brilliantly as a Christmas present and as a take-along drink for seasonal celebrations.

Swing top bottles look so stylish

If you are planning to make some homemade drinks to give as Christmas presents this year, it is important to think about presentation. The most delicious drink imaginable will look a little disappointing if it is presented in a re-used bottle, with just a plain white label on the bottle to say what it is. Instead, consider using some swing-top bottles for a stylish vintage look that really sets the tone. We have a huge range of bottles for sale, including plenty of swing-top models, such as the 250ml faceted Costolata bottles, the Kilner coloured swing-tops, and the 500ml sloe gin flask.

Filling those swing top bottles

Once you have settled on the bottles you will use, it is time to get busy in the kitchen. Flavoured vodkas are a fabulous Christmas idea and are guaranteed to go down a storm. Try adding sliced cucumber and tarragon for a zingy taste, or go for orange and cinnamon for a real winter warmer. These drinks will keep for up to two months, so make them towards the end of November to give them time to infuse well before Christmas. Add a nice label, and perhaps a festive ribbon or bow, and you have a thoughtful and attractive gift in no time.

Another vodka-based recipe that works sensationally in homemade form is amaretto. Combine 150g white sugar, 75g brown sugar and 225ml water in a pan, heating gently until all the sugar has dissolved. Add 500ml vodka, 2 tbsp almond extract and 2 tbsp vanilla extract, stirring well. Pour into your sterilised bottles and seal. This recipe is so good that your gift recipients will be hard-pressed to tell the difference from genuine amaretto!

We hope we have inspired you to have a go at making your own homemade drinks this Christmas. With such an extensive range of bottles for sale, including lots of pretty and stylish swing tops, we are sure you will find just the bottle you are looking for to set your drinks-based gifts off perfectly.

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Filling miniature whisky bottles for Christmas presents

Filling miniature whisky bottles for Christmas presents

Miniature Spirits/Liquour Bottle Mock-Up

It is just a few short weeks until Christmas, the shops are filled with Christmas stock and gift ideas, and the TV adverts have already started in earnest. If you have decided to take a step back this year from the commercialism that can often surround Christmas, you may be looking for some Christmas present ideas that you can make quickly and easily to give to friends and family this festive season. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some great ideas with you through our blog; today, we are kicking things off with some great ideas for drinks-based gifts in miniature bottles.

Miniature whisky bottles

It would be simple enough to pop to the local store and buy a bottle of whisky, or perhaps a batch of miniatures, but this approach has two downsides. Firstly, it can be expensive to buy from an off-licence or to buy alcohol-based gift packs from department stores; secondly, this type of gift does not show the recipient that you have spent time and care on their gift.

Instead, consider buying a modestly-priced whisky and decanting it into tiny bottles. You can then decorate the bottles to create a unique and creative gift that will be unique to you, the giver. Choose some festive ribbon from our collection, and some mini labels, and jazz up these little bottles to give them a really festive feel.

In addition to decorating the bottles, you could make some whisky-based infusions and decant these into miniature bottles. Try adding a jalapeno pepper, star anise, grated lime rind and honey to a pan and heating for five minutes before adding to the whisky and allowing to infuse over a period of several days. Decant this infusion into miniature bottles for a whisky creation that packs a punch! For a Christmas gift, you could also add mulling spices to a whisky base to create a uniquely seasonal flavour.

Miniature whisky bottles from Wares of Knutsford

Over in our online store, we have a wide range of miniature bottles for you to choose from, including bottles specifically for whisky and bottles in all sorts of other shapes and sizes. The 50ml miniature whisky bottles are a best seller at Wares and are available to buy in a range of pack sizes, from 12 right up to 300! If whisky is not your thing, we also have small bottles in a range of shapes, including some rather unusual ones. These include the Gladstone and Nocturne bottles with cork stoppers, miniature flask bottles, and even some swing stopper bottles.

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Homemade dandelion and burdock in a swing top bottle

Homemade dandelion and burdock in a swing top bottle

last drop of empty water bottle on white background

If you are a child of the seventies, you may well have fond memories of the ‘pop man’ – a home delivery service for fizzy drinks whereby a man in a van would bring weekly treats of lemonade, cherryade, ginger beer, cream soda and our personal favourite, dandelion and burdock. If you are a little younger, you have probably barely heard of dandelion and burdock, as it is a fizzy drink that has for some reason fallen out of fashion in more recent times. Fear not, as we have a recipe for creating your own dandelion and burdock drink so that you can taste it for yourselves. Read on to find out how to make this quirky drink.

First, grab a swing top bottle or two

As with all preserving and home cooking projects, the first step is to ensure you have the right equipment to hold the finished product. Swing top glass bottles are ideal for this project, as they keep the contents fresh and fizzy and add a vintage touch that matches the old-school dandelion and burdock flavours perfectly.

Always make sure that you sterilise your bottles properly before filling them, as failure to do this correctly can lead to spoiled results.

Ingredients

150g ground burdock root
75g ground dandelion root
½ tsp ground ginger
½ a vanilla pod
1 star anise, ground
Juice of 1 lemon
150g granulated sugar
1 litre of cold water

Method

– Add all the ingredients, except the sugar, to a large saucepan and cook over a low heat for about 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the liquid through a straining sieve or muslin cloth to remove any pieces. Whilst the liquid is still hot, stir in the granulated sugar, ensuring that it dissolves fully.

– Once cool, pour into sterilised glass bottles and place in the fridge.

– To serve, mix like a cordial with soda water and add ice.

Our swing top bottle range

When it comes to swing top glass bottles, our range is hard to beat. From small 250ml Costolata bottles to one-litre whoppers, the range covers all sorts of shapes and sizes. Our 250ml deluxe swing top bottles are one of our most popular bottles, along with the Kilner 250ml swing tops that come in pastel shades of green, pink and blue in addition to clear glass. For making individual drinks to take on a picnic, for example, we recommend the 250ml bottles; for making a large quantity of dandelion and burdock to dilute on an ad-hoc basis, the one-litre size is more appropriate.

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Miniature bottles for gifts

Miniature bottles for gifts 

Glass bottle wedding favor christening on old wooden table

It seems like barely any time has passed since we were blogging about spring and the fruit and vegetables growing in the garden, waiting to be harvested in summer for turning into all sorts of tasty pickles and preserves. Suddenly, it is October and our thoughts are turning inevitably towards Christmas and the gift-giving season. Since nothing shows thought and care more than a homemade gift, today we thought we would talk about some ideas for giving miniature drinks as Christmas presents to friends and family.

Miniature bottles of homemade drinks

If you gather your sloes now and make up a batch of sloe gin, it will be ready to decant into smaller bottles just before Christmas. In addition to sloe gin, why not make some other flavours so that you can create gift sets of three or more different bottles? Try lemon gin, plum gin or even pomegranate gin. For a seasonal flavour, autumn berries are a good choice – think blackberries, hips, and frozen raspberries or redcurrants. Another great Christmas idea is a chocolate and vanilla gin, made by adding a vanilla pod and cacao nibs to the gin. This recipe is great for a last-minute gift, as it does not need to infuse over a period of weeks like sloe gin. Just make it a day or two before you want to give your gift and hope that the recipient invites you to share this delicious treat!

A great seasonal idea for whisky is apple and cinnamon infused whisky. Add roughly chopped apples to a jar, cores and all, with a cinnamon stick and sugar or honey. Pour whisky over and allow to infuse for three to five weeks before bottling in miniature whisky bottles.

Our range of miniature bottles 

Alcohol cocktails, shots in glass bottles. Row of many alcohol tasty shots with straws in small bottles. Creative cocktails. Unusual alcohol in bar, many, plenty of drinks for party., catering, event

From miniature whisky bottles to tiny 50ml liqueur bottles, our range of small glass bottles covers every option. There are diminutive flask bottles and fancier options, such as the Nocturne bottle with a cork stopper and the slender Esmeralda and Opera bottles. Whether you want to create some infused spirits, a homemade wine or even a cordial, there is a bottle to suit your project. Mini bottles work well as gifts when you group them together in sets of three or five, with a different flavour of drink in each bottle if possible. Labelled neatly, and with a decorative ribbon to set the whole thing off, this type of gift looks every bit as professional as the shop-bought alternatives and the recipient will be especially touched that you went to the trouble of making such a thoughtful homemade gift.

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The versatility of milk bottles

The versatility of milk bottles 

Various flavors of milk in bottles with chocolate and strawberries isolated on white

For most people in the UK, the days of the daily milk delivery to our homes is long gone and the familiar clink of the glass milk bottles out in the street as the milkman trundles up the road in his electric float is a distant memory for all but a lucky few. Whilst it is rare nowadays to be able to find milk in glass bottles for sale in the shops, the good news is that empty glass milk bottles are still available to buy and we stock quite a range of different shapes and sizes. Whether you want to rustle up a yummy drink to serve in a milk bottle or to use these bottles in a creative craft project, check out our range to find the perfect bottle for you.

Shakes and smoothies in milk bottles

Glass milk bottles are ideal for serving nutritious and delicious smoothies. Try an invigorating blend of banana, spinach leaves, apple juice and the juice of a lime, all blended together to create a vitamin-packed superfood smoothie that is the perfect start to the day. Another great smoothie idea is banana, fresh milk, top-quality honey and chopped almonds. Blended together and chilled in the fridge, this makes an awesome breakfast smoothie that is filling and delicious.

Whilst a smoothie is a great way to start the day and ensure you get all the vitamins and nutrients you need, sometimes something a little sweeter is the order of the day, which is where homemade milkshakes come in. These are excellent for children’s birthday parties and look fabulous served in old-fashioned milk bottles with colourful straws. Chocolate and banana milkshakes always go down well; alternatively, for something a little different, try blending some raspberries or blackberries with the milk for a wholesome, colourful shake that tastes sublime.

Creative ideas for milk bottles

Milk bottle creativity does not have to be confined to the kitchen; in addition, there are plenty of craft ideas you can try using these bottles. Try painting the outside of the bottles with chalk paint in pastel shades to create cute little vases that work brilliantly in groups of three; alternatively, tie old-fashioned twine around the necks of the bottles and hang them from hooks on the wall. With a single dried rose in each bottle, they will blend vase and wall art for a stunning effect.

If you love the vintage look of glass milk bottles and have some creative ideas of your own, why not share them with us on social media?

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English wines – buy your wine bottles!

English wines – buy your wine bottles! 

Corkscrew and bottle of wine on the board

For years, English wines had a very dubious reputation for being overly-sweet and rather unpleasant and unsophisticated. In recent years, however, the English wine industry has very much come of age, with English wines holding their own as a premium product in many markets. In today’s blog post, we take a look at how English wine has grown up, how the industry is developing, and what the best new vineyards are producing.

3.5 million wine bottles a year

It is easy to assume that production of English wines does not amount to very much, as the industry – much like the English themselves – is rather shy and retiring when it comes to overt self-promotion. The producers have evidently been letting their wines do the talking; according to Decanter magazine, there are now over 450 active vineyards in the UK, producing 3.5 million bottles a year. This is an awful lot of glass bottles filled with the fruits of English vines, English dedication and expertise. Decanter estimates that the industry was worth around £100m in 2015, which is certainly not small fry.

Technically, the English climate means that vineyards are possible throughout the country; however, the milder temperatures of the south-east of the country mean that wine production is heavily clustered across Kent and Sussex. When renowned champagne brand Taittinger buys a vineyard in England, it is fair to say that the English wine sector must be doing something right!

What are the best English wines hitting the shelves right now? Boot Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir from Kent-based firm Gusbourne is an award-winning red that holds many top-notch French labels to account; on the white wine front, Denbies’ Noble Harvest has caught the eye of Waitrose, which stocks it alongside a number of superb English whites. Sparkling wine is where it all began for English winemakers and they do not come better than the superlative fizz produced by Hampshire-based vineyard Jenkyn Place. Again, these are available from Waitrose or direct from the producer.

Fill your own wine bottles

If all this talk of English wine has got you thinking, why not have a go at making your own wine? You could try some classic fruit wine recipes, such as plum wine, elderflower wine or peach wine; alternatively, if you have a grape vine growing in a greenhouse or polytunnel, you could even give it a go with your very own grapes. All you need is a supply of suitable glass bottles, some basic fermenting kit, and a lot of enthusiasm.

Have you sampled some spectacular English wines? Share your recommendations with us via Twitter or Facebook.

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The History of Whisky – miniature bottles

Miniature Spirits/Liquour Bottle Mock-Up

The history of whisky

 Whilst the process of distillation dates back to around 2000BC, when it was used by the ancient Mesopotamians to make perfumes, producing alcohol through distillation is a far more recent innovation. The Romans stuck mainly to producing wine and it was not until the 12th or 13th centuries that Italian monks began to produce alcohol from distilled wine. By the 15th century, the manufacture of distilled alcohol had spread throughout the monasteries of Europe, where it was used predominantly for medicinal purposes. Eventually, grains were used instead of grapes, creating aqua vitae, or uisge beatha in Gaelic.

 The first documentary evidence of whisky production is from 1494, when 500 bottles were produced, by order of the king. When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries between 1536 and 1541, monks found themselves needing to earn a living. Whisky production moved from the preserve of the monasteries to ordinary locations, with whisky becoming available to the masses.

 In 1725, the English malt tax was imposed, causing the price of whisky to rise dramatically and forcing many Scottish distilleries to operate illicitly, often at night, giving rise to whisky’s nickname of ‘moonshine’. In 1823, the UK’s Excise Act finally allowed Scottish whisky producers to operate legally on payment of a fee.

 Until the 1880s, French brandy was the main distilled alcoholic drink in many countries; however, a devastating vine pest called phylloxera savaged France’s grape harvests, allowing whisky to become dominant.

 From jeroboams to miniature whisky bottles

 As the production of whisky developed over the years, more and more bottle sizes were made available. Whilst a standard whisky bottle is 700ml in the EU, and 750ml in the US, whisky is available in sizes ranging from miniature bottles of 50ml through to jeroboams, which are 3,000ml – the equivalent of four standard bottles. Needless to say, jeroboams are mainly purchased for special occasions or to add to a whisky collection.

 Modern uses for miniature whisky bottles

 Whisky miniatures, along with other spirits such as brandy and rum, were incredibly popular in the 1970s and are still available today. One very popular use for miniature bottles is as wedding favours, with wedding couples choosing to buy their own bottles and decant their favourite whisky into these miniatures to give as a gift to each wedding guest. This is popular across the board, but especially so for weddings where either the bride or groom is Scottish or where the wedding is taking place in Scotland. The long Scottish association with whisky and whisky-making is clearly alive and well today, hundreds of years after the very first whiskies were created.

 

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Homemade barbecue sauce

Homemade barbecue sauce 

Barbeque Sauce with Tomatoes, Smoked Salt and fresh Herbs (on rustic wooden background)

Are you one of the millions of enthusiastic Brits who can’t wait for summer so that they can dust off the barbecue and eat outdoors? If so, you are in for a treat today, as we are going to share our favourite homemade barbecue sauce recipe. Once you have had a go at making your own barbecue sauce, you will never settle for a shop-bought one again.

Sauce bottles at the ready

Man eating roasted pork ribs with garlic, rosemary and green herb sauce on rustic wooden table. Man' s hands holding fork with fried potato and glass of dark beer, top view

Before you make your own barbecue sauce, you need to consider the bottles you are going to use. For a professional finish, use a special sauce bottle such as our wonderful hexagonal bottle. Holding 250ml, the hexagonal bottle is reminiscent of old-style sauces from the 70s and will set off your homemade creations perfectly.

Here is the recipe for our homemade barbecue sauce:

Ingredients

500ml tomato ketchup
250ml water
100ml apple cider vinegar
10 tbsp brown sugar
½ tbsp mustard
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Method

The thing we love about a lot of homemade sauces is that there is often very little to it, which certainly applies to this recipe. Simply add all the ingredients to a pan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 75 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and decant into sterilised bottles.

We can heartily recommend this sauce poured liberally over all sorts of barbecued foods. It is brilliant with ribs, chicken drumsticks and lamb chops, and it will even spice up some barbecued vegetables for any vegetarian guests.

Our range of sauce bottles

Once you have been bitten by the sauce-making bug and discover just how easy it is, you will be itching to have a go at some more. Whether you fancy making your own salad cream, a delicious pasta sauce or a punchy chilli sauce, you will need plenty of bottles to store all that saucy goodness. If the hexagonal bottle is not your style, check out the other bottles in our range – we are sure to have something that appeals. With square bottles, round bottles, cylindrical bottles and bottles shaped just like the iconic Worcestershire sauce bottles and you-know-who’s salad cream bottles, we are confident that we have the right bottle for every project.

Are you planning a summer of barbecues? Let us know via social media, as we love to see your recipes and the ways you use our products.

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Kilner bottles for picnics

Kilner bottles for picnics 

The sun is finally shining and the nights have drawn out, which can only mean one thing – picnic time is here! Picnics are a peculiarly British phenomenon and summer just is not summer without a picnic in the countryside or on a sandy beach, with the sun shining down and delicious food and drink to enjoy in the great outdoors. We will, no doubt, have plenty of picnic recipes for you over the summer months, but in today’s blog post we are concentrating on some super-refreshing drinks to take with you on your picnics this year.

Drinks in Kilner bottles 

Picnic basket with fruits, flowers and water in the glass bottle

Kilner’s swing top bottles are perfect for recreating a vintage theme for your picnic and for serving delicious homemade drinks. Everyone loves homemade cloudy lemonade, of course, and you can spice it up a little by substituting some of the water in the recipe for pineapple juice.

There are so many other tempting drinks you can easily make to take on a picnic. Elderflowers are in bloom right now, so why not make some traditional elderflower cordial or a sparkling elderflower drink using fizzy mineral water or even champagne?

Another great recipe for swing top bottles is homemade dandelion and mandarin drink. Chop up some fresh dandelion leaves and remove the zest from two mandarin oranges. Squeeze the juice of the mandarins and the juice from two limes into a bowl and add the chopped dandelion leaves and a tablespoon of honey. Mix everything together well, then add one litre of sparkling mineral water. Decant into swing top bottles and serve the same day.

Our range of Kilner bottles

We stock quite an extensive range of swing top bottles, including a number of Kilner branded bottles. The coloured 250ml Kilner bottles are particularly popular, as they just ooze vintage charm and summer fun. They are available in pastel shades of blue, green and pink in addition to clear glass. Why not get a mixed set of colours to hand out at your next picnic or summer garden party?

Another cool bottle from the Kilner range is the 200ml handled bottle. Its vintage styling makes us think of period dramas, with the hero and heroine running through the meadows before tumbling to the ground for a refreshing drink. Perhaps we have a vivid imagination, but we are sure that you will enjoy these bottles just as much!

Be sure to send us photos of your picnics this summer, either via Twitter or Facebook.

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Glass bottles for sale

Glass bottles for sale 

vegetable and fruit juice bottles isolated on white background

Most people know Wares of Knutsford as ‘the jam jar people’, and rightly so. We stock more types and sizes of jam jars than most of our competitors; however, this is not all we offer. Today we take a look at our huge range of glass bottles to showcase the enormous variety of bottles available and to give some ideas and inspiration for how to use them.

A huge range of glass bottles for sale

Whether you want to brew your own beer or wine, make refreshing lemonade or elderflower cordial, or have a go at homemade pasta sauce or tomato ketchup, we have just the right bottle for your project. Our range also covers bottles ideal for serving drinks, such as our vintage milk bottles that come with cute patterned lids and drinking straws. If you are into making your own homemade cosmetics, lotions and potions, we also stock a wide range of pharmacy bottles to give your projects an authentic, professional look.

Our swing top bottles are always popular, conjuring up memories of times gone by when out grandma made homemade lemonade or elderflower cordial. With homemade drinks such as these now enjoying a renaissance in popularity, swing top jars are very much back in fashion. As elderflowers are out now, why not go foraging and make your own delicious cordial?

Unusual glass bottles for sale

Brandy in a beautiful bottle in front of modern background

Whilst many of our bottles are regular in appearance, we also offer quite an array of unusual bottles for more creative projects – check out our Designer Bottles category online to find stylishly-shaped bottles for every conceivable project. The Sonata bottle has a wide, circular base and tapers up to a thick neck for a glamorous look, whilst the Nocturne bottle looks like something from an old apothecary’s dispensing cabinet!

If you are looking for unusual and interestingly-shaped bottles to use as wedding favours or to decorate the tables at your wedding reception, we have plenty to choose from. Our Gladstone bottles are one of our most popular lines and are often used to make wedding favours, holding homemade drinks such as rhubarb gin or peppermint vodka. Another bottle that is incredibly popular for wedding favours is our dinky heart-shaped bottle. This quirky little bottle holds 40ml and has a cute, old-fashioned swing top lid. Filled with a shot of something such as vodka or whisky, or perhaps tiny sweets such as midget gems or sherbet pips, these jars look sensational and provide a lasting memento for guests to take home.

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Magical milk bottle recipes

Magical milk bottle recipes 

Various flavors of milk in bottles with chocolate and strawberries isolated on white

If you often wish you could get your children to drink more healthy drinks and be a bit keener on the five-a-day concept, today’s post might be of interest. With warm and sunny days on the horizon, finding ways to tempt children to quench their thirst and stay hydrated is something we should all be thinking about; fortunately, milkshakes and smoothies are both fantastic for encouraging youngsters to drink something that is refreshing and healthy at the same time.

Fill those milk bottles with milkshake magic

For many parents, asking their children to drink a healthy glass of fresh milk every day is rather a thankless task; therefore, the trick is to turn that glass of milk into something altogether more delicious. Strawberry milkshakes are always popular, especially if you whip them until they are super-frothy and add a little marshmallow treat on the top. A peanut butter and banana milkshake is another fabulous idea to try – if you serve these in our glass milk bottles, the novelty value will encourage children to see the drink as a fun experience. If you need to get children to eat and drink healthily, sometimes stealth is a great tactic!

Serve smoothies in milk bottles

It is not just children who need to ensure they get their five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, of course, as this can also be a challenge for time-pressed adults. One quick and easy way to eat more fruit and veg is to replace at least one meal a day with a vitamin-packed smoothie. The benefits of drinking a smoothie every day are twofold – they can provide plenty of vitamins, fibre and goodness, and they can form part of a sensible weight-loss programme, if required.

What you choose to put in your smoothies is limited only by your imagination, so check what is in season and experiment with your own unique blends and flavours. If you are short of time, it is easy to make up a larger batch of your favourite smoothie, decant it into glass milk bottles, and store it in the fridge ready for use.

For a real superfood kickstart smoothie, try mixing half a cup of green tea, two tablespoons of honey, a chopped banana and 300g of blueberries with a cup of milk. Blend all the ingredients together until they are smooth, then pour into glass milk bottles and chill in the fridge before serving.

If you have any great milkshake or smoothie recipes, why not share them with us on Facebook or Twitter? We would love to hear your ideas!

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A recipe for sauce bottles

A recipe for sauce bottles 

tomato sauce with raw ingredients

If you have made a promise to yourself to try some new home preserves this summer, making your own sauces or ketchups might be just the thing. Jams and chutneys are tasty and enjoyable to make, of course, but now and again it is fun to try something you have not made before. We have recently featured a recipe for homemade tomato ketchup; today, we thought we would cover that other British classic, brown sauce.

Brown sauce is typically used as an accompaniment to savoury dishes, both hot and cold, and can be added to stews and soups for a rich, tangy taste. It is something of a ‘love it or hate it’ sauce, having both its fans and its detractors. One thing is for sure – homemade brown sauce will always taste so much better than the shop-bought variety and is definitely worth a try.

Selecting your sauce bottles 

Barbeque Sauce with Tomatoes, Smoked Salt and fresh Herbs (on rustic wooden background)

Homemade sauces need a specific type of bottle to pour neatly and store well. We have a wide range of sauce bottles available online and for this recipe we recommend something such as the 250ml Round Sauce Bottle or the 270ml Salad Cream Bottle.

Ingredients

200ml water
275ml white wine vinegar
450ml cider vinegar
200ml apple juice
200ml orange juice
300ml tamarind paste
2 tubes of tomato purée
4 large apples
4 red onions
100g chopped dates
100g chopped prunes
3 cloves of garlic
4tbsp black treacle
6 cloves
½ tsp salt
½ tsp peppercorns
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Method

– Roughly chop the apples and onions, and crush the garlic. Place these in a large pan with the dates, prunes, white wine vinegar, water, tomato purée, orange juice, apple juice, treacle and tamarind paste.

– Bring this mixture to the boil, then simmer over a medium heat for 30 minutes with the pan covered.

– Grind all the spices to a fine powder, then add to the pan and stir well. Use a handheld blender to blend the mixture to a smooth sauce and continue to simmer for another 45 minutes until the sauce becomes thick.

– Spoon the hot sauce into sterilised glass sauce bottles and seal with clean, sterilised lids. Allow to cool before storing in a cool, dark place.

More ideas for glass sauce bottles

If we have piqued your interest in making some homemade sauces, there are plenty of other recipe ideas to try; for example, homemade salad cream is perfect for summer salads, whilst homemade chilli sauce is delicious on savoury dishes or cheese platters.

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Kilner bottles

Kilner bottles kilner bottles 2

There is no denying that Kilner is one of the most well-known and well-loved kitchen brands in the UK, with the firm holding a special place in the nation’s hearts for decades. Whilst best known for the iconic preserving jars that formed the foundation of the company over a century ago, Kilner also produces an extensive range of swing top bottles and it is these delightful bottles that we are taking a look at in today’s post.

Kilner bottles

The range of Kilner swing top bottles that we stock includes a variety of shapes and sizes, all carrying the distinctive Kilner name emblazoned on the front of the bottle. From the tiniest 70ml bottles right up to one-litre bottles, there is certainly plenty of choice. Some of the most popular Kilner bottles are the coloured ones, which are available in pastel pink, blue and green. These coloured bottles are available in both 250ml and one-litre sizes.

There are also some delightful vintage-shaped bottles in the range, which have a wide base, narrow neck, red stopper, and metal carrying handle. They are perfect for vintage-themed parties or picnics and look amazing filled with old-fashioned homemade lemonade.

Alternatives to Kilner bottles 

Currants, swing top bottles and steam juicer for homemade currants syrup

Many of our customers refer to any brand of swing top bottle as a Kilner bottle due to the similarity in style; in fact, we carry quite a few other types of swing top bottle in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Our Sorrento bottle is tall and elegant and is available with either a blue or an opaque stopper. This bottle makes us think of beautiful summer days in Italy, which is why we named the bottle the Sorrento! For afternoons spent lazing on the patio, reading a book and sipping a refreshing lemonade or elderflower cordial, the Sorrento is just perfect.

We have a number of larger one-litre swing top bottles in the range, all of which work brilliantly for serving fresh water at the dining table. Fill a bottle or two with tap water and chill in the fridge before supper time, then serve at the table for a refreshing drink whilst eating.

These one-litre bottles are not just for water, of course; for example, you can also use them to make delicious homemade cordials or even vinegars. Elderflowers will be ready in no time, so get ready to make your own elderflower cordial. Not long after this, raspberries will be ready and you could make either another cordial or raspberry vinegar to use drizzled on puddings or even on salad leaves.

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