Category Archives: Inspiration

The history of jam making

The history of jam making 

various jars of fruit jam on wooden table

Around the world, people have loved jam for a very long time indeed. From the fabulous British traditions of scones with jam and cream to the American peanut butter and ‘jelly’, as they call it, and the exotic coconut jams of south-east Asia, we simply can’t get enough of this sweet treat. In today’s post, we look back at some early jams and their uses to see just how far home preserving has come.

The origins of jam making

Back in Roman times, making jam largely involved preserving fruits in honey rather than sugar. These preserved fruits were often served at the end of a meal as something of a delicacy. It was not until the Crusades, during the 11th century, that sugar was brought back to western Europe; from this point, making jam became much more like the activity we know and love today. It also became much more popular. It is said that Joan of Arc ate quince jam to give her courage before heading off into battle. During the great era of seafaring exploration and trade, sailors would take huge supplies of jam with them on voyages, as they had made the link between vitamin C deficiency and scurvy.

Using jam to prevent scurvy was not the only instance of the sticky stuff being viewed as a kind of medicine in earlier times. Mary, Queen of Scots, for example, ate jam as a cure for seasickness and a variety of assorted ailments.

It is hard to believe that Marie Curie had much spare time during her pioneering research into radioactivity; however, it is said that she was an avid jam maker when she did take time out.

The Women’s Institute, of course, has a long tradition of making jam; in fact, the WI was even awarded a government grant of £1,400 to purchase sugar for making jam to help with food shortages during the second world war. Literally thousands of tonnes of fruit were used to make jam, which could then be used over a longer period than if the fruit was not preserved.

Jam making in the 21st century

Towards the end of the 20th century, home preserving had, to some extent, waned a little in popularity, with people won over by the choice and ease offered by supermarket shopping. This has changed in recent years and jam making is now more popular than ever, with cooks and foodies once again discovering the simple pleasures of creating their own jams and preserves.

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Recipe for strawberry balsamic and black pepper jam

Recipe for strawberry balsamic and black pepper jam 

Fresh juicy strawberries on vintage enamelware on rustic background

Wimbledon is in full swing and the sun is shining, which can only mean one thing: it is strawberry season. If you have a strawberry patch at home or you love going to the pick-your-own farm to gather a huge basket or two of fresh, juicy strawberries, you will no doubt be wondering what to do with them all. A bowl of fresh strawberries and ice cream is all very delicious, but sometimes you need a few extra ideas for how to use them, especially if you have a glut. Strawberry jam is a perennial favourite, but it is sometimes fun to freshen up the traditional recipe and try something a little different. Read on to find out how balsamic vinegar and pepper can add a great twist to your next batch of jam.

Strawberry jam with balsamic vinegar and black pepper 

You might think that this recipe sounds a little peculiar, but you really do have to try it to discover just how good it is. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

400g fresh strawberries
300g sugar
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp water
1 tsp crushed black pepper

Method

Remove the green tops from the strawberries and chop roughly. Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes, skimming any jam scum from the top. Test the jam for setting point using a jam thermometer or the chilled saucer method – it should be thick and slightly clear. Pour into sterilised jars and seal.

This jam works just as brilliantly with savoury things as it does in sweet dishes. Try it with cheese and crackers, or spread on goat’s cheese on toast. Add it to natural yoghurt, ice cream or crème fraîche for a tasty dessert, or try it as a sauce to go with fresh fish, such as mackerel.

More strawberry jam with a twist

If this recipe has piqued your interest for jazzing up your strawberry jam making, take a look online for more quirky recipes. Try strawberry chilli jam for another variation with a spicy kick, or have a go at strawberry and basil jam, strawberry and mint jam, or even strawberry and almond jam. It is definitely worth looking around your plot to see what you have a glut of and then searching online to see whether there is a recipe available for the combination. Even if there is not a recipe already, there is no harm in experimenting and trying out some unusual combinations. If Heston Blumenthal can do it, so can you!

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Lemons in the home

Lemons in the home 

Bowl with fresh lemons on blue wooden background. Top view

Whilst few of us aspire to a fully self-sufficient lifestyle, more and more people in the UK are switching on to the joys of making their own pickles and preserves, baking their own bread, and preparing simple and nutritious meals by hand, rather than relying on processed food from the supermarket. Once you take the plunge with home cooking and home making, it can become quite addictive, as you realise that it’s not nearly so complicated or time-consuming as you first thought. One area that often gets overlooked, though, when switching from supermarket products to homemade, is that of household chores and cleaning. In today’s post, we take a look at how you can use lemons and other simple items in a variety of cleaning tasks, for a natural, chemical-free alternative to harsh shop-bought cleaning products.

Household tips using lemons

Lemons, or lemon juice, can be used in all sorts of clever ways to clean and disinfect around the home. If your kitchen bin is a little smelly, for example, try rubbing a lemon over the inside surface, or spraying it with lemon juice. If you’ve had a calamity with your microwave, and the sides are coated in food splatters and gunk, try this simple lemon trick to get it squeaky clean in no time. Pour about 150ml of water into a Pyrex jug, then squeeze the juice of a lemon into it, and then add the lemon peels. Place the jug in the microwave and heat for about three minutes. Leave the microwave door closed for another five minutes, to let the lemony steam work its magic on the microwave walls. Take the jug out, and wipe the walls, ceiling and floor of the microwave with a damp cloth. Hey presto, your microwave will be sparkling clean.

More household tips using other simple ingredients

Whilst a simple lemon can work wonders, sometimes it needs to be combined with another item, to really pack a punch, cleaning-wise. It’s easy to make a simple lemon-based cleaning spray, using lemon peels, white vinegar and herbs. Take a large mason jar and collect old lemon peels in it, until it’s about half full. Throw in some fresh herbs, and then top up the jar with white vinegar. Seal the jar, and allow it to stand for at least two weeks, but longer if possible. Over that time, the lemon and herbs will infuse into the vinegar, to give you a zingy, fresh liquid. After the two weeks, strain the liquid into a spray bottle, ready to use. You can use this spray just like any other household cleaning spray.

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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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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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Decorating wedding favour jars and bottles

Decorating wedding favour jars and bottles image1

It never ceases to amaze us just how creative and inventive our customers can be when it comes to thinking up new wedding favour ideas. From homemade alcoholic infusions to mini macaroons in a jar, and from wild flower seeds to cute snow globe ornaments, wedding couples across the country keep coming up with clever ideas to make their favours memorable and unique. In today’s blog post, we take a look at how to decorate the jars and bottles you have chosen for your own favours.

Tags and labels for your wedding favours

Jam jars, clip top jars and bottles are so versatile when it comes to using them for your favours. Fill jars with delicious homemade cookies, fudge or boiled sweets, or do something very different and plant herbs or succulents in them for a lasting memento. Bottles can also be filled with delightful infusions, such as rhubarb gin or strawberry vodka. No matter what you choose to put in these jars and bottles, it is important to get the finishing touches right.

You need some form of label or tag for the jar or bottle, of course, to record your names and the date of the wedding. Our ivory-coloured card tags are ideal for this job, featuring gorgeous love heart edging that creates the perfect romantic feel. If you can write in an elegant script, or even in calligraphy, so much the better. No matter what style you choose to write in, always practice first and take plenty of time so as not to waste any tags.

In addition to these tags, we have plenty of other romantically-designed tags to choose from, including lots of heart shapes and our personal favourite, the birdcage gift tags, which feature two little lovebirds in an ornate cage.

Packaging for your wedding favours 

wedding gift for guest

Once you have the contents for your favours sorted and have added a tag and perhaps a ribbon, it is time to think about how you would like to present the favour. Many wedding couples decide to pop the finished favour in a gift bag and we have plenty of these to choose from. We have boxes and pouches available in white, ivory, silver, gold, pink, and even brown with spotty dots. We also have larger pouches available to fit taller jars or bottles.

Whatever theme you choose for your wedding and whatever inspired idea you settle on for your favours, our range of packaging options is sure to offer the perfect fit for the exact look you have in mind.

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Miniature bottles for wedding favours

Miniature bottles for wedding favours 

wedding gift for guest

Spring is here, which can only mean one thing – it is well and truly wedding season. From romantic country weddings in stunning outdoor locations to chic urban weddings in smart, city-centre hotels, brides and grooms up and down the country are preparing to tie the knot in the coming months. Whether you are just a few weeks away from your wedding but have not yet sorted out your wedding favours or you are still at the planning stages, today’s post will be of interest as we are taking a look at our range of mini bottles, including miniature whisky bottles, wine bottles and shaped bottles with corks. These all make excellent choices for wedding favours, so let’s explore some inspired ideas for using them.

Miniature bottles filled with homemade drinks

With vintage-inspired weddings still very much on trend, making your own wines or alcoholic infusions to give as wedding favours is a great idea. The miniature flask bottles work really well as favours, with their flat fronts perfect for your hand-designed labels with details of the happy couple and the date of the wedding. Filled with elderflower cordial or rhubarb gin, these bottles will look delightful and taste divine.

If homemade wine is more your style, we have the perfect miniature bottle for you. Shaped in the style of a full-sized wine bottle, this clear glass mini version has a screw cap and a 50ml capacity. Whether you choose plum wine or elderberry wine or go for something a little more unusual, such as potato wine or banana wine, choosing the right bottle will go a long way towards making sure your favours look every bit as stylish and professional as commercially-available alternatives.

Labelling your miniature bottles Mini Flask 2

Having spent time and effort on making the wine or infusion for your wedding favours, it is important to get the finishing touches just right so that the bottles look truly stunning once placed on the wedding tables. We have a range of miniature labels that are perfectly suited for our miniature whisky bottles, wine bottles, and all the other mini bottles in our range. Practise on a few spare labels first to ensure you have the styling and spacing right before writing out your labels for real.

We hope this post has given some inspiration to those of you who are planning your wedding in the coming months. Whether you opt for homemade wine or a delicious infused spirit, be sure to check out our range of bottles in which to present these favours.

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Flowers in milk bottles

Flowers in milk bottles 

Colorful set of isolated mason jars and bottle with flowers. Wedding, birthday, shower party design decoration elements

The vintage look has been on trend a while and shows no sign of falling out of favour any time soon. From fashion to interiors and home baking to preserves, we can’t get enough of all things vintage. Perhaps we are hankering after a simpler way of life, without the pressures of mobile phones, busy lives and consumerism, or perhaps we just like the feelings of nostalgia that vintage-inspired things bring out in us. No matter why you love vintage, we are sure that today’s post will appeal, as we are taking a look at our range of milk bottles and suggesting how you can use them as simple but effective vases for flowers.

Glass milk bottles as vases

It might be nice to have a beautiful, decorative vase for times when you are given a huge bouquet; however, sometimes simple is best. Milk bottles make excellent vases for a few small flowers at a time and are particularly good for cut flowers from the garden, where the simplicity of the bottle lets the beauty of the flowers shine through. In spring, hyacinths and ranunculi look stunning in a simple glass bottle. With a little effort, it is easy to grow, or find, flowers and foliage to use in this way for most of the year.

Our milk bottles range in size from a dinky 60ml mini bottle right up to 950ml, with plenty of choice in between. These can all work brilliantly as vases for flowers, but the 330ml and 500ml sizes are two of the best choices. Try the 500ml bottle with two or three vibrantly-coloured gerbera stems for a truly eye-catching display. If your children pick a posy of daisies and buttercups for you, pop them into a mini milk bottle and give them pride of place on the kitchen table or on a windowsill. Your children will be delighted that you appreciate their efforts, while you will be charmed by their gift.

Grouping glass milk bottles together

If you are planning a party, or even a wedding reception, and want to go for the vintage look with your table flower displays, try grouping several milk bottles of different sizes together on each table and artfully arranging flowers across the group. Place taller bottles at the back and fill with taller flowers, with smaller bottles at the front filled with more delicate blooms. For weddings, try lavender or soft pink roses with plenty of wispy gypsophila and a sprig or two of eucalyptus leaf for a truly romantic effect.

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Kilner bottles explained

Kilner bottles explained kilner bottles 2

When it comes to swing top bottles, Kilner is the undisputed king of manufacturers and the name that everyone associates with this type of bottle. Many of us have fond memories of childhood trips to the seaside and picnics, where we enjoyed bottles of our grandmother’s homemade lemonade or elderflower cordial, drunk through a straw from these iconic bottles. Whilst it is fair to say that Kilner’s swing top bottles have probably been around for longer than any other manufacturer, there is quite a range of other swing top bottles available in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In this post, we look at both the Kilner range and the other swing top bottles on offer at Wares of Knutsford.

Our range of Kilner bottles

First up in Kilner’s range of swing top bottles is the classic 250ml square clip top bottle. The swing top locking mechanism ensures an airtight seal to keep the bottle’s contents safe and perfectly preserved. The plastic cap and rubber seal are easily washable, meaning that these jars can be used over and over again. These bottles are available in the standard clear glass and super cute pastel shades of blue, pink and green. The pastel shades are perfect for summer garden parties; in addition, we stock drinks dispensers in the same colours.

We also offer a dinky 70ml clip top jar that is ideal for storing homemade chilli sauce or barbecue relish, for example.

Alternatives to Kilner bottles 

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

If you like the style of these clip top bottles but you are not wedded to the Kilner brand, we have a huge range of alternatives to tempt you. Sizes for the regularly-shaped bottles range from a standard 250ml bottle right up to a whopping one-litre bottle. There is also quite a variety of bottle shapes in this range, from simple and traditional to more unusual designs such as the faceted Costolata bottles or the elegant shape of the Capri or Sorrento bottles. Whatever bottling project you have in mind, we are sure we have the perfect bottle for your project.

Other popular choices in our clip top bottle range are two traditional style bottles from Kitchen Craft, which both feature a vintage-inspired design on the front. The 500ml bottle displays a ‘Freshly Squeezed’ graphic, whilst the one-litre bottle features a ‘Fresh from the Farm’ design.

Whether you are planning on making your own elderflower cordial this season or fancy having a go at your grandmother’s recipe for good old-fashioned lemonade, these bottles are the perfect choice to provide the ultimate finishing touch to a classic creation.

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Glass bottles

Glass bottles 

Strawberry regular and chocolate milk in bottles with striped straws isolated on white

Spring is finally here. Everything seems to bursting into bud and turning green again and it won’t be long before our gardens and hedgerows are brimming with abundant produce to turn into amazing jams, pickles and preserves. We have spoken recently about many of the jars in our range; today, it is time to talk about our glass bottles. Whether you are thinking of making elderflower cordial soon or you want to try your hand at plum wine a little later in the year, you need a good supply of bottles ready for when your preserving inspiration strikes.

Our range of glass bottles

We have a very comprehensive range of bottles to suit every application. Whether you are looking for small glass bottles to use for miniature drinks or need larger swing top bottles for the perfect finishing touch for a family picnic or a vintage-inspired garden party, we have a huge range of styles and sizes from which to choose.

Our charming milk bottle range is extremely popular, both for drinks and for craft projects. From small glass bottles holding just 60ml right up to a 750ml jumbo milk and juice bottle, this range offers something for everyone. If you are planning to give drinks-based wedding favours on your big day, why not choose from this range for a gloriously fun and retro look?

Glass bottles with corks

In addition to a huge number of bottles with screw tops or swing top lids, we carry quite an eclectic range of bottles with corks. From tall and elegant slimline bottles that are perfect for oils and vinegars to charming old-fashioned styles such as the Gladstone bottles and the Nocturne range, we are bound to have something to please – whatever effect you are striving for. The Gladstone bottles make particularly excellent choices for wedding favours, especially if the big day has a vintage theme. Filled with homemade sloe gin, rhubarb vodka or raspberry wine, they will enchant guests and make a summer wedding simply delightful.

Crafting with bottles

If you love crafts, why not have a go at some projects that involve bottles? From miniature snow globes to candle holders and all manner of other things besides, bottles make great containers for crafty creations. To set you off on the right track, we have put together two Crafters Starter Packs, each featuring a selection of different bottles. One pack has a range of bottles with screw top lids and the other contains a variety of bottles with corks. Check these two packs out to see which takes your fancy.

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Miniature Bottles – recipes and ideas

Miniature Bottles – recipes and ideas 

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

When it comes to wedding preparations, it can be almost as hard to choose your wedding favours as it is to choose the venue for your big day or even your wedding dress. In today’s post, we look at ideas for using miniature whisky bottles and other miniatures to create unique and personal favours that will be very well received on your wedding day.

Miniature bottles of whisky

For a decadent and oh-so-grown-up wedding day treat, an individual shot-size bottle of whisky for each guest will make a fabulous favour and one that is sure to be appreciated. Whether you choose to fill your bottles with the finest single malts from the best-known distilleries, such as Talisker, Jura or Aberlour, or you go for a blended whisky and make it your own by infusing herbs, spices or other ingredients, miniature whisky bottles are a popular choice throughout the UK – especially when either the bride or groom comes from Scotland.

Whilst the purists will say that whisky can only be properly appreciated neat and unadulterated, for some the taste is just a little too boisterous when served in this way. For something a little quirkier, why not try a whisky-based infusion? We think a whisky infused with honey, ginger, vanilla and brown sugar sounds divine, and we are confident that we are not the only ones. For something truly unusual, go for a whisky sour recipe, adding lime, star anise, honey and hot jalapeno peppers to your whisky. This recipe is guaranteed to have a kick to it, so be sure to taste it well in advance of your wedding day to make sure it is lively without being too powerful.

A wide variety of miniature bottles

Whisky may not be to everyone’s tastes, of course, and you may wish to offer some non-alcoholic favours to your younger guests or any non-drinkers amongst your wedding party. We have a huge range of miniature glass bottles available to suit all kinds of drinks. Our heart-shaped mini swing top bottles are very romantic and perfect for weddings. Fill them with a homemade cordial or the freshest apple juice for a thirst-quenching treat instead of alcohol.

Other miniatures we stock include mini wine bottles, mini flask bottles, and a whole host of uniquely shaped bottles that will look gorgeous decorated to match your wedding theme. Our Gladstone mini bottles are one of our bestsellers and would work brilliantly with an infused gin, such as rhubarb gin, blackberry and apple gin, or even lavender gin.

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Sweets in milk bottles

Sweets in milk bottles sweet jars

Our customers often find quirky and unusual ways to use our products, making fabulous gifts for their friends and family. Today, we take a look at a recipe idea for making your own sweets, which can be popped into glass milk bottles to make cute and appealing gifts for all ages.

Ideas for sweets in milk bottles 

The size of the milk bottle opening obviously determines how big the sweets can be; therefore, giant gobstoppers and big chunks of honeycomb crunch won’t work. Instead, think of smaller sweets that will fit in the bottle easily and look fabulous. Jelly beans are perfect for this idea, as they are so colourful and just the right size. Try this recipe for homemade jelly beans to see just how easy they are to make.

Ingredients

235ml water
450g sugar
8g gelatine
120ml orange juice
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp corn flour
Various food colourings

Method

– Pour 175ml of the water, 275g of the sugar and the gelatin into a large saucepan and heat on a medium setting. Bring to the boil, making sure the gelatin does not clump together.

– Use a sugar thermometer to monitor the temperature of the mixture – when it reaches 230°, take the pan from the heat. It should take around 20-30 minutes to reach this temperature.

– Place the pan in a bowl of ice to prevent the temperature rising any higher. Stir in the juice and the salt.

– If you have jelly bean moulds, spray these with baking spray and fill with the mixture; if you do not have suitable moulds, simply use a baking tray and place ¼-teaspoon blobs evenly on the tray.

– Leave to harden for up to six hours. Once hardened, tip the beans onto baking parchment and dust with cornflour. Leave to dry for a further two hours.

– Mix the remaining water and sugar, then divide into separate jars for each colour of bean you would like to make. Add food colouring to each jar.

– Add a handful of beans to each jar, put on the lid, and swirl the mixture round to coat the beans. Keep swirling each jar for about 15 minutes to coat the beans thoroughly. Remove the beans and allow to dry overnight.

Our range of milk bottles 

Whilst we stock glass milk bottles in a range of sizes, from 250ml to one litre, the smallest sizes work best for confectionery gifts. Tip your homemade jelly beans into a bottle, pop on the lid and add a gift tag and ribbon for a super cute gift.

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Miniature bottles

Miniature bottles

Back in the 1970s, ‘miniatures’ containing spirits were perhaps considered a little naff. For many people, they still conjure up memories of slightly eccentric aunts or uncles getting tipsy on them at Christmas; however, it is fair to say that miniature glass bottles are now back in fashion and making an appearance in some very unexpected locations. In today’s post, we look at how some people are using these bottles as wedding favours and others are getting creative with both the contents of the bottles and the outside decoration to make inspired and thoughtful gifts or ornaments and accessories for the home.

Miniature bottles for wedding favours

Glass bottle wedding favor christening on old wooden table

Miniatures are very much on trend as wedding favours. Forget about those 1970s miniatures filled with advocaat, sickly cherry brandy or Campari, as today’s wedding couples have gone upmarket with their miniature ideas. Think premium aged whisky from the finest distilleries, premium vodkas, and the very best aperitifs.

Creative couples are also personalising their miniatures by creating their own unique infused spirits to bottle in these miniature glass bottles. From rhubarb-infused gin or the old favourite sloe gin to raspberry vodka and pineapple-infused rum, couples are really getting imaginative when it comes to creating a personal touch for their big day. Topped with a handmade label or gift tag, and perhaps a ribbon or bow, these bottles look so sophisticated and stylish.

We stock a huge range of miniature glass bottles, from traditional whisky miniatures to mini wine bottles and fun miniatures, such as our 100ml Nocturne bottles and our 70ml swing stopper bottles. If you are thinking of using these bottles for your own wedding favours, check out our range today for some creative inspiration.

Miniature bottles for gifts and creative ideas

There are plenty of ways you can use these bottles for gifts or home accessories. Delicious homemade infused spirits work just as well as gifts for friends and family, of course, as they do as wedding favours. Try making a batch of different flavours and spirits and giving a mixed set of three or five as a gift. With Mother’s Day on the horizon, this could be just the thing for a more unusual gift.

If you like a few drops of essential oils in your bath, why not make up a few ‘potion jars’ using these bottles to have to hand when you want a relaxing soak? Alternatively, try your hand at decoupage and adorn the outsides of the bottles to make unusual ornaments.

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An in-depth look at oil bottles

An in-depth look at oil bottles 

Whole wheat pasta, vegetables, herbs and olive oil on wooden background

Whenever we dine out on holiday, or even in a fancy restaurant in this country, most of us are impressed at how the various oils, vinegars and dressings are served. Somehow, Mediterranean countries in particular know just how much an infused oil or a carefully-prepared salad dressing can add to a meal. Often presented in delightfully-shaped oil and vinegar bottles, these extras can make an ordinary meal something to remember. All too often, however, we return home and forget all about these mouth-watering oils and vinegars. In today’s post, we take a look at our range of oil and vinegar bottles and offer some suggestions for creating your own homemade condiments.

An eclectic range of oil bottles

Our range of oil and vinegar bottles is comprehensive, with bottles available in sizes from 100ml up to one litre. We have bottles with screw caps, cork stoppers and pouring spouts, and in clear glass and green glass. Our vintage style oil bottle is easily the most popular oil bottle we stock and comes with three different lid styles: twist cap, screw cap, or Bakelite screw cap.

Different sorts of cooking oil isolated on white background

Our glass oil fusion bottle is perfect for oils such as chilli oil, which is often served in Italian restaurants on authentically-cooked pizzas. If you make your own pizza bases and toppings for family pizza nights at home, why not go one step further and make your own chilli oil to drizzle over your creations?

What to put in your oil bottles

If you have never made an infused oil or vinegar before, don’t panic. It is easier than you might think; in fact, infused oils and vinegars are some of the simplest home preserving projects you could imagine. Start with a basic infused olive oil by adding a large sprig or two of rosemary to some good-quality extra virgin olive oil. Fill one of our bottles with the oil, then feed the rosemary into the bottle carefully and seal. Leave the bottle for a month or so before using to allow time for the rosemary flavour to infuse well.

Infused vinegar is just as easy to make and can add a real zing to fresh salads. Try a garlic and herb infused vinegar for a fresh and tasty dressing, or fennel and star anise for something a little more ambitious. Flavours such as these are guaranteed to taste sensational and to draw admiring comments from your dinner guests, who will assume you have been shopping in some high-end delicatessen. When you reveal you have made them yourself, your guests will be even more impressed!

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Kilner bottles

Kilner bottles kilner bottles

If you asked just about anyone what Kilner was famous for, they would say jam jars. They would be right with this answer, of course, with the iconic clip top and screw top preserving jars made by Kilner well known throughout the world. The company offers far more than these jars, however, and in today’s post we will be looking at Kilner’s range of glass bottles and at some foodie and craft ideas for how to use them.

Kilner bottles with clip tops 

Kilner’s range of clip top bottles are just the thing for old-fashioned homemade cordials and soft drinks. Their vintage shapes and nostalgic swing tops are just made for homemade lemonade or elderflower cordial. With elderflower season just around the corner, now is the time to stock up on these bottles if you fancy making some cordials this year, just like your grandmother used to make.

These clip top glass bottles come in a range of sizes, from 250ml right up to one litre. The smaller bottles are perfect for serving refreshing individual drinks on a picnic, or a day at the beach, whilst the one-litre bottles are great for bottling cordials and infusions. Whilst elderflower cordial might be the one everyone thinks of when it comes to making homemade drinks, there are plenty of other flavours to choose from; for example, why not try raspberry, rhubarb, rosehip or blackcurrant?

Kilner bottles with lids and corks

In addition to the familiar clip top bottles, Kilner produces a variety of other styles of bottle, each with its own unique identity but still true to the Kilner look and feel. From vintage-inspired milk bottles in one-pint and ‘infant school’ sizes to bottles perfect for salad dressings and oils, there is a bottle for every project.

The mini milk bottles are great for serving cream-based liqueurs at a party; in addition, they make great craft accessories. Try filling them with coloured sand or seashells for an instant ornament that will look cute and fresh on a bathroom shelf, for example.

If you are keen on home preserving but have already made enough jam and chutney to feed an army, why not have a go at making your own infused oils and salad dressings? You can create the same great taste and visual impact as those expensive shop-bought oils and dressings for a fraction of the cost and with all the satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself using only the freshest ingredients. Try adding herbs from your garden to some good-quality olive oil; alternatively, for something a little more powerful, add chilli flakes.

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Gorgeous glass bottles to give as gifts

Gorgeous glass bottles to give as gifts 

Brandy in a beautiful bottle in front of modern background

Were you one of the many people who resolved to make more homemade gifts this year? Are you wondering how the end of February has arrived already and you still have not made a start on this resolution? Fear not, because today we are going to offer some inspiration for creative homemade gifts using some of our more unusual bottles. From gifts for food-lovers to pampering presents, we hope will be able to kick-start your resolution and help you to make some wonderful gifts.

Glass bottles for foodie gifts

The Triple Bottle is one of the most unusual items in our range – three bottles that stack cleverly on top of one another. This is perfect for gift making, as you can fill each bottle with something different – preferably in a different colour – to build a gift that looks stunning and offers three different foodie treats. Try one bottle with sloe gin, one with rhubarb gin and one with stinging nettle gin for something intriguing and delicious. This would give one ruby bottle, one deep green bottle and one dusty pink bottle – who wouldn’t be delighted to receive such a quirky gift?

A Nocturne or Howarth glass bottle would also make a fabulous gift filled with something tempting. Apple and cinnamon whisky is a delight, and so easy to make. Simply add two sliced apples, two sticks of cinnamon and a vanilla pod to 750ml whisky in a large bottle or jar. Turn it every day for a month or so and then decant into our decorative bottles. Add a label and gift tag and you have a fine-looking gift ready to present to friends or family.

Glass bottles for other gifts

If you want to give a gift that is not food or alcohol, our bottle range is still worth a good look, as we have a bottle to suit every purpose. The Sonata bottle is so elegant, with its flared base and narrow neck, looking for all the world like a dancing lady. Filled with simple homemade bath oils in a range of colours, three of these would look heavenly and very luxurious.

Filling a bottle with pretty items from the great outdoors can make a lovely indoor decoration. Try filling a Nocturne glass with tiny pebbles, seashells or dried petals for a pretty and effective ornament.

There are so many things you can do with a glass bottle to turn it into a smart and unusual gift. With a little imagination, your homemade gift-giving resolution will be in full swing before you know it!

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Miniature Bottles For Wedding Favours!

blue cologne in small bottle and dry flowers on old tree background.  Photo toned and with vignette. photo with shallow depth of field

Our best seller “Gladstone Bottle” ideal for wedding favours.

Miniature bottles for wedding favours

 Spring is just around the corner, and love is in the air. It might seem cold and miserable outside right now, but we are fast approaching the spring wedding season. If you are planning to get married this spring or at Easter and have not yet decided on your wedding favours, read on for some inspiring ideas on using some of our small bottles.

Miniature bottles and wedding favour ideas

 We stock a comprehensive range of small bottles to suit all sorts of drinks and ideas, and our most popular miniature bottle is the 50ml Gladstone bottle with corks. We never cease to be amazed at the creativity of our wedding couples, who keep coming up with novel and exciting ways to use these bottles as wedding favours.

 Damson gin and sloe gin are firm favourites with wedding couples, whilst others have gone for a cocktail theme, creating individual margaritas or pina coladas in these charming little bottles. Topped off with a cute label and a drinking straw, they are bound to impress wedding guests no matter what style of wedding you are planning.

 We have also seen our Gladstone bottles used for non-drinks wedding favours. From a single dried rose in each bottle to a sprinkling of scented petals, flowers work well as favours and add a romantic and whimsical touch to wedding tables. Candles, sweets and herbs have also been used to create unique and highly-personalised wedding favours in these bottles.

 Miniature bottles for infused spirits

 Another favourite in our range of small bottles is our miniature whisky bottles. Particularly popular with Scottish couples, these miniature whisky bottles are filled with the bride and groom’s favourite tipple, often topped off with a tartan-themed label or tag or a Scottish thistle. From popular mainstream brands to tiny, off-the-beaten-track distilleries from the Highlands and Islands, our wedding couples take a lot of time and care in choosing the right whisky and the right bottles for their wedding favours.

 Couples who are looking for a homemade twist often choose to infuse their spirits before bottling them in our miniature bottles. From apple-infused brandy to spiced bourbon or homemade cream liqueurs, it is easy to get creative with spirits and give your wedding favours a unique twist and something of a kick at the same time!

 Many of our small bottles are available in bulk packs, with the Gladstone and whisky bottles both available in bumper packs of 130 bottles. These packs represent very good value for money, meaning there is no need to worry about blowing the wedding budget.

 

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