At Wares of Knutsford, we believe in looking beyond the obvious. Our customers have demonstrated extraordinary levels of creativity and imagination in the way in which they use our products, which we are only too happy to share. Today the focus is on miniature liqueur bottles. Now of course you can use these for the purpose for which they were originally intended – liqueurs, but small liqueur bottles also have a number of other uses.
Home-made extracts in miniature liqueur bottles
Good quality extracts can be hard to find and are often expensive, but they really do add an extra depth of flavour to your cooking. Making your own extracts is really easy and far cheaper – particularly if you can use herbs from your own garden.
You simply add the key ingredient to some small liqueur bottles, add vodka and wait for nature to take its course. At first the bottles will be bright and clear, but as the ingredients infuse, you will notice the herbs losing their texture while the liquid takes on a colour. You can make a large batch in large jars and then pour them into smaller bottles through a funnel, or start from scratch in miniature bottles.
- 3 or 4 vanilla pods, split lengthwise to expose the seeds inside
- 240ml vodka
Peppermint or spearmint extract
- A tea cup full of peppermint or spearmint leaves, torn from stems
- 350ml vodka
To make the extracts, add the vanilla pods or herb leaves to a jar then top up with the vodka and seal. Shake the jar a few times then leave to infuse for four weeks in a cool, dark spot, shaking occasionally. Strain the liquid and pour into small liqueur bottles through a funnel. You can add fresh vanilla pods or herb leaves for decoration if you wish. Label the bottles prettily if you want to give them as gifts.
Mint hot chocolate
Use your home-made peppermint extract to tart up a hot chocolate.
To make three cups:
- 100g good quality dark chocolate, broken up into small pieces
- 300ml milk
- 75ml double cream
- Sugar to taste
- A few drops of peppermint extract
Add the chocolate and milk to a saucepan and heat gently. Keep stirring until the chocolate melts completely and the milk is steaming. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream and a few drops of peppermint extract. Pour into mugs and add sugar to taste.