jars & bottles
Jars, bottles and more jars. When I first made limoncella, I went out and bought two dozen decorative bottles with corks. Plus the vodka and lemons and the price of this Gift from the Kitchen just kept climbing. The corks meant I could only store the limoncella upright, which was tricky because it is best to store the ready-to-serve bottle right in the freezer (and well, let's face it the freezer isn't a sure thing for upright storage).
SO I started saving bottles that had twist tops: syrup, olive oil, margarita mix, olive oil, vinegar, Sambuca, more olive oil---you get the idea. I would soak them in hot water to remove labels and use them for limoncella. I loved it! Not only was it recycling bottles, it was less expensive AND much more chic to have bottles of varying shapes, sizes and embellishments. Oh and you can write right on the bottles or attach a label and stamp the name of its contents. My latest use for these bottles is to fill them with simple syrups, such as the mint simple syrup in my Mojito recipe. The extra spot of fun? Now when I am buying olive oil, vinegar or maple syrup I take an extra look at the bottle to see what kind of potential it might hold for round 2 or 3...
And I love jam jars and/or canning jars to mix all of my salad dressings by hand (a few good shakes, no messy blender), and to store dried herbs, that extra cup of walnuts or to transport a make-ahead sauce. This summer, while watching the Soccer World Cup Final in a bar in Montana, I ordered a beer and when the bartender pulled a chilled jam jar from a little fridge to fill with beer I barely muffled my shriek of delight. The second I returned home, jam jars went into my freezer. They are now proud vessels of everything from iced coffee and tea to lemonade, margaritas and beer.