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Making your own oil and vinegars are not only easy, they make great gifts. A recent episode of Creative Juice on the DIY Network (“When in Rome”) inspired me to try out my own artistic hand to paint my own bottles and create my personal favorites. I did a little research and got started right away.

 

Where to Buy your Supplies and How to Get Started...

I found all of the painting supplies, raffia and ribbon at www.dickblick.com . The bottles, shrink wraps and pour spouts at www.sunburstbottles.com. I found great recipes for the oils and vinegars in Michael Chiarello's Flavored Oils and Vinegars: 100 Recipes for Cooking with Infused Oils and Vinegars by Michael Chiarello and Daniel Proctor at www.amazon.com or you can find my favorites on this website.

You’ll need paint specifically made for glass, round sable hair paint brushes, sterile glass bottles, raffia strands or ribbon and pour spouts. To make the oils you have some choices to make such as what type of oil such as olive oil, peanut oil or canola oil with your choice of flavor components such as spices and fresh herbs. You’ll also need your choice of vinegars such as red wine, rice wine or balsamic with flavor components such as fresh fruits or berries.

To get started make sure your bottles are sterile and the painting surface is wiped down with rubbing alcohol for a clean surface. It’s always good to sketch your idea before painting. The good thing about glass paint is that it wipes right off with water if you don’t like your design, just don’t let the paint dry, wipe it off and keep trying. Once you get the design you like you simply bake the bottle in a household oven at 300°-325°F for about 40 minutes, allow it to cool and your ready to fill your bottles.

Once the bottles have cooled simply fill them with your desired oil or vinegar, wipe off any drips or spills and cork the bottles. To seal with the shrink wrap, slip the wrap over the cork and neck of the bottle to the desired height, using a hair dryer apply heat until it shrinks to a tight seal. Using natural raffia strands or ribbon tie on the pour spout and you’re finished. The best part of this project is that most glass paints are dishwasher safe, so these bottles can be washed and refilled.

The Methods for Infusing Your Oil and Vinegar...

There are two methods of infusing oil a cold method and a hot method.

Cold Method: In order to release the flavors simply bruise the herbs with the back of a knife place the herbs in a sterile jar or bottle and pour warmed oil, cover and let it stand for two weeks. You can add more herbs until you have reached the desired taste. The longer the herbs stay the more intense the flavor. If kept refrigerated, the flavor will last up to two months.

Hot Method: In a sauce pan add spices or herbs with the desired amount of oil and heat until the oil starts to boil. Allow the oil to cool, taste for the flavor strength you desire. You can strain the oil or leave the oil as is. The same techniques can be applied to the vinegars. I recommend using fresh berries if they are in season for maximum flavor, however frozen are fine. Many types of berries can be used such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries etc…

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