I’ve always wanted to bottle a product that I’ve developed. I figured a piquant sauce is a good, easy start.
I read about a recipe for a sauce that many restaurants keep on their tables for customers. It was a “piquant sauce” or spicy, tart sauce. Most of them were vinegar based, with spicy peppers soaking in the bottle to give it an extra kick. When the sauce would get low, the servers would simply refill with vinegar.
I started by researching what kind of bottle I would need and also if I could find a distributor that would sell a quantity of 24 or fewer. I planned on making it for friends and family, so I knew I shouldn’t need anymore than that. I also wanted to add a reducer to keep it from pouring too quickly and to stop the peppers and other ingredients from falling out.
I found a company that sold the things that I wanted called SKS Bottle & Packaging, Inc. The price was reasonable so I ordered the 24 bottles that I wanted (5 oz. Flint Glass with Caps). I had to order more of the orifice reducers, because they required a minimum quantity of 144. While I was looking, I noticed they sold the safety seals (Heat Shrink Bands with Perforation) that shrink when heated. It’s basically a sleeve that fits over the neck and lid, and you heat it until it shrinks to a tight fit. I decided to order the minimum quantity of those – also 144, just for an added presentation. A few days later all of my supplies arrived and I was able to start bottling the piquant sauce.
Here’s how to bottle your own:
Using the recipe, Poppa-T’s Piquant Sauce as a guide, pick a few peppers either from your garden or the local grocery store and gather up the remaining ingredients. You don’t have to use a cayenne, you can use a jalapeno or other pepper of your choice instead. Take a look at the width of the mouth of the bottle, you might have to slice the peppers lengthwise so they will slide down in.
A suggestion is if you add garlic, that you do most of the prep work outside, as it has a strong smell and your family members might think you are making dinner! Start preparing the garlic, soak them in water to get the skin off. After the skins are off, slice them into thin enough pieces to fit through the opening of the bottle.
Using a funnel, place a small handful of peppercorns into each bottle. The peppercorn doesn’t really add too much for the taste, but it looks kinda cool since some sink to the bottom. Insert your sliced jalapeno – about one per bottle (depending on how spicy you would like it). Then insert your garlic. Using the funnel, start to pour vinegar into each bottle. When you are finished filling each bottle, snap the reducer caps on followed by the screw-top lids. Slide each plastic safety sleeve over the neck of each bottle, with a little bit extending the lid. If you line all of these up in a row, you can shrink them using a hair dryer all at the same time. It takes a bit of technique, but once you do a few, you will get the hang of it.
You can finish the product off by creating your own labels. There are 8.5 x 11″ label sheets called, “crack and peel” that allow you to customize the size, you would just need to find a desktop printer that can handle them. Add your crop marks too, so you know where to cut.
To those I gave this product out to, many were using it to spice up their sandwiches or even their salads. Keep in mind that it might take a bit for the spiciness to soak into the vinegar. When the color of the vinegar is no longer clear, you know that the juices are mixing together.