I’m newly in love with clamp-stop, or hermetic, bottles. I first picked one up to make and keep salad dressing in, and quickly became enamored of its versatility and solid rubber seal.
Clamp-stop bottles are made of glass and have a slender, tapered shape. Rather than sealing with a screw-on or snap-on lid, they have hermetic closures—a rubber stopper attached to the bottle with a metal clamp, like the kind you see on many old-fashioned jars. To seal the bottle up, you place the rubber stopper over its opening and fold the metal clamp down into the locked position. Good luck spilling anything after that.
Hermetic bottles are great for storing cooking liquids like oils and marinades. They’ll keep them fresh and slide easily onto the door of your fridge or into your cabinet. They’re also one easy way to make the transition from plastic to glass in your kitchen.
You can use them for many other things, too. They’re great take-along bottles for camping and traveling, whether you’re packing condiments or bringing beverages for the road.
A classmate at herb school uses them to make on-the-go bottles of his homemade kombucha, which makes a satisfying fizzy-pop sound when he undoes the clamp. I imagine they’d be equally as handy for home-brewed beer.
They’d also make great vessels for a homemade gift—infused oils, vinegars or liquors would look lovely in them, especially with some of the infused matter still floating around inside.
Clamp-stop bottles are pretty easy to find at stores that sell kitchen stuff—I found mine at Target. They usually cost about $3 or $4 a pop for an 8- to 16-ounce capacity, which is a good deal considering the amount of use you’ll get out of them. This squat little 9-ouncer is made from recycled glass, but runs a bit pricier. You can also find them in colors like green, light blue, or red.
And, like many great glass bottles, you don’t always have to buy them on their own. Keep an eye out for store-bought beverages sold in clamp-stop bottles, which you can sip at your leisure and then reuse to your liking. My mom just gave me an old sparkling lemonade bottle of hers, in fact—Italian sodas and other fancy sparkling drinks are a good bet if you’re looking for a place to start.