By Jeffrey Brian Airman

You can make edible ink by reducing almost any colorful, edible, water-based liquid. Slow simmering a natural liquid like fruit or vegetable juice lowers the water content and results in a darker and often more viscous fluid. This natural, low-moisture edible ink dries in a few seconds after it has been painted, stenciled or stamped onto food. Add a personalized message to a special dish by spelling it out using a few different colors of homemade edible ink.

Choose a narrow-tipped paintbrush to write lettering with edible ink.

Step 1

Pour an edible liquid into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cover with a lid. Try using prune juice, red wine, beet juice or concord grape juice to create dark, edible ink that will stand out.

Step 2

Place the covered saucepan on a stove burner set to medium heat to bring it up to a boil. It will only take a couple minutes for 1 cup of water-based liquid to reach boiling temperatures and build up enough steam to make the lid rattle.

Step 3

Reduce the heat to low and remove the saucepan's lid when the colorful liquid begins to boil.

Step 4

Simmer and stir the liquid uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it reduces down to approximately 2 tbsp., or about 1/8 the original volume.

Step 5

Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the hot edible ink into a small, oven-safe bowl. A silicone spatula makes it easier to transfer every last drop.

Step 6

Set the glass bowl on top of a bag of frozen vegetables or an ice pack inside the refrigerator and wait 15 minutes for it to cool completely.

Step 7

Remove the cooled edible ink and apply it directly to the surface of a food item in a single thin coat. Allow 30 seconds of dry time before adding additional layers of edible ink or serving an inscribed dish.

Step 8

Cover any bowl of unused edible ink with a piece of plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator for up to two weeks.