January 31, 2006
We might not be the shiniest taps on the bar, but we know a good deal when we see it. That's why we had to break our vacation radio silence once again to tell you about this great deal on Shotgun 2.0 beer openers. As you know, we think the Shotgun 2.0 is Jeebus's gift to drinking beer extra-quick out of a can, and if you don't believe us, just check out the video. We just learned that the Shotgun 2.0, which usually runs for $3.95 apiece, is now available for only $2.00 from DrinkingStuff.com. These things are a bargain at any price, and now you can get them for half price - we just can't see how you can go wrong.
If you're still not quite convinced, check out this snippet from our review of the Shotgun 2.0:
We went to a party with a pocketful of the little red devils, and when we broke them out we were gods among men. People were completely fascinated by the idea, and when we did our first "demo" shotgun they were even more blown away. Just hold the beer upside down, attach the Shotgun Party opener to the bottom of the can, flick your wrist, and suddenly you're ready for a shotgun. No more fiddling with the hole to make it bigger or twisting back those irritating little metal shards you make with your keys. The people at the party were lining up to try it, and the place was bedlam. But it was nothing compared to the chaos that would ensue from what we pulled out of our pants next.
Get your hands on your own Shotgun 2.0 for two bucks at DrinkingStuff.com
, but you'd better hurry; this deal is only available through the end of next week.
January 30, 2006
Actually, we're already out here - Park City to be exact. We got here just on the heels of the Sundance Film Festival, and crazy Utah liquor laws notwithstanding, we're having a great time. We're taking a little R&R and skiing, and doing a little work - we're field testing those Cold Pole flask ski poles we told you about so long ago. We'll be carrying on with our liquor reviews when we get back home, but we couldn't bring the bottles along without fear of landing in the clink, due to the aforementioned crazy laws.
We have discovered a new beer that we like a lot out here called Squatters IPA. Maybe it's the altitude, but we think it's one of the better IPA beers we've had in recent memory. You can learn more about it at Squatters.com, and we'll be keeping you posted about other good booze from the land of the Mormons. Also, if you're from Utah or have any insight to cool local beers or liquors, please shoot us an email at news AT liquorsnob DOT com. We just heard about Polygamy Porter (slogan - Bring some home to the wives) which we're dying to try, but we'd love to hear about more.
January 27, 2006
We'll come right out and say it - we don't want to have to get up every time we want a beer. Not just because it makes for a mind-boggling number of trips to the kitchen - we're strongly in favor of any situation where you can bring the beer to the man instead of the man to the beer. We've tried coolers, ice packs, we even built an igloo in the living room once, but let's face it - there's nothing quite like a mini fridge to put your beer proximity concerns to rest.
Still, for some reason we have a little trouble convincing the Liquor Wife to see the brilliance of such an idea. So we've come up with a list of why you absolutely need a small refrigerator (like this sweet Danby mini fridgewe just found at Amazon) in your living room, in case you need to justify your purchase.
- Logic-o-rama - "and I strongly believe having a mini fridge will make our relationship stronger, because we'll be able to spend more time together."
- The Equal Footing Defense - "But you get to have lamps in here, why can't I have a fridge?"
- Get 'Em On Your Side - "...and you can have this little section between here and here to keep whatever you want, as long as it doesn't touch my beer."
- The Old Timer - "You know my gout's acting up again..."
Those are just a few ideas, but you get the picture. Plus, you can offer to cover the fridge with a tablecloth when important teetotalling guests or the police are in your house. Oh, and one final thought - it's much easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Once that sucker's in the house, even the coldest heart will warm to it.
Oh, and if you need to argue features of the fridge, here are the stats on the Danby model:
This deluxe compact fridge is designed to increase storage while saving space. It has a built-in freezer and 4.3-cu. ft. of capacity, and accommodates tight spaces with a recessed handle and reversible hinges. Convenient features include push-button defrost, 4 wire shelves, tall bottle storage and the patented CanStor beverage holder inside the door. 75lbs. Limited manufacturer's warranties: 1-yr on parts and labor; 5-yr. on compressor. Imported. 20-3/4Wx21Dx32-5/8H".
They had us at CanStor. Buy it now at Amazon
and feel the miniature refrigerator goodness.
January 27, 2006
A couple months ago we announced the release of some items of Liquor Snob clothing without much fanfare. We got some feedback from people who said the original shirts looked a little too busy. Fine, you want simple? You get simple. We've come up with two t-shirt designs that are utter simplicity - no logos, no gimmicks, no fancy fonts. It's all about the truth in advertising with these babies.
So what are your options? Well, there's the Intern tee ($14.99), so you can proclaim your devotion to the Liquor Snob cause without having to be bossed around the office by yours truly. There's the Snob tee ($15.99), a nice gray t-shirt that will tell the world know just where you stand on the issue of liquor consumption. And then there's our personal favorite, the Liquor Snob hoodie ($27.99), which comes right out and says it like it is, you drunk.
Oh, and we also made a Liquor Snob onesie ($9.99), which is a must for every tyke since they act like little drunks anyway, all weepy and stumbly and prone to vomiting. Check out all these products and look out for other updates in the future, at the Liquor Snob store at Cafe Press.
January 27, 2006
January 25, 2006
Beer goggles. We've all had them. You spend an intoxicated evening drooling over a girl you're convinced looks like Tara Reid, and the next morning she looks like Terry Gilliam. Turns out it's not just a function of your lonely, attention-starved ego trying to give you a leg up - it's just your nucleus accumbens getting out of whack. We hate it when that happens.
It's no secret that excessive drinking leads to poor judgment behind the wheel. Well, it can also lead to poor judgment at your local pub. According to the aforementioned study, what constitutes "attractive" changes drastically after a few drinks. In other words, while you may think you're hitting on a 10, there's a chance you're actually picking up someone in the lower-single digits.
The reasons behind this phenomenon have to do with alcohol stimulating the nucleus accumbens, aka "the part of the brain which is used to determine facial attractiveness." In the 2002 study, male and female students were shown pictures of members of the opposite sex and asked to rate them on a scale of 1-7 (sounds cruel, we know). The more students drank, the higher they rated the photographs.
via Ask Yahoo!: Do Beer Goggles Really Exist?
January 24, 2006
It's pink. It smells like strawberries. It's...scotch? Yes, apparently they're infusing strawberries into the water of life now...a single malt, no less...and it's called Strawberry Kiss. And like you, when we first read that, we were pretty sure Johnnie Walker was doing the rotisserie in his grave.
We read on and saw that that the creators of this stuff were crazy enough to have some of the luminaries of the Scotch world give it a try. Haha, we thought with glee, that'll see those crazy Scotch-infusers getting their comeuppance. In fact, we pictured some half-crazed Scotsman chasing them around Edinburgh with a golf club. But as we read on, apparently these heavy hitters, including the master distiller at Glenmorangie...liked it?
The drink has been concocted by a pair of Edinburgh businessmen, who spent eight months in a home kitchen perfecting the whisky drink to a secret recipe.
Glenmorangie's Master Distiller and bosses from the Whisky Shop are among more than 40 experts who have tasted the whisky and proclaimed it excellent.
Norman Brown and his colleague John Smith, who formed Leith Liqueur Company last year and made the drink in Mr Brown's laboratory kitchen, said the drink would only be sold at exclusive stores.
"We decided we wanted something aimed at the younger, female drinker - we thought there was a real gap in the market," said Mr Brown. "We chose a 14-year-old Speyside single malt whisky after trying a lot of different ones and then worked at adding ingredients to make it into a liqueur.
We suppose we should reserve judgment on the taste until we actually try it, if we ever do, but man...pink whisky? We never thought we'd see the day. What's next? Bourbon with marsmallows floating in it?
January 23, 2006
We were surprised to learn recently that January 17 was Ben Franklin's 300th birthday - if you'd asked us we would've said he doesn't look a day over 275. But apparently the old coot...err...famous patriot...is having his theoretical tercentenary, and while we wouldn't want to light the candles for his cake, someone has come up with a great way to celebrate. Introducing Poor Richard's Ale, a recipe chosen in a national contest to represent this famous beer lover. The recipe was distributed to brew houses all over the country, so you can get a taste of history pretty much wherever you live.
During January 2006, breweries all over America will honor Benjamin Franklin’s 300th birthday by serving a beer specially brewed for the occasion. Formulated to resemble a quaff that Franklin himself might have enjoyed and brewed in small batches by independent breweries nationwide, Poor Richard’s Ale offers the perfect beverage for toasting a man some call “The First American.”
“Franklin is widely quoted as saying: ‘Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy,’” said Ray Daniels, Director of Craft Beer Marketing for the Brewers Association. “So when the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary asked us to help create a beer to celebrate this milestone we were happy to become involved.”
In October, the Association held a competition to identify a suitable recipe and then began enlisting brewers from across the country to brew batches of Poor Richard’s Ale. As a result, scores of breweries and other pubs will serve the celebratory beer in January. It will even be on tap at official birthday celebrations to be held in Philadelphia on January 17th.
The recipe for Poor Richard’s Ale was chosen by a panel of award-winning brewers and others with an eye toward history. It included two distinguishing ingredients: molasses and corn. Both were common in ale during colonial times and each would have helped to reduce the colonists’ dependence on imported British ingredients—a fact that would surely have pleased Franklin.
Find out where you can get your hands on a pint of Poor Richard's Ale, and commemorate him in your own way. Before you know it you'll be Farting Proudlyand flying kites in thunderstorms.
January 22, 2006
It has come to our attention that we're among the most directionally-challenged people we know. We often make wrong turns or just plain go in the wrong direction, which usually ends up with us calling and sheepishly asking for "the directions one more time." We can usually live with it, when we're driving to mundane things like work, parole hearings or the in-laws. But last night we missed a party we'd been looking forward to all week due to poor planning, bad luck, and the frustration that comes about when you're driving around a town you don't know at night.
So this morning we've compiled some tips to help you avoid the traps we fell into last night. See below for our advice, and please chime in with suggestions of your own.
- Bring the host's phone number: Writing it on the directions is a good way to make sure you have it, and don't forget your f@&%ing cell phone like we did!
- Double-check your directions: There are tons of resources available for mapping your route that didn't exist a few years ago, so check out the route in a couple of them to find the easiest one; don't just rely on one. To quote the scribes Samberg and Parnell, "let's hit up yahoo maps to find the dopest route. i prefer mapquest! that's a good one too. google maps is the best! true that! double true!"
- Don't be afraid to ask: Sometimes even the best directions can be confusing if you're not familiar with the area - and it doesn't help that you'll usually be trying to get to a party at night so you can't see anything. Don't let your machismo get in the way of stopping off to get oriented.
- Don't pick fights with your co-pilot: If you have someone reading the directions for you, they're most likely just as interested in getting to the party as you are. Both of you should keep tempers in check if you get lost, and don't let frustration get in the way of finding your destination.
- Bring a flashlight: That way the co-pilot can look at a map and read the directions without turning on the dome lights or distracting the driver.
Those are our thoughts - and yeah, it seems excessive to some of you, but for those of you who've gotten lost, we hope we've been of help. We probably don't have to address the more basic stuff, like make sure you have plenty of gas and don't get into the beer until you arrive, right? Now, if someone will just come up with one of those Google Maps hacks
that would show all the liquor stores on the route to the party, and all the McDonald's on the way home, we'll be all set.
January 21, 2006
There seems to be a major proliferation of cocktail recipe websites right now, from TheBar.com to Extratasty, and those are just the ones we've covered. The latest site we've found is Drinknation, and while the offering isn't that much different from other sites, they do differentiate themselves by offering one feature their contemporaries don't - the ability to access the site through your cell phone. Yup, similar to the iPod bartender, Drinknation is a mobile database you can access without dragging your laptop around and looking for a wireless connection.
From the press release:
Be the hit of the party with Drinknation, a new mobile application which brings the breadth and depth of a Bartender's Bible to the palm of your hand. Whether you're in a bar or planning a house party, mixology 101 is only a flip (phone) away.
Drinknation is available through U.S. mobile carriers like Verizon, U.S. Cellular, Alltel, Cricket, MetroPCS, MidWest Wireless, Cellular South, and NTelos, and will be available next month on Sprint. It's also available through international carriers like Tata, Telefonica Moviles, Telstra, and Hutch. The mobile service offers suggestions and special tips, and features drinks that turn ingredients into innovation.
Revelers can now create their own speed dial of drinking by customizing a recipe file of favorite concoctions that will always be with them. The service also offers party games, like guessing a drink based on its ingredients, and a search function allows easy retrieval of popular recipes by name, ingredient, theme or category, as well as browsing for ideas and finding out what drinks are popular.
Read the full press release here
You can visit Drinknation for recipes and information, plus find out more about the mobile drink service and set it up on your phone.
Much thanks to the fine folks at Strange New Products for the heads up on this one.
January 20, 2006
It's no secret how much we love Jager Meister here at Liquor Snob - we're this close to getting a "Jager" tattoo on the inside of our lower lip with an arrow pointing into our mouth so we'll remember what to do when we're nine sheets to the wind. We usually drink it straight, and right out of the bottle, but one drink we've always been intrigued by is the Jager Bomb, a combination of the nectar and Red Bull. One part crazy liqueur plus two parts energy drink equals nine parts awesome, if you ask us.
In fact, we've decided the best way to spend this lazy Friday afternoon is to bomb our livers like Dresden. We're not interested in messing around with dropping the shots into the pint glass and all that fooferall though - we're going Quaffer all the way! Plus, what better way to remember Sidney Frank, the man who brought us Jager for so long, now that he's gone?
Check out the Jager Recipes we found over at The Sporting Life:
We here at The Sporting Life are no authority on whether or not Jagermeister really contains reindeer blood, but we aren’t about to research it and spoil the fun for everybody. This weekend, raise a toast to Rudolph with this classic, and a couple of newbies for good measure.
The Classic: Jager Bomb
1/2 can Red Bull energy drink (wings optional, but they might help keep you off the floor)
1 shot Jagermeister
Drop the shot in the Red Bull and gulp
Newbie #1: Jager Vacation
1 oz Jagermeister
2 oz Pineapple juice
2 oz Pina Colada mix
Shake with ice
Newbie #2: Jägermonster
1 shot Jager
Grenadine to taste (1 oz)
5 oz orange juice
via The Sporting Life: Make It A Jager Weekend
. For more info and recipes, go right to the reindeer's mouth at JagerBomb.com
Love to drink? Hate to read? Have a crapload time on your hands? Maybe it's time to take all your books and turn them into a bar? Introducing the Book Bar. This thing was created by some Stanford types, so they're probably all philosophy or engineering books or something - if you ask us, you should make yours out of naughty books.
Over the past summer a number of Vestal Designers lived in the same house, a 70s-era ranch west of Palo Alto. As it was on a golf course, and had an actual vineyard attached, we referred to affectionately as "The Vineyard" and had a lot of social gatherings there.
One of our non-Vestal housemates worked at the Stanford library, and his job included the task of throwing away old books, which apparently the other librarians couldn't bear to do. We decided to rescue these books from that awful fate - and what better use for them than a bar from which to entertain our frequent guests?
Check out the process and see more photos of the Book Bar
via B3TA Newsletter #212
We didn't make any friends among Mezcal enthusiasts last year when we did our Tequila 101 roundup and called the drink the "bastard cousin" of tequila. What can we say? That's what we get for sampling so much while we were writing the post. It turns out that Mezcal was around before Tequila, and is more like the grand daddy, or maybe the rich uncle.
We're now getting our facts straight about Mezcal - now we know Tequila is a variety of Mezcal, much like Bourbon is a variety of Whiskey. But before we put on our pointy scholar hats we only knew two things about the drink. Number one is that you'll probably throw up if you try to polish off an entire bottle in a sitting, but that goes for just about any kind of liquor. Number two is that Mezcal bottles often come with a worm inside - we should know...we've eaten enough of those little bastards. But not all Mezcal goes the worm route, and while you'll often find bottles of the stuff without any critters swimming around in them, we've found one brand that goes a step beyond. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you Scorpion Mezcal.
That's right, instead of a grubby little worm floating around, you can drink from a bottle that has a SCORPION in it. And apparently, even though the scorpion is a certified attention-getter, the drink is no gimmicky bottle of lighter fluid - it's won awards left and right. The Scorpion Silver scored 94 points from the Beverage Tasting Institute, the Reposado won a silver medal from the same institution, and Scorpion Anejo won "Best Mezcal" from Food & Wine magazine...the list just goes on. Scorpion Mezcal also offers two reserva bottlings, aged at 5 and 7 years, which are rumored to be astonishingly good.
We plan to run a review as soon as we can get our hands on a couple bottles, so keep an eye out here on the site. If you're looking for more information about the stuff, or where to go to pick up a bottle of your own, go to ScorpionMezcal.com. Oh, and by the way, you're not really supposed to eat the scorpion when you get to the bottom of the bottle - it's just for decoration - but if you decide to, make sure you chew VERY thoroughly.
January 19, 2006
Looks like we're not the only ones having fun with our Shotgun 2.0 beer can opener - at least according to this video from Transworld Skateboarding. Those skating boarders sure can shotgun - watching this little video takes us back to our pimply teen years when the bulk of our falling down was a result of skating rather than drinking, but it looks like these guys can do both.
Plus, you might still be able to get your hands on a free one...
When these interesting looking can openers showed up to our office, we weren't sure what to think. But seeing as how over 50 of them were sent, we had to put 'em to the test. Check the video—good times.
Want to check one out yourself? The first 100 people to E-mail email@example.com are gettin' one for free.
I gotta say, our video trumps all those jocks on their site.
Read the full post about Shotgun 2.0, and read their readers' comments, at Skateboarding.com
. Plus, check out the full video
, and compare it to the product reviews at Shotgun Party
Three words...Guinness ice cream.
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup Guinness stout
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons molasses
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a medium saucepan, scrape in the vanilla bean seeds. Add the pod, milk, and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the flavors infuse for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the stout and molasses. Bring to a boil and turn off heat.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk in a few tablespoons of the hot cream mixture, then slowly whisk in another 1/4 cup of the cream. Add the remaining cream in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
4. Stir the beer mixture into the cream mixture. Cook the custard over medium heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.
5. Strain the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Process the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Three more words...makes one quart.
via Boston.com - Guinness Ice Cream
January 18, 2006
Remember when we told you about the World Series of Beer Pong? Well, we kind of missed the boat on getting you the results, since it wrapped up over a week ago, but better late than never, right? It's come to our attention that after fighting their way through a series of teams with names like "We're Going to Own Your Face" and "Drunk Bitch," a duo called Team France battled their way to Beer Pong gold.
A pair of recent University of Michigan graduates are each $5,000 richer for being the best at a national tournament involving a campus drinking game popular among many college students.
Jason Coben and Nick Velissaris are the champions of the "World Series of Beer Pong," which took place earlier this month near Las Vegas. The two beat out more than 160 other competitors to split the $10,000 grand prize.
via Boston.com - Mich. pair wins beer pong championship
Ten grand for playing beer pong? Note to self...put together a team for 2007. You can learn more and plan for next year at the WSOBP site.
Refillable bladder/sling system for stealthy beer consumption
Typical Price: $49.95 for the full rig plus a "Pleasure Extender" ice pack and cleaning kit. (Buy Now)
Original Coverage: The Beerbelly: Sexy AND Functional
We've been looking even more bloated than usual lately, with a beer belly that would put Homer Simpson to shame. We don't mind, though, because our expanded waistline is due to The Beerbelly. What is the Beerbelly, you might ask? Think Camelbak with beer in it, designed to be worn up front and simulate those extra pounds you usually pack on after the beer's already inside you. Actually, we've been wearing ours to the gym, and you should hear the compliments we receive about the weight we lose every time we go!
The harness is surprisingly comfortable, even when you've got the bladder completely full (it holds 80 oz, or 6+ beers) and it looks very realistic when you put it on, at least from a distance. We're not sure if it would survive a pat down from a suspicious security guard, but luckily the Beerbelly Tips & Tricks page offers some ideas for how to sweet-talk your way out of an uncomfortable situation with someone in a position of authority:
- This is a medical device that I think we’d both prefer not discussing or viewing in public.
- My wife is pregnant and, as part of our maternity class, I have to develop empathy by wearing this thing around in order to look fat and give myself backaches.
- Department of Homeland Security. We’re testing a new stealth form of body armor to protect our undercover agents overseas in the Global War on Terror. Don’t make me shut this place down.
- It’s full of urine, so step back or you’re gonna be sorry.
- Want a beer?
Or, of course, you could go for the sympathy vote and swing your sling around to make it a "Beer Hunchback."
We think the Beerbelly is a cool product, especially if you're someone who balks at the idea of paying nine bucks a beer at a game, twelve bucks a cup of soda at the movies, whatever. The only trade off is the chance that you might be caught muling PBR into the Chronicles of Narnia...oh and you have to be OK with looking like Al Roker in the bad old days. But is it worth paying $49.95 for the kit?
Well, let's think about it scientifically. Let's say you're going to a football game, where beers tend to run somewhere in the neighborhood of $4-$7. If you're paying the average beer price ($5.50) for 80 oz of beer (5 of the 16 oz beers), the amount held in the Beerbelly, you'll pay $27.50 altogether. Plan to do that at more than one game, and suddenly things are getting expensive. If you buy the Beerbelly, you'll pay $49 for the rig, and let's say six bucks for the beer (we're feeling high-end today). That puts your total at about $55. So on a purely fiscal basis, if you plan to use it twice or more, it'll pay for itself.
And even better, going beyond the purely monetary aspect, the thing is just cool. It's comfortable, you always have a beer on you, and yeah you look a bit rotund but you feel like you're putting something over on the people around you. If you're smart about when you fill up your cup, you won't get caught, and since you'll be the only one with beer around at all times, you'll be the most popular guy around, even though you're sporting the Celebrity Fit Club physique.
Learn more about The Beerbelly and buy one of your own at TheBeerbelly.com.
January 17, 2006
We'll admit it...we don't cover a lot of wine on this site. It probably has something to do with the fact that we've always felt that wine comes in two flavors - red and white. We're overwhelmed with trying to choose wine for other people, and don't even get us started about trying to pair wine with food...looking at a wine list usually leaves us in a fetal position under the table.
That's part of why, in our minds, there's nothing that goes with a slice of pizza like a cold beer. But at the same time, we can see the allure of having a glass of wine with your slice. There's something about the way the flavors of the grape mingle with pizza flavors on your tongue that makes us say "viva Italia.” That’s why we're interested in Pizza Vino...they idiot-proof the pairing, because their wine is designed to go with pizza. And we need all the idiot-proofing we can get.
Made specifically for the pizza afficionado, Pizza Vino is a new California wine formulated to accompany pizza.
Available in Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties, Pizza Vino is blended to be "fruit forward" without being masked by a strong oak presence, making it a perfect compliment to tomatoey pepperoni cheese pies.
The label features a pepperoni pizza and a red & white checker pattern reminiscent of an italian pizzeria.
Pizza Vino costs $8.99 per bottle, and is available at PizzaVino.com
via Strange New Products - Pizza Wine
January 14, 2006
How much do you hate Valentine's Day? Are you one of those people who complain that it's a commercialized holiday created by greeting card companies, but ends up buying a box of candy hearts for your sweetie anyway? Or do you hate it? Do you detest it with a virulent passion after your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/partner broke up with you/kicked you out of the house/left you at the altar on that miserable day? If you hate the holiday, you're not the only one, but don't despair...we might be able to help you make it a little bit more bearable.
If you fall into that latter category of abject hatred, we've found the contest for you. It's sponsored by Amarula Cream Liqueur, and the prize is sweeter than crushing that chubby little bastard Cupid's skull with a box of chocolates. The prize package includes a trip for two, including a two-night hotels stay and airfare, to Chicago, the location of the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre. What better place to celebrate your hatred for all things romantical? Oh yeah, and they'll throw in $500 for walking-around money too.
So what do you have to do to win? Just go to the Amarula site and tell them why you hate Valentine's Day. Oh, and make sure you do it by February 4, or you'll just be adding one more reason for hatred to your list.
Keep reading after the jump to see the full press release, which includes some facts and figures that will add fuel to your anti-Valentine's fire.
UPDATE: I Hate Valentine's Day contest winners have been announced!
Continue reading: "'I Hate Valentine's Day' Contest"
January 13, 2006
Another week and another Best of the Blogpire. It looks like the Mac OS X is finally getting some GPS support: Garmin Announces MAC OS X Support and other devices like the new Sling device are making SlingPlayer.
Single Serve Coffee.com continues the onslaught of coffee reviews with Review: Aerobie AeroPress Coffee & Espresso Maker and if you're a coffee pod user Review: Eight 0' Clock Colombian Coffee Pods.
Just The Chips finds two new books - one on Poker humor: A collection of poker wit and a return to a classic poker book Hold'Em Poker for Advanced Players.
Want to get a new cool fridge? Kitchen Contraptions finds 50's Inspired Refrigerators from Smeg and GE Custom Cabinet Refrigerators & Freezers.
Shaving Stuff.com continues their Review of KENMEN products, part 2.
TV Snob.com also has an amazing run down of all the cool new gadgets from CES: TVSnob CES 2006 Roundup.
Shirt Snob.com has found new Hoodies at Threadless!!!.
Want to know how to find better wine? Wine News: 10 ways to become a smarter, thriftier wine buyer.
And of course we save the best for last - check out The Liquor Snobby Awards: Best of 2005. Magic.
January 12, 2006
We're not big fans of jewelry unless you can use it as a bottle opener, but we've found the best way to accessorize for your love of beer this side of piercing your liver. An artist in Vermont (our home state...Green Mountains 4Eva) is making jewelry using real beer cans, and they look surprisingly cool...not like the crap we usually see that passes for "jewelry" on a lot of drinking sites. We were so excited about these we showed them to one of the interns, and her response was "Why the hell would you want a Pabst Blue Ribbon ring?" and our response was "Why the hell wouldn't you?" Of course, we fired her on the spot.
Here's what Dana Roth has to say about her beer can creations:
All of our Beer Can Jewelry is made of sterling silver & aluminum beer or soda cans that I (or a close friend) have personally drank from. The aluminum is secured to the jewelry with sterling rivets & protected from damage by ledges (on the rings) or caps (at the end of the bracelets).
Available jewelry includes rings, thin bracelets and large cuff bracelets, including labels from Bud, Rolling Rock, Miller High Life, PBR, Guinness and Boddingtons, among others. Oh, and you can get soda can ones too, but come on.
Rings are available for $30, thin bracelets for $60, and it's $80 for the cuff bracelets, but it's worth every penny for the beer enthusiast in your life. Go to D-LiciousMetal.com to find a list of retail locations, and if you can't find any nearby you can order online from Elsewares. If you're thinking about getting some of these for that special someone for Valentine's Day you should order soon, because they can take a couple weeks to be created and shipped.
via The Sporting Life: Beeracelets
January 11, 2006
Sidney Frank, we hardly knew ye. From Gray Goose to Jägermeister, we've been fans of Sidney Frank for a long time, but we just didn't know it. And now, after we've just discovered this liquor magnate, we've lost him. Mr. Frank died yesterday at age 86, of an apparent heart failure. The man was more than a liquor importer - he was a billionaire and a philanthropist who pulled himself up to the top of his industry from beginnings that apparently would have made Horatio Alger cringe.
So, we'll celebrate his life and let Forbes tell you about the liquor that first brought Mr. Frank to success.
Then came Jägermeister. In 1974, Frank stumbled on the obscure German liqueur in a New York bar. Tasting of root beer, black licorice and Vicks Formula 44, older Europeans had been drinking the stuff since 1935 for its medicinal purposes, rather than its strong buzz. At the time, Jägermeister was selling just 600 cases per year in the U.S. Seeing opportunity, Frank flew to Germany to meet then-Jäger Chief Executive Walter Sandvoss and came home with the rights to sell the drink from Maryland to Florida. Other suppliers faltered, and Frank picked up the rest of the country.
In 1986, Frank was struck with another obvious observation: "People love sex." He parlayed the drink's early success in southern college towns with the Jägerettes, a group of scantily clad girls who would flirt with male students and convince them to down shots of Jäger instead of Jack Daniels. Last year, sales grew to 2 million cases per year.
You can learn more about Mr. Frank's beginnings and end at Forbes.com
, while we start our wake. We have a bottle in the freezer as we speak.
Don't be surprised if the site smells like salt and limes the next few times you log on, because we just got a couple bottles of tequila in the mail. So what kind of fermented agave juice will we be reviewing? We'll give you a hint...they're both silver. That's not enough for you? But we want to get to reviewing! Fine...find more information below, all of which we made up based on our impressions from each tequila's site and bottle.
If Pepe and Don were real guys, Pepe would be the hard-partying younger brother - the life of the party. He's the one you invite to an intimate gathering and suddenly he's brought 40 people he's doing forward flips off your roof into the pool. He's into mixers, especially margaritas, and he's definitely the shooter type. If you hang out with Pepe, we expect you and your Inner Bandito will end up wearing Mexican wrestling masks by the end of the evening.
Don Eduardo is the more sophisticated of the two brothers. Sure, he's up for a margarita every now and then, but he strikes as more of a sipping kind of guy. Classier, richer, and less prone to blackouts, Don Eduardo is the guy you invite along for a relaxed outing with friends, not when you're racking up shooters.
January 10, 2006
There's another cocktail recipe site on the Web, and it's called Extratasty. So what's it all about? It's set up like a community, where you go and set up your own bar, tag your favorite drinks, and other people can search for them and rate them. We've seen similar ideas in drink recipe sites before, but we liked the addition of the community type stuff. You can share drinks and make friends, just like a regular bar but without anyone borrowing money for "one more drink" or puking on your coat. Plus, their slogan is "Get Your Booze On," so they get points for that.
Head on over to Extratasty and set up your bar, submit your favorite drink recipes, and rate some existing ones. We were most intrigued by the Duck Fart and the Skylab, but for different reasons.
January 9, 2006
For the record, we came this close to canceling the Liquor Snobby awards for this year. No reason in particular, really, beyond the fact that we always like to look forward instead of back (like, for example, the way we always look forward to our next drink). Well, that and the fact that "Best of 2005" lists have been popping up as often as Anna Nicole Smith's shirt, and we recently remembered how much we hate award shows. We're pretty sure we'd been drinking when we announced the Liquor Snobbies, but we'll make sure the show goes on and our favorite products of the year get their righteous due.
We've split the awards up into Liquids and Solids categories, and each contains multiple sub-categories along with the winners of this year's crop of online Golden Flasks. So here they are, in no particular order...
Continue reading: "The Liquor Snobby Awards: Best of 2005"
January 8, 2006
We're not ones to turn our noses up at strangely-flavored liqueurs, especially if there's a hook. After all, we're all about getting to the bottom of the absinthe mystery, and we like Jagermeister so much, it's almost criminal. But even so, we're still a bit nervous about Agwa de Bolivia, for a couple reasons.
The first is that according to the folks at Slashfood, the stuff contains "herby, nutty flavours, (and) there are hints of prunes, clove and aniseed plus eucalyptus." The second is that it contains coca leaves, and while the word "coca" might make you think you'll have the Miami Vice squad kicking down your door, but you don't have to worry...while there are some in cocaine, the leaves aren't the primary ingredient.
On top of the caffeine in the coca, the drink also contains ginseng and guarana, so while you'll get a nice jolt on top of the booze buzz, you don't have to worry that you'll end up pulling a Marion Barry. Or if you do, Agwa probably won't be your gateway drug. Plus, if you mix Agwa with some lime, you'll apparently get an extra boost as well.
How do you drink it? Cocktails galore listed on the website. They also give specific instructions for the Bolivian Kiss Ritual. Which marketing wizard thought this up? You take a pinch of dried lime powder and put it in your mouth. Follow this with a shot of Agwa de Bolivia. The lime apparently changes the PH level of the mouth and activates the alkaloids of the Coca leaf to produce a powerful effect - an Oxygen Buzz which is handy in the hinterlands of the Andes but perhaps less desirable in a Basingstoke semi.
Learn more and find out where to get a bottle at AgwaBuzz.com.
88 proof small-batch gin, imported from Scotland
Typical Price: About $30
Available at Internet Wines & Spirits
For those of you who have never heard of Hendrick's gin, we'll tell you right up front - it's got cucumbers and rose petals in it (OK, not chunks of them, but the essence of both). When we were initially told about it by one of our interns, we almost laughed whiskey right out our noses. We prefer brown and yellow liquors, the kind usually drunk by convicts and Hell's Angels and superior court judges, and he wanted us to try a gin full of rose petals? We told him to drink his own Hendrick's, and sort his stuffed animal collection while he was at it. But this intern, who chooses to remain nameless for extradition reasons, was insistent that we try it.
The first thing we noticed was that the bottle is squat and brown and distinctive...almost a nod to gin's medicinal roots, because it looks like something you'd buy from an apothecary to align your humors or cure your gout. The second thing we noticed was that instead of crowing about how their gin is the greatest thing since polio vaccination, the little pamphlet that came with the bottle almost dared us to try it. With slogans like "It is not for everybody" and "Preferred by 1 out of 1000 gin drinkers," Hendrick's definitely stays away from typical marketing techniques, though it does say Hendrick's is "loved by a tiny handful of people all over the world." But would the gin itself live up to the quirky claims and dry humor?
Continue reading: "Hendrick's Gin Review: Wake Up And Smell The Roses"
January 7, 2006
...is a vote for freedom. Or something like that. Here's the deal - The Scotch Blog has been nominated for an award from the Accidental Hedonist in the "Best Blog Covering Wine, Beer or Spirits" category. Don't worry - we're not bitter that we weren't even nominated. Really. Not at all.
Anyway, we think Kevin does a great job keeping us posted on the doings that are transpiring in the world of Scotch, so head on over to the Accidental Hedonist and throw him a vote. How could you not, after everything he's done for you? Plus, there are a bunch of other categories too, so if you're a foodie, vote for your other favorite blogs too. Make sure to get your vote in before midnight PST on January 18, otherwise you're SOL.
January 6, 2006
Meet Jack. Jack is the bartender over at TheBar.com, serving up virtual drinks and telling witty cyber-stories. And he's pretty good too...we were solidly entertained for a good 10 minutes watching him mix drinks and tell stories about everything from running a marathon for a case of Johnnie Walker scotch to "borrowing" his employer's private jet to take a beautiful girl to Paris.
Jack has flair, panache and a predilection for only serving Diageo products, but we can forgive him for that since the Diageo line includes Guinness, Smirnoff, and Tanqueray, plus some other brands you might recognize. He's not quite as easy to boss around as the subservient chicken, and he doesn't have the...assets of the Beer.com virtual bartender, but he'll keep you from being bored on a Friday afternoon, plus the site offers some interesting cocktail recipes if you click on "Drinks."
Pull up a stool at TheBar.com.
January 5, 2006
Are you an adventurous drinker who's always looking out for the newest, freshest product on your liquor store shelves? Ever wish there was a resource where you could learn about hot new hooch before you stagger into the store? We discovered a new booze blog called Bottle Watch yesterday, and that's exactly what they do...monitor new liquors that are coming on the market.
From Gotham Vodka to Cohiba Rum, they'll keep you posted on all sorts of new booze that's hitting a liquor store near you. They cover all types of booze, including beer, wine and spirits, and while they don't offer the drunken jibber jabber and half-cocked opinions we dish out, it's a great place to go if you want just the facts, ma'am.
We think it'd be great if they offered some typical pricing information for the bottles they cover, but we can tell you from experience...the prices aren't always that easy to find. Update: OK, so they're actually including the pricing whenever they have it available...our bad.
Watch some bottles of your own at BottleWatch.com.
January 3, 2006
Back in October, we told you about Ted Breaux, the mad scientist absinthe man who has reverse engineered pre-ban absinthe in an attempt to bring it back to its former glory. Today, we found that some little green fairies had dropped of a package for us, containing bottles of Breaux's Verte Suisse 65 and Nouvelle Orleans absinthe products. So far, we love 2006. We'll be reviewing both bottles as soon as we can, and we'll try to abstain from cutting off our ear like Van Gogh or dying in a gutter like Poe, but we can't make any promises. See below for snippets about each product from the Jade Liqueur site, BestAbsinthe.com.
Nouvelle Orleans Absinthe
Absinthe Nouvelle-Orléans represents the inspired work of native New Orleanian T. A. Breaux, and its heritage is rooted in the original New Orleans absinthes that made the Sazerac cocktail and absinthe frappe famous. Its unique distillation of stimulating herbes toniques is just what the Belle Époque apothecaries prescribed for various subtropical ailments. With its light, refreshing mouthfeel to its delectable floral finish, who would believe it was a "medicine"? Absinthe Nouvelle-Orléans presents the connoisseur with a unique perfume and texture that disappeared along with the artisanal marques almost a century ago. We invite you to see why we truly consider Absinthe Nouvelle-Orléans to be "l'Esprit du Vieux Carre".
Verte Suisse 65 Absinthe
Jade Verte Suisse 65 is an absolutely accurate recreation of the original C. F. Berger 65 absinthe verte, and is identical to the fine original down to incredibly minute details. Our Verte Suisse 65 is crafted entirely by hand using select botanicals from original sources, and is carefully distilled in absinthe alembics that were obtained directly from Pernod Fils in the early 20th century. This absinthe delivers an experience characteristic of the best Swiss style absinthes. Upon tasting our Verte Suisse 65, the connoisseur will be pleasantly stimulated with the way it quickly asserts its refined fortitude with a bold fragrant scent, full-bodied, rounded mouthfeel, and distinct herbal notes that linger on the palate.
New Orleans is rebuilding itself right now, and we're glad to hear that Mr. Breaux is doing his part to rebuild little parts of its history. Plus, considering the fact that we used to drink absinthe mixed with Red Bull and vodka (sorry, Ted), we're excited to do a real, honest-to-goodness tasting. We'll start working on them as soon as our New Year's hangover subsides.
January 2, 2006
Bottle Shotgun Device
Typical Price: $14.95 (Buy One)
We've always been fascinated by the concept of shotgunning from a beer bottle. We flirted with ideas for how to do it, including using a drill to make a hole at the base of the bottle. We always held off, however, because even in our most drunken state we were pretty sure we'd end up bleeding externally or internally. That's why we were excited when our Bottle Blaster arrived...it promised the coveted ability to shotgun a bottle of beer without coming away looking like Andrew WK.
We have three pieces of information for you about the Bottle Blaster. The first is that it's incredibly easy to set up the shotgun...you just slide the gadget down over the neck of the bottle until it's snug, and...well, that's pretty much it. The second piece of information is that the diameter of the hole you drink from is big...it's like an inch across. The third is that there is a carburetor on the side that lets you more or less control the flow of beer as it comes out of the mouthpiece.
And we have to say, that's a good thing. We've been around the block when it comes to shotgunning beer, but the first couple times we tried the Bottle Blaster, we had a hard time keeping beer from shooting out of the corners of our mouths like a lawn sprinkler. We learned to keep up through a mixture of fierce chugging and a thumb over the carb hole, but it took some practice. Intern Doug, who took part in the review, called the Bottle Blaster's rate of speed "aggressive." We call that an understatement...it's more like frighteningly awesome.
Once you master the Bottle Blaster, it's one of the coolest toys we've played with for massive beer consumption, right up there with the Shotgun 2.0. Of course, you can't hang this one on your keychain and it's a little more expensive, but it fills people with the same wide-eyed wonder. You pull out this little gadget that looks like a combination medieval torture device/periscope, slap it on top of a bottle and shotgun it, you're going to have friends lining up to try it.
Learn more about the Bottle Blaster, along with a bunch of other cool drinking products, at BottleBlaster.com.
We're finally through the holidays, and we're happy to say the entire staff survived our New Year's party. Sure, we played Flip Cup until all hours of the morning, shotgunned beers from bottles and cans, and mixed drinks until our cocktail shaking arm had Carpal Tunnel, and yes, we're still a bit worse for wear, but we made it. As we bid a fond farewell to 2005 we'll leave you with our favorite stories from December, for your reading pleasure. Plus, keep an eye out in the next few days for the Liquor Snobby awards, where we recap all the best stories, products and liquors of 2005.
Liquor Reviews and Info
Amarula Cream Liqueur Review
Make Your Own Simple Syrup For Cocktails
Homemade Kahlua Recipe: Dual Buzz
Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey Review
Holiday Egg Nog Recipe From Maker's Mark
Rittenhouse Bottled In Bond Rye Whiskey Review
Big Black Dick Rum
Finlandia: The Naked Vodka?
JB Wagoner's Ultra-Premium 100% Blue Agave Spirits Review
Hpnotiq Liqueur Review
Evan Williams Bourbon Egg Nog Review
Stretton's London Dry Gin Review
Product Reviews and Info
The Beerbelly: Sexy AND Functional
Friday Fun: The Chuggler Mug
Sad? Lonely? Have some Beerhugs!
Bottle Blaster Shotgunning Technology
Bottlefly: The Bruce Lee of Bottle Openers
Alcohawk Breathalyzer Review
24 Hours In A Day... Beer Stein
Drinking, Smoking & Screwing Book
Octopus: Tap A Keg Six Ways From Sunday
Ice Shot Glasses Are Frozen Genius
Flask Belt Buckle: Drunk Couture
Just Plain Cool
And You Wonder Why The Scotch Costs $200?
Drink Vodka Like a Russian
Dave's Gourmet Bloody Mary Mix Review
January 1, 2006
Well, another new year has come, and another New Year's celebration has come and gone. If you're feeling anything remotely similar to how we're feeling right now, you're probably looking for hangover cures. Also, if you're feeling the way we are, the last thing you probably need to see is a cobra pickled in a bottle of whiskey. Well, we're feeling hung over and surly, and we found one for you anyway. Happy freakin' new year.