Here's a nifty little item that should have you and your family buzzed nice and toasty this holiday season. It's a rack for one bottle of liquor that also contains six multicolored shot glasses. That's enough to bring holiday cheer to you, Mom, Dad, Sis, Bro, and Grandma (or however your family, nuclear or non, shakes out) in good measure.
As an outsider you might think drinkers (or drinkists, as we like to call ourselves) follow no rules. After all, the typical drinker lives outside the rules, shunning the uptight rules laid down by the uptight few. There is an element of that, but there are some rules you have to follow if you want to exist in the subculture, both to ensure your safety and your ability to exist in a bar without being laughed out of it.
We've found a list of Rules of Drinking over at Esquire that we thought fit the bill pretty well. The ones that stood out for us included the following, but head on over to their site for a whole bunch more:
#1 - There is no such thing as a chocolate martini.
#22 - Jack Daniel's. Rocks.
#28 - No one but the bouncer cares how tough you are, and he already knows you're not that tough.
#53 - If you're the first in a group to arrive and you start a tab on your card, you deserve exactly what's coming to you.
Do you know how a lot of birds feed their young? The adult eats the food and partially digests it, then goes to its offspring and gently spits the food into each baby bird's beak. It's a fascinating way to take care of the kids, and we plan to do the same thing with our own critters someday. In preparation for that day, the Liquor Snob offices were host to a similar ritual this weekend, with a flamingo. The only difference is that we're not baby flamingos, and the nourishment we were taking was in the form of beer.
Confused? Our regular readers will remember our initial Flabongo coverage and how excited we were to drink from a waterfowl. We got our Flabongo in the mail on Friday, and we spent the afternoon testing it out on a few of the interns. After they got over the idea of sucking on a bird's head to get at their beer, we gave the Flabongo quite the test - find out more after the jump.
Note - We, of course, forgot to break out the camera during our testing, so the above image is courtesy of Flabongo.com, which is incidentally where you go to pick up your own Flabongo.
There are times when you wish you didn't have to have an opinion. Like when your significant other asks if you like their new haircut and you don't want to say it looks like their scalp threw up. Or when your boss asks what you think of his power tie and you don't want to tell him the paisley looks like an evil petri dish. But sometimes you need to just sound off like you've got a pair about a particular issue.
Like, for example, when you have two different caffeinated vodkas and you give them booth good reviews. After you post them people start asking questions like "OK, so which one do you like better?" At first you don't think it's right to answer because every liquor is special in its own special way. But then you start thinking and you say hey, it's time to get your sack out of your purse and tell people what you think. So, in honor of clearing the air, we've set up a nice little chart below laying out each, and our overall verdict of which one we like better.
Expect a few more of these in coming weeks, especially on the burning issue of two particular Cachacas people are wondering about.
Everybody needs somewhere to keep their liquor. That is, you need somewhere to keep your liquor when you haven't had an opportunity to get it inside you yet. We've found a handy dandy mahogany cart that doesn't exactly look like it belongs in Buckingham Palace, but is way cooler than leaving your bottles on the living room floor next to the TV.
The cart has wheels so you can get mobilly drunk in your home, plus a storage drawer, racks for six bottles, and a nice little spot for your decanter and glasses. Does it get any better than that?
Make your holiday gift giving easier this season by visiting the holiday shopping guides below, and get your shopping done online without the crowds and hassle of ever leaving your comfy couch or computer chair.
As we spend this week performing our stomach stretches to prepare for Thanksgiving, we're going to leave you with one of our favorite posts from last year around this time. We don't usually do the self-referential meta post BS because we think it's lazy, but we really liked this one...and we're feeling lazy.
Plus we think it's still good advice, even a year later. You can learn how to make it through the holidays, deal with your crazy family, and tie one on all at the same time. So, with no further ado, we bring you Make Thanksgiving Wild Turkey Day
Aaah, Thanksgiving - the beginning of the holiday season. A time to be with the people you love and give thanks for everything you have. Like long airport lines, snarled highway traffic, relatives you only see once a year...for good reason. And don't forget those long, awkward silences when you tell people you've been spending all your time writing about liquor on the Internet. Oh, wait. Maybe that's just us.
When the holidays come, you're supposed to be all full of perky and full of cheer. You're supposed to lovingly handpick gifts that mean something to those in your life that you cherish. You're supposed to tie up your love in a bow and hand it over with a smile. But dammit, sometimes even the prospect of facing the ruckus of holiday shopping makes you just want to get drunk. Actually, we usually want to get drunk - and help our friends tie one on too.
That's why we've found prepackaged liquor gift sets over at Internet Wines and Spirits - y'know, those things you see at the liquor store that contain flasks or glasses and whatnot? Now you can help your friends get that buzz they want for the holidays, all without leaving the comfort of your own home. Prices start at $12.48, plus you can make gift baskets out of them for a few more bucks - check out our favorites after the jump.
The holidays are coming, and it's time to stop thinking about your quest for the eternal buzz long enough to love your fellow humans long enough to get them drunk. That's why we've put together our recommendations for our favorite holiday gifts for the boozer in your life.
Whether they're a classy Scotch enthusiast in need of the right glass or a college-age binge drinker who totally wants a beer pong table, we've got exactly what you need to give them a holiday season to remember...until they black it out.
Find our recommendations after the jump and don't forget to keep checking back - we'll add more items as the holidays approach.
Don't look now, but we've just added a new level of concern to our liquor cabinet - whether our vodka will go flat. That's right, we've gotten in two bottles of O2 sparkling vodka, one bottle of the regular grade and another of O2-945, which is 94 proof and 5x distilled. This stuff isn't going to be hitting American shores until January, but we'll get our review up well before that.
We're looking forward to giving O2 a try, and you can tide yourself over while you wait for us to go through our rigorous reviewing process (read: heavy drinking) by getting more information at SparklingVodka.com. We mentioned in our original O2 Vodka post that we were excited to try their Tapastinis, so we'll be going out for sushi and jellybeans in the near future...but we're still a little nervous about adding caviar to our cocktails. We'll let you know if we cross the fish egg barrier in our review.
For a drink that everyone professes to love so much, there's a lot of confusion and just plain myths that center around the martini. From choosing whether to make it with vodka or gin to deciding exactly how much vermouth belongs in there (consensus seems to say 1-2 molecules), everyone seems to have their own snooty way of mixing one.
We've found a great Q&A from Jeffrey Morganthaler, a pro bartender, centered around martini myths and how you can craft the perfect frosty beverage. We also like the fact he seems to share our sentiment that if you don't put any vermouth in your martini, it's just a shot of gin with an olive floating in it. Same goes for your typical "vodka martini."
As an aside, please note that it’s not possible to “bruise” gin. This is just a bullshit myth perpetuated by Martini “connoisseurs” who want to impress you with their “knowledge” and “sophistication”. It’s a meaningless term, trust me. However, they’re right about not shaking a martini - they just don’t get why.
We know how much you like beer. You drink it all the time, every chance you get, in fact. But sometimes you're taken out of your comfort zone (your couch or the neighborhood bar) and you have to class up your drinking, or at least quit crushing cans on your head for a night. We found a Maxim article that offers a whole bunch of ways you can class up your brew.
Some of them we've covered, like the Black Velvet and the Michelada, but there are a few we've yet to try, like Yorsh and Caribbean Nights. They even tell you the best place to enjoy each beer cocktail, from camping to the theater. All we know is keep us away from those Boilermakers.
We're not asking you to wear a bowtie and spats to the office or close your eyes when you kiss a woman, but for chrissake show a little class when drinking your beer. Here are 10 simple ways to dress up a brewski for the ball, or a six-pack for a Senatorial hearing.
Yesterday we waxed a bit poetic about the Screwpull lever corkscrew, and today we're taking a look at a bar tool set by the same folks. We dug the look of the thing right out of the box, all modern and sleek looking. There are a bunch of great tools in there, all high quality stainless steel - a bar knife, strainer, double-ended bar spoon (slotted and solid), a lemon zester, and ice tongs. The fact that they're steel is important, because the coolest thing about the bar set is that it's magnetic.
After you use a tool all you have to do to put it away is get it somewhere near the base and let go - it'll swing on in and stick. This is pretty crucial after you've used the tools to craft a couple rounds of drinks - you probably won't be too concerned with where your bar tools end up, but at least through the power of magnetism you'll have a chance to get them where they need to be. We thought the magnets were plenty strong, and while we couldn't get the spoon and tongs to magnetize to the side we were able to drop the spoon in the center of the console and hang the tongs off the side.
All in all we're happy with our bar tool set and we're looking forward to mixing up a whole lot of drinks with it. The tools are comfortable in our hands, and we're also secretly hoping the magnetic waves will also exude into our drinks and give us some kind of superpowers. Here's hoping. Learn more at Le Creuset and head over to Amazon to get a Screwpull Club Brushed Stainless-Steel 6-piece Magnetic Bar-Tool Setfor yourself or for a gift.
About a year ago we posted a story about how to beat a hangover, but with the holidays coming it's never a bad idea to get a refresher. We've been mucking around over on the Urban Monarch site quite a bit lately and found this batch o' helpful tips on ways to minimize your chances of getting a hangover - or at least how to avoid a truly evil one.
There's a ton of great advice, including the reason you shouldn't take an analgesic (read: Tylenol) before you go to bed, and we especially liked one commenter's advice to order a water with every drink and avoid going back to the bar until both are gone. Wise words.
From the complex aroma and warm tingle of the first sip of a good scotch to the blue collar fun of downing Pabst Blue Ribbon in some dingy dive bar, boozing is a treat. I’d like to believe the fact I haven’t had a hangover in the last two years is a testament to my fortitude and olympic training in the imbibing arts. More likely though, it’s thanks to some rules I *try* to follow when drinking.
If you had asked us 24 hours ago, we would have told you there's no reason to get a fancy schmancy corkscrew. We would have told you our four dollar plastic one works just fine. If you'd pressed us we would have asked you if an expensive lever-action screwpull would open a bottle quicker or otherwise enhance our drinking experience. Of course, that's before we tried out the LE CREUSET Lever Action Corkscrew (Amazon). Find out more after the jump.
We discovered the concept of sparkling vodka this week, which we file under "things we wanted but didn't realize it." What is sparkling vodka, you ask? If you want to be all hoity toity you could say it's an effervescent neutral grain spirit. If not you could say it's vodka with bubbles in it. Apparently the folks at International English Distillers have discovered a way to put oxygen bubbles into their vodka so it sparkles like champagne. Some people say the bubbles in carbonated alcoholic drinks make the booze hit your system faster; we just like the way the bubbles tickle our noses.
Another thing we like about these guys is the fact that they could have rested on their laurels being the only bubbly vodka currently going (though Luxist's O2 vodka story says Diageo has plans to make their own), but they didn't. They've also come out with a stable of crazy...errr, interesting drink recipes called "Tapastinis" that have us completely intrigued. We've never made martinis that include sushi, caviar, or jellybeans, but we've got a bottle on its way so we hope to change that ASAP.
London Dry Gin with Poppy, Dragon Eye and Citrus
80 Proof (40% ABV)
Typical Price: Around $30 for 750ml BulldogGin.com
It just sits there staring at you. Squat, grey, mean-looking, with that tough little studded collar giving it an extra air of menace. No, we're not talking about your neighbor's pit bull...we're talking about that bottle of Bulldog we got in last week, and the added bonus is that unlike your neighbor's dog the bottle is full of gin.
On the plus side before we even tasted it, we found out Bulldog has poppy in it (which they make heroin out of), and it has Dragon Eye (aka Longan, which is related to lychee, which they make Lichido out of). Find out how Bulldog measures up after the jump.
So we just found out that the good folks over at Highland Park whisky have released a lunar whisky. At first we hoped that meant it was distilled on the moon, but then we realized that would make for a pretty high price tag - plus it's probably kind of tough to find peat and barley up there. Then we realized the lunar thing referred to the the cycles of the moon, waxing and waning and whatnot, we suppose. All we can tell you is if we drink enough whisky we've been known to howl at that big bright bastard floating in the sky. Pick up a bottle for around $132 if that's your thing, man.
(The) Lunar Bottling was done in honor of the first Lunar Nutation of the 21st century. The moon has two cycles, the monthly was and wane and this larger cycle. The moon will not return to this point again until 2025. The whisky was matured in 40% first fill sherry oak casks and bottled at 45.1% abv. The tasting profile describes it as having a toffee sweetness and a smoky finish.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. Let's say you're at a party, desperately in need of a funnel (aka beer bong), but the only problem is you're semi-passed out in the yard. You fix your bleary eyes on a lawn ornament nearby and suddenly you're hit with a blinding flash of inspiration. You stumble back inside the party clutching a lawn flamingo and a dream, and you have become a hero.
We have no proof that the Flabongo was created in this manner (in fact, we're pretty sure it wasn't) but it makes a nice story doesn't it? All we know is some genius out there figured out how to make a beer bong out of a lawn flamingo. And we also know that we'll be able to live our lifelong dream of drinking beer out of a waterfowl. Learn more at Flabongo.com.
Quintuple Distilled Vodka, Infused with Caffeine and Guarana
Imported from Holland
80 Proof (40% ABV)
Typical Price: Around $40 P.I.N.K. Website
So it just dawned on us that we haven't done the full review of P.I.N.K. vodka yet, as we promised a couple weeks ago. We did try it on the air during our recent podcast appearance, but we haven't committed any of those thoughts down in written form. The overall consensus was that P.I.N.K. is good stuff, and if you listen to the 'cast you'll hear some off the cuff notes while we drank vodka at 10 AM. After all, P.I.N.K. is caffeinated and infused with guarana (reputed to crank up your metabolism, along with your sex drive), so what better time to drink it than when you're just shaking the cobwebs off whatever you drank last night?
We just found out about an online TV station called LX TV, which covers luxury living and has shows about everything from food to entertaining to...you guessed it...liquor. They offer a few different booze-related shows, including a segment called "Drinks With LX-TV" where the station interviews media and entertainment figures over a dram, which could be interesting. The other main segment we liked was Whisky 101, where they send a correspondent to the Brandy Library to take some of the mystery out of tasting and serving Scotch...Ethan the sommelier has a whole lot of good information for you about accompaniments, aging, malts and etiquette.
We can't link you directly to the the stories we're talking about, but we won't go off on a rant about how people set up their Flash-based websites. Instead, we'll point you right at the LX-TV home page and let you browse through the stories you like yourself. Enjoy!
It seems like just yesterday we were telling you about Bulldog Gin, and now here we are sitting with a bottle in our hands itching to give it a try. We've gotten some more information about the mysterious juniper liquor, including the fact that it's imported from London and it's currently available in New York and Georgia. We're looking forward to trying out some of their Bulldog cocktail recipes, including the Dirty Dog Martini and the Hair of the Dog, which features Tabasco sauce and a chili pepper. We bet that'll get the juices flowing.
We're all pumped up to start the reviewing (OK, drinking) process, but our Editor in Chief is holding us up because he has a cold that's blowing his sense of smell and taste. We'll get the review done and up ASAP so you can find out how much bite this bulldog really has.
We've been known to poke a little fun at our Canadian neighbors to the north, but it's really all in fun.We LIKE the fact that you're beer-soaked hosers with a high tolerance for cold weather and bacon fat. We should know - we smell our own. Plus, we found this commercial for Molson that gives new meaning to the words "chasing beaver" and it made us laugh. Thanks Canada!
October was a crazy month, with all sorts of Liquor Snob firsts. Our Editor in Chief was featured on our very first Podcast, we did our first Shaving Stuff crossover story, and we did our first Jager Bomb shot of the month on Halloween night. We also got in our bottle of P.I.N.K. vodka, which we tasted on the aforementioned Podcast, and which will be receiving a full review as soon as we have time. Also, we had a great Halloween and we hope you did too...don't be too scared to find the full roundup of important stories from last month after the jump.