Remember those essays you used to have to write as a kid? Your teacher would ask you to do a composition on "What I Did Last Summer" or "What I Want to Do When I Grow Up." Our Editor in Chief recently wrote an entry for Bombay Sapphire's Spirit of Exploration blog, trying to define what the spirit of exploration means to him.
It's a contest, though we're not quite sure what he can win other than the opportunity to offer some free link love to their blog. Go on over and check it out, see what you think...hell, even rate it if you feel the urge. If nothing else, you'll get the chance to see how he writes when he has to behave himself on someone else's site and is writing half-sober.
We've spent a lot of time in the Liquor Snob offices lately, discussing the spirit of exploration and what it means. We started simple, thinking about famous boundary breakers we'd read about in school. Marco Polo. Ponce de Leon. Meriwether Lewis. Ford Prefect. Arguably great explorers all, even if the people of their times might have thought they'd gone a bit nutty. But does exploration mean solely the act of taking a physical trip? We thought not.
Here's exactly what we need for our barbecues this summer - a keg tap we don't have to pump. We've experimented with all kinds of taps over the years, and one that we don't have to worry about some jackass overpumping sounds damned sweet. This one comes with a US sankey good for most domestic kegs, and needs to be plugged in to operate, but you can buy a battery pack that will let it run for four hours without charging or plugging.
When some people throw a party, they want classy - crystal decanters, stemmed glasses, upturned pinkies. When we throw a party, we want volume - amped music, loud laughter, and six gallons of booze minimum. That's what you get with the beverage bucket - no frills, just a bucket with room for six gallons of hooch, and a spigot to pour it with. We might just keep one in the living room for when we're watching TV.
On the surface, it looks like a sweet little diary with a bunny rabbit on the cover. However, instead of your deep thoughts, crushes, and unicorn doodles, it contains a hip flask. That way, you can pretend to be all sensitive and emo, when in actuality you're getting plowed. Can it get any better?
Just in time for you to drive the liquor store and scrounge for change in your seats for a 30 pack of Genesee Cream Ale, we've found this great roundup of the most expensive booze in the world. From 2 million dollar cognac to 1.5 million dollar tequila, this might be great stuff to own, but we'd be a bit concerned we'd crack into it at 2 AM after all the other booze at the party had run out.
Since the beginning of history, man has sought to concoct a spirit that makes him seem like the ultimate pimp. But which are the spirits that exemplify the pinnacle of decadence? In case you still have money left over from encrusting your toilet seat with diamonds and gold plating your pets, Divine Caroline has put together a list of the most expensive spirits in the world. And you thought you were a player.
We've been thinking a lot about DIY booze lately. We have friends big into homebrew beer, and we've even toyed with making our own wine, but what if we could make our own whiskey? It turns out, there's a big subculture of whiskey geeks who do just that, and OK, maybe it's still cheaper (and more legal) to buy a bottle of Jim off the shelf, but how freakin' cool would it be to say you have your own still?
There are all sorts of whiskey geeks out there who are doing just that, and they've been featured recently in an article in Wired.
Today's home distillers are more likely to build a small reflux still and hide it in the garage. Unlike a pot still, the vapors rise through a column packed with copper wool or another high-surface-area material before being directed into the condenser. A beer keg makes a good boiler, and a homemade column and condenser are within the reach of anyone with basic welding and soldering skills and access to copper pipe.
Awesome. For more information on how you could theoretically make your own still if you didn't fear blindness and/or incarceration, check out the links below.
As you probably know, there is no area of gaming more prone to "house rules" than in drinking games. Most of these games, since they aren't made by Hasbro or Milton Bradley, don't have a defined set of standard rules, so everyone seems to play by their own varations. Whether it's a discussion about whether you can sweep triples with a single two in asshole, or an argument about how you really flip the cups in flip cup, there are few things that bring rise to deeper passions. Of course, that may be because there's drinking involved.
All that said, we're not sure how to process the concept of "grenades" in beer pong. We've never heard of them, but this guy talks about them very confidently, and he says "OK" a lot. Check out the explanation of the grenade in the video below, and let us know what you think of the concept.
We are very, very sorry we missed your party. Luckily, thanks to the fine folks at Sorry I Missed Your Party, we will have the opportunity to see all the photo evidence you're kind enough to take. We won't be there, but at least we'll get to see you dancing like an idiot, ingesting legal and illegal substances, and generally making an ass of yourself.
Guys, I hate to say it...but a lot of you are letting me down. More importantly, you're letting yourselves and your gender down. Every time I go out to a bar and I see a guy with a purple or pink shot in their hand, a small part of Burt Reynolds's mustache dies. When I venture out to a restaurant and I see a man with a martini that is any other color than clear, I am forced to say a small weeping prayer for the future of mankind.
We couldn't agree more, fellas. Thou shalt read the hell out of these commandments before sallying forth to the local watering hole this weekend. And if you've got any more commandments fit for the list, please add them in the comments below.
Read all 10 drinking commandments at Drinkplanner
(Thanks for the tip, Travis)
With Father's Day coming up, we can't think of anything dad might need more than a cooler that he can drive around the house. Not only can he get the beer from point A to point B without getting off the couch, he can also get the empties back from point B to point A for a refill. Hopefully it comes with a horn installed for those living room traffic jams too.
We know it's not quite here yet, but summer is just around the corner. That means it's not too early to start thinking about how, exactly, you're going to transport all that delicious beer you need to drink to the beach, camping, sporting events, and parties. You could take the old "rip open the case and dump in some ice" route, but you'd rather go with something a bit classier than that wouldn't you? Wouldn't you?
Whether you're shopping based on capacity, durability, portability, or price, we've got you covered with our roundup of big-ass coolers from Coleman. Mouse over each link to see an image and price.
Coleman 62-Quart Xtreme Wheeled Cooler (Blue) - This Goliath holds 85 cans plus ice, and the claim is it can store ice up to five days in 90 degree heat. Between that and the portability factor added by the two wheels on the other end, you don't even need to bring friends wherever you go with those 85 beers.
Coleman 54-Quart Steel Belted Chest Cooler (Stainless Steel) - Some days, you need extra security for your beers. You can sleep easily knowing your cooler's contents are safe, even in bear country...or if your roommate's been trying to get at your beers. Plus, it's leak proof, rust proof, and "completely redesigned for today's active lifestyle," whatever that means.
Coleman Stainless Steel Party Cooler - What you give up in portability with this bad boy is made up for by the cool factor...and the built in bottle opener. Plus you can use it to hold up to 50 beer cans/bottles, or you can fill it with over 10 gallons of liquid (read: punch).
Coleman 36-Qt. Electronic Cooler With Radio & Clock - This cooler doesn't hold as many beers as the others, maybe, with capacity for only 46 cans, but it makes up for that with its high tech appendage. This guy offers AM/FM radio with a weather band, plus an MP3 plug and headphone jack and internal speakers.
With the skyrocketing popularity of flavored liquors in the past few years, everybody seems to be infusing spirits these days. Heck, we've even played around with infusing vodka and gin ourselves, to mixed results. It's not that it was difficult to do the infusion, we just didn't have the patience to watch a perfectly good bottle of gin sit there and soak up blueberry juice.
Enter the Reveo Cocktail Tumbler. Based on the same technology designed to let you marinate meat in a fraction of the time, the makers of this gadget say it'll cut your mixology time down significantly as well. We don't follow all the technical details in the release, but it has something to do with vacuums and whatnot. However it works, we'd love to experiment with infusing mint right into our julep bourbon or creating our own flavored vodka, or even just use it as a high tech replacement for our handy cocktail pitcher.
Virtuoso is the first automatic home marinator and vacuum tumbler to appeal to wannabe mixologists who can wow friends and family with infused beverages (from lemonades and teas to sangria and spirits) and marinade dinner items in minutes, instead of hours.
We don't even have words for how much we want this thing. If we owned this we'd be cooler than Lando Calrissian bathing in a vat of Colt 45. We almost need it bad enough to take the currency exchange hit of ordering it from Amazon UK.
We just found a posting over at The Scotch Blog about a new Swedish malt whisky distillery, that goes by the name of Hven. Sounds interesting - we've had whisk(e)ys from all over the world, but never from the land of Vikings. We wonder if a dram will make us want to pillage?
The state-of-the-art distillery, which will thrive on local cultivated barley and water, is built on a small island in the middle of the strait which separate Denmark from Sweden. The island is the former home of the medieval Scandinavian astronomer Tycho Brahe, but was also a stronghold for Vikings.
We always find it fascinating to check out what people have been buying. Sometimes you've picked something up on our recommendation, and sometimes we dig through there to see if there's anything we want to buy or review ourselves. Below you'll find the 10 best sellers from this week, plus one item that caught us a bit by surprise. Plus, see the item we were surprised to find nestled in with the drinking gear below.
What's the surprising item, you ask? We'd have to say it's Case Files in Obstetrics and Gynecology - not something we expected to see mixed in with bar tools and breathalyzers, but hey...who are we to judge?
Talk about dedication to drinking - it's come to our attention that we're strictly amateurs. We've never even considered going to the great hereafter ensconced in a giant beer can, much less actually built the coffin and used it as a beer cooler.
We just found out about a new liquor from Thailand called Mekhong, which is apparently made a bit sweet to balance out the spiciness of the food. It's a blended distilled drink that contains sugar and rice, two of our favorite foods, and it sounds pretty high on our list of "must tries." Sounds like it's pretty drinkable, and it's quite possible we'd end up having a bit too much of it - luckily, what happens in Bangkok, stays in Bangkok.
The spirit is made with a bit of the spiritualism that envelops Thailand in mind. It's distilled and fermented and then goes in to several traditional and symbolic stages related to the five natural elements: earth, water, air/wind, fire and aether (the mythical upper air that encompasses everything).
We're sure none of you want to hear the word "drunk" after your Cinco de Mayo celebrations yesterday, but we recently stumbled across this video and thought we'd share it. We were friended on Myspace by a certain Horatio Lee Jenkins recently, and when we watched a video on his profile on a whim it made us chuckle.
Horatio is a Hank Williams Jr. doppelganger, and the song is a blatant riff on "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" with Jim Beam instead of a fiddle, but most of the flag waving shenanigans in the video seem tongue in cheek. Plus, we're kind of wondering if "Satan" in this video is actually Ron Jeremy in disguise.
Remember the old "watermelon full of vodka" trick? Someone would drill a hole in a watermelon and dump in a bottle of vodka or two, then throw it in the freezer? We've got some fond memories of drunkenly spitting out frozen watermelon seeds at a few parties, but we haven't had a good old drunk watermelon in a while. We've just found a recipe that could change that this summer - sounds pretty gourmet with the addition of some vanilla and chambord, and the idea of making individual pops classes up the whole proceeding considerably.
It's Cinco de Mayo again, and for a lot of people, the holiday is just an excuse to crunch some tortilla chips and slurp down a margarita or two. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you're looking for some more inventive ways to use your tequila, Colleen at About.com has some zesty-sounding cocktails for you to try, including Habanero Martinis, variations on the Bloody Maria, and the heartburn-inducing Prairie Fire.
You're already adding salsa to you tacos, burritos and fajitas, a few (okay, maybe more than a few) chili peppers here and there, so why not spice up your cocktails? For this Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) pair the sweetness of Mexico's "spirit" tequila with some of that spice - it makes a fine match and some interesting libations.
We were recently notified about a cool contest the Hpnotiq folks are running, where you can win up to $100,000 for just buying a bottle of the stuff. Seems like a no-brainer to us. And if you win, you'd better share with us, because we're pretty sure our posting of this story makes us ineligible. The things we do for you...
For summer 2008, Hpnotiq Liqueur introduces a $100,000 Grand Prize instant win sweepstakes. The sweepstakes will also feature another $100,000 in first prizes paid out in 200 $500 cash increments in addition to 500 Hpnotiq T-shirts for 2nd prizes.
In order to win, consumers must purchase a 750 ml of Hpnotiq featuring the "Hpnotiq Instant Win" neck hanger POS at retail. Each bottle featuring the neck hanger will have a Hpnotiq cork stopper imprinted with a unique numeric code. Winners will be notified instantly after entering the unique numeric code at Hpnotiq.com. The sweepstakes will begin July 2008, where legal.
Just make sure you're picking up a bottle with the 100 grand tag on it. Hpnotiq.com
We had a lot happen in April, including a whirlwind trip to Brazil...where we didn't even drink any Cachaca. Long story. But nevertheless, we've scoured the Web to find the coolest drinking news and products going, and wrapped them up for you in a neat little package. You're welcome.
One thing we didn't get to do in April was a chance to review the cocktail candles that were sent to us by Gwen at Intoxicated Zodiac, or the Hot D Wake Up Juice that's sitting on our shelf. Our bad. We'll take care of them post haste. But enough dwelling on what we didn't cover - see everything we covered in April after the jump.
This video is a bit longer than we'll normally sit through (like, a whole seven minutes) but this one caught our attention because it's about one of our favorite subjects. You'll learn a whole lot about absinthe, from how it's made to how it was demonized by rival spirits, which helped give it the bad rep it's had lately (a hundred years or so). Get there.