I don't know what to say about this glorious contraption. One part transportation, two parts heaven with built-in kegs and taps, pizza sleeves and even a solar-powered boombox. On top of that, it's got a figurehead on the front in the form of a creepy-ass doll. Do want - but these things are custom-built so we imagine we'd have to get in line.
Now that the 33 trapped Chilean miners are home safe, we suppose it's time someone released a product referencing them. Actually someone probably has, and this one isn't cashing in as much as being clever, because this seems pretty tasteful. Finally - if you're just dying to find out how Florencio Alvaros tastes, now's your chance.
Each bottle is named after one of the rescued miners and numbered in order of their resurfacing. Each bottle comes in a tube representing the Fénix 2 rescue capsule, and is buried beneath a layer of rocks. As recipients dig out their wine, they reveal a replica of the message sent up to rescuers which exclaimed "Estamos bien en el refugio los 33", meaning "We are okay in the refuge, the 33 of us".
It's getting to that time of year when the prior planners need to figure out what to buy people on their Christmas list, especially since shipping at this time of year can be unreliable and the malls are some circle of Dante's hell. So where does that leave us? The answer to that question, just like so many others, is "the liquor store."
The liquor store is close, usually less crowded than your typical Wal-Mart, and full of delicious, delicious liquor. Tony Sachs over at Huffington Post has put together a list of a dozen gift-worthy bottles as well as a sort of "Scotch 101" vibe so you can choose with confidence.
This is the perfect time of year for a bottle of single-malt Scotch. After all, there are few more enjoyable ways to warm up on a cold winter's night than with a snifter of whisky by a roaring fire (or a Yule Log on TV if, like me, you live in an apartment without a fireplace). And a good bottle of Scotch says something about both the giver and the recipient. It says, "I have good taste. I enjoy the finer things in life. I'm an adult; this isn't Jagermeister or FourLoko we're talking about. I see those same refined characteristics in you, gift recipient. And if for some reason I'm wrong about you, well, invite me over and I'll be happy to down that bottle for you."
We haven't been shy lately about how much we think punch is an underutilized party drink (big ups to a certain Mr. Wondrich for writing up its delights and dangers), so we were understandably excited when we went to a party this weekend that was serving some. On top of the top-shelf beers and wines circulating the place, they also made Hot African Punch, using a recipe something like this one.
This was a hot punch (we drank ours out of freshly-split coconut halves) and more dangerous and delightful than you might expect since your brain knew there was booze in there but your tongue could barely taste it, and it went down smoooooth. We're just glad they dropped the sugar in the recipe from the suggested four pounds to something closer to two and a half - otherwise our teeth would have exploded on contact.
As we were drinking this delicious, delicious punch, conversation turned to other types of punch and a fellow partygoer mentioned a recipe he had recently found for Chatham Artillery Punch. It just so happens a day earlier our intern-on-the-street Andrew had sent us an email for a punch with the exact same name, though we hadn't had a chance to cover it yet. Turns out the two recipes were slightly different, one being from Massachusetts and the other from Georgia, but they both called for booze by the gallon and served parties in the hundreds.
Our new mission? To someday make Chatham Artillery Punch, in its full glory and see if it, like Andrew says, "hits you like an artillery shell." Here's an excerpt from Andrew's write-up:
The first page was a recipe for a beverage called "Chatham Artillery Punch". The first thing that strikes you is that the ingredients are measured in quantitative terms like "quarts", "dozens" and "gallons" - and we're not talking fractions here either. Secondly, this mixture continues to impress with ingredients like "Catawba Wine", "Hennessy", "Santa Cruz Rum" and "Champagne". And finally, the directions fire gems at you such as: "tin bucket", "cedar tub" and "serves 200"!!
Finally, our chance to mix cocktails in tin and cedar, our true medium. Find the recipe above or on Flickr.
We're not sure who Rocco Murano is, but we like his taste in glasses. We're always on the lookout for distinctive rocks glasses, and our eye was immediately caught by these, with their flashy streak of blue playing through the glass. These glasses come in a set of four, and have a hammered texture to give you a more secure grip after you've had a few drinks out of them.
We haven't read Darcy O'Neil's Fix the Pumps yet, but you can bet it's on our Christmas list now that it's on our radar. We're fans of Mr. O'Neil's Art of Drink website, and this book sounds like a fascinating account of how soda jerks were the ancestors of modern mixologists, and offers solid advice on how to integrate their techniques into your own bar.
Fix the Pumps peers into the history of the American soda fountain and the fascinating connections it had with bars and cocktails, including raising the ire of the Temperance League. Many of the unique ingredients and techniques, employed by the pharmacists, are explored in-depth including production of in-house seltzer water, soda acidulents and 450 pre-prohibition soda recipes.
The thing that really caught our eye was this query we found over at Art of Drink - "What happened in 1885 that made the cocktail go from being the preferred morning bracer to an evening nightcap?" Inquiring minds want to know.
We've made no secret of the fact we enjoy getting a little punchy during the holidays, and we're always going online to look for punch recipes. Cocktail luminary David Wondrich has released a whole book on the subject, and you can get it just in time for Christmas - or your next holiday party. We haven't read it yet, but you can expect we will.
Acclaimed cocktail expert and historian David Wondrich takes readers on a raucous guided tour of all things punch-a tour that starts with some very lonely British sailors and swells to include a cast of lords and ladies, admirals, kings, presidents, poets, pirates, novelists, spies, and other inimitable characters. And of course, authentic recipes appear throughout, with notes for the modern punch-maker.
Our Editor-in-Chief is continuing on his DiY kick, and he just picked up a book called Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation. Most of the book is just as new agey as you might expect, but there are some hidden gems in there we really want to try to make. From discussions of historical beer ingredients and the history of brewing to recipes for all kinds of meads and beers, this book has plenty of information to feed your inner beer nerd.
One chapter that might be especially interesting to our readers is the one entitled "Psychotropic and Highly Inebriating Beers." In it you will find recipes for ales containing everything from wormwood to rosemary to sage to something called "gruit." One thing we found interesting about this book is that many of the recipes will send you to your grocery store (or more likely health food store) rather than your local brew shop.
On top of everything else, this book posits that beer can actually be healing and sacred, rather than just a social lubricant and sorrow-drowner, as our society often treats it. Kickass!
Yesterday, a friend of ours asked us to recommend good Scotch nosing glasses for a gift, and we pointed him in the direction of the Glencairn glass we covered last month. During our search we also uncovered this set of two Scotch glasses from Riedel, a brand we know and have used in the past.
Crafted with the help of master distillers in Scotland, Riedel's Single Malt Whiskey glasses maximize the sipping pleasures of top-quality malt whiskeys. Machine-crafted in Germany from 24-percent lead crystal, the shape is practical and charming, with a short stem and an elongated thistle-shaped body. The lip turns outward to catch the characteristic fragrance of the liquor.
If there is one thing we want out of life, it's a nice place to settle down and forget all of life's cares. Sounds to us like Nice Beer Lake might be that place:
Nice Beer Lake is a well-lubricated wonderland, nestled on the foamy shores of a lake filled with pure artesian spring beer. Drink your worries away alongside magical brew-filled balloons, drunk whales, belligerent clouds, and a chorus of orphan drops of beer that only know the theme song from Laverne & Shirley.
You might not be able to go to Nice Beer Lake anytime soon, but you can get a memento (or give one as a gift) with this set of 4 pint glasses and two coasters.
Our local package delivery man (that sounds a bit dirty) was kind enough to drop off another gurgling box at the Liquor Snob offices today, and once we tore it open we saw it was a bottle of Revel Stoke spiced whisky. As you can tell by the missing "e" in whiskey, Revel Stoke is Canadian. As you can tell by the image above, it's spiced with ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom and coriander.
We've gotten into a bad habit lately of sitting on reviews, so we're doing an early New Year's resolution to review bottles as soon as they come in. So, with no further ado, our thoughts on Revel Stoke.
If there are two things we're obsessed with around here, they're booze and hard-boiled fiction. That's why we spend most of our days pretending to work, feet up on our desks, smoking cigarettes and making "private eye coffee," which as you know is 3 parts rye whiskey, 2 parts milk and sugar, and 1 part coffee. We haven't read this book, but we plan to.
The hard-bitten PI with a bottle of bourbon in his desk drawer--it's an image as old as the genre of hard-boiled detective fiction itself. Alcohol has long been an important element of detective fiction, but it is no mere prop. Rather, the treatment of alcohol within the works informs and illustrates the detective's moral code, and casts light upon the society's attitudes towards drink.
Budweiser's Band of Buds challenge isn't something we'd normally think about covering, but hey - rules are made to be broken. Turns out we have some friends of friends who won their regional semi-finals, and they're headed to Vegas next week (December 15-18) to try to win the whole shebang. We're not just posting about them because our buddies at Music Festival Junkies told us to, though - check out our reasons, as well as their competition video, below.
Their submission video features beer can baseball, beer shotput, and a foot race - and is frickin' hilarious from beginning to end..
The crew contains a dude who looks like Russell Brand on acid, another fellow who rocks a sweet Kerry King beard, a third gentleman who looks like he ate the rest of Slayer and wears a wrestling unitard, and a suspiciously normal-looking guy who we'd let do our taxes.
Halfway through the music is by Korpiklaani, our favorite Finnish folk metal band.
Do shots in a literal way with these glasses shaped like shotgun shells - but expect to shell out a pretty penny if you want to get your hands on them. See what we did there? MadeByAmmo [via UberReview]
We think the UberReview guys said it best:
...yes, they look pretty cool - and the Pelican case is a nice touch, but seriously do you really need to be paying $400 for a set of 6? There are cheaper options, you can buy one for $60, two for $110 or 4 for $200. It seems kind of silly because the people that would get the most use out of them (college students) probably can't afford them.
Earlier this morning, we posted about an Anne Taintor flask that seemed like a nice gift for the lady in your life. We didn't want to seem sexist in our flask choices and leave out men, who are so often ignored when it comes to booze-related gifts. Actually that last part's a lie - this is just an excuse to post about a flask we'd really like to keep our own liquor in.
This roomy 7-ounce flask offers a bit more booze storage for when it's going to be a long night, as well as a stainless-steel exterior coated with a brushed matte finish, which gives it a flatter, less sparkly appearance. As you might imagine, this is good when you're drinking somewhere you maybe oughtn't, and you wouldn't want to attract attention with your bright and shiny flask.
Anne Taintor's kitschy mashups of 50's-era art and tongue in cheek sayings have been popular for a few years now on everything from magnets to greeting cards, but this is the first time we've seen them in flask form. We found 8 different styles (accessible through the link below) including the pictured "surely, it's five o'clock somewhere," as well as our other favorite - "why yes, i am that kind of girl."
These petite 4 ounce flasks have a wraparound design and come with a handy funnel to make filling them easier, which means they'll make the perfect gift for a lady in your life (or for yourself).
Last week we gave you some liquor-related gift ideas, and in our opinion one of the coolest ideas was the decanter. We can't think of anyone who wouldn't be stoked to open up a box to a classy display mechanism for their booze...but maybe that's just a function of the people we hang out with.
One glaring omission was the lack of a wine decanter in the list, so today we present you the Esperienze - an 88-ounce wine decanter blown from lead-free glass in Italy. This decanter features a concentric ripple design to increase your wine's oxygenation, and in our opinion the best part - it's dishwasher safe.
Edit: We just noticed this particular decanter won't ship for 3-5 weeks, which could make it tough as a gift for Christmas; check out these other wine decanters if you need something a little bit more post-haste.
Someday, we hope to be at least this drunk while wearing a Santa costume. Until that day, we're going to have to be content with this amazing video of a Santa Claus doing the equivalent of trying to put on his flip flops.
When we think "learning how to drink responsibly," we always think of squirrels - because hey, have you ever seen a squirrel passed out on a frat house couch with a hitler mustache and a "dick here" arrow pointing to his mouth? No. We can unequivocally say you haven't - until Rule 34 kicks in anyway.
The folks at Penn State definitely know the connection between rodents and responsible drinking, because they made a whole flash movie about it. Watch it at the Penn State Student Affairs Website - make sure you pay special attention if your 21st birthday is coming up.
Beer pong is one of those games people seem to either love or hate. In our experience, you either think it's an exciting game of daring and skill, or a ridiculous time-waster that forces you to pick fur out of your beer after the ball rolls under the radiator. If you fall anywhere close to the former category, you might just want to think about a January trip to the World Series of Beer Pong (affectionately known as the WSOBP) in Vegas.
You have until December 10 to buy in and be eligible for a $50,000 grand prize, as well as over $60,000 in additional payouts. You can find out more about the specifics at the WSOBP page, but what's going to convince you to pull the trigger? If you need convincing, head on over to the Bpong blog to see all 10 reasons to enter, from the fact it happens in frickin' Vegas (which should be reason enough), to a look at the big personalities on the competition and the big...assets...of the sponsor babes.
Let's not try to kid ourselves and say November is about anything more than one thing - Thanksgiving. We spent the first three weeks of the month binging and purging to get our stomachs floppy enough to accommodate a passel of food and drink that could choke a pilgrim, and the last week of the month napping off the tryptophan. We have to say we were pretty proud of the Thanksgiving Survival Guide, and we hope it helped pull you negotiate the potential pitfalls of this family-oriented holiday.
Check out our other top stories from last month below, most of which seem to involve Four Loko.
When most people think of canned beer, they think of mass market favorites like Bud, Coors, Miller. There are options out there, however, for canned craft beers, and the folks at Backpacker Magazine took on the thankless job of plowing through 23 varieties and identifying their favorites.
This means, of course, that good beer just became that much more portable, and you don't have to resort to "college beers" like PBR or the Beast if you're going somewhere that makes hauling a bunch of glass impractical. We haven't tried too many of the listed varieties, but we have had Dale's Pale Ale in a can and found it quite delicious. (Thanks for the tip, Fred)
At the moment there are almost 80 craft breweries with at least one beer being produced in a can, a number that is set to reach 100 by 2011. Many of these breweries are very small and don't distribute beyond their neighborhood, so to speak, so if you don't see your favorite brew from back home listed here (like Upslope Brewing and Half Acre Beer Company), it's not because we don't love it too, but searched for canned craft beers available to a minimum of three states.