March 29, 2010

Bamboo Tiki Bar: Here's Looking at You, Tax Rebate

tiki_bar.jpgEvery year, around tax time, we start looking for something ridiculously expensive to spend our theoretical refund on. It's good fun, and it's a nice way to procrastinate actually doing our taxes. This year, we've decided the Liquor Snob offices absolutely NEED an outdoor tiki bar.

With summer coming, we have a feeling we wouldn't even come inside to sleep - just cover ourselves with those palm leaves and let the rum take care of everything else. C'mon, Uncle Sam...we've been good this year.

Bamboo Tiki Bar with 3 Stools

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January 4, 2010

We Miss our Angostura Bitters

angostura.jpgWe know there are all kinds of bitters out there to use in our cocktails, but we have to say we're sort of used to using Angostura. For those who don't pay attention, Angostura is the bitters you commonly get at your local bar in your cocktails...pretty much all of them. We've complained about this before, but we can't seem to buy them anywhere.

Why the shortage? The official sources we can track down say the plant has closed down temporarily, but we heard a rumor that the employees are on strike. Bitter bitters workers? Say it ain't so, and just bring us back our Angostura before we have to fly to Trinidad to get 'em...though that doesn't sound so bad either with all the snow we're getting in VT.

[UPDATE: According to the commenters below, Angostura is back in production and we should be seeing it soon. Phew! It might even be possible that you've already got access to it again if you don't live out in the sticks like us. All we can say is...get to mixin'!]

(image via TriniGourmet)

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December 7, 2009

Chantilly Beverage Dispenser

chantilly_beverage.jpg'Tis the season for holiday parties, and we've been on the lookout for something to replace the traditional punch bowl at our seasonal fiestas. While the bowl looks cool enough, people tend to spill with our ladle, and we just want something a bit more visually striking. Our solution? The Chantilly beverage dispenser - it has a smaller footprint on the table, has a pour spigot to let people easily fill their cups with cheer, and it holds two gallons of grog. What more could we ask for, really?

Chantilly Beverage Dispenser

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October 21, 2009

Wusthof 7 Piece Garnishing Kit

wusthof_garnishing_kit.jpgOur enrollment in the Bar Smarts Wired course has gotten us thinking a lot more about the parts of a drink that we usually didn't pay much attention to. An example? The garnish. We historically thought of garnish as something to toss on the cocktail napkin so it doesn't get in the way of your drinking. But we're starting to see that the garnish can be the unsung hero of a drink, adding flavors and excitement to a cocktail, or at least a little zazz.

Our Bar Smarts kit came with a good channel knife, but of course, being the Snobs we are, we want more. We gravitated toward Wusthof, a brand we trust and have had good experiences with, which includes a channel knife, zester, double-edge peeler, butter curler, melon baller, and corer. We know it's pretty expensive, but hey, it comes in a sweet carrying case so you can feel like a real chef when you whip it out.

W├╝sthof 7-Piece Garnishing Tool Kit

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October 14, 2009

Urban Moonshine Organic Bitters

urban_moonshine_bitters.jpgOur friends down at our favorite local bar, the Three Penny Taproom, have shown us they're about more than just great beer - they know their spirits too. That's why we were excited when they showed us a new line of bitters they'd found out about - Urban Moonshine. Located just north of us in Burlington, VT, Urban Moonshine is all about making organic bitters and tonics for digestive health and other benefits. We were especially into this one line from their website (bolding ours):

Now, whether you enjoy them as an apertif, digestif, or as a remedy to settle an upset stomach, calm a hangover or gently cleanse the liver, bitters are back!
That's right they're back - and these particular ones come in original, citrus, and maple. Check out Treehugger for a nice little write-up and a cocktail recipe to get you started.

We only have to drive a half hour to get them. You, however, can use the majesty of the Interwebs and buy them at the Urban Moonshine website.

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October 13, 2009

Mini Angled Measuring Cups: Jigger What? Jigger Who?

oxo_goodgrips_angled_1.jpgYou'd be surprised how useful these little angled measuring cups are when you're making cocktails - your liquids are easier to see, for one thing. It's also nice to have a few lying around, which is why we got the three pack of plastic ones. These bad boys hold up to a quarter cup and are marked at 1/4, 1/2, 1, 1 1/2, and 2 ounces. They also come in Stainless Steel if you're going for the durability and jigger feel, but we like the visibility we get from the plastic. Just be sure to wash them quickly and thoroughly so they don't pick up any flavors, though we haven't had any problems with that.

Oxo Good Grips Mini Angled Measuring Cup 3-Pack

(Image via Design with Intent)

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August 24, 2009

Shocking Bottle Opener

Admit it...sometimes you want to punish your friends for drinking your beer. They come over, they just assume they can dig in, and suddenly you're looking at a forlorn little fridge full of only...shudder...food. Go ahead, let them drink all they want, but tell them they can only do it with the shock bottle opener - it'll whack them with a nice little electric charge with every beer they open.

PS - Anybody else get a feeling this wasn't on purpose...that they're just making the best of a design flaw? At least it's less than four bucks, anwyay.

Budget Gadgets [via Geekologie]

shock_bottle_opener.jpg

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August 18, 2009

Uber Bar Tools Arrive for Review

ProFlow.jpgWe got a package in the mail from Australia a couple days ago, and inside that package was a nice little selection of the Uber bar tools we covered a little while ago. Included in the package are the ProStirrer (bar spoon), ProFlow (pourer, pictured), Julep (julep strainer), and the StrainRay (cocktail strainer). We were impressed by the heft and quality of these tools right out of the box, and we'll put them through their paces in the next little while and let you know how they hold up.

More info at Uber Bar Tools

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July 29, 2009

Uber Bar Tools

uber_bar_tools.jpgWe hadn't heard of Australia's Uber Bar Tools before we got an email about them, but the more we read about them, the more we're glad they're on our radar now. These are high end accessories aimed at folks who aspire to more than whipping up a batch of margaritas for friends - from what we can tell they're for professional bartenders and folks who actually deserve to be called "mixologists."

Uber's bar tools got a complimentary review from Colleen Graham at About Cocktails, and she says they're pretty great - assuming you can afford them. And even though we probably don't deserve 'em, rumor has it we've got some on the way to our offices for us to put through their paces. Don't worry - we'll be showered and (mostly) sober when we review them.

@Uber Bar Tools

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June 29, 2009

Diageo Resets the Bar for Economical Drinking

new_thebarcom.pngAh, the times, they are a changing. Diageo has relaunched TheBar.com, and instead of focusing on high end cocktails and flashy Webitude, they're rolling toward the economical home bar. It turns out people are drinking in bars less thanks to the recession, in the parlance of our time. Diageo's new website reflects that, with Bar Basics for home bartending tips, Barnomics for figuring out how many drinks you can mix per bottle, and information on premade cocktail mixes.

Hopefully this new information will help you with the drinking at home, but alll we can say is - we miss Jack.

@TheBar.com [via] Business Week]

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