October 21, 2009
Our 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.
Wüsthof 7-Piece Garnishing Tool Kit
October 14, 2009
Our 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.
October 13, 2009
You'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)
August 24, 2009
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]
August 18, 2009
We 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
July 29, 2009
We 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
June 29, 2009
Ah, 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]
June 23, 2009
This little gizmo might seem a bit off-season, but just think about how popular you'll be this fall when you hit your friends with a long bomb and get them blitzed. Did we just actually type that sentence? Oh, and you can actually lock the halves together and throw the thing, full of booze, across the room. We can't see that ever being a bad idea.
@Firebox [via Random Good Stuff]
June 11, 2009
If you're ready to really take your whiskey on the rocks, you might want to think about getting yourself some Whiskey Stones. It seems like years ago that we covered sippin' on the rocks, a snooty-seeming product from Scotland, but these newest whiskey rocks are from a bit closer to home - our native state of Vermont. Stick 'em in the freezer and plop 'em in your drink to get the chilling effect of ice without watering it down.
A win no matter how you tally it, and we're thinking Dad might want some for Father's Day.
(Thanks Tom and Christina)
April 8, 2009
Our (sort of) new president is still capturing the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. If you don't believe us, just check out Bad Paintings of Barack Obama. What have you done lately to prove that kind of devotion? Here's your chance - drink liquor out of the back of his head.
Barack Obama Collectible Shot Glass