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May 24, 2017

How to Smoke Cocktails at Home...No Special Equipment Required

Four years ago, I shared an introduction to making smoked cocktails on ManMade, exploring the techniques and ingredients that would allow you to create woodsy, rich drinks at home. I offered several ways to create and capture smoke, but admitted that I preferred a specialized, $100 tool designed for doing just that.  Ever since then, at least once or twice a month, I've received an email asking me how to pull this off without buying any specialty gear.

To which I say: challenge accepted! I totally get not wanting to spend a large sum of money to make something you're not sure you're even going to like. I wouldn't either. So, let's break down the process and see what we can do to make some seriously tasty smoked cocktails using things you already have.   

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May 03, 2017

Clever Cocktail Presentation Trick: How to Make an Ice Wedge Glass (for Free!)

A few weekends ago, my wife and I went out for a special dinner to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. (Hi sweetheart!) We opted to enjoy a few beers with our meal, but the table next to us had ordered cocktails. They each showed up with the glass half full of color - slanted, and with the liquid on the top. Initially, I thought it was simply a triangular shaped glass, where the bottom angle was simply solid, but as I looked closer, I realized, in fact, it was a frozen wedge of solid ice, attached to the glass so it maintained the effect. 

I asked the server how it was done, and she told me the bartender had a bunch of little rubber molds that fit the glass, and the whole thing goes into the freezer. She said they were cool, but only fit the certain glass they came with; so only a certain number of cocktail recipes are served in them, and they run out each night.

A few days later, I looked it up to see if I could pick up one or two. I found the product - it's a glass with a custom silicone insert that freezes the ice at a perfect 45° angle, cutting right down the center. They cost about $20 each, and are kinda cool.

But - they're also unnecessary. Because you can achieve the same effect without spending a dime, using any rocks glass you already have. Here's how to do it.       

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Dec 16, 2016

How to: The Simple, Easy Trick to Instantly Improve Your Hot Toddy

I have gone on record, in this publication and elsewhere, about why the hot toddy is the perfect cocktail to be sipping in December. It's warm. It's spiced. And at least according to folk wisdom, it's good for your health, and can help to heal a nasty wintertime sore throat. But, to be honest, until last Tuesday evening, I didn't actually like a hot toddy. 


They were fine, but not delicious, and not really an improvement over a simple glass of neat whiskey. (You could make a hot toddy with rum, brandy, or tequila, but why would you?)  

Hot toddys (toddies?) always disappointed: never quite hot enough to truly enjoy, and somewhat ... harsh. There was something I never liked about adding acidic lemon juice to a healthy glug of bourbon, then heating the whole thing up. It seemed to bring out all the rough, grain-y flavors, and hide the tastier warm and spicy barrel-aged notes that make whiskey, well, whiskey.  

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Oct 11, 2016

Designated Sippers: 6 Whiskeys You Should Drink This Fall

created at: 09/30/2014

And it came to pass that the season for sandals and gin subsided, leaving in its place jackets and layers, autumnal aromas, and whiskey season. 

So, this is a collection not for the kind of guy who finds a label he likes and sticks with it. Cause, those sort of fellows already know what they're enjoying this season. Instead, these are the best-bang-for-your-buck bottles, those that have a great relationship between their price and their flavor.

And by that, we don't mean these are value whiskeys that are simply tolerable or "good for the price." Instead, they're solid, investment whiskeys; some of our favorites that will make you

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Oct 07, 2016

Bring the Outdoors In with this Woodsy, Smokey Cocktail Recipe

ripsaw cocktail glass on a table

Need another drink to warm you up like you're sitting by a campfire, but you're actually stuck inside cause it's freaking freezing out? Check out ManMade's very own rosemary and smoke infused cocktail!

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Aug 26, 2016

This Weekend, You Should Make: Frozen Whiskey Lemonade

created at: 08/26/2016

We have absolutely zero reservations about hanging onto the summer season as long as possible. With temps outside the ManMade HQ topping 99° today, it seems Mother Nature is on our side, regardless of what all the back-to-school sales say.

And as far as ways to enjoy the season and keep cool, we have but three words for you: Frozen. Whiskey. Lemonade.   

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May 24, 2016

How to: Make a Smoke Bomb Cocktail

created at: 05/15/2016You've heard of smokey flavored cocktails before... but how about a smoke bomb cocktail that actually explodes? Well not actually explodes, but with a flourishing crack to the ice cube mold from a tiny hammer or utensil, billowing smoke will pour out into the rest of your Black Manhattan (or other smokey drink of choice)...   

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Mar 31, 2016

Now This Is a Whiskey Glass

Bulletproof WhiskeyJust when I thought the wonderful world of whiskey couldn't get any better, I found this amazing glass to drink it out of. Complete with a real bullet.  

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Nov 24, 2015

Best Value in Booze: What's the Best Bourbon under $25?

created at: 11/24/2015 There are times to try new things. Times to taste different flavors, experiment with products, seek out something you've never encountered before...And sometimes, you just want to know what the best option is. The easy choice. The go-to. The everyday variety you know will work when you need it, and rely on every time.  

Throughout the next few months, ManMade is seeking out the best affordable bottles of a variety of spirits that work well in your home bar, but know you can grab at the store the next time you head to a friend's house or a party.      

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Nov 11, 2015

Poor Man's Pappy: How to "Make" Your Own Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon... No Waiting List Required

If you know anything about bourbon, you've no doubt heard the fables of Pappy Van Winkle, one of the most hard-to-find and sought-after bottles on the market. It's become the stuff of legend, perhaps better known for its rarity than its flavor. Or, if reports are to be believed, perhaps not. People say it's pretty amazing.   

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Oct 21, 2015

How to: Make Cheap Bourbon Taste Like a Million Bucks

make cheap bourbon taste better

By simply accenting the varietals in bourbon with similar ingredients you can easily move a bottom shelf brand up a level. All you need is three simple ingredients!

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Oct 15, 2015

Best Value in Booze: What's the Best Single Malt Scotch Under $30?

created at: 10/15/2015

There are times to try new things. Times to taste different flavors, experiment with products, seek out something you've never encountered before...And sometimes, you just want to know what the best option is. The easy choice. The go-to. The everyday variety you know will work when you need it, and rely on every time.      Throughout the next few months, ManMade is seeking out the best affordable bottles of a variety of spirits that work well in your home bar, but know you can grab at the store the next time you head to a friend's house or a party.   

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Oct 02, 2015

How to Drink That Whiskey The Right Way: An Introductory Guide

created at: 10/02/2015Enjoying a glass of something strong is a good way to end the night every now and then. But do you know how to actually get the best out of the experience? Here's a quick and dirty take on how to get the most fun, flavor, and enjoyment.

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Jan 27, 2015

6 Tasty Inforgraphics about Your Favorite Beverages

Mixology of Martinis

Who doesn't love information beautifully laid out into a colorful infographic? I've wrangled up some of the best charts regarding our favorite beverages of the adult kind for your viewing pleasure. Heck, you might even learn something!

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Dec 15, 2014

How Bourbon Is Made

created at: 05/28/2013

Ever wonder how America's great bourbon is made? Like, from what it's made, and how does it become liquid, and if it's distilled, why is it brown?Bourbon - Gear PatrolThese guys went on a five-day blitz through twelve distilleries and cut together this video as a visual guide through the entire process.   

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Dec 10, 2014

Blow My Mindsday: December 10, 2014

created at: 04/17/2013

Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web.

created at: 12/10/2014This close-up photo of the grooves of a vinyl record, showing how it actually works. The needle makes

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Jul 30, 2014

Your Favorite 'Craft' Whiskey is Likely Made in a Huge Factory

Huh. The Daily Beast shares that most bottles of 'craft' whiskey - those determined by branding using phrases like "small batch," "handcrafted," "artisanal," and always with a local designation, probably come from a huge, macro distillery in Southern Indiana.   

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Jul 01, 2014

How to: Make Bacon-Infused Bourbon

created at: 07/01/2014

Some days are everyday cocktail days. Straightforward, two or three ingredient drinks that taste great and require little prep work. 

But some days are special cocktail days... Days where a little extra effort makes for all the difference. Days like Fourth of July on a Friday that happens to make for three-day weekend. Which is totally happening this year.

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Nov 19, 2013

The Bourbon Family Tree... and What You Can Learn from It

GQ shares this fascinating chart excerpted from the new book The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining: How to Drink and Make Whiskey by Colin Spoelman and David Haskell. 

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Oct 15, 2013

How to Step Up Your Whiskey Sour: Make a Bourbon Renewal

A sour is one of the original families of cocktails, and, done properly, is pretty straight forward: base spirit, an acid to create complexity and brightness, and a little sweetener to tame the sourness and round things out. Which means: a whiskey sour is a perfect cocktail to make at home, without any need to buy an overly sweet commercial sour mix.

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