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Sep 30, 2015

5 Fall Cocktail Recipes Guaranteed to Keep You Warm This Season

Heated Affair

As the leaves change color and the nights cool down, it's time to take a look at a few of our go-to hot cocktails to keep the party going into the cold fall nights.  

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Sep 25, 2015

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

created at: 09/25/2015

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.

Now that it's officially fall, it's time to put away the gin and tequila of summer, and embrace the ultimate cool weather spirit: whiskey. Over the next few weeks, 

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Jun 26, 2015

Best Value in Booze: What's the Best Gin under $20?

created at: 06/26/2015

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. 

Now that it's officially summer, let's apply that search to a great bottle of gin. Gin is a particularly diverse spirit. Besides Scotch whisky, I can't think of one that has a broader spectrum of flavors. And different bottles will showcase the distiller's creativity and play better with certain ingredients. But there is one bottle that I recommend for almost any cocktail that calls for London Dry Gin;  the thing I would take to a party or use in a punch or batch drink for a big group.    

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Jun 12, 2015

How to: The Simple, Easy Trick to Improve Your Gin and Tonic

created at: 06/18/2013

For years, I didn't think I liked a gin and tonic. Actually, for a while, I thought it was gin in general that I couldn't stand, but some wiser friends helped me learn with some really stunning gin-centric cocktails, and I quickly moved away from vodka in favor of gin's special aromatic and botanicals qualities. So, then I figured I just didn't care quinine-heavy tonic water, but that didn't make sense, since I'm particularly drawn to mineral and bitter flavors in cocktails and other beverages. Maybe it was the combo of the two...but by this point, I was already committed, so I was determined to figure out what was going awry, once and for all.    

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May 18, 2015

How to: Make an Adjustable Glass Bottle Cutter

created at: 05/18/2015

You can buy new bottle cutters online (here's a good roundup of options) but their ability to cut different sizes, angles, and bottle shapes are severely limited.

Of course, there are loads of potential projects to be had, so instead of buying a bottle cutting jig, let's make one!   

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Apr 09, 2015

A Brief History of Gin

created at: 04/09/2015

Whether you like yours mixed with a splash of tonic, some soda and lemon, or stirred with vermouth and a twist, we can all agree: gin is indeed the spirit of spring. And throughout its history, its been proposed to cure everything from the black plague to malaria. 

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Feb 27, 2015

History, Sugar and Sex: Why Mixed Drinks Were Terrible for 30 Years

These days, the throwback "artisanal" cocktail scene can be easy to mock, what with its arm garters and ____ + ____ names and all. those. tinctures. But, don't forget that just a very short time ago, a "mixed drink" typically meant something frozen, blended, and saturated with sugar, with colors so unnatural they rivaled 90s candy aisles, and drinks named for sex acts and bizarro body parts. 

If our current cocktail culture is a throwback to the post-prohibition era of WWII and its aftermath, what exactly happened in the middle there?  What was going on with those three or four decades where baby boomers ordered neon slushies at airports and shopping malls?   

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Jan 16, 2015

An Beginner's Guide to [Affordable] Single Malt Scotch

created at: 01/11/2015

When it comes to something as potentially elitist as single malt scotch, it never hurts to hear what the experts have to say.   

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Jan 05, 2015

Build Your Own Copper Still and Make Your Own Spirits at Home

If you're ready for a new kind of DIY challenge, consider building your own copper still, which will allow you to distill your own spirits for DIY whiskey, vodka, gin, or brandy. (Or tequila, I guess...if you can get your hands on a giant agave piña.)

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Aug 21, 2014

Apparently, Everything We Think We Know about Hangovers is Wrong...

You may have been told that the less desirable effects of alcohol - the disturbed sleep, the morning-after headaches, the drama in your gut - come from dehydration, or impurities from barrel aging, or mixing spirits, wine, and beer in a single session. I've always thought (or, um, learned) that it's the sugar in sweeter drinks that does the deed, coupled with the dehydrating effects...but, even if you DO drink water, or don't have multiple spirits, the effects can still be intense.

Turns out - we've got it all wrong. 

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Aug 01, 2014

Use the Summer Cocktail Generator to Make Just the Right Drink

created at: 08/01/2014

Summer is the best time for trying all kinds of new, cold drinks. While winter drinks almost always warm you up, summer cocktails are much more context-specific: are you hanging out in the backyard on super hot day? Enjoying an early evening cookout? Staying out for fire-lit evening? There's the right drink for that.    

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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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Jun 09, 2014

DIY Inspiration: A Bottle Ceiling Light Installation

Shustov Brandy Bar

Now there's something else to look at instead of all those flatscreens....

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Jun 06, 2014

Happy Hour: Up Your Summer Gin Cocktail and Make "The Stolen Negroni"

Summer weekends are the perfect time to test out a new cocktail. Stop by the store on the way home from work, grab a new bottle and some citrus, and spend the rest of the weekend gathering with friends and nailing it down, just right. 

This weekend, I'll be trying out an update on my number one, very favorite, easy-to-order-cause-its-hard-to-mess-up-unless-they-shake-it cocktail, the Negroni, by cocktail blogger Emily Arden Wells. 

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Apr 18, 2014

6 Classic Highball Cocktails that are Perfect for Spring

Spring isn't the time for making complicated drinks...infusing spirits and boiling special syrups. It's the season for getting outside as much as possible, enjoying the ever-later evenings, and embracing simplicity.    

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Apr 17, 2014

The Many Varieties of Whiskey

Pop Chart Lab released their latest project, a categorization of all the styles, types, regions, and labels of whiskey from around the world.    

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Mar 27, 2014

25 Whiskey Quotes from the Famous Drinkers Who Loved It Best

created at: 03/27/2014

Most have heard, and can quote, the famous line attributed (probably inappropriately) to Benjamin Franklin, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." And plenty of us have likely created our adages to remind ourselves of experiences with tequila, wine, or some other overindulgence. But, throughout the last few hundred years, many of our greatest writers, thinkers, and humorists have dedicated their lines to that most aged and crafted of spirits: whiskey.   

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Mar 11, 2014

The Cocktail Every Man Should Be Drinking This March

created at: 03/11/2014

Some guys have their go-to libation: no matter the time, no matter the place, they want this beer or that drink, and the matter really isn't up for discussion. Others are constantly switching up their poisons, perusing the menu for familiar flavors, taking the advice of the bartender, or simply having what everyone else at the table ordered.

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Mar 08, 2014

The Best Affordable Irish Whiskey: 5 Bottles to Try Under $30

created at: 03/13/2014

Do me a favor this St. Patrick's Day: skip the green beer. Please. But, while you're not drinking that silliness, do try some Irish Whiskey. Often overlook by bourbon and Scotch drinkers, the Irish whiskey tradition is as old as it is varied. In fact, they kinda invented it.    

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Feb 18, 2014

The Cocktail Every Man Should Be Drinking This Winter

created at: 02/18/2014

Some guys have their go-to libation: no matter the time, no matter the place, they want this beer or that drink, and the matter really isn't up for discussion. Others are constantly switching up their poisons, perusing the menu for familiar flavors, taking the advice of the bartender, or simply having what everyone else at the table ordered.

Then, there's the rest of us; those that I

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