Popsicles are nearly the perfect food: they're sweet, they're frozen, they're a little messy, and, most importantly, they come on sticks. And not as a novelty, but by defintion.
The only thing missing? A little extra kick and fun from a bit of alcoholic spirits.
Enter the Dirty Pirate...
Portland, OR-based wooden sunglass makers Shwood have teamed up with Boston boutique Bodega to create a line made from 100-year-old Bushmill's whiskey aging barrels.
There are drinks that are fairly easy to serve, such as beer and wine, as you simply need to open and pour. Many spirits can be enjoyed in nearly the same way: whiskey neat, brandy in a glass, sake warmed. There are the highballs that are fairly easy to figure out: the vodka cranberry, rum and Coke, gin and tonic. There are the drinks that are so open to interpretation, you'll likely never make them the same way twice: the Bloody Mary comes to mind, as does any number of adverturous use-what-you-have mixes.
But then, there are the classic cocktails, those time-proven combinations that have proven themselves for decades. Besides being tasty, these have emerged as the standards for a reason: they're made from typical ingredients that you can find easily, at any store, and probably should be keeping in your own home bar.
They're so essential, I'm making the claim that every man should have these recipes memorized so he can shake one up at a moment's notice. Trust me, you want to be that guy that knows how to mix drinks: at a get together, after a date, at a work function or meeting. None of these are particularly difficult to commit to memory, and once you've got 'em, you've got 'em, and they'll never go out of style.
Maker and artist Mike Warren has invented "the Gentleman's Ski Pole," a clever option to add a small, concealed flask inside the handles of his skiing stocks.
But what he's really done is show all of us how to secretly stash a DIY flask inside of anything you can imagine: a walking stick, a book, a portfolio or breifcase...
If it's got some solid material, you can put a flask in it. And, oh, should you put a flask in it.
If you're not already aware, cocktail bitters are aromatic infusions that are used to give mixed drinks an incredible depth of flavor. Think of them as the spice cabinet for your home bar. Many of the standard flavors - Angostura, Peychaud's - originated as tonics to settle stomachs and cure sickness.
If you're also not aware, artisinal bitters have exploded on the cocktail and home mixology scene, and all the cool kids are mixing up their own. These make an awesome weekend project, as well as a great gift to give to your friends as favors or holiday gifts.
The visual appeal of this killer vintage Silvertone television is obvious, but even if it did work, it likely would be rather tough to watch when the average mobile phone has a better resolution, and get likely get more channels.
So, when Dylan and Bethany stumbled across it in a secondhand shop, they took it home, and did what anyone might. They built a bar out of it.
When it comes to strange foods and drinks, I'm easily intrigued (have you tried our peanut butter cheeseburger yet?!). But here's one that might be a little too bizarre for me: Pizza Beer. Granted, beer and pizza are both wonderful creations that I enjoy on a regular basis, but a beer that tastess like pizza...?
If you're not aware, the reason that aged spirits - such as bourbon and scotch whiskeys, reposado and añejo tequilas, brandy, dark rum, sherry, and even some wines and vinegars - are smoky and aromatic and, well, tasty, is due to a traditional aging in charred (or "toasted") oak barrels. The water content will absorb the flavors in the wood, such as such as vanillin and wood tannins, as well as the smoky flavors from contact with the wood.
The trend of barrel-aging whole cocktails has emerged among mixologists (likely attributed to expert Jeffrey Morganthaler), and in the absence of your own tiny casks, you can aged your own "white" cocktails for a mere $10 investment.
If beer cans with color-changing mountains make you laugh and groan at the same time, then I think you'll enjoy this cartoon/illustration/infographic (I dunno what to call it) by lunchbreath. It's a series of "unsolicited proposals for new and wonderful beverages", and is conveniently divided up into four categories for your viewing pleasure...
I don't know what it is. Perhaps it's the obvious contrast between a childhood favorite meal and a very adult beverage, or just the pure curiousity of seeing whether a cocktail can not only taste like a savory food, but a complete meal, but I'm gonna do everything I can to make a grilled cheese and tomato soup martini.
Pop Chart Labs unveils their latest project, the Constitutions of Classic Cocktails, exploring the relationships and makeups of proven successful mixed drinks. The beautiful arrangement and layout draws colorful connections between spirits, glassware, mixers, and garnishes.
High-end, underlit, swanky joints and well-worn, leathery pubs alike have it in common: a lot of bottles of spirits. On first glance, even the smallest restaurant with a liquor license will seem to have just a few selections, but start counting, and you'll realize that most bartended spots have, on average, around 35-40 bottles, with many going up to into the hundreds.
For the home mixmaster, that can be intimidating. You're interested in creating classic and contemporary cocktails alike, but have neither the budget, the space, nor the use for even an average restaurant-style selection.
Like Bit-O-Honey around Halloween and Peeps on Easter, egg nog is the polarizing treat of the winter holiday season. People that like it like it, but people that hate it...well, hate it.
And for the first twenty-seven years of my life, I was one of 'em. A most hating of haters. Even the smell of egg nog was enough to shrink my Christmas spirits to three sizes too small.
But then I realized:
Originaly, the "shot glass" was a measuring device - a means to figure out a 1.5 oz. serving of a spirit. Nowadays, it's been reduced to a cheesy collectible, or worse, a tacky means of throwing down liquor way faster than necessary.
But that's not the shot glass's fault. Sipping 1.5 oz of a single spirit is a great way to learn about its flavor, aroma, and complexities. Especially if the glass contributes to the experience. So, bring back the shot glass. And, while you're at it, why not make it edible?
Drinkify is new web app that makes a cocktail suggestion based on what music your listening to. Simply type in the artist currently cruising out of your speakers, and press "what should I drink?" (in lovely Futura), and it'll pull up the perfect drink to match.
Knowing the basic recipes for a few classic cocktails, and the proper way to shake or stir them up, is a classic guy skill. But they rely, of course, on a first step: having the proper home bar staples around so you can show off your cocktail-making skills whenever you have guests over.
There's a familiar song and dance to tasting wine: swirl the glass, stick your nose all in it, slurp it so it sprays into your mouth. But, other drinks can be equally complex, and also deserve an appraisal technique to get the most out of your experience. We've covered the five-steps towards fully experiencing your beer, and today, we're looking at the best way to taste a fine whiskey, be it bourbon, Scotch, or rye.
The newest offering from the clever artists at Pop Chart Labs is worthy of a toast, indeed.
Includes not only 89 varieties of beer, but more than 200 recommended and representative brews so you actually know what and how to taste them. Add in a dozen glassware suggestions, and you've got six square feet of beer-soaked goodness.
The Bloody Mary.
While it certainly has its share of key ingredients: tomato juice, vodka, horseradish, Worcestershire, it's also somewhat of open canvas on which to cast all sorts of flavors. Do you like some briny olives or pickled peppers in yours? How about some fresh lemon? Do you opt for hot sauce or a few twists of black pepper? Does the celery flavor come from a fresh stalk, celery salt, or both?
But, mainly, when you get right down to it: why doesn't your Bloody Mary have a bacon swizzle stick? I mean, think about it: bacon and tomato are classic. Bacon and vodka have to be good together. And all those salty, savory umami flavors are a perfect match.
So, let's make one. Shall we?