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Oct 26, 2017

These are the Best Bottles of Whiskey Under $20

There are occassions to spend a little more on an investment bottle. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with looking for something to enjoy that cost less than an Andrew Jackson. None of these second-to-the-bottom shelf bottles are going to blow your mind and or cause you to use the word "revelation," but you know that already.

Though,  seriously, if you're having fun and the evening is more about the conversation than what's in the glass, twelve servings of anything palatable for less than twenty bucks is money well spent.    

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Sep 12, 2017

Never Buy It Again: Three Ways to Make Your Own Killer Ginger Beer

Dark and Stormy Ginger Beer

One of my favorite cocktail mixers is the spicy ginger beer, used for the summer favorite "Moscow Mule", or evening sipper, the "Dark and Stormy." But I've had enough of the spendy, over-sweetened bottles from the supermarket, so I figured: it's time to make our own. Here are three ways to make an extremely tasty version happen at home. 

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Aug 17, 2017

According to Science, the Most Important Ingredient in Your Whiskey is...

Here's the kind peer-reviewed scientific study and journal article that we can all get behind: how to make your whiskey taste better. This year, scholars Björn C. G. Karlsson & Ran Friedman took a look at the molecular makeup of whiksey, and specifically, how dilution with water affects the presence of flavorful compounds that make the sipping experience even more enjoyable.   

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Jun 05, 2017

Father's Day Idea: DIY Leather Coaster Gift Kit

Giving a handmade gift is always better than a mass manufactured one. Whether you make it yourself or support a local artisan, craftsman or favorite Etsy shop, giving something that can't be found in a big box store not only shares an element of care, but of legit surprise.

But do you know what we love even more than giving something handmade? Empowering the recipient to make something themselves. So, this Father's Day, give the gift of DIY with this simple and stylish leather coaster gift kit.    

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Mar 27, 2017

Drink a Tree: How to Make Pine, Spruce, or Fir Needle Syrup

During spring time, pine, fir, and other evergreen trees grow by producing new tips at the end of each branch. The new growth is a lighter, vibrant green, and you can (and should) eat it. The tips have a wonderful citrus-y, woodsy flavor that tastes awesome in all kinds of sautes, seafood, and roasted dishes. But the easiest way to preserve their flavor is steep them gently in a syrup, which will last in your fridge for weeks. 

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Mar 14, 2017

How to: Make a DIY Industrial Bar Cart for Under $40

Frustrated with unnecessarily high prices for unnecessarily flimsy discount store kitchen carts, Andrew decided to get creative and whipped up an industrial-styled bar cart.

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Feb 22, 2017

16 Under-$25 Cooking Essentials You Need in Your Kitchen Right Now

We believe in investing in long-lasting, high-quality kitchen gear; things worth saving up for, that you know will stand up to daily use. Opting for a legit forged steel chef's knife, say... one that can be sharpened and honed over and over and will last you the rest of your life, and then some.

But, investment pieces are just that: investments. Those things cost money, and they're well worth it. But thankfully, you can fill in the gaps with a selection of totally affordable and super useful kitchen tools, many of which cost less than a lunch at a local bistro. So with that in mind, here's our list of inexpensive, high-quality, and crazy versatile culinary tools with which you should be stocking your kitchen, all of which come in at less than twenty-five bucks.

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Jan 10, 2017

7 Essential Cocktail Recipes You Should Memorize Right Now

created at: 04/16/2013

Often, when I try to explain the idea behind ManMade or what I do for a living, someone who doesn't quite get it will inevitably say to me, "You mean like MacGyver?" Um...I guess?

7 cocktails recipes you must memorize right now

For the record, I don't think making stuff out of ordinary materials – what we do on ManMade – is anything like MacGyver. But I do like the approach of understanding how things work, and then applying standard techniques to whatever materials sit in front of you. Especially when those materials are bottles of spirits, and the techniques result in something like delicious cocktails.

'Cause here's the thing: when you become known amongst your peers as a guy who knows something about tasty cocktails, you become the guy who everyone turns to to make a tasty cocktail, whatever the occasion. And that's a good thing. It's a solid skill to have, and it's even more impressive if you don't have to look a recipe up on your phone before you start shaking and stirring.

So, with that in mind, here are seven standard recipes, ratios, and approaches to cocktail making that you can tuck in the back of your mind to whip up a tasty option, whatever you find in front of you.  (Oh, and if you need bottle recommendations, here are our picks for stocking your home bar without spending a ton of money.)

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Jun 01, 2016

Home Bar 101: The 7 Essential Spirits Everyone Needs

Old FashionedStocking a solid home bar takes a bit of planning, or lots of experimenting. I built my bar a few bottles at a time, but looking back it would have been nice to have a solid list. Here are my essentials that will make the majority of drinks on the menu.  

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May 25, 2016

Home Bar 101: What's the Deal With Bitters?

BittersJust about any drink can be layered for a more complex flavor with the right dash of bitters, so it’s standard to find a few different bottles in the well-stocked liquor cabinet. So, which ones will serve you best? Let’s talk.   

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Apr 29, 2016

Without This Perfect Tequila Cocktail, Cinco de Mayo’s Just May 5th

Olmeca Altos tequila cocktail recipe

Last time we talked tequila, we showed you how to make a Pasado de Moda, an orange-and-tequila infused take on the Old Fashioned. Today, it's time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a fresh and crazy flavorful cocktail, made with Olmeca Altos Reposado.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army's 1862 victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. It is not, as people often think, the Mexican Independence Day (that's Diez y Seiz de Septiembre). The holiday isn't really acknowledged in Mexico anyway, but any time there's an excuse to enjoy some tequila, we are most certainly a bordo.

Moscow Burro cocktail

But cross cultural mashups don't need a reason to exist

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Mar 25, 2016

Why Aren't All Cocktails Served in the Same Glass?

created at: 03/20/2016As any quality chef will tell you, presentation is of vital importance. And it's no less true when it comes to the pairing of cocktails and glassware. Each glass has its own connotations of class and style, completely aside from its own functionality, and so here's a little history behind it all.   

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Jan 11, 2016

4 Classic Books Every DIYer Should Have on Hand

created at: 01/19/2015

I want to give props to the internet for almost single-handedly fueling the DIY movement across America. If you need to know how to do anything, a search engine will lead you to the answer. Heck, it might even bring you here!   

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Nov 06, 2015

Everything You Need to Know (and Own) to Build the Ultimate Home Bar

created at: 10/27/2015

We love a night out as much as anyone, but the truth is: you don't have to get dressed up to deal with noise and crowds and drop $12 plus a 20% tip to enjoy a great cocktail. Heck, you don't even technically have to be dressed at all to experience a balanced, well-presented drink. A sidecar tastes just as good in your hole-y PJs as it does with your shirt tucked in. No judgment here.

The truth is, the properly stocked home bar is part of our American tradition. It got lost a bit in the blended neon slushies and pitchers of the 70s, 80s, and 90s (we're looking at you, Baby Boomers), but from the original speakeasy cocktail days of the 1930s to the space-age swinging bachelor pad of the 50s and 60s, part of being a grown man meant asking "Can I get you something to drink?" and meaning it.   

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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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Aug 19, 2015

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

created at: 08/19/2015

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.      

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Aug 13, 2015

8 Men's Essentials under $25 to Help You Finish Up Summer with Style

created at: 08/13/2015

Don't let all the back-to-school sales fool you. We've still got weeks of summer left, and plenty of late evenings and warm weather to embrace. Keep the spirit going well into early autumn with these picks to prolong the season.    

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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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Jan 14, 2015

Blow My Mindsday: January 14, 2015

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: 01/14/2015 Finding the right pocket square is the first task, but then you got to know what to do with it... 

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Mar 18, 2014

An Excellent Bargain Bottle: Our Pick for the Best Budget Liquor

created at: 03/18/2014Like many things, the world of spirits and liquor is a spectrum. On one end, there's the only-there-for-ABV stuff that college kids drink, on the other, the collections and high-end bottles of fine connoisseurs, with plenty of options in between. And while there are the days when something special is the only way to go, there are also plenty of time when you want a budget bottle that works: something for mixing, something to bring to a party, or a good-enough bottle to share with guests.    

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