It’s (almost) that time of year again when the weather starts to turn a little warmer and winter finally fades into the budding trees of springtime. In addition to the blooming flowers, the beginning of March also indicates that spring break is right around the corner for college students, teachers and many families with school aged children. If you’re ready to bust your cabin fever, consider joining them on your own version of a road trip and keep these items in mind before hitting the open road (if you’re flying, reconsider – a long road trip is something you have to do at least once you in your life):
Starting a fire is an essential life skill, for sure, and most of us have our preferred technique: the lean-to, the tepee, the log cabin. But, even though most fires aren't started in emergency, or even in one-match situations, that's part of the fun. Once you've learned how to do it without turning a gas knob or lighting one of those Duralast logs, lighting a fire with one match (or spark from a starter) becomes part of the game, even if you have a whole box at your side.
Turning out perfectly grilled foods in your own backyard requires balancing two important variables: time and temperature. Too hot, and the food gets overly blackened and burnt before it's cooked through. Too short, and the surfaces don't have enough time to caramelize, brown, and develop that characteristic charred flavor that makes grilling worth the effort in the first place.
A solid grill thermometer can help, but here's the bad news: standard bi-metal dial thermometers, the kind present in almost all backyard grills and smokers, can be off by as much as 75° F in either direction. Which, if you're going for low and slow cooked flavors of barbecue, is enough to totally ruin your meal and your day. Here's how to fix it.
Unlike some other spirits, tequila is inextricably linked to one particular cocktail: the margarita. And, to be fair, with good reason. The margarita is a great drink, especially when it's made right, with quality ingredients. But sometimes you want to enjoy your amazing agave flavor in a variety of contexts. So we teamed up Olmeca Altos to share five delicious tequila cocktails you can make for Cinco de Mayo (or any celebration!) that aren't margaritas. I think you're going to love these. Just don't drink all five at once.
Spring seems to have arrived overnight, and with it comes the explosion of green as everything wakes up from its winter nap. First up? Time to fend off the weeds. . . and please don’t reach for that toxic stuff. It’s nasty for you, your yard, and everything around it. Instead, try this safer and super effective recipe.
Any time of year, gin is a favorite spirit. It mixes well while retaining its character, and its aromatics complement a great range of flavors. But there's something so special, so obvious, about gin and springtime. If flavors had colors, gin's would be green, and it's a perfect chance to start putting ice back in our cocktails because the external temperatures are finally bearable.
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.
The winter to spring is a time of contrasts: the days can be bright and sunny, but the air and wind still cool and bitter. Or the air warms up, but the fog and drizzle moves in, so that it feels like early summer but the trees are all still barren branches.
So, it's the still the season of layers, but lighter ones; flexible systems that breathe, look sharp, and still keep you warm and dry during days that span lions and lambs and showers and flowers and those sorts of things. Here are five staples to invest in now (or pull out from the back of your closet) that will still be useful as the season develops, and you can snatch again come fall.
Your New Favorite Sunglasses: An Under $10 Pair that Fits Every Man, Every Time (and How to Make Them Better)
There's definitely a case to be made for the investment pair of sunglasses. That classic, quality pair that works with everything from a tuxedo to swim trunks and sandals. That pair that you're a little hesitant to spend the money on at first because you're used to losing your gas station glasses all the time, but find, once you own them, that you actually seem to keep track and take care of them at all times
We love that pair of sunglasses. But we also know that summer brings a lot of real adventures. Like, if you're doing these long days and warm temps right, there are actually dozens of times where a high-end pair doesn't make sense. Like any time you're in the woods, a mountain, the desert, on a bicycle or other human-powered transportation, or any time you're moving about near, on, or in a large body of water.
Some of the most frequent kinds of questions ManMade receives are inquiries like, "I just graduated college and finally have a real income and I'd like to start investing in some long-lasting goods..." or "my fiancée's birthday is coming up, and I'd like to buy him something every guy should have..." In 2013, I've been giving my take on those essential items, offering a new collection of ten each season: winter, spring , summer, and fall . Some of these you might already own, some of these you might need to upgrade to a quality version, and most of these apply to women and households too. Please let me know what you think, and what you'd add or take away in the comments below.
Oh, Summertime. The best time of year for delicious drinks made with fresh ingredients. In doing my research for this piece, I had a hard time not wanting to just make up a drink for each herb!
Regular ManMade readers know we love a good cocktail. Whether it's a simple highball, a classic gin and tonic, a bright and fresh French 75, or a smokey Swedish Flame, we think knowing how to make and enjoy a high-quality drink at home is part and parcel of the ManMade ethos. So when Olmeca Altos Tequila reached out to us to celebrate this awesome time of year — late spring and early summer — we were pretty excited about the chance to team up and create some tasty cocktail and food recipes.
Hibernation season is officially officially over and it's time to transition into the warmer months of the year. So, we've gathered a few essentials that will help you feel like yourself while staying cool.
Even as spring starts to bloom, there's still a bit of rain left in the sky. Grab a jacket that can hold up to the weather without letting you down. Here are a few things to look for in your spring shell.
As far as holidays go, Easter isn't the most stylish. I mean, with all the pastels and baby birds and neon plastic grass, it's definitely not a season for the design-minded.
Unless, of course, you break things down into their most simple parts. Take the Easter egg; its ovoid shape is the definition of nature's penchant towards efficiency, and the dyeing with natural, real world colors gives the whole thing an amazing sense of organic texture.
With spring around the corner, and plenty of sunlight in our future it’s time to take about those glasses. Sure, cheapo glasses served us well in our 20s, but now we’re responsible enough to get a bit more sophisticated. Here are a few reasons to upgrade those shades.
Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web.
This is the Minotake bamboo spatula. It's amazing, and a good reminder that there is always room for more good design in the world, even on products that have been made and used for thousands of years. The series was designed by Makoto Koizumi and made by Japanese bamboo artisans Kohchosai Kosuga. Yours for a very reasonable $33.
Apparently, 90% of the world's huge
In case your A/C bill hasn't told you yet, it's summer time. Well, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. And summer is the season of sunscreen and short sleeves and socks as little as possible, and...to wear sunglasses. Unfortunately, many men consider sunglasses to be more fashion accessories, and therefore optional, or even frivolous. But there are actually several health benefits to wearing sunglasses, particularly polarized lenses, when spending a day outside: they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and blue light, as well as protecting the skin around your eyes and preventing wrinkles and "crow's feet." Furthermore, they allow you to see better when outside, helping you to better operate a car, motorcycle, bicycle, boat, lawnmower, backhoe, grill, etc.
So, we at ManMade think they're an essential, and while we're advocates for stepping up from the $3.99 pair from the gas station, we don't think you've got to drop a whole week's worth of pay, either. So - five classic, masculine pairs of sunglasses, all under $100. Enjoy the sunshine!