Monthly Archives: December 2013

Stock up for the holidays

With Christmas and New Year’s approaching, I know that many people take this time to restock their home bars for parties, for unexpected guests, or just to take the edge off after visiting relatives or attending holiday parties.

Splurging on expensive or hard-to-find bottles is always going to be a holiday thing, but even if you can find Pappy, you’re probably not going to drink it every day. Likewise, that bottle of the 10th anniversary Peat Monster is also a special-night-at-home drink.

So you stock up on the tried-and-trues at the holidays because, well, they’re the tried and true. Over the years, I’ve developed a list of go-to brands: fairly affordable bottles that don’t disappoint and generally stay consistent from year to year. In most cases, these spirits all mix very well and taste great on their own, so they’re not just good, they’re versatile, too.

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Gifts for Cocktail Lovers

Pat yourself on the back: you made it through Thanksgiving dinner with Uncle Edgar and his creepy new wife, and you even made it through Black Friday without getting trampled at Wal-Mart. But you’re not done yet, pilgrim. It’s time to shop. If you’re having trouble thinking of great presents for your favorite spirits aficionados, we’re here to help. These gifts will be a hit with cocktailians, home mixologists, and fanciers of booze in general.

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A Sadly Missed Opportunity at Greatness

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I‘m compiling my annual gift guide for Serious Eats, looking at cool products for your home bar. This measuring beaker from Williams Sonoma caught my eye.

I love the idea of a product like this. It’s nothing I’d use daily, because of its breakability, but I’d definitely bring it out if we were having a couple of close friends over for drinks and dinner. It’s a great piece for entertaining.

Except, look at it closely.

Look very closely. See what it lacks, bar geeks.

Said the drunken sot to the drunken sot, “Do you see what I see? There on the beaker, drunken sot. Do you see what I see?”

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Argh! You’re right! It only measures in full ounces. Need half an ounce of vermouth or other ingredient? Go to hell! You can’t do that with this one! Grump.  It’s really cool looking otherwise. I guess if I just wanted a show piece, this would be fine. As a practical tool, though, nope.

Tips for Planning a Holiday Cocktail Party

The holidays are coming and the geese are getting fat. It’s time to pull some party ideas from an old man’s hat. I would say that everyone loves a holiday party, but that’s just not true; many of them suck. Here are a few tips that should help ensure that yours is of the non-sucky variety.

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