Whether you’re a Level IV Sommelier or just like mixing your red wine with coke, this guide’s for you!
OK, let’s talk glassware. You can get it fancy (it says so on the glass), or save yourself the trouble and just get some unbreakable glasses (they look so REAL). Or if you just can’t be bothered, you can just attach your glass to the bottle. For your fanciest wine peeps, grab some copper, or a fancy decanter, or maybe a book on the wine regions of Argentina. And what’s the best wine gift of all? Wine. Sent to your home. Every month.
It’s Black Friday. You have a lot of choices when it comes to impulse buying for the holidays. Thank you for visiting Stir and Strain.
Let the Holiday Guides Begin…
It IS beginning to look like cocktails. So let’s make some. Break out the vodka tonics for Mom and Dad. And don’t forget the coasters. Still stuffed from all that turkey? Muddle up something with fruit and tell yourself it will make you feel better. And then go shopping, just not at 5am.
Your bar cart isn’t stocked for Halloween?! OH THE HORROR!!!
What’s more Halloween than a giant skull filled with vodka? Maybe some Bloody Mary Mix or a tiny skull adorned bar spoon? We’re stocking our bar cart this year with some matte black and smoky glassware. OK and yes, just a touch of gold too. And our cocktail toppers? Wax vampire teeth of course! After all it is Halloween. Let’s get spooky!
Growing up in New England, once the calendar page turned to October, inevitably the Colonial time plays in school began. But what they didn’t cover in grade school was the real story of how America came to be: those Colonists got drunk and invented America.
If you’re intrigued about just how these fine folks did this, then this week’s giveaway is for YOU! We’ve got a giveaway package that tells you the whole story, AND an amazing new on the scene bar tool you can use to replicate some of the toasty beverages those Colonists enjoyed while, you know, inventing America.
Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History by author Steven Grasse combines a love of cocktails and history into an immensely entertaining book that’s perfect for your cocktail book shelf. Here’s a few facts from the book you can throw out at your next Fall Holiday party:
George Washington had a treasured recipe for Small Beer stashed in a notebook, brewed with Bran Hops and 3 Gallons of Molasses
Martha Washington developed Cherry Bounce, a brandy-based drink that keeps her husband warm while he is away fighting the Revolutionary War
Benjamin Franklin took it upon himself to pen the Drinkers Dictionary, kind of like a colonial version of Urban Dictionary, where he published at least 200 synonyms for getting drunk
Thomas Jefferson imports red wines from all over the globe, collecting 20,000 bottles during his presidency; and toasts the Declaration of Independence with a glass of Madeira
John Smith and the early settlers at Plymouth Rock learn how to ferment alcohol from corn, as taught to them by Native Americans
John Adams preferred hard cider and drank a tankard of the stuff every morning; and Adams would live to be 90 years old, the third longest living president.
The Triangular Trade (and the blight of slavery) fuels the rum business and Fish House Punch is created at Philadelphia’s Tun Tavern as a way for people to “forget their mother-in-law”
How many of you have a loggerhead in your home bar? My bet is no one. However, this bar tool has been around for centuries helping to create toasty cocktails going all the way back to the Colonial era. And now one lucky Stir and Strain reader will get their hands on their own! But what is it you may be asking. The loggerhead is a unique bar tool that’s simple in design, yet has an effect on cocktails that’s complex and incomparable. Heat up the loggerhead, prepare your drink and then plunge the loggerhead in to create an exciting effect (and heat up your drink). This is the perfect bar tool for those chilly nights ahead of us.
The loggerhead is finishing up its Kickstarter run but has already been funded which means you’ll get yours by December. For more info on the loggerhead, head over to their page!
Ready to drink like this nation’s forefathers? Enter below and score up to 10 entries to win the Colonial Spirits and Loggerhead Bar Tool (approximate retail value $90)! Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST Wednesday October 12th, 2016 (US residents only). Good luck!
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but keep those apple cocktails coming.
We’re squeezing in apples every which way now that Fall is almost here. Apple shaped ice in an apple ice bucket? I wouldn’t bat an eyelash at that. A couple of big ol’ cinnamon sticks make perfectly fine cocktail stirrers when we’re talking apples. But you’ll need a giant one to stir that punch bowl of spiked apple cider. And you’re spiking it with Apple Jack, correct? And what will you top your apple cocktail off with… bitters and shrubs (made from apples of course).
Need something a little cooler to sip from this summer? I got ya covered. So be cool. Don’t be all, like, uncool.
Summer’s made for pitcher cocktails, long icy cocktails, and when it’s really hot… beer in a glass (or just straight from the fridge). Brighten up your home bar while we’re still enjoying those long days.
Well, summer’s here. And I’m not going to complain about all this over 100° weather we’re having in Southern California. Nope. Not going to complain…
Instead I’ll use it as an excuse to sit in the pool with my flamingo drink holder. My fruit wine for the morning and my Japanese whiskey for the night (your whiskey changes each season too, right?). With a summery cocktail book in one hand, and my favorite citrus tools in the other I really won’t need much else for the next few months. Ok, maybe some boozy hot fudge sauce. That’s a must.
All Dad wants to do is drink good booze, read about some booze, and he doesn’t want rose gold barware. And maybe a steak. Actually, yes, grill him a steak too.
Want to surprise Dad with something new? Well, how about the best American Brandy sampler you need in your liquor cabinet right now? And don’t try and slip in some chintzy jigger you scored at the airport on the way to see him. Cocktail Kingdom now has gunmetal black bar tools: the manliest of the manly. Oh but he’s that manly? Well, just get him an Opinel knife. You can zest, cut, and I don’t know what else with this knife…cut down a tree to make a barrel? Books? Yes, Dad wants books. About booze.
One week from tomorrow it’s OK to carry around a riding crop and wear a helmut in public. Be prepared. Get bourbon.
Leave those tiny silver cups at home, we’re feeding a crowd. And by feeding I mean drinking a giant silver punch bowl filled with Mint Juleps. So get your Maker’s Mark, and a commercial ice crusher, and if you have the time, grow some mint! Or, you could just fake it and add in some mint simple instead. Stir it all up with some wild horses, and please, gentlemen, use a napkin.
Tight on space? One does not need to call in the team at Hometime to knock down some walls and put in plumbing just so you can use your fancy glasses come cocktail hour. Craft a home bar for a small space with a handful of useful, and, obviously, fun pieces.
You’re drinking in the living room/home office/kitchen and chances are you’ll need a table there. But what if it was also your bar? And inside the glasses doubled as measuring cups and you had ONE tool that did just about everything? No room for full bottles? That’s what the half bottles are for; you can store those anywhere. Your ice bucket can also double as a storage vessel when not in use: bonus if it looks like a work of art (your friends won’t know the difference). And all those beer bottles? Hang ’em up out of the way. Just be mindful when doing cartwheels after a couple Daiquiris.