Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine is a great corn whiskey that we’ve covered before; what really caught our eye recently, though, is their huge range of Moonshine-soaked foods. Soaked isn’t the right word, exactly: each jar contains less than 1% of their 100 proof ‘shine. Still, it’s an entertaining menu.
Down to a tea
Kickstand Black Tea Concentrate ($20) is a Brit’s wet dream. It’s the essence of your
second or third favorite leaf, captured in its bitter, earthy, put-your-feet-up form, ready to be diluted to the desired strength and enjoyed hot or cold, black or with sugar, milk, honey or even some crumpets.
Behind the Iron Curtain (of the dining room)
If you put a book about Churchill’s favorite sod selections in front of us, we’d read it. Dinner With Churchill: Policy-Making at the Dinner Table ($16) delves into two slightly more interesting aspects of the British Bulldog’s history: politics and social life. He was a notorious drinker, smoked cigars with an unnatural relish, and was one of the most sly, entertaining and clever politicians of the 20th century
Hop Hop, Hooray
Quick, who do you want to make you the perfect IPA glass? An excellent German glass maker (Spiegelau), a West Coast brewery that was one of the earliest and most influential in craft beer making (Sierra Nevada) and an East Coast maker whose 60 Minute IPA is considered one of the most solid (Dogfish Head)? The resulting IPA Glass ($25 for two) looks awkward but is tailored just so for your drinking pleasure.
Tough as an actual axe
The Alpaca Guitar more like “I’ll pack a…” than the animal, but we’ll assume that’s what they were going for. The Kickstarter project is all about turning everyone’s favorite campfire fun into a nigh unbreakable, waterproof piece of hiking gear.
The Prohibition Kit by Francesco Morackini is provocative project that’s designed to help home hoochers mitigate the risk of discovery by “camouflaging” a small-scale still as everyday kitchen objects. Specifically, the all-copper setup splits into a watering can, fondue stove, cooking pot and fruit bowl while not in use for home-made lightning.
A stagger on the wild side
For the connoisseur of fine spirits, the dabbler of craft brews, arcane wine regions and exclusive distillations, we’ve got a read that’s a cat of a different feather. Twisted like a mixed metaphor, Alt Whiskeys: Alternative Whiskey Recipes and Distilling Techniques for the Adventurous Craft Distiller ($30) offers the experimenting distiller some whiskey recipes that step past the fringe.
For your best friend, meaning you
In celebration of the 50-year career of malt master David Stewart, who is the longest tenured master in all of Scotland, The Balvenie Distillery has released an extremely limited run of their half-century old single malt, aptly named The Balvenie 50 Year Old. Stewart, who started the long journey of becoming a malt master back in 1962, himself marvels at the uniqueness of Cask 5576.
Believe I'm sinkin' down
A stack of money might not get you a jam session with Mr. Clapton, but it can buy an incredible replica of one of his guitars, or a stunning signature series acoustic. Hell, maybe you could just sell your soul to the devil. In any case, the Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection is a gorgeous set of blues beauty. The set consists of handmade replicas of both his Fender “Brownie” Stratocaster and the Gibson Harrison-Clapton “Lucy” Les Paul, along with three unbelievable signature series Crossroads Martin acoustics.
Keep calm and read on
Selecting the 100 best books for men requires some audacity — but so does hitting a good tee shot or giving a toast, and we like those things fine. We figured the best way to do an honest job of it was to imagine ourselves as audience members: What do we want to read? The answer we discovered, after some hemming and hawing, was simply something we’ll enjoy.
So that’s what we did. Our 100 selections are our all-time favorites — albeit considered in the light of how much they changed our lives, and might change yours — and each of the six “auditors” had a general (but not universal) slant. Our car editor loved motorcycle manuals and top-tier action novels. Our watch and diver fanatic loved tales of true survival. One co-founder was into age-of-thought-shifting sci-fi. I had a definite classics fetish.
Ultimately, we realized that each of our individual favorites made up an extremely wide range of suggestions. And really, on a very large scale, that’s what a library is. Sure, we have an immense amount of room to go, and some incredible literature has been missed. But we’ve also hit at least a small corner of what most might consider the “core readings”; and, sticking to our previously mentioned “read what you like” rule, there have to be at least a few you’ll truly enjoy.
007, Reporting for Duty
Bond, James Bond. Admit it; you read that with an accent. Was it Scottish? We ask because the upcoming Blu-ray release of Skyfall ($25) could cause you to reconsider your lilt. Under the direction of Sam Mendes, in what is certainly the most visually stunning of the franchise, Daniel Craig delivers a 007 that easily challenges Connery for the crown.
Tequila's lunatic cousin
It’s been a while since we rode the mezcal train, so let’s begin with a brief primer. Actually, let’s begin with a shot. Good. Now, on to the primer. Mezcal and tequila are sort of like langoustines and prawns: we’d bet a shiny nickel they’re different, but if pressed for an explanation we’d have to say they both basically taste like shrimp. Sombra Mezcal ($40) is made by baking the agave hearts in a conical pit lined with rocks that have been heated with an oak fire — and its earthy, spicy taste is a great one to throw back.
A Real Guitar Hero
It may not house the firepower needed to take down a Mexican drug lord, but the Mono Vertigo Top Loading Guitar Case ($205) will keep any mariachi’s six-
shooter string safe, sound and ready to rock. Unlike other soft-shells, which fold faster than a limp bizkit without an axe on board, the Vertigo was built to stand up (literally) to something all strummers do: grabbing that baby by the neck and getting onstage in a hurry.
Ignore those cries for Yelp
Customer reviews make or break countless decisions — particularly when it comes to where to dine. But why take the word of all the world’s self-righteous social media whores when you could rely on expert advice? That’s the idea behind Where Chefs Eat: A Guide to Chefs’ Favourite Restaurants ($13).
Bold, blue and brilliant
On-screen chemistry isn’t something to be overlooked (just ask Padme and Anakin). Luckily, Jake Gyllenhal and Michael Peña don’t suffer the same wooden fate. As LAPD Officers Taylor and Zavala, the two actors shine in a dark world, providing just the right amount of wit, raw humor and law enforcement street cred to make End…
Hop to it
Stan Hieronymus’s tome, For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops ($11), looks to be the required reading for a college course. An awesome college course, with pints, flights of adult beverages and a professor that’s eternally tipsy. This isn’t light reading. And that’s why it’s fantastic.
A future king?
Budweiser Black Crown isn’t another ploy from “the King of Beers” to rally the fratty faithful with higher alcohol content (though its 6% ABV is technically higher) or pointless packaging gimmicks (It turns red when you’re hammered!). Instead, it’s the result of a year-long skunky works initiative, dubbed “Project 12” in which the company asked…
Tasty, tasty patriotism
In recent years, London Dry gin hasn’t done so hot. Looming in the shadows of vodka and whiskey, the juniper-tinged spirit has been cast aside as a singular-tasting alcohol of choice for a generation past its prime — dry gin is your father’s and grandfather’s drink, not yours. But with a new class of excellent brands in an “American” dry style — boasting a more balanced and widely ranging flavor profile — blossoming as we speak, you’d be wise to reconsider. We found 5 of the best on the market.
Objective? Learn about the real Bonds
Unless you hang around some pretty tough circles, the only MI6 you know comes from Ian Fleming and one Mr. Bond. The Art of Betrayal: The Secret History of MI6 ($21) by Gordon Corera delves into the real deal, detailing the subterfuge and sabotage that the British spy agency has engaged in with varied success…
The folks at MR. PORTER know a fair thing or two about living the good life. Subsequently, adding The MR. PORTER Manual For a Stylish Life Volume 1 ($35) to your ever-evolving style library is an easy recommendation. The new paperback is compiled by the site’s editor-in-chief, Jeremy Langmead, and provides detailed analysis of timeless…
Whittle away at your meal
Sure, you’ve used an Opinel blade to eat — but that was a skewer of venison charred over a kindling fire under the stars. Enjoy quality cutlery under different circumstances with Opinel’s Bon Apetit Table Knives ($70). These dishwasher-safe, olive wood-handled knives feature Swedish stainless steel blades and handsome, sleek design, somewhere between a paring and a steak knife
Remember to flip the pages, not tap
We cling to our smartphones like Wesley Snipes to a tax attorney — but even the coolest apps are worthless when your battery bar’s hurting. A new line of National Geographic Recreation Atlases ($18), described as “part road atlas, part trail guide, part trip planner”, serve as a great old-school solution getting the most out of your next vacation.
Learn his methods, Watson
Psychology was the easy way to learn in college — sorry, psych majors — and Maria Konnikova’s Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes ($16) is the fun way to bone up your brain skills as an adult. In our age of lean diets and expensive gym memberships, we do often forget about that pink, fleshy master and commander of ourselves: our brains, that is. Ahem.
On Safari in Kenya
The Masai Mara National Reserve on Kenya’s southwestern border with Tanzania is blanketed with large mammals, so heavily in fact that it takes a day or two to register that the animals are real and not holographic or cutouts from a National Geographic photo spread. This is what happens when you combine a life spent mostly staring into a computer with the ease of international travel. One day I’m in Crown Heights, Brooklyn; 24 hours and four airplane meals later, I’m on safari in the African savanna.
Debating the film account of Osama bin Laden's demise
Is Zero Dark Thirty the year’s best movie or misleading sensationalism that advocates torture? The film’s recent Oscar snub has raised the debate. Now, GP’s own Scott Packard and Ben Bowers present intriguing discussion on morality in film, artistic license and “enhanced interrogation techniques”. Read on for point and counterpoint on these divisive issues.
Know the password
Not much is secret anymore. We probe the strange, glorious depths of the world, wherever they be. Then we post them to Facebook. Secret Society: Modern Speakeasy Style and Design ($125) divulges with a bit more class. The hulking book bulges with the descendants of ’20s speakeasies — secret clubs that no longer hide illegal…
What's Hawaiian for more water please?
Founded on the basic ingredients of love and salmonella, culinary amateurism can be downright frightening. Yet hot sauce producer Adoboloco ($8+) has managed to pull it off, thriving without a Kraft-sized bankroll. This Hawaiian family unit has turned cuisine curiosity, which started as a simple family garden project and a love of spiciness, into a…
Almost as good as bringing Goose back
The tragic loss of Tony Scott will reverberate through Hollywood for years to come, but fans can at least delay letting go in the coming months with the release of Top Gun 3D ($20). Double dipping on the part of studios isn’t something we typically like to encourage, but Scott’s personal involvement overseeing the remastering…
The watch company that came in from the cold
Gear Patrol’s Jason Heaton travels to Saxony, home of A. Lange & Söhne, to explore the region, experience the watchmaker and learn its storied history. Read on for our short film, photo essay and his story — filled with snowy drives, German culture, precision watchmaking and an incredible company that came out of the cold.
Reload your bar
Bulleit Bourbon has long been an affordable favorite for lovers of the smokey libation. Bulleit 10 Year ($45) adds some age and flavor distinctions, at a price. The fine gentlemen over at Bourbon Blog have had the first crack at the new whiskey, and from what we can tell, it’s definitely worth a try. This…