Remember when I first wrote about Dan Akroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka almost exactly 2 years ago and people actually thought we were part of the joke propagating across the internet? But it was REAL? And awesomely pretty? Well wandering the supermarket last night i ran into the Crystal Head Vodka Gift Set ~ gorgeous skull bottle paired with two rather large mini skull shot glasses (missing skull caps!) and i couldn’t resist. While they seem EVEN bigger, after testing it out, each skull shot holds about 2.5oz… and that their need for a skull cap… i just couldn’t resist planting some succulents in there! So cute! Succulents in the skull = Skulculents? or Succuskulls? See more pics on the next page! They are way too fun!
Perhaps the most amazing room service experience yet… OWC stands for One While Changing. You know, that drink that you have while getting all primped and ready… maybe if you’re lucky, the bartender will even help zip you up after shaking up that martini? Since i couldn’t make it this weekend, I sent Anna from Sub-Studio down to the opening of Soho Beach House Miami ~ much like the rest in the collection, this part hotel, part membership club, part restaurant is the latest in the stunning Soho House group worldwide. But before i tell you more about that, back to the OWC!
You call down to room service, and up pops a lovely bartender and rolling bar! (In the case of this launch weekend, she also got a bonus gentleman rolling up with some savories…) Even though Anna is quite pregnant, she knew what Liqurious needed, and still ordered them up ~ and they were kind enough to indulge her in “anything non-alcoholic and pretty”, resulting in a citrusy, minty delight ~ perhaps a virgin mojito of sorts? Along with caviar with creme fraiche and tuna tartare on toast! Divine, isn’t it? Even if not going out, it sounds like a lovely service ~ such a nice way to bring the experience of cocktail right into the room. Take a peek on the next page of the process, the lovely carts, and the bartender in action!
Mmmmmm if Tasteologie had a sound effect ~ that would be it. So much more than just food, it’s been so fun seeing all the creativity and design popping up in the food space. Not to mention stunning photography, tools i never even dreamed of, and mac and cheese gnocchi. And you wouldn’t believe how many ways you can use mason jars…. like for making jarpies… or BREAD! Explore them all by clicking the pics to find out more!
Happy 10th Anniversary, Prius! As you saw in my “day in my life through pics” post of the 8 hour event yesterday Prius threw in Malibu’s Wright Organic Resource Center… the Outstanding In The Field dinner was an incredible site to behold ~ not to mention feast to enjoy! So as promised, here’s a closer look at the meal itself ~ from preparation to table design to the fun of the dinner itself! And of course… more looks at the dinner from afar as the sun set… it was just bubbling with everyone’s excited energy and conversation! Not to mention the wine that kept flowing courtesy of Whole Foods too! (Though half the group probably couldn’t drink, needing to navigate the way out of the twisty s-curves of the canyon!) So take a look at our Prius 10th Anniversary Outstanding In The Field dinner on the next page! Bon Appetit!
After a long week, there’s nothing like a luscious roundup from Liqurious to get you ready for the weekend. To find out more about each post, click its individual image.
Amber Liqueur ~ one of the unexpected discoveries that prompted immediate and unanimous ~ “How did we never know about this before? How does this not exist in the US? What? You’ve stopped making it? But it’s so good!” reactions from all of us upon finding it at the Macallan Visitors Center. If you like single malt and maple syrup ~ and maybe even pecans. You will LOVE this. It is incredibly delicious, and i even had carried a few bottles back… they won’t ship! So yummy ~ a nice addition to mix in for baking/cooking ~ sweetening up cocktails with something a little different than pure maple syrup… and the bottle is so fun, like a glassy bean inspired shape topped with a woody cork… Imagine if Sally Draper had found this in Don’s kitchen for that french toast? Really it is a super maple syrup ~ more than a whisky ~ A nice description of its flavor: “The color is a dark deep amber and apparently no artificial coloring is at play. Amber smells like the best maple syrup you’ve ever had. You have to really get your nose in to detect the Macallan. The taste is sweet without being cloying at all; the maple flavor and nuttiness dominate, but it is incredibly well balanced. Do I detect a little citrus? The finish is where you’ll find the Macallan spice - it’s long and tasty.” found on the Scotch Blog from 2006…
Anyhow, take a peek at this on the next page ~ fun packaging, and totally tapped into my love of dark grade B vermont maple syrup as well as my love of the Macallan!
p.s. not to scotch you guys out ~ but really, so much fun and inspiration discovered while running around scotland!
While in London last week, popped by the Highland Park 50 year old launch event at Harrods ~ and the bottle is stunning! There’s just something so unmistakeably beautiful about the way the sterling silver “squeezes” the glass, making it bulge ever so slightly. Apparently it is also holding the oldest ever island single malt ~ and hand-crafted ornate bottle is designed by Scottish Jewelry designer, Maeve Gillies, who was inspired by the elemental forces of Orkney ~ from the seas, island life, wild elements, and natural light. Perhaps the loveliest little secret hidden within this bottle ~ “In recognition of the famous St Magnus Cathedral and its medieval beauty, the front of each bottle features a single piece of circular Orkney sandstone into which is hand-carved the Highland Park amulette. Inside the bottle, behind this sandstone, lies a Sterling silver replica of the St Magnus rose window which is revealed over time as the whisky is enjoyed.” It really was such a tease at the event, when they would show you the bottle, and hint at the replica of the rose window you can’t quite see behind… And as lovely as the bottle, is the hand carved Scottish oak box as well ~ love the porthole you can peer through to see the bottle… Take a peek at closeups on the next page ~ the 275 bottles are a Harrods exclusive till the end of Oct.
It makes perfect sense to pair a fragrance specialist with a drinks brand, when scent is such a critical component of any drink experience! It’s been a Liqurious few weeks between being with Veuve Clicquot in the champagne region, and then with The Macallan in the scottish highlands the last few weeks, and one thing that’s been pressed into me is the importance of the Nose… sniffing the various notes, tasting and appreciating the various scents, and layers of scents… granted, i’ve played with the 50 Vial Aroma Set Maestro Dobel had sent over… but it isn’t until this experience with Roja Dove that i fully understood how all of these notes fit together.
The Macallan has teamed up with Roja Dove (changed from Rodger) ~ who is a frangrance specialist, who went from doing medical research at Cambridge, to nearly 20 years working in the House of Guerlain, to opening his own extremely curated haven of a parfumerie in Harrods, where customers can even have bespoke scents made from scratch (not just tweaked from existing ones)… What’s unique here, is that together, The Macallan and the non-whisky loving Roja Dove (he had some bad experiences with as a kid with whisky) have found a way to separate the experience of the scents found in The Macallan from the actual taste/alcohol. And this special kit Roja Dove has created contains 12 scents to allow brand ambassadors to share the experience of learning and understanding the layers of scents that come together to form both the Sherry Oak and Fine Oak Whisky. Take a peek at more pictures of the experience, the kit, and explanations of the various scents i experienced. It was rather…. nose opening, to say the least.
Mmmmmm… on sunday fun, while working my way through the backlog of stuff that awaited me here in LA when i got home, Linhchi and i decided to try out Vosges ULTIMATE Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix ~ when a delicious chocolatier decides to go cookie mix, how could we not try? And if you follow their instructions exactly, they are HUGE! We’ve also enlisted some of the Kidrobot 2Tone Dunny characters to help us out for a sense of scale! On the next page, take a peek at their awesome packaging, cheeky copy, our experience baking them, and of course, the final product!
Don’t laugh. But on unexpected product reviews of sorts ~ while running around The Macallan estate and distillery, one of the most coveted tools we ran into was this Swiss made Socorex Pistol Grip Syringe… for everything from pulling samples when mixing our own whisky to using it to squirt just the perfect 10ml of water to dilute our drinks… and it’s SO fun… and as you can see, i had a bit too much fun taking pics of it in the dark while we were watching the trippiest animated/stop motion Macallan video from the 90’s (watch the insanity of “Journey to the Center of the Malt” here on facebook). But, back to the syringes, they are awesome! The spring pulls back for you to load it up perfectly. It would make for some really fun, precise water wars… but imagine how fun they would be as a conversation piece on your bar when it comes time to dilute your scotch every so perfectly? See the pics on the next page!
Yum! Here’s a roundup of some of the delicious inspiration we’ve found over at Tasteologie this week! Yes, that is some panda sushi… and yes that says “pound of butter”… also, lots of delectable sweets! Click the images to explore and find out more!
This morning, we attempted to create our ideal whisky from (amongst others) the samples we collected from 12 year old casks of The Macallan. Bob Dalgarno, The Macallan Whisky Maker, taught us so much about the art of whisky making, and the complicated challenge of smelling, tasting, and seeing how to make the perfect bottles of The Macallan, to that perfect smell/taste/color we’ve come to know and love. As he explained the difficulty of making something so consistent from so many varying casks of whisky, and even deciding which casks are decided to be set aside to age longer and such ~ the most creative aspect to emerge was his challenge to us to smell the differences between an array of samples to attune our palates… only to ask us to create in our minds… our ideal whisky. What does it smell like? What does it taste like? What does it make you think of?
And from that, The Macallan NOTCOT Edition was born… can it ever be recreated? Probably not. But i have one little bottle of it! I apparently like my scotch smooth with a deliciously dark maple flavor amidst the spicy woody spanish sherry oak… (Macallan 18 is my everyday favorite ~ but the upcoming Masters of Photography series, omg, deliciousness)… in my head i imagined a cozy comforting log cabin, and since it was early, on not too much sleep, and after a light breakfast… i was loving the maple aromas, i think i had pancakes on my mind…
Anyhow, it is unbelievably hard trying to decipher the aromas, figuring out which samples to mix, finding the right notes to layer for that drinkable delicious whisky with a nice long finish… but we tried. And bonus points to Evan from Cool Hunting who was definitely the whisky maker with the most potential in our group! His smelled divine! And delicious too! Don’t get me wrong, NOTCOT edition is yummy as well ~ my bottle of that is coming home with me! It was incredibly fun and fascinating to play with the awesome syringes to mix samples in our bottles, measure the percentage of alcohol, taste test, and more ~ while i’m no master whisky maker in the making, i definitely have a new appreciation for exactly how much work is going into even just mixing the right casks to make the bottles that show up on the shelf! But, that’s enough rambling for now ~ you really must see how incredible The Macallan lab/Bob’s office is! And the process we went through making our own Macallan whisky ~ all on the next page!
SO! As you probably know by now, The Macallan has me out in scotland, exploring and learning and playing with all things scotch. In fact, they’ve kept me so excitedly busy, it’s been hard to find enough time to process and post! Or even figure out where to start… so here’s how its going to go, i’ll share the most unique bits as i can! And one of the most exciting places to start is ~ SAMPLING!
With so many thousands of casks in so many warehouses with all these slight variations in wood, in atmosphere, in unexplained magical natural occurrences that may make even casks from the same batch differ in flavor, colors, and more, the only way to find and create the perfect single malt is through sampling, tasting, and keeping an eye on each cask as the whisky within matures over time (so anywhere from 5 years to decades?)… on amazingly awesome experiences, we got to go along with the Macallan boys (Thanks, Jim and Gary, and apologies for the times i accidentally squirted whisky on you!) and actually get our hands dirty and help do the sampling! From drilling holes, pumping out samples, filling vials, (maybe sneaking a taste here and there) and plugging the hole! See the process we experienced in the warehouse on the next page!
p.s. The picture above? Can you believe that is the Macallan 1964 that is filling the Lalique Cire Perdue - This 1946 cask became 64 years old in January 2010!
p.p.s. i can’t even begin to tell you how incredible these warehouses smell.
Here’s the forth post in our Inspiration series! Sponsored by Veer.com ~ we get to have some fun and go image researching across the internet around random themes inspiring us at the moment.. and share what we find! This time fascination with food textures close up has lead to this album being made on Veer!!! And leo helped round up some amazing close up looks at food close up that’s been inspiring us across the web ~ perhaps its Tasteologie that has food on the mind lately ~ but the intersection of food and design is so beautifully inspiring! See it all on the next page!
Yes, lemon seeds sometimes sprout INSIDE the humongous lemons on my lemon tree back in LA. Just got these pics from Linhchi over there of the THIRD lemon we’ve found this happen in. (Remember the first one?) This time it is even sprouting some serious roots… so i had to share the pics as i stare in amazement. We’re debating whether to plant it in the ground, or try to stick it back in the lemon to see how much further it will go… see more pics on the next page!
Update - it’s incredible! She found 3 more in the next 5 she cut ~ and they have multiple sprouts going! She is the sproutmaster.