Ok, you already know i’m an impulsive packaging based shopper often… and really Whole Foods is one of the WORST places for that (particularly if you combine that affliction with being starving!)… so today’s Whole Food stop between traffic, i couldn’t resist the adorable Fox logo of the Fox Barrel Hard Cider! AND it’s delicious, pretty light ~ like champagne colored apple juice with a twist. But check out the packaging! Larger pics on the next page…
I’ve been racking my brain as i photoshopped these pics and realized i didn’t take pics of the magical door between/behind the booths you enter through…. or the crazy neon signs i love so much outside Cole’s… i thought about telling you how you had to find your way in yourself, but here’s a peek at the inside, but let’s be honest ~ i was having too much fun, and really just took a few snapshots while inside!
For those who don’t know ~ Cole’s is an LA institution ~ (there’s an age old rivalry as to whether Cole’s or Philippe’s invented the French Dip) ~ and it’s adorable! And has an adorable bar in the front already, and old school booths and walls with pics of days past… and now, when you go through the door in the back with the little martini glass on it, you step into one of LA’s latest speakesy-esque spots, The Varnish. Complete with old school cash register, industrial lighting, wood paneled booths, retro phones and more… my favorite detail is probably the flasks… and the giant ice… and the metal straws (which you can apparently purchase)… “The venture is a partnership between Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey in New York; mixologist Eric Alperin of Mozza and the Doheny; and Cedd Moses, owner of the newly remodeled Cole’s” according to Angelenic… So take a peek at the pics on the next page ~
UPDATE! This just in… the designs of the awesome patterns are by Charmaine Choi for Dead As We Know It in Brooklyn, NY ~ Luckily the good folks over there are NOTCOT readers and Mikal Reich reached out!
Mmmmmm, Rosangel. I think it’s definitely my new favorite tequila (boys, get over the pinkness. really.) ~ It’s delicious, and the aftertaste is floral versus that usual tequila flavor… thanks to the Hibiscus infusion? Although i missed out on the NY launch that Anita covered for us, a bottle showed up mid-move, and i’ve been trying it out, and it really is so yummy… and while my fridge as been pretty empty, I did try some with OJ, and its SOO good.
Anyhow, the other thing i really wanted to focus on was how inspiring and captivating is the illustration/pattern they use on the hang tag… and as a downloadable wallpaper ~ found myself staring at them to see all the little details designed into it! See that close up as well as bottle closeups on the next page!
Happy Sunday! Before that work week kicks in again ~ here’s a look at some of the delicious drinks (and ZOMBIES!!!) that came up this week at Liqurious!
I totally buy beer for packaging ~ ok, i buy a lot of things for packaging… but while at Whole Foods, i couldn’t resist the Hitachino Nest Beer Owl, and the Red Rice Ale is SO red and delicious! I’d first spotted the brand on Liqurious a while back, but this was the first time seeing it in person!
On the next page you can see all the labels and standard sized bottles of their 10 variations ~ the graphic design is awesome, it has a trippy playful almost retro disney-esque feel to it ~ the fonts on the White Ale, Non Ale, and Red Rice in particular are my favorites! Check out close ups of the bottle and bottle cap ~ as well as glasses and schwag i found pics of online… Question to you is ~ have you seen a Hitachino Nest Beer KEG? I’m so curious now what the branding looks like on those! Discussing with a friend we were thinking about how fun an Owl shaped keg would be…
I have a soft spot for Scotch ~ especially when the packaging grabs me… Although the packaging redesign for Highland Park Single Malt Sotch Whisky happened in 2006, i was still curious enough to poke at their PR to show me the old bottles for comparison ~ and there’s just something about the cleanliness of the design of the 30 and 40 year bottles and their wood boxes i’m loving. Don’t the slight curvatures of the 40 year bottle remind you of the Ri(1) bottle? Well, only shorter and stouter, and with a much cooler label and silver “H” emblem ~ which apparently dates back to the Orkney’s 12th-century Viking ancestry. Even the 30 year bottle is so clean, i love the transparent look with only the small paper labels covering the gorgeous color of the scotch in the glass bottle… As you’ll see below, the packaging of the 18 and 25 year bottles are similar but have much larger labels, although on a similarly shaped bottle ~ they are however packaged in fun gloss black on matte black boxes! And you can see how they compare to their predecessors… Also noteworthy, it’s nice to see a brand site dedicate a section to the thought that went into the redesign of the packaging! See close ups and more on the next page!
On adventures in the snowy NYC this week, Proximo Spirits has out done themselves once again… they were kind enough to invite us out to NYC to experience the launch of their latest: Gran Centenario’s Rosangel hibiscus-infused tequila! I already knew the bottle was a beauty, and the branding… *swoon* i LOVE the graphics they’ve used everywhere from backgrounds to bags to glass etchings… how beautiful does that look? But they really carried that rose colored (or should i say hibiscus colored?) world into the full day of bartender immersion and launch party… unfortunately, i wasn’t able to make it out myself, but luckily our favorite Liqurious expert, Anita Crotty, was able to rearrange her life ever so slightly and pop out to NY for a few days to check things out! It also doesn’t hurt that she took so many breath taking pictures so we don’t feel left out! So on the next page you can check out her adventures ~ from the gorgeous gift bag on the bed at the new Thompson LES ~ to the camera crews filming them at the Clover Club ~ to the launch party with live music from Vanessa Trouble at the exquisite Ella Lounge… You’ve got to see the pictures to take it all in!
Not to name drop, but Anita’s link laden story on the next page reads like a who’s who of must see bars across the country… makes me want to roadtrip to experience all the places linked! Enjoy!
And for our newest site ~ Liqurious that was launched in 2008 ~ it’s had quite a fruitful year of delicious and beautiful drinks! While an idea that launched out of a less than fun learning experience over the late TasteSpotting (yes yes, for those who missed those few months, TasteSpotting died in 2008 just 1.5 years old ~ and we sold the domain name) ~ but happily, from that launched Liqurious!!! With which i think we’ve all learned a lot very quickly about the mysterious world of mixology! Where science, design, and liquid poisons come together perfectly ~ here are the top 100 posts from Liqurious in 2008 ~ click to explore!
As spotted first at Today and Tomorrow ~ the Greece is for Lovers “Hooker’s Delight” is an interestingly misleading name (if your mind naturally leans that way) ~ for a fun martini glass design perfect for the fishermen in your life! Talking about living dangerously ~ you may hook yourself at any moment… or on the flip side, your olive can’t go far when its attached to the stem! See more images of this pretty, playful design on the next page!
On more gorgeous neon signage ~ somehow ended up at The Griffin in downtown vegas ~ although we later realized there is The Griffin in Los Feliz too, pictures made it look like this vegas one has the prettier neon/fonts for sure! And they even have Griffin tiles in the bathrooms! Take a peek at their adorable branding and beautifully simple brick arched ceilings and interiors, lush red leather booths to sink into, awesome 360 fire… its like walking into that classic den… only slightly more hipster than retro… lots of pics on the next page!
This has been a strange strange trip ~ in a nutshell, its been the least CES-y ces trip ever ~ and to be honest, we never made it to the main show floor (just ran around the sands part for an hour or two) ~ but with the extensive coverage just about EVERYWHERE online right now (yes, we too are lusting after the Palm Pre), i feel like we’ve been seeing the best of’s all over! Instead we ended up indulging in some exploring of vegas, meetings/dinners/etc… so to everyone i never got a chance to meet back up with at the main show floor ~ apologies! Next time, perhaps?
So back to the random adventures around Vegas ~ i’ve seen the highway signs for Alien Fresh Jerky for years… so we went on the way back to LA! It is like a highway stop Alien 7-11 filled with jerky, alien paraphernalia, honey, nuts, hot sauce, you name it… there was a ufo crashing into it, and a family of aliens parked in the parking lot… and clearly they’ve been having a LOT of fun with their packaging/branding! So see the pics on the next page… and you can even order online for the next time you need some Alien stocking stuffers…
From Unica Home we made our way to Frankie’s Tiki Room… and WOW. Seriously. While in Vegas, wtf are you doing on the strip? Go to Frankie’s! It is dripping with tiki bar lore, and art works from many of our favorite contemporary tiki loving artists (so much SHAG-aliciousness!)… and even an exclusive set of custom Tiki Souvenir Mugs! Not to mention the awesome old school neon signage on the front of this 24 hour joint that just opened last month! Soooooo, there will be three posts on Frankie’s since there was too much to show you in just one!
First up ~ photographic look at Frankie’s and my very strong drinks and giddy view of the tiki wonders… so go see the pics on the next page, and i’ll slip more info in there, but you really need to see more first!
On silly holiday experiments, and with so much wine around combined with freezing (ok well not literally freezing, but cold for LA) weather… and seeing Mulled Wine, Spiced Wine, and Glögg recipes on Liqurious… when it came time for dan’s birthday Xmas eve we couldn’t help but read up on all the different recipes, and there are SO many variations, and ended up making out own variation that we’ve tweaked a bit over the last few days as well! So, here is ours:
NOTGLÖGG ~ a simple NOTCOT take on Glögg
1 Bottle Red Wine
1- 2oz Creme de Casis
1-2oz Creme de Mures
4-5 oz Brandy
1/2 cup Sugar (adjust to taste)
in cheese cloth:
2 Cinnamon sticks
6-8 Cardamon pods
2 All Spice
pinch and a half Nutmeg
Put 1 bottle of red wine in a pot ~ add sugar and the cheese cloth bindle (we just tied it all up in there… yes, it looked like a bloody bandage) ~ keep it just under boiling for about half hour ~ add creme de casis and mures and brandy ~ simmer a bit longer ~ serve HOT [Notes: make sure its not TOO sweet ~ makes about 4 mugs… ~ also, i kind of wing all the measurements ~ so fiddle to taste… other optional ingredients we saw in researching - honey, sugar cubes, vanilla, almonds, raisins, corriander, orange/lemon peel (twist peels to release oils before dropping in)]
For more info, here’s wikipedia on Mulled Wine and Glögg… See more pictures of the process, and some fun new glasses on the next page!
Mmmmmmm…. it’s definitely feeling chilly and holidayish here this weekend ~ so here’s a roundup of delicious drinks ~ from mulled wines and punches to ciders and molecular mixology concoctions and more! All via Liqurious!
Inspiration + awesome web design + mind blowing packaging design + wine + customized moleskine + education + amusement? Does it really get any better? I don’t even know where to start talking to you about how impressed and fascinated i am with the Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia site KnoWine.com ~ or the fact that they are making wine even more accessible by TEACHING people about it, with a playful site filled with videos, info, and a grade school feeling lined notebook paper on wooden desk feel! Super cool is that they sent people off to various regions for 30 days to learn about the wines and document their adventures in text, pics, and videos.
But seriously, lets talk packaging. Who knew making the “largest screwcap in all the land” could be so beautiful? As soon as i pulled the bottles out today i was already scheming ideas for what i could do with the gorgeous carafes… so, giant screwcap + awesome carafe bottle shape, it feels like an Erlenmeyer flask meets decanter… just enough glass details to keep it interesting (from the ridges to the text around the base… and that really sweet chemical structure of reservatrol, the antioxidant found in the skin of grapes)… not to mention the branding of using stamps with the countries the wines come from instead of labels! Oh, and then there’s also the inspiring quotes on the lids of each bottle that can’t not bring a smile to anyone’s face when they are about to open it! And to top that, they sent over a few customized Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia customized moleskines! And they go beyond the usual cover art ~ they actually stickerize the inside cover with the stamp/labels from each region as well as stamp quotes and more randomly throughout!
I think they said it best: “Simply stated, wine is discovery. From how it’s made and where it’s made to why we drink it when we do, wine is not just wine.” So take a look at MANY pictures on the next page, from close ups to the bottles and notebooks to screenshots and diagrams of their design choices.