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.
On long overdue and super amazing things that have shown up recently ~ 8/9 of the 1800 Tequila Limited Edition Artist Bottles arrived, and i can’t bring myself to open them, i just kind of sit and stare at how gorgeous they are ~ honestly, if you haven’t seen them in person, you must! Because i’ve seen pictures, from high res to billboards, for some time now, and they were far more incredible in person! They are like gorgeous drinkable works of art… basically it feels like they are screened on to the backs of the glass bottles, which results in a nice matte feel on the back, and the art looks like its floating in the bottle of tequila… perhaps my favorite detail besides the art work itself (and the fact that the cap is a shot glass) ~ each bottle is numbered (out of 1800), has the name and bio of the artist, and their signature in silver! Really i can only ramble so much about this, but what you really need to see is all the close up pics of the bottles themselves! So click through and browse them on the next page!
Not sure what to bring for a last minute party, gift, etc ~ i think its pretty hard to go wrong with one of these… SO pretty!
Wow. Ok, so Rubyy, i can’t even decide where to start on telling you how many ways i’m loving this latest addition to the Energy Drink space… obvious first impressions, GORGEOUS bottle ~ i’m such a sucker for the matte black, and the vector graphics on the label with playful fairy tale-like motifs… and its the fun aluminum bottle! In such a unique shape! Not to mention the nice use of fonts and color palette… and it totally glows under a black light! And that’s just the outside… you’d think with that type of exterior, they might be trying too hard to over compensate, but this is no red bull… granted, i do have a think for blood oranges, they are just so visually dramatic and delicious! But this Blood Orange Energy “lightly carbonated energy drink” ~ is yummy! Yummy to the point where i was so exhausted and thirsty and accidentally chugged the Rubyy by my laptop after the Paper 24 Hour Dept Store… and then i was up for ages, so it works too… And unlike those Monster/Red Bull type drinks where the color of the liquid is less than appealing with its radioactive glow, well this one is actually a nice pinkish blood orange color (pics on the next page if you don’t believe me!)…
So i’m loving the bottle, the liquid is delicious… and we haven’t even begun to explore the mixology options! You can pretty much mix Rubyy in with rum, vodka, tequila ~ from your variations of cosmos to tequila sunrises, you know the type… but to get a little more unique, i’ve attached some of their new Holiday recipes as well! So see all the packaging pics, recipes and more on the next page!
“Beam Global Spirits and Wine, Inc., redefines rye with company’s first ultra-premium rye whiskey - (rī)1 Whiskey Brings Cocktail Style and Straightforward Sophistication to Traditional Rye Whiskey Category”, and you’ve got to admit, it is a seriously un-whiskey looking designer bottle… and even more stunning is the acrylic box they sent it over encased in along with a glass and the coolest stirrer/stirrer placement i have ever seen. Using the transparency of the styrofoam slit to turn the plastic stirrer into what appeared to be a floating droplet of (rī)1 when you slide open the box… so awesome!
(rī)1 - pronounced Rye-One - is certainly making waves in what has been a rather traditional genre, and the flavor is incredible… the spiciness really hits you upside the head (i decided i’d try it neat first and not read the tasting notes until after, so i didn’t see it coming)… it was refreshing and fascinating with a cube of ice, really opening up the flavors - you have to try it!
As the press release describes: “Bottled at 92 proof, (rī)1 features a light, slightly spicy flavor and a long, luxurious finish. Straight, the nose offers a gentle, peppery nod to its rye heritage. Cut with water, the scents of dried fruit and cinnamon push to the front, providing a rich palate experience.” Also exciting… “Future variants, including (rī)2 and (rī)3, are planned to create a complete product line.” Can’t wait to see what those flavors are like! But for now, you have to check out the incredible acrylic box of goodies - i’ve been trying to figure out what else it can be used for, and first idea is… light box? See all the pics on the next page!
Oacoca ~ remember the recent .org post #16193? It came across my email and totally had me craving chocolate when i posted it that night ~ and a box came today, so to follow up, you have to see how cute this “indulgence worthy of the guilt” really is… and i liked the packaging, and insulated giant silver ziploc with reusable icepack inside… So check out pics of these deliciously decadent upgrades on the usual peanut butter cup…
While i was in Tuscon, i picked up this bottle ~ yes, it was a total impulse buy based on packaging, but it had to be documented! And it didn’t taste tooooo bad, but not exactly stellar, but how cute is it?
So this post is really all about the packaging of this adorable Boarding Pass Shiraz 2005 from South Australia by R Wines and distributed by the very playful Grateful Palate Imports. Check out more pics on the next page for closeups of the fonts and diagrams!