Happy Friday everyone! So to help kick off your happy hour this week, here’s what we’ve been drinking with our eyes over at Liqurious. One of these days we will definitely have to start holding some real in person happy hours to meet up! As usual, click the images to find out more!
Great packaging + what can only be delicious single malt scotch = the most adorable hand written 20cL bottles of Old Malt Cask Advance Samples. I got launched into this scotch frenzy from The Dieline, which led me to Douglas Laing’s Scotch Whiskies site… which led me not only to these minis, but to so many more beautifully packaged, fascinating single malts i’m now dying to try someday… see more on the next page!
About the minis. “Replicating the sample bottles sent to us from stock held at the Distilleries - these wee 20cl bottles appear to have been hand written by one of the team pulling the sample (full marks for legibility!). We select specific bottlings from the 700cl capacities and fill first about 150-200 of the 20cl bottles - so these are little “rarities” - small bottles, in small quantities, from a very small bottling, from a small family company. Fortunately Fred and Stewart are full size.
They do allow the consumer however to taste a small amount before investing in the larger bottle (for himself or a Club) and they are also causing quite a stir in the gift giving sector of the whisky business.”
For their latest Design Issue, Canadian magazine The Block commissioned chocolatier Thomas Haas to replicate the now-iconic 1949 Eames House in CHOCOLATE! Funniest thing is that this house is right down the street, and i’ve probably driven by multiple times a day for years…
“This sweet miniature design mimics the original structure Charles and Ray Eames created as part of Arts & Architecture magazine’s Case Study Houses program. The program asked prominent architects of the day to design affordable and cost-efficient homes as possible solutions to the post-WWII housing boom. The modernist Pacific Palisades home is a semi-prefab wonder; the airy steel-and-glass structure with its brightly coloured panels was built in just three days. The Block’s modernist chocolate dollhouse took 30 hours to complete.”
Check out the photos, The Block issue cover, and article (including Thomas Haas’ Chocolate Shortbread Recipe)… perhaps it’s inspiration for gingerbread house building this year?
It feels like the weekend has begun already ~ things have gotten so quiet (or it feels so in my world anyhow?)… and i feel like a drink… so here’s a friday afternoon Liqurious Happy Hour roundup to get your drink inspiration going… you know the drill, click the squares to find out more!
Browsing The Dieline just reminded me about the Absolut Los Angeles launch which happened a few days ago when we were in San Diego… (and remember the massive sponsorship Absolut gave the walk of fame? and the uproar?) and i must admit it’s kind of exciting to have my home city have an Absolut of its own. The flavor is Acai, Acerola, Pomegranate, and Blueberry - supposedly a nod to our city’s trendy, environmentally forward, and health conscious ideals… More screenshots from Absolut and recipes on the next page!
Martinis + Pop Art? How could i resist a press release that starts with “After collaborating to create an Ad Campaign for their vermouths in the late 1950’s, MARTINI & ROSSI brings Warhol’s iconic artwork and style back to life with a modern twist. From canvases to cocktails, MARTINI & ROSSI has embarked on a new advertising and cocktail campaign - The MARTINI Factory - aimed at redefining vermouth and the art of the aperitif. The vermouth aperitif drinking occasion, hugely popular in Europe, has yet to take hold in the U.S. market where cocktails dominate popular culture. This new campaign offers consumers an array of innovative vermouth cocktails featuring contemporary ingredients. MARTINI & ROSSI will also unveil a collection of six innovative Warhol-inspired vermouth cocktails at an invitation-only MARTINI & ROSSI Warhol Factory party - being held in NYC on August 6th - what would have been Warhol’s 80th birthday.”
Take a look at the original 50’s and 60’s advertisements by Warhol on the next page, as well as some of the new Martini Factory Drinks! With playful names like the Factory Martini, Velvet Edie, Pop Art ‘Tini, Bohemian Cocktail, and more… this is certainly one of my favorite retro/present campaigns of the moment, and the merging of art + drink is such a perfect match.
Here are the 6 Martini & Rossi Factory Drinks (recipes on the next page!)
Prairie Vodka wants you to “let the prairie in” ~ and they aren’t kidding around! When they sent a sample bottle over, i was literally overwhelmed with the prairie… in the form of a gorgeous intricately laser engraved wood box filled with their certified organic #2 yellow corn (which costs twice that of conventionally farmed corn) and straw… all protecting the deliciously smooth bottle of Prairie Vodka (it really is THAT delicious). If you recall, i highlighted the incredible nature/prairie meets city photography on their website previously… and their label and branding design is gorgeous, but now combining that with the deliciously smooth taste and mind-blowing packaging this is one sample that will be hard to beat… i’m smitten.
Oh, and lets not forget - Prairie Vodka’s got more behind it than just great vodka - it is actually the result of a “unique partnership between a 5th gen distilled spirits company and a co-op of over 900 Minnesota farmers who are stakeholders in the brand. The distillery has earned Oregon Tilth organic certification. Each batch is distilled as many times are necessary to yield the desired character and smoothness. In the spirit of self-reliance, the distillery converts leftover corncobs and other biomass to create biogas energy for powering the stills and returns distillers grains, a coproduct of distillation, to farms for reuse as feed. And because Prairie is crafted many thousands of miles closer than imported brands, far less petroleum is consumed to bring the vodka to market.” Oh, and it’s also certified kosher by The Orthodox Union. And did i mention the packaging was mind-blowing? See more pictures of the unboxing on the next page!
As with all our roundups, click the images to find out more! As you can see, this week these aren’t your usual drinks!
So for those of you asking “What is Molecular Mixology?” - Well, lets begin with Molecular Gastronomy, which Peter Barham says is “The application of scientific principles to the understanding and improvement of domestic and gastronomic food preparation.” and Harold McGee says is “The scientific study of deliciousness.”… Molecular Mixology = Art + Science +Drinks = unexpected multisensory experiences and experiments! Liquids take the forms of liquid filled spheres (as tiny as caviar, as large as tablespoons), cotton candy, gels, dusts, sorbets, foams, infusions and more. Your traditional martini can transform into a Martini Infused Cucumber or Martini Sorbet with Olive Caviar ~ as you can imagine, the forms and experiences drinks can take are now nearly endless!
This weekend on Liqurious i’ve been rounding up all that i can find, which ended up being articles, recipes, videos, etc ~ and the definite leader in the Molecular Mixology space (particularly online), Jamie Boudreau, , who blogs at Spirits & Cocktails, and is even moderating the seminar on the subject at this weeks’ Tales of the Cocktail.
Molecular Gastronomy is one of those things that mixes design, science, and food/drinks so nicely, i’ve been fascinated with the concept for ages… and as i learned more, Molecular Mixology has become even more of a fascination! So when i got a press release about Xavier Herit’s new take on the Cointreau Pearls, it launched me off on a research mission across the web, finding out more about the creation of Cointreau Pearls across the world, the special kit they produced just for bartenders, videos of it in action, and lots more images on the next page to catch you up on my finds! Above you are seeing a close up of Xavier’s Cointreau Pearls in which he infused strawberry, and he serves them alongside Margaritas, and also floating in glasses of champagne.
P.S. Now, if only i could get Cointreau to teach me how to do it! It’s so tempting to start up a crazy lab/bar and start experimenting with all of these new techniques… perhaps a future project for the newly named NOTLabs?
So as some of you know, i’ve been quietly playing with Liqurious for the last 2-3 weeks. And i’m terrible at keeping my new projects under wraps when i get excited, so although i’m still not considering unofficially launched ~ i couldn’t resist posting a roundup of it, and share the header we had so much fun designing! When we were playing with the whole TasteSpotting thing, i realized how beautiful mixology and the art of cocktails are, and seeing as i can never resist posting about great advertising and packaging from the drinks industry on NOTCOT anyhow, it seemed natural to move in that direction. Liqurious is basically the new NOTCOT space for beautiful drinks, drink related products, drink experiences, new product launches, packaging/drink reviews, and i don’t even know what else yet… so here’s your sneak peek to come help me decide what direction to take it. What would you like to see? What’s missing? What sites should i be reading? And most of all, if you come across a great article, product, post, etc, please feel free to help out by submitting it here or just click the dripping green “add next image” drop. (Oh, and FYI, your logins from any of our sites will work on Liqurious as well!)
Love to hear your thoughts ~ take a peek on the next page at the roundup of 25 to give you a quick overview of some of the great content over there…
I was just introduced to Prairie Vodka this morning via email, and although i have yet to try this supposed organic goodness, i’m absolutely smitten with the photography, website, and branding! It’s gorgeous! So they really run with the Prairie meets the City theme ~ and have these breathtaking images of a woman on her NY patio with the city behind and the wolves at her side… and then the gentleman in his plush red chair at the fireplace with his bison… and then the subtle details and styling of the logo and site… *swoon*… and then you must see the actual bottle design as well, so sleek and simple. Even the transitions… to have the wolf walk up, and breathe on the screen till it gets foggy and fades into the next page… little silly, but an interesting approach! Is it any wonder that Prairie recently received a gold medal at the 2008 Los Angeles International Wine & Spirit Awards, as well as “Best Overall Design” and “Best Package of Show”? See more screenshots and imagery on the next page… and read more on Prairie Vodka at their site.
P.S. i’m so distracted by the prettiness of the visuals, that i’m saving discussing the organic and kosher aspects of it and the unique partnership between Phillips Distilling Company and a co-op of over 900 Minnesota farmers who are stakeholders in the brand - for a product review to come!
Classic Italian yacht maker, Riva, (yes, the ones that you can stick a Lamborghini engine in) teams up with Veuve Clicquot in their latest beautiful design collaboration, that makes me dream of living the dolce vita lifestyle, and has me desperately yearning to hop a plane back to Italy to relax on Lago di Como.
They have launched La Grande Dame by Riva Collection which includes three products in mahogany, chrome and leather - the Cruise Collection, Cruiser Bag, and ice bucket ~ the Cruise Collection contains 4 bottles of La Grande Dame 98, 2 magnums of La Grande Dame 88, 6 champagne flutes Riedel and 6 water tumblers, plates, table mats and cutlery ~ the Cruiser Bag contains a bottle of La Grande Dame 98 and two champagne flutes. Full photo spread to help you fantasize about the Riva/Veuve Clicquot lifestyle on the next page… as well as some background on the incredible story of Riva… and i found some amazing original sketches of the various Riva boats over the last 40 years worth taking a peek at!
no, i’m not condoning drinking and boating ~ have a designated driver?
Two of my favorite vices - dark chocolate and scotch… combined?!?!?! K Chocolatier by Diane KrÃ¶n’s K HIBALLS filled with Blue Label Scotch and Ketel One Vodka - a more sophisticated variation of the recipes of chocolate once exclusive to Emperor Franz Josef of Austro-Hungary, that i’m sure the Emperor would adore were he alive today - will absolutely raise the bar for any chocolate/liquor experience. But first, let me fill you in on the background of the most delectable chocolates you may ever feast on. Food Network calls K Chocolatier by Diane KrÃ¶n “the Rolls Royce of Chocolates”.
These chocolates have blown my mind since childhood, and i can’t believe i forgot about them the last few years! Thank goodness i rediscovered them today while wandering in Malibu… as far as things exclusively found in LA, this is one you absolutely must try. For a quick background on K Chocolatier by Diane KrÃ¶n…
“In 1973, Diane and Tom KrÃ¶n established KrÃ¶n Chocolatier in New York City based on recipes from Tom’s great grandfather, chocolate-maker to Emperor Franz Josef of Austro-Hungary. They soon became very famous for the quality and novelty of their chocolates (Tom invented the chocolate-covered strawberry) and opened many KrÃ¶n stores across the U.S. Diane and Tom KrÃ¶n sold KrÃ¶n Chocolatier in 1983 and retired from the chocolate business to travel and raise their family. New management took over and the company went in other directions. Now Diane KrÃ¶n is back ! Lured by the excitement of Beverly Hills, Diane decided to develop a new company, and in 2000, created a new brand of luxury chocolates with new combinations and more sophisticated recipes. K CHOCOLATIER is based on those secret KrÃ¶n family formulations of cocoa powder ratio and viscosity, but with a difference: using as little sugar as possible.”
Still family run (we met one of the sons at the Malibu store) ~ they produce these chocolates locally in their Gardena factory, and create daily batches in limited quantities. They are available exclusively in their Beverly Hills and Malibu boutiques, and if you are anywhere near the area, stop in - even if just to try the samples - and luckily you can now also shop online with them, since they ship nearly everywhere See more images of the beautiful packaging, some other variations… and i couldn’t help it, so a little rant about my childhood memories of K Chocolatier by Diane KrÃ¶n as well.
NOTCOT Note: Ironically, this is an event i was actually super excited about cross posting to NOTCOT/TasteSpotting when i was planning for it… and now that i finally get it up… that whole TasteSpotting thing happens (will tell you guys more when i can, but for now, know that it had nothing to do with images/copyright/or any of the other bizarre rumors flying on the web)… but still an incredible experience mixing food and design so perfectly - i suggest you jump ahead and see all the pics then scroll back up and read!
Two words. Bread. Lamp. How could we not venture into williamsburg after party hopping through ICFF/NY Design Week to see what this mysterious Dine On Design dinner that promised an edible lamp made of bread and other “designed” foods?
Ok the first version of this post got a bit too rambly… so i’ve moved the full story to the next page with the TONS of pics to take you through the 8 course prix fixe Dine on Design dinner at Monkeytown in Willamsburg with us! It is an experience not to be missed. And it really was quite the experience… i must admit it did feel like a bit of an art school project - and we had a blast at the dinner, particularly in its contrast to all the usual ICFF parties, openings, and open bars we had passed through earlier in the night! We found ourselves in a square room on low futons, strapped in with bibs to our table, watching crazy video installation on all four walls of clips from old foreign foodie films, 60s and 70s snack/cereal commercials, footage of Julia Child chopping chickens and fish apart… all while eating some very interesting dishes… on some very interestingly designed dishes… SO, you have to see the pics!
This might sound silly, but we were totally that “fun/education in every aspect” household as kids - and my sister and i grew up eating on various educational place mats, learning much of geography and planetary systems that way! So, when i saw this tablet of 50 paper placemats featuring city maps of London, Paris, Tokyo, and New York - i instantly imagined throwing a large dinner party with these! How fun would that be? Now if only they weren’t so wasteful and were made of tyvek or something more durable and reusable? Semi-closeups of some of the maps on the next page! Seletti’s World Map Paper Placemats
Actually, you know what would be even cooler? If the D!REKTRECYCLING Recycled Maps into envelopes people made recycled map placemats!