On designer impulse buys this week ~ the last place i expected to buy a matte black silicone painted japanese wine opener… was when popping over to check out the Bottega Veneta Home collection opening reception in their pop-up shop… But there it was, amongst a series of irresistible black metal minimalist beautiful pieces i had to talk myself out of, until i ended up with simply this “OWL” Wine Opener by Hagino Mitsunobu… the inner spike within the coil is lovely! I’m quite smitten by it, and as i write this post, i finally just tried it out! (It’s been a busy week!) In addition to the many closeups, unboxing pics, in action pics and more on the next page… also take a peek at the other pieces from the collection i was tempted by on the next page…
Entries tagged with: drinks
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Ahhh, Veuve Cliquot ~ they’ve become one of my design week staples around the world ~ that shade of Veuve yellow is starting to feel synonymous with inspiration, i guess they’ve trained me well! For the salone 2010, they’ve launched two new designer collaborations in their Clicquotsphere. The first is The Tasting Gloriette with the Campana Brothers (a playful modern twist on the gazebo of sorts, using coiled thin metal to mimick and overgrowth of champagne vines on a bent wood base… resulting burning man yurt style contraption to relax under and a central nest cradling a champagne bucket). The second is “Once Upon A Dream” by Mathieu Lehanneur ~ a retro futuristic looking bed ~ that is SO much more than a bed. It’s more of a luxury sleep experience created to help you get the best rest physically possible, optimized for jetlag recovery ~ through special lighting, white noise balancing, ideal temperatures, and curtains to create that womb like effect… there is even a plant hanging beside you which is used to control the lighting (coolest living light switch?) ~ and its even designed in conjunction with sleep scientists! Sadly, the best sleep is apparently alone, so this bed is just for resting! Both of these pieces will be installed in the Veuve Clicquot Hotel du Marc which is opening in spring 2011 (and it’s not a hotel at all, so much as their super guest house in Reims)… and in full Veuve Clicquot fashion ~ the champagne never stopped, the music was fun, the food was delicious, and they had unexpected surprises like keys you could try your luck to unlocking prizes… and even a special mailbox where you could write postcards which they will mail from Reims! See lots of pics on the next page…
Wow. The Jellymongers, Bompas & Parr (If they sound familiar to you, maybe you remember some of their culinary artistry on NOTCOT.org ~ from glow in the dark jelly, to jelly architecture ~ to giant punch bowl parties!) surprised me with an email saying:
If you are in Milan, we are doing the opening party on Tuesday night at the Villa Realle with Fergus Henderson. We are doing aperitivo three ways 1. Straight drink 2. Solid form - alcoholic jellies moulded like italian design classics 3. Gas - a vast breathable cloud of Campari. It is going to rock.
And then suddenly i HAD to make sure no matter what happened with all the other events tonight, that i ended up over at Tutti a Tavola’s opening party, because “a vast breathable cloud of Campari”! SO, unfortunately i made it over too late to partake in the aperitivo with jello shots molded into espresso glasses, espresso makers and campari bottles… but i did get to play in a gas chamber of Campari goodness, twice! It’s an incredible sensation you certainly have to try at least once! Also, it makes for some really cool dramatically creepy pictures… only thing that would have topped it off? Having ingo maurer’s campari lamp suspended in the center of the gas chamber. See the fun pics on the next page!
Also discovered hidden in the same glass cabinet with the illustrated cocktail glassware… this hand blown glass dutch bull filled with Fortune Teller Gold Liqueur, complete with a cigar band like label! Something about it’s face reminds me of Mumin… and at first it looked like it might be a pipe! Having fun this weekend finding creative inspiration from the curiosities picked up during my grandparents jetsetting back in the day… see more details on the next page!
Currently in Singapore, taking care of a few family matters ~ so i’m supposed to be semi-on-vacation, but that never works so well! Something or other always seems to get me too excited not to share with you! While taking a peek at some of my grandparents treasures, i came across these awesome sets of vintage glasses ~ two sets, each with 6 little glasses and 1 larger tumbler… and they have the cutest illustrations and classic cocktail recipes on them! With men in top hats wearing sandwich boards, you can see the recipes for Stingers, Manhattans, Sidecars, Whiskey Sours, Martinis, and Daquiris! Take a peek at the close ups of the illustrations and recipes on the next page!
The latest in the Dear NOTCOT guest posts… here’s one from my old friend, Jackson Stakeman, who just might become our food editor… if we’re lucky! He was kind enough to help attend what sounds like a delicious event, and being a professional photographer AND food connoisseur, his pics are looking awesomely scrumptious!
Laid out underneath the enormous iconic tree of the Santa Monica Fairmont Hotel, StarChefs held its annual Rising Stars Revue. Tables were laid out in a massive ring, and there was fabulous food and drink in all directions. Being there an hour just before sunset, there was a lot of running around trying to photograph everything before losing the perfect light.
The food was fantastic, these rising stars were picked for a good reason, there was lots of amazing tastes, and fun playful ideas as you went table to table. The surprising and minimalist cube sculpture above is actually Jordan Kahn’s violet sauce topped white chocolate cube filled with cream a sponge cake served on a white kitchen tile. Equally amazing was having the chance to experience such a variety of dishes and drink pairings all in one event. It was also a great opportunity to watch many of this year’s rising star chefs prepare these delicacies before my eyes.
Culinary interests aside, the plates were also especially NOTCOT worthy. All of the 13,000 plates were provided by Verterra, whose compostable disposable dinnerware are not only beautiful, but made from fallen leaves!
Ready to dive in to see my favorite dishes of the night? There are plenty more courses on the next page…
Ok, so i have been calling One Icon, Foothill Ranch - Oakley HQ, but part of me feels like i should be calling it Oakley’s Secret Lair. or Oakley’s real life video game set of a compound (it’s very steampunk industrial massiveness)… or… yea, you get the idea. And since its friday, and closing in on Happy Hour in my time zone… next up i had to show you their SECRET BAR!!! Seriously, its behind a secret panel, in a secret location, that i promised not to share… so long as they let me show you some of the awesome lustworthy details of their bar… like the Marais stools i loved (which so happen to be on sale at DWR today)… the floor plan of the Secret Lair etched into the glass table… the walls covered in signatures and notes of what i imagine are Oakley folks and friends… their amazingly design taps (made by Oakley designers of course)… SO ~ if you happen to find your way over to Oakley, see if you’re lucky enough to go have a drink in their inner sanctum… the ER. Or perhaps you can have a top secret meeting in there, amongst the buzz and humm…. oh, i’ve said too much. Good luck finding it! See the few pics i got permission to share on the next page…
On posts that are a bit overdue ~ catching up while curled up in London right now ~ one of the sweetest packages came over from the boys of High Snobiety and Selectism ~ super fun letterpressed coasters! With their logos on the fronts and urls on the backs ~ and an adorable little “Thanks for 2009, Drink to 2010.” message holding them all together. While i adore these… the making of video is even more mind blowingly mesmerizing to watch! You have to check it out and more pics & details on the next page!
On fun things that showed up before i left for NY/London ~ a super sized Absolut shoe box of sorts filled with their new Absolut Berri Acai! A whole giant liter of the delectable new liquor appeared buffered by crunchy purple padding, adorned with a few recipes… It’s quite refreshingly yummy mix of acai, blueberry, and pomegranate ~ in that fruity healthy sort of way! See the unboxing and recipes on the next page!
During the #time4wine tweetfest up in Napa this weekend ~ Julie and Jonathan brought me to their Nickel and Nickel Single Vineyard Wines open house… at first i questioned whether i wanted to be up at 9 after a full day of travel and tastings to go to another tasting… essentially, for breakfast! But those two know their stuff… and thus begins my new fascination with wooden wine boxes! Of all of the ones i’ve seen (and the wines i tasted this weekend) ~ Nickel and Nickel’s are my favorite. Also their stunning barn gone mod is beautiful! I couldn’t stop staring up at the beams ~ and the way they’ve carved out a lab within the space. The juxtaposition of sterile meets rustic is stunning. So take a peek at their attention to detail through every visual element of their brand on the next page…
(quick aside: Truffle Tremor. Awesome name, delicious cheese.)
Who knew wine in a bag could be so… designer? functional? pretty? Or that a decanter could aerate and feed the wine right back into the bottle? Leave it to Danish company MENU to help us rethink the way we interact with our wine! I love the the Wine Breather Carafe ~ which can be used either by attaching it to the bottle, and flipping it… then flipping it back into the bottle, OR serving it out of the carafe. It’s designed by Norm, idea and patent by Peter Orsig. (Doesn’t the shape remind you of those adorable Aladdin sake bottles?) Also fun is the Baggy Wine Coat designed by Jakob Wagner ~ wine in a bag never looked so ruggedly high tech. Also cute in the new collection ~ Norm’s stackable, spherical, tripod set for condiments! So playful, they’d be delightful in a restaurant! Take a peek at all of these up close on the next page!
Wow. This has definitely been a whirlwind of a week or so, and a very Macallan filled month! A week and a half ago, i thought tasting the 50 and 52 year old Macallan were the oldest my lips may ever touch, but little did i know that this week i’d be sipping the 57 yr old Macallan! Tuesday night was a NOTCOT first. I’ve never played host at a party before! But when Macallan and the W Los Angeles approached me to co-host a party with Julie Wolfson, saying they’d take care of the details, we just had to invite some friends to come indulge with us, how could i say no? Despite the rainy night (which cleared up mid way through the party so we finally got to sneak outside and enjoy the brisk night air, curl up by the fireplace, and smoke cigars while sipping Macallan into the night), we had a great turn out. And as you know, Macallan loves twitter (in fact, our other co-host, The Macallan West Coast Ambassador, Eden Algie ~ just joined twitter, please follow him and message him to convince him to let us throw another LA party!)… so once again live tweeting was up on the screen during the party, and people were tweeting up quite a storm with #macallan (you can see my favorites on the next page!)… one of the highlights of the night was definitely getting to taste the 57 year Macallan in a Lalique crystal decanter… take a peek at the festivities, as well as some of the great coverage and photography to emerge from the event so far!
So many adventures today! So many firsts! And finally met so many incredible people i’ve talked to for years digitally… but even with all the Altitude Summit madness underway, i couldn’t resist hopping in a car to check out the Absolut Vodka filmmakers of the first ever Sundance Opening Shorts Program party at Easy Street’s The Sky Lodge in Park City presenting “I’m Here: A Love Story In An Absolut World”, a short film directed by Spike Jonze. And while it may be 2:30am… and i’m freshly curled up in a hotel room robe photoshopping into the night as usual… and needing to put the finishing touches on the 8am keynote panel presentation i’m doing with the lovely Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of Apartment Therapy, and Heather Armstrong of Dooce… how could i pass up sharing the magical snowy wonderland i crossed the mountains to experience before my nap? From ice furniture (made by Newport Beach’s Ice Bulb) out in the patio, in the snow, with heat lamps and a fire going… to the first cosmo i’ve had made with SNOW… and peppar-y icey shots with salted cherry tomatoes to keep me warm… and some of the biggest Absolut bottles beautifully lit from below and glowing like lavalamps… and endless beautiful hors d’œuvres circulating… I know i’ve stated on twitter that i nearly avoided real “winter” all together this year, but i’m really glad Altitude Summit and Absolut brought me out to Utah this weekend and let me experience what i hear will be some of the most incredible powder of the season. So take a peek at the next page for how fun it was… and i guess i should go take a little nap before the talk!
p.s. The Icebar was one thing… but the Ice Furniture outdoors with fire in the snow… were dare i say, even more unforgettable?
With all of this Ice Ball talk on my mind from the Macallan, when i saw the Muji Silicon Ice Ball Maker at the Muji To Go store in JFK’s Jet Blue terminal, i couldn’t resist grabbing two to play with. Been rushing around a bit non stop, but as tired as i was when i got in, first thing i had to do was fill one of these up with water and stick it in the freezer! Was too tired to wait for water to boil before filling it ~ so it does lack some of the potential clarity due to the cold tap water that went in. Overall it worked pretty well though! And the novelty of spherical ice is pretty fun! Though not nearly as exciting as making it with the Macallan ice machine… see more pics of the instructions and muji device on the next page… been starting to think about what else you can do to get creative with spherical ice…
Tonight, Macallan brought me out to Soho House in NY for quite the surreal experience: Flights of the Decades. Beyond the amazing ice balls (which i’ve been dying to see in action for some time now) ~ tonight i had the opportunity to talk so the inspirational visionary @MacallanKen (aka Ken Grier, Director - Malts) about everything from photography to life adventures to how baking cakes is a lot like scotch… but most importantly, about doing/enabling extraordinary things and people. Also finally got to meet @LivingTheDram (aka Graeme Russell - Macallan Ambassador) ~ with whom i’ve long tweeted about scotch from afar. And everyone at this lovely event was tweeting up a storm ~ all of which were showing on the screen (in fact, if you were using the #macallan hashtag during dinner, you too were up on screen!) To take it even further, we had the opportunity to taste not only the New Make Spirit straight from the source before reaching casks… Macallan cask strength 18 year sherry oak… Macallan 50 year… and even Macallan 52 year. It was. WOW. And seeing the Lalique decanters and the carbon fiber (looking?) box it’s packaged in… as well as one of the 1000 unique Rankin bottles up close… all in all it was a beautiful experience, with fun people, delicious food, great conversations… now go see the many random photos on the next page for a peek at the experience!
Sure its 4am, but i couldn’t go to sleep before showing you the magic of the Macallan Ice Ball “Machine”. Did you know it runs on GRAVITY? Yes, high tech stuff… also the magical frictional heating of copper also comes in to play somehow just perfectly at room temperature. Really you stick a roughly right sized chunk of ice in between the two heavy pieces, and let gravity go to work on it. And with in moments ~ right before your eyes ~ it melts down to a perfectly glossy sphere. It’s magical really. This incredible device was discovered in japan (side note: where the macallan team also discovered japanese taking straight razors to carve perfect spheres of ice) ~ and they have exclusive rights to the device for a few years! I’m secretly wanting one to play with at home… See the pictures on the next page…
CES is always madness, but in recent years when there have been more and more people i get excited to meet up with there, you’ll notice that my posts about the technology become more discriminating (and there’s less awesome to share, sadly) ~ and i actually end up finding more inspiration in the unexpected and beauty in the chaos. The other night patterns seemed to be my thing… large crazy vegas patterns that were popping up and screaming to be photographed… Or maybe me + drinks that night = pattern obsessed, but really i blame the mandarin oriental bar. It started with dinner hosted by HTC (where i might have gone unexpectedly fangirl when next to me was PCMag’s Sascha Segan mentioned his wife is the awesome artist Leontine Greenberg)…. great conversations with some fun journalists, the HTC marketing and design folks (SO fun and sweet)… followed by “O”… then regrouping for drinks at the Aria with the boys of Cool Hunting… then drinks at the Mandarin Oriental… and as the group dwindled down, and the drinks and inspiration kept flowing… you can take a peek on the next page of the visuals that captivated me!
As delicious as certain liquors are… you all know that spontaneous packaging based impulse buys are how the weird stuff often ends up here. Well recently at Mitsuwa, the adorable little sakes were calling out to me and i couldn’t resist. I also couldn’t resist shaking up the nigori ones… which of course meant i then had to let them sit for a day or so in my fridge so they’d fully settle (all that unfiltered sediment sinking to the bottom) so i could show you the difference when i took pics! But how amazingly cute are these Aladdin Sake bottles? They’d make the prettiest little vases for your desk… And the way the top opens is fascinating as well. So take a peek at them all on the next page! (And no, i haven’t tasted any of them yet ~ too tired tonight, but wanted to show you the packaging first!)
On more things i’ve been meaning to post for a while. Here’s a brilliantly fun idea… how do you take a normally boring average looking bottled Magners Pear Cider and elevate (or catapult) its status instantly? Give the awesome Bungalow 8 in London an exclusive stunning bottle that is only available there, and only 500 bottles are produced. The new design was created for Magners by their brand entertainment agency, Cake. They were even kind enough to send one over so i could take a look at it in person - and its lovely! Its a sleek black bottle with 5 gloss silver sticker stripes wrapping the bottle and the Bungalow 8 ‘8’ etched in the silver pear. Honestly, it’s hard to look at the original bottle the same way after seeing and holding this. Actually, it’s hard to look at any cider or beer the same. Why don’t they all look this stunningly designed? See more pics on the next page…
Apologies for going a little quiet on you. Tried to take a little bit of a break this week ~ reassess the amazing year that passed, trying again to hit inbox 0 before 2010 officially arrives… and in doing so, also finding some gems i’ve been meaning to post that sadly got buried in the chaos of my inbox. SO, here’s one of my favorites!
As we slip in to the new decade ~ here are two of my favorite slides from the presentation given by Absolut at the Absolut Art Collection anniversary event in Stockholm a few months ago. On the top you see the state of vodka packaging design when Absolut first entered the market with its shockingly apothecary styled bottle (which i adore!)… Below you see the state of things today. Yes yes, sure it may be a little biased in how things were picked, but you can’t deny that the overall trend is true, and that the it’s a great illustration of the shift in vodka packaging design over the decades! As 2010 comes upon us, i wonder how things will shift next…
Love of wine + packaging + test tubes? When i spotted these wine tasters over at Springwise. This example of Tryvertising (i must admit that word pains me quite a bit)… comes from Brixr in San Francisco. These 50mL vials are adorable ~ though some people seem to be debating whether 2ozs are enough to know which one you like best… see a few more packaging pics on the next page!
Some packages just leave you speechless. You sit. You stare. You open it. You poke at it. You close it. You stare a bit more. This was one of those packages. Veuve Clicquot sent over one of their 1200 limited edition stingray skin Yellowboams (there are 3600 in the edition, 1200 each of ostrich, alligator, and stingray) ~ yes, a 3L (4 bottle equiv) bottle of Yellow Label Champagne... in a stunning handcrafted metallic lacquered wood box (with adorable little round hinges and magnetic closure) ~ with a stand for the monstrously large bottle... and the bottle itself has a yellow label made from ostrich, alligator, or galuchat, sealed with 22.4 ct gold and a 24 ct plated muzzle engraved with Mme. Clicquot's signature. A little over the top, in a completely surreal, "how is this enormous bottle sitting on my counter right now, and how amazing is this paint job?" sort of way. Next question of course was, "How will we ever pour this? Or chill it? And who will have to come help drink it?"
So take a peek at more pictures on the next page ~ once you get past the extravagance, it's really one of the sweetest most unexpected gifts to arrive, so, thank you, Veuve Clicquot. And don't worry i will certainly document it when i open it... i'm terribly curious what is under that golden muzzle... and the adorable notebook that was included mentions that you can send in the leather label to have it turned into a card holder... intriguing...
This launched me into that hunt for the names of various bottle sizes, so for those curious: Magnum = 2 bottles, Jeroboam = 4 bottles, Rehoboam = 6 bottles, Methuselah = 8 bottles, Salmanazar = 12 bottles, Balthazar= 16 bottles, Nubchadnezzar = 20 bottles. And most are named after BC kings... and "A useful mnemonic for these big bottle sizes is: My Judy Really Makes Splendid Belching Noises" says Champagne Magic.
These Vacu Vin Party People Glass Markers were first as NOTCOT.org #20816 ~ and when i ran into them in Stockholm, they were even cuter in person! So i had to buy some to play with! They are so adorably tiny with their little suction cups and fun packaging! So next time, instead of sharpie markers to a solo cup, or wine tags, or stickers, here's a new option! Let your guests pick which adorable little gummy looking character they want to channel... they all even have names! (see pics on the next page!)
Absolut Icebar!!! I've always been curious, i'm still dying to visit the Ice Hotel some day ~ and ironically, this little excursion wasn't even part of the official Absolut event/weekend. Apparently the Icebar changes its design twice a year, and it happened to be closed Oct 26 to Nov 1, so today was the first day it reopened, but, just barely! (Opening party is tomorrow night!) Luckily, i was able to stay an extra day, and they managed to get us in today. So here is a first look at the latest ~ "Factory" designed by Sofi Ruotsalainen and Nille Nilsson. Along with the completely new space, there is also a brand new menu! It's quite amazing, you enter through the little store passageway where you see racks of ponchos with gloves clipped on... then into the airlock... and into the ice bar! Within the ice bar (which is literally wall to wall ice) there are ice sculptures, an ice display (looking like an upright arcade game), the bar and more... the giant red "Don't Push" button - is totally ok to push. As long as you're cool with the light flashing! (So fun!) Also playful are some of the Icebar goods ~ you can buy a replica glass (that won't melt!), a puffy jacket of a laptop sleeve, matches, and other silliness... This is one of three Absolut Icebars ~ the first was in the Ice Hotel, this one is in the Nordic Sea Hotel and is open year round, as is the one in Below Zero London. See all the fun on the next page, as cold as my fingers got, i couldn't help taking a bunch of pics, and they even let me take pics from behind the bar!
Sometimes you desperately run around the city all evening, desperately hunting for an open restaurant after having two drinks at the ice bar for "breakfast", almost genuinely considering buying 7-11 food, tweet for help, call for suggestions, and almost everything that comes up is closed... then you stumble upon the adorable red cozy outdoor section of Grodan, and peek into a stunningly ornate dining room that smells delicious... and there it is. Froggies! Everywhere! On the menu... embroidered on the napkins, on the door - a simple red silhouette of a frog! (Yes, i now know Groda means Frog in swedish)... but the most intriguing instance of this little red frog i encountered was as i sipped my water... there it was on the bottom of my glass! And it looked so fun with its reflection and prismatic colors projected on the table... I had to share... and i'm so tempted to make mini vinyl stickers to apply to the bottom of my glasses to surprise people when i get home... see more of the pics on the next page!