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!
Entries tagged with: drinks
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Isay Weinfeld is a Brazilian architect who runs a very diverse practice with projects ranging from built work to set design to art and furniture pieces. Clean lines and functionality dominate his work. He seems to be interested in working with a kit of parts to create a new, more interesting product. I love this mobile bar - a series of boxes sized for specific functions with a set of hidden drawers.
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."
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 Krön'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 Krön "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 Krön...
"In 1973, Diane and Tom Krön established Krön 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 Krön stores across the U.S. Diane and Tom Krön sold Krön 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 Krön 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 Krön 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 Krön as well.
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!
I found myself browsing the Moët & Chandon site, and quickly pulled into their gorgeous section flying you through their heritage (fascinating stuff...) as well as the behind the scenes video of the new "be fabulous" campaign that was shot in NY by photographer, Roxanne Lowit. And then from a product perspective, i had to share the new Moët Rosé Indulgence Coffret ~ you know how i can't resist the sleek glossy black lacquer... and although not usually a huge pink fan, i do like my Rosé, and there's something so appealing about this "18th centure boudoir, a world of indulgence and richesse..." inspired coffret... nice touch having it under lock and key - complete with big pink tassel. More close ups on the next page...
I did a double take when i saw Kacper Hamilton's theatrically sinful 7 Deadly Glasses over at Dezeen, and had to see more pics!
Here is Kacper's description: "These red wine glasses are based on the 7 deadly sins. Each glass encapsulates a sin, which is revealed through the ritual of drinking. The '7 Deadly Glasses' are about celebrating passion and encouraging the user to be sinful in a theatrical fashion. Handmade in England. Limited Edition. Available to order." See the full set and all his gorgeous photography on the next page!
With all this traveling the last month, it's been far too long since i've done a roundup, so here's an intense little brick of 100 of the top NOTCOT.org posts in the last 2 weeks! Also 100 of the tops of TasteSpotting and NotCouture on the next page as well! So check them out to see what's new, what you might have missed, and as always - you can always submit your own finds to share by clicking the "add next pic" icons in the top left corners! Click the tiny pics to find out more!
Polyface Farm ~ it was one of the few pit stops we've made here in Virginia while visiting family... and WOW. While i will openly admit, i know little about sustainable agriculture and farms - dan has been raving about this place and their philosophies and systems ever since he read "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan (where the author actually lived on the farm for 2 weeks to fully understand their incredible process!)
"At Polyface, we want every animal to eat as much salad (green material) as its full genetic potential will allow"
Knowing i can't do the full story justice, consider this post a launching board to poke those of you who are remotely interested to find out more... but here's my quick version. First thing to grab me driving up was definitely the logo ~ such a cute entrance sign! With the fish in the chicken in the cow in the tree! Poly-face certainly makes a lot of sense with its multifaceted farming. Essentially the beauty of this farm is its earth/life centered approach, which thrives on a fantastic sense of balance achieved through understanding what these animals and plants need to thrive year round ~ instead of optimizing for speed or fattening things up, they've managed to create a sustainable farm in harmony. Most of their species are in a rotation - to keep the cows from overgrazing and consuming their own waste, to give the chickens a chance to pick through and find all the best grubs as well as feed, to turn pigs into "Pigaerators" (tasty corn ferments encourage them to aerate all fertilizer for the farm naturally), water that is collected in their various ponds and wells from winter runoff keep them self-reliant, and so much more i can't even begin to explain. And from a design perspective, i was fascinated reading about the ways they utilize mobile electric fences and Eggmobiles to facilitate this whole process!
Bottom line? The eggs, sausage, and bacon i tasted were truly incredibly tasty and worth the drive (if you go out there, def get the apple juice too, we thought the jug was HUGE, but it disappeared in about a day - who knew even the toddlers would love it so much?)... the family running the farm was intelligent, kind, and passionate about every aspect of their process, and eager to share their wisdom. If you make it to these parts, you definitely want to roadtrip over and try some of the goods - since they are only available there, and in select restaurants nearby! So, continue your journey, read more about Polyface Farm here!
i was out wandering far out in the fields visiting some chickens and their adorable, huge guard dog ~ and got caught in a thunderstorm, which left me completely drenched in a little green sundress ~ so not as many pictures as i would have liked to show you on the next page - but i was a bit preoccupied with the wetness and protecting the camera! Still - some fun ones! (and big thanks to Robert Frysinger for contributing some of his pics as well.)
Tast.es: Disposable Elements For Catering - firstly, awesome use of the .es domain - secondly, the Conran ROJO launch was incredible, and i have still yet to do a proper post on it, there was so much, it's all coming out in pieces... strangely enough i actually indulged in some of the various catering finger foods coming around simply so i could poke at the beautifully designed mini dishes they were served in! How cute is this soup bowl/shot glass? It looked so strange and possibly uncomfortable to sip from, but honestly its curvature was perfect to put your lips up to and have the soup slide right in (no embarrassing dribbles or anything of that sort). I even had the url on the bottom of it emailed to me as soon as i finished drinking it so i wouldn't forget to see what else they have... and low and behold, there is more awesome catering ware from Tast.es! So see larger images of the whole collection on the next page, and someday when we throw a party, i will definitely have to look these guys up.
It's all the fun little details that make design week fun... at so many parties, people were grumbling that designers were too conservative this year, too many old products, not enough crazy innovation, such a disappointment, etc etc... well maybe they just weren't looking in the right places. I for one, found much amusement at the Housewarming party on friday night in the 10 Cane Rum Monkey Stirrers, the incredible view, and the fact that they rented out the 34th floor of an unfinished condominium in the making! (it was under construction - so much scaffolding i couldn't even find it at first!) As lovely as the works of Tom Dixon, Thorsten van Elten, and Established & Sons are... it was the nearly bare apartments with gorgeous kitchens and to die for balconies, and those stirrers that really stayed with me. Aren't they adorable? More images on the next page of stirrers, party, views, and more...
More designer pieces to fall in love with... Tina Tsang of Undergrowth Design's Blaue Blume Tea Set, they certainly make you look twice... in a good way! Handmade in England, these earthenware pieces are beautiful and extremely detailed, and you can't help but giggle when you see the gold shoes on the legs coming off of the tea cup, milk, and sugar bowl, especially when you have to grab the legs to pick them up! They are available in pure white or pure flesh tones, as well as with gold/silver/red shoes. In fact, if you order at least 10 of a particular piece, she will even paint the shoes the color of your choice... can't you imagine a Louboutin set with black shoes, and red soles? Perfectly dainty, with just enough edginess, if i had to throw a tea party, you know it would have to be in these.
Also, on a slight sidetrack, i ended up at The Back Room in the Lower East Side last night... you know the type... hidden back entrance, after you get past the bouncer at the gate, wander through a dark alley/staircase, and pop into an unmarked door... you're thrown into the 20's when you step into a dark space with flocked wallpaper, padded walls, chandeliers and ornate ceilings... and in speakeasy style, everyone is drinking cocktails out of teacups (with saucers or course) and beer in paper bags... Is it bad i found myself wishing i had my scotch in a Blaue Blume tea cup? See more pictures of the collection and from the designboom mart on the next page!
Activate Drinks... the packaging grabbed me when i heard about this a few weeks back, and i couldn't resist giving them a spin in person... a 4 pack of these Activate Drinks showed up today, and while it feels gimmicky, the graphic design on the bottle/site/case are nice and clean... and the cap was fun to play with!
Basically, they claim that vitamins lose their potency in water over time - so to keep things fresh, the vitamins are stored in the cap. When ready, you twist the blue part of the cap, releasing what looks like Tang/Crystal Light into the water, give it a bit of a shake, and *poof* you've made your own Vitamin Water. So far i only tasted the Orange one, and yes it was a bit like tang... I even made a quick little video for you on the next page to take a look at how it works, and pics of the cap before and after breaking, so you can see exactly how it holds/releases the powder.
Level Vodka invited Hussein Chalayan to design The Level Tunnel... and it is now here! With a blog that even chronicles everything from the design and renders - to the building of - and the launch! Also incredible are the specially design blindfold/goggles for the experience, and the gorgeous press release complete with Bach in sheet music form!
"It all started back in 2006. Level Vodka invited star designer Hussein Chalayan to create a pioneering work of art with a focus on taste. He was given completely free rein. The result was The Level Tunnel - a 15 meter long, 5 meter high, traveling installation that captures the essence of Level Vodka. After a mind-blowing journey, the project is now nearing the finish line. The 6th of May 2008, the tunnel will have its world premiere in Mexico City. " See images of the process, press kit, and final product on the next page!
On more packages to play with upon returning to LA... Here is the Sorapot unboxing that i've waited 3 years to do (i first read about it over on Cool Hunting in 2005)! Joey Roth was actually my first NOTCOT reader i ever met, and i'm ecstatic to finally see his masterpiece in my hands (and not on a computer screen!). So amidst all this u-haul unloading, unpacking and playing 3D tetris with boxes... here's a quick unboxing of this beautiful new teapot. So industrial, yet elegant... and i even have
... I have yet to brew my first sorapot of tea - more to come on that later... But for now - check out the freshly launched official Sorapot site! On the next page see the unboxing of it out in Topanga Canyon... a few sneaks peeks for you of the factory in the making... and a refresher diagram of the making of the Sorapot and how this is a testament to the power of design blogs to help small designers get out there!
On a continued giddy morning, after a crazy long day running up and down norcal... while i avoided all things Web 2.0, i couldn't say no to playing with our Federated Media family at their party at the Web 2.0 Expo South Park Crawl... like all crazy parties, the open bar kept flowing, the people came and went, but we and the FMers pretty much stayed till the end, and then began the wander to hunt for food through SOMA... one place after another the kitchens were all closed so we ended up at Mel's Drive In. And not being famished, but in a silly mood, i couldn't resist ordering the Apple Pie with Cheese A La Mode... and as you can see from the menu screenshot below, it's really on there! And although i seldom post on a dare, well, i did promise that i'd document and share this bizarre combination with NOTCOT/TasteSpotters...
Keep reading to see the closeups, etc... and the bizarre fork sculpture the kids next to us were building...