The Edible Martini ~ incredible video at the NY Times - "Chef/mad scientist Dave Arnold of the French Culinary Institute has figured out how to vacuum infuse a martini inside a cucumber." Armed with a cucumber, a bottle of gin, vermouth, simple syrup, a paper clip, and a vacuum machine Dave Arnold does some impressive flash pickling ~ and this martini infused cucumber comes out as crunchy as when it started if not more. Essentially, the vacuum machine sucks all the air out, so when air comes back in, gin forced into the cucumber, and as the air returns it turns beautifully clear. See my screenshots of the process below, and watch the The Edible Martini video!
Entries tagged with: drinks
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Sheridan's Coffee Layered Liqueur has truly the most incredible bottle design i've yet to encounter. I loved the stuff (and the packaging had a large part to do with that) when i lived in milan, and was absolutely fascinated by the split glass bottle, half filled with white, the other with black, and joined by the cap that magically poured a layered drink every time. Unfortunately, i started NOTCOT after returning, and never found it in the states... i even posted about it back in march 2005 when the site first launched, and even tracked down the case study of the bottle design! (You can view it below)... at the Duty Free in Toronto they had some! So i grabbed a bottle to take some pictures (and video!) of it to share with you, check it out below. It's absolutely mesmerizing! Oh, and as for the taste, well its like a yummier bailey's for those of you who like the sugary sweetness.
In the Alessi 2008 Spring/Summer collection is the new Pop-Up Bottle Opener. This beautiful piece is designed by Giovanni Alessi Anghini, great-grandson of Giovanni Alessi, founder of the company. It should also be no surprise that Giovanni Jr. has put in his time at Stefano Giovannoni's Milan studio, and is now coming into his own. Apparently this mirror polished stainless steel bulb of a bottle opener has a magnet within that holds onto the cap once you push down to open a bottle. See an image of it on a bottle after the jump!
p.s. does this remind anyone else of J Schatz's egg bird feeders, lamps, etc?
A new entry in the bottled water market, Y Water, comes fresh out of Venice Beach ~ has a playful bottle designed by Yves Behar ~ and can be built into crazy structures... oh, and they are also targeted at kids, and are organic, low calorie drinks chock full of vitamins and minerals! "Y Water's attention-getting names—Muscle Water, Bone Water, Immune Water, and Brain Water—communicate the idea that the ingredients are the building blocks of healthier bodies." And there's the green angle too: bottles are 100% recyclable and 100% reusable as a creative developmental aid... And perhaps just as fun, are the crazy illustrations all over the Y Water site. See images of all after the jump!
On new luxury collaborations for 2008, French designer, Jean Marc Grady, has designed a service accessory range for Moet & Chandon including buckets, drink cooler, bowl, candlesticks and platters. What struck me with this collection is the interesting integration of technology in the bucket. There is nothing to draw you right to a drink bucket in a dark night club like a sparkling bottle of champagne, literally glowing... and as soon as you pick it up from the base, the light stops. This one will certainly create quite the dramatic lounge experience, and between the black lacquered exterior and the reflective gold interior filled with shimmering ice and a bottle of Moet & Chandon, there is no way anyone will be able to take their eyes off it. More closeups after the jump ~ and unfortunately there are no pics of this one in the wild yet, but i'd love to do a photo/video shoot with it a lounge/bar someday!
I just spotted the Otto Espresso maker on the Appliancist, which luckily has some pics of the gorgeous twist on classic stove top espresso since the Otto website isn't quite ready, teasing me with an "Otto: the little guy's coming" message. "The OTTO espresso maker is designed to produce two espresso shots with steam milk. An automatic cut off prevents burning of the coffee grind, and after the perfect amount of coffee is dispensed, the boiler primes itself for steaming of the milk to produce two perfect homemade lattes."
Handpresso... i've been intrigued by this french contraption since i first laid eyes on it over at Acquire a few days ago (i haven't a clue why i've taken so long writing/editing this post bit by bit). And their ads crack me up ~ particularly the one with the french couple in a movie theater trying to be all suggestive while pumping up the espresso, getting the cups ready, etc. It's a beautiful contraption that looks like a nicely design mini bike pump you feed a packet of espresso (the premade type - pics below) and some hot water into for a perfectly brewed cup of espresso? I'm skeptical, but curious... see pics and videos after the jump as well as some of the accessories you can buy to go with.
Mumm suddenly has me antsy to go on an expedition... Mumm Expedition Kit: "An echo of the leather knapsacks used by 19th century explorers in Africa, the kit consists of a stylishly simple bag in brown leather. The bag’s lower half forms an insulated compartment to keep your bottle of G.H. Mumm champagne cool for up to 12 hours. You’ll also find a small, brown leather tray and two unbreakable flutes in the bag, ensuring refreshment is always at hand, whatever the location. The kit includes other explorer essentials, such as a compass and a map of the Reims area printed on silk." Mmmm, champagne, a compass, and a silk map encased in leather... quite the expedition, no?
Right Gin ~ seems to have done branding the right way... with a old style classic crest composed of everything from Stags "symbols of strength and fortitude that challenge the status quo", Socrates "the omnipresent all-knowing fly-on-the-wall", Black "Sophistication & Authority", Crown "symbol of our high hope to conquer the world", a motto - Est Unus Modus Verus - "There is a right way"... and those are only some of my favorite elements of their crest, see below for screenshots breaking down every aspect of their crest.
As for the gin itself, i have no idea how it tastes, but reading its intriguing history on their site had made me curious to find some... after all anything made by such precise image controlling perfectionists that hated the taste of gins that came before must be worth a try... also on fun details... they have a "What's your pleasure" section of their site that helps you make your ideal drink... but doesn't offer your usual options, under Pixie Dust, you can choose from options like Pinch of Lust, Bucket of Revenge, Thimble of Envy, etc! [sidenote: does it drive anyone else nuts that instead of pretending to paperclip the picture up there, they put a paperclip sitting above it?]
I wrote about Hendrick's Gin back in April of 06... back before i even tasted it, but came across their ad in BusinessWeek and fell for the playful design of their site and bottle... i love their old style that has a very Monty Python feel to it at times. And without even tasting, i showed you their Unusual Times which was quite funny and well put together. Well since then, i've hunted it down ~ first in Oxford at a random bar my sister took me to, and then finally found it in LA as well... and as a non-gin lover, Hendrick's is my gin of choice... because its the least gin-tasting... its got a wonderfully delicious infusion of cucumbers and Bulgarian rose... my favorite is having it in a gin & tonic with slices of cucumber, but will definitely have to explore more of the mixes soon...
Anyhow, new news from them ~ they are launching a new campaign, and its fun to see how they've grown since then... and staying true to their branding, the new ads and point of sale pieces were so fun i had to share! They describe themselves as "A brand that embraces the unusual with odd and inventive advertisements that feature collages of absurd images with playful intelligence." And i couldn't agree more. Well, go see the pics and vids below ~ more fun tidbits of info about them mixed in as well.
Glue Glue Design has two projects that are part of Vindesign 2007 i couldn't resist. First, above is the brilliant idea of turning your citrus fruit into your wine glass! Can you imagine how nice your sangria could be in a glass like that? And talk about biodegradable... I wonder if something like pomegranate would work... And below, check out their interesting take on the Cork. With their reusable stopper you can actually use the original cork to help add leverage to pull it out... or you can just pull with your finger in the loop...
I could really use an Inside Out Martini right now ~ i'm sure you're all quite familiar with Alissia Melka-Teichroew's Inside Out Glasses ~ the champagne flutes have made the rounds on the design blogs quite a bit... but until she emailed me, i hadn't noticed this great martini glass! [Huge congrats to the AMT Inc team on finding a manufacturer for the collection!!! I can't wait to see these in all the design/home stores.] Other reasons she may seem familiar to you? The now classic "diamond rings" made out of acrylic (and also reinvented into some of the cutest stirrers) - images below if you need some catching up.
Oh, and the main reason she emailed? To share some really cool shopping bags for a store in The Netherlands (called Kwantum) that she designed with Jan Habraken from WATdesign, which are larger reusable grocery bags that sell for 1.50... similar to those Multistorey Re-Bag bags i posted, in that they are bags, with graphics of bags printed on them ~ and they even designed a few others with double handles! Check out the pics she sent over below.
Also part of the OPOS.it 2007 exhibition tackling the concept of "old" ~ this is Oooh! Design's Ooold Whisky Wrinkle Bottle. Also, you have to visit their website to hear their Ooooooh! sound effect as the page loads. Made me smile. But, back to the bottle. We all know that when it comes to alcohol and waters, the packaging really is 90% of things. (Yes yes, taste matters too, but once you've found your selection of great tastes, what makes you pick the bottle off the shelf? Exactly.) This bottle design manages to add so much character to the whisky itself through its "aged" wrinkles. Can't you envision a full line of these with various degrees of wrinkling depending on age? Or that botox'd LA bottle that confuses you a bit? (Tastes like a 40 year old, bottle looks like 18?).
"Wrinkle Bottle is a packaging project that dramatically highlight an intrinsic peculiarity of high quality spirits: the aging. The realistic reproduction of human wrinkles engraved on the bottle, ironically puts up the long years that make precious a spirit. It's at the same time object decoration and information about the product. It's a way to emphasize the quality of the spirit and a fine object with strong decorative valence, ideal for high level products."
Click the images to see more! Inspired by that post on the bottom right ~ TasteSpotting #3794 described as "Liquor + Cake! An entire 5 course tasting menu of mini cupcakes and coordinating cocktails." Here is a selection of delicious sweets and drinks to kick off your friday.
"Inspired by the purity of Evian water, and the beauty of the french alps, the exquisite Evian Palace Bottle is available in restaurants and brings a heightened level of luxury to fine dining occasions." More interesting than the fact that evian is fighting the anti-bottled water world (and all those fine dining establishments that will now offer you triple filtered tap water, etc) ~ are these interesting details... there is a pourer built into the cap! And a sleek coaster to catch the condensation! Also similar to the giant glass bottle that showed up last year, the Holiday 2007 bottle (last time with a hot pink top) is back in glistening gold.
Muzi Tea ~ as incredibly good for you the tea is... i'm smitten by the accessories and the vibrant green color of the tea powder... also the packaging of the gift sets! (see below). And take a look at their new chocolates, i love how seemingly random the pieces break off (unlike those perfect Hershey's rectangles, where's the fun in that?). For the complete process you need the whisk and whisk holder (what great curves), the bowl, and the tea. Take a look at the gift pack below, beautiful minimalist packaging.
Pocket Shot... just got imed a link to Wired's blurb on these single serving alcohol packets. And it just made me laugh... especially when you see how poor the design on their page is... but this Wired image makes them look pretty sweet. Once you get past considering every situation where you would use these, sneak these in, recycle these, refill these, etc. This is an interesting packaging design to consider. And sadly, look below to see their various displays (as well as what was apparently a Maxim party)! Currently i can see these next to the gummi bears by the gas station cash register... can't you imagine a classier sleeker designed version? The concept has so much potential ~ team up with real brands, replace the mini bottles/flasks, alcohol in space? But visually there really was much that could be done here... the inspiration? "Pocket Shot developer Jarrold Bachmann devised the idea for the product after seeing the workers at his farm in South Africa buy simple, crude 25 ml plastic sachets of alcohol to celebrate payday."
It was only a matter of time... all trendy ingredients seem to end up some kind of liquid beverage. So its almost impressive we're finally getting one featuring Goji Berries... Gloji - in two mixes: Gloji Mix which is part goji and part pomegranate, for all your antioxidant overdosing - and Gloji Gold which is "100% Pure Premium Power" - from wild grown goji berries, ripe harvested from the lower desert of Tibet. "Drink in the power of the most potent antioxidant known to man."
Ok ok, but honestly, we both know why this is being posted... that's some awesome packaging they've got going on. The light bulb bottle is a *brilliant* idea, and i'm curious to see one in person... is it completely rounded? Does it sit flat on a table? Or does it have a special stand?
Absolut New Orleans "the flavor of inspiration" - apparently Absolut (insert city name here) is no longer just an ad you see, but they are now becoming real liquors of their own. The limited edition Absolut New Orleans is a fruity mango vodka with a spicy black pepper kick (sounds yummy, must find some!). 100% of the profits from this product are donated to various Gulf Region charities. Yesterday, at Tales of the Cocktail, the annual New Orleans culinary and cocktail festival, this special flavor was officially announced. You can even go vote for the next city (i vote LA).
Wait - before we look at how fun this looks, lets start with the name. Wine Ratchet Magnum. Doesn't that make you want to play with it already? This is the "coming soon" latest in crazy corkscrews from Built NY (yes the neoprene everything cases guys).
"A travesty has fallen upon the world of wine, It has lost the beloved "POP" that gets one salivating in anticipation of a tasty treat. Well, for those wishing to forgo the mechanical levers and tricks, a new day has dawned. Our corkscrew makes opening a bottle of wine as much fun as emptying it."
I could use some magical functioning elixir right about now ~ just drove down to LA from SF a few days ago and have been running around non stop! Spotted these over at Josh Spear's, and i must say i'm curious (although design wise, the packaging and branding of Vitamin Water still seem a bit nicer) ~ these Function Drinks are apparently the brain child of an orthopedic surgeon at UCLA, Dr. Alex Hughes. If these are the magical elixir they seem to claim, i think i might need cases of the Vacation alternating with Brainiac... and occasional doses of Youth Trip and Light Weight mixed in as well.
The Alembic ~ sister bar to the Magnolia Pub and Brewery down the street on Haight. Haight Street Fair (30th anniversary!) was yesterday, and everyone was out in full force indulging their many vices. At The Alembic i found Good Friends & Great Enemies - and got really sucked in with its incredible branding/graphic design and great ambiance and interiors... oh and also its vast amount of scotches and fine liquors and brilliantly insightful bartenders... OH and i can't forget the delicious gourmet treats (you MUST try the Grilled Asparagus with Hazelnut Honey Vinaigrette and the Herb Gnocchi with Serrano Ham, Arrugula Pesto, and Saffron. Mmmm.)
BUT, back to why i'm sharing this with you ~ the design. I sat there fawning over the menus, and bar details, as i sipped my drinks... and now that i'm back, checking out the pictures, and their great website as well, the work that Williamsburg based Nothing Something did on their identity and environment i'm completely taken by. So, more images below, of their design, and ambiance, and even another quick 5 second video of the bar scene.
I think i'm sold on going green... especially when it comes to my vodka - Reyka Vodka is the world's first green vodka- made from glacial water and distilled using sustainable and clean energy from geothermal heat, not to mention it's the first vodka distilled and bottled in Iceland (land of puffins, volcanoes and a female president)... (showed you their brilliant ads and the bottle designs previously)... This time i've got a hands on review for you. Close ups of the gorgeous bottle, and a few fun little videos (still experimenting with my Canon TX1). I'm smitten by how deliciously clean and smooth this vodka is and it's great straight as well as mixed (was delicious with orange and cranberry juice as well as with tonic)...
Here are some interesting tidbits on why else Reyka is incredible: Reyka (pronounced Ray kuh) is derived from the ancient Icelandic word for steam or smoke. The spirit sources naturally demineralized glacial water from the Grabrok Spring situated in a 4,000 year-old lava field. Reykas distillery is located in the smallvillage of Borgarnes in Western Iceland where atmospheric CO2 levels are actually falling. This is due in part to the towns remote location far from sources of industrial pollution. It retails for little over $20, but certainly tastes like it would have cost more.