Drink of the Week: The Añejo Manhattan

The Añejo Manhattan.I love tequila probably more than gin and and almost as much as whiskey and rum. Indeed, the first cocktail I ever had that made me realize there was a real art to this sort of thing was a fabled prickly pear margarita I enjoyed some time some time around Y2K at the long gone Las Vegas branch of the fabled Santa Fe, New Mexico restaurant, Anasazi. The only reason I don’t feature the fabled Mexican derivative of the blue agave plant as often as other base spirits is that it’s a pretty late arrival to the U.S.’s long cocktail party. There simply aren’t as many interesting recipes for it as for standard Yanqui boozes.

Still, as high quality tequila has grown ever more accessible, there’s absolutely no reason we can’t move beyond the Margarita which, let there be no mistake, is as great as any classic cocktail when made in the proper way.  (Shaken, not blended!)

As by far the best known high end tequila, it makes sense that today’s cocktail comes to us courtesy of Patrón. Here’s where I have to mention that I was gifted by the tequila titans not only with their very tasty, very smooth and extremely mellow añejo, but with a holiday gift box that also offers artisanal aromatic bitters from Dashfire and some very nice coupe glasses you might see pictured here from time to time. Even so, I don’t think I was overly swayed when I say that, if you use the right vermouth and the right amount of bitters, this is one heck of a variation on a cocktail super classic.

The Añejo Manhattan

2 ounces añejo tequila (presumably Patrón)
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1-2 dashes aromatic bitters (Dashfire Brandy Old Fashioned Bitters, if you’ve got it)
orange peel or cocktail cherry (highly desirable garnishes)

Yes, this is pretty much a Manhattan with the aged tequila subbing for whiskey. So, make this pretty much as you would a regular Manhattan. Combine all of the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass. Stir or shake, depending on your personal preference. Patrón says you should shake it gently if you’re going that route, which worked fine for me.

Strain into a well-chilled cocktail glass. Add your orange peel or cocktail cherry, sip, and salute the great nation of Mexico. Like los Estados Unidos, it’s a country with many problems but also one of the world’s most fascinating culturas.

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I initially tried this drink pretty much as per Patrón, using Noilly Pratt sweet vermouth and the Dashfire bitters, which are sweeter and smokier than your basic Angostura type, with the distinct presence of cloves. It a very nice change of pace from the usual Manhattan. Still, when I tried it again using the more expensive, more bitter and more complex Carpano Antica, which has become the go-to sweet vermouth for many a cocktail snob, I suddenly remembered why that was the case. The slightly bitter, chocolatey bottom took that iteration of the drink into the stratosphere.

After that, however, I had a hard time recapturing the magic of that second attempt. Later on, I actually found myself enjoying this drink more with Noilly Pratt and, despite my picture, I think the addition of cocktail cherry suits the flavor more than an orange peel but then, like everything else, I’m likely to change my mind on that point, too.

 

 

  

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Super Fruit: The Real Deal on Garcinia Cambogia Supplements

The fact of the matter is that Garcinia Cambogia supplements seem to divide opinion. You will find plenty of people who consider this amazing little fruit definitely works when used as a weight loss aid.

The supplement first came to prominence in 2012 when it became clear that scientific evidence confirmed that it was safe and effective to use.

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Product Review: SAXX Underwear

No one has ever summarized a man’s relationship with his underwear as accurately as Garth Algar in “Wayne’s World”:

The relationship between a dude and his underwear is a strange thing. In the past, I’ve had roommates and friends who thought it was funny to keep a pair of underwear so long, they (the undies) gradually begin to degrade over time, until certain areas that once provided support were completely gaped open, leaving nothing to the imagination.

Put simply, guys don’t like to buy underwear; it feels weird. I have a pair of plaid boxers from 1999 on right now.

But what if I told you that chicks dig a nice pair of undies on a dude, the way we like sexy lingerie on our ladies? Let me hip you to a little game, in case you didn’t know: briefs and boxers are out. Trunks are in.

When I first became cognizant of trunks, it was like a foreign concept. Was this a legitimate term, or a clever, pachyderm-based play on words?

Regardless, trunks are boss. Even though they are a little “constrictive” at first, they make your bulge look big, like a young Bon Scott.

Don’t you want to accentuate your man hammer? Sure you do, and there’s nothing to feel bad about. But it isn’t just about that.

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2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

As gadgets and electronics become a bigger part of our lives, gadget accessories are becoming more popular as well. We’ve assembled a few cool products that fit the bill, as well as other stocking stuffers you can consider for everyone on your holiday list.

Click the links to purchase each product online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

HISY Remote Shutter

hisy

Here’s a great new gadget from HISY that can be a great gift for practically everyone on your list. It’s a tin, button-sized device that acts as a remote shutter for your iPhone. You can place your iPhone anywhere and then capture photos and videos without holding it by using this small device. You don’t need an app to install it, as it works effortlessly with your iPhone’s Bluetooth capability. Just pair the device and you’re ready to start taking photos. It’s great for selfies, group photos and action videos, as now you won’t be restricted by your reach. Sure, selfies with the iPhone in your arm can still be fun, particularly with someone from the opposite sex, but now you can open up the possibilities with all sorts of photos, and you can start using it right away for the holidays.

Wallets from The Wallet Shoppe

wallet

Most guys will appreciate a new leather wallet, so you’ll find tons of great gift ideas at The Wallet Shoppe. The site features classic designs like the Bellroy Hide and Seek Black Leather Wallet that we tried out, along with newer and trendier styles as well. You can choose from wallets in classic leather or exotic options like alligator, crocodile or lizard skins. They also have some cool messenger bags as well. With all that variety, you’re bound to find something that’s perfect for the person on your gift list.

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2014 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Home

Gifts like these might not be the most romantic if you’re buying for your wife or girlfriend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find cool stuff that will put a smile on their face. Products for the home can be just as desirable if you focus on items with great design or that make someone’s life a lot easier, and if you stick to those simple guidelines, you’ll make whoever is on the receiving end very happy.

Click the links to purchase each product online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Fire Pit from Lowe’s and allen + roth

This isn’t something you can easily put under the tree, but if you’re looking for a creative gift that you and your spouse or girlfriend can enjoy together, a fire pit in your backyard offers a great opportunity. As we explained in a recent post, a fire pit is pretty easy to build and you can find everything you need at Lowe’s using materials from allen + roth. The key here is that this is a project you can do with someone else or with the entire family, which makes it even more memorable. So if you’re looking for a unique gift idea and a fun project, this may be perfect for you.

firepit

Keurig 2.0 K550 Brewing System

keurig

Following the failed experiment of the Keurig Vue, the company has brought back its beloved K-Cups for their new line of Keurig 2.0 systems, albeit with a slight catch: the machines use a “revolutionary” brewing technology designed to read the RFID-coded lid on each K-Cup to ensure the perfect beverage every time. Of course, what the company fails to mention is that these codes are essentially their version of DRM in that you can only use authentic or officially licensed K-Cups manufactured after January 1, 2014. So if you prefer generic brands or brew your own coffee in a resuable pod, the company’s message seems to be, “Tough luck.” (For what it’s worth, there are numerous hacks already available online, and for those with a surplus of outdated K-Cups in your pantry, Keurig has offered to swap out those packs for new ones by contacting customer service.) Of course, that won’t bother Keurig loyalists one bit, because they’ll still find plenty to love about the Keurig 2.0 – particularly the ability to brew a 4-cup carafe using special K-Carafe packs with the same speed and ease of a single serving. The K550 model also includes an extra-large 80-ounce water reservoir (with hot water on demand), an auto-brew option so your coffee’s ready to go in the morning, a strength control setting and a customizable night light.

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