The original Coravin allowed you to tap into a bottle of wine without actually opening it, sparing its contents of oxidation if not drunk quickly. The new Coravin Model One does the same thing but at a lower price point. It’s made of ABS and synthetic rubber but otherwise uses the same Teflon-coated stainless steel needle to get through the cork and pour out wine. The Coravin Model Two on the other hand boasts a fully metal body and a thinner wall needle that allows for 20% faster pouring. The needles are narrow enough that the cork naturally reseals as they’re withdrawn, and both models use pressurized argon cartridges (good for about fifteen 5 ounce pours) that fills the bottle’s newly created empty space with this inert gas and keep the wine as fresh as a brand new untouched bottle. And if you need something a touch flashier the Model Two Elite comes in fire engine red, gold, or silver (click through to picture two), albeit at a $50 premium.
Add a modicum of smokiness to your drink with the Crafthouse Cocktail Smoking Kit. This set – created by a world-champion bartender – includes a smoke box and Polyscience smoking gun set along with two sample flavor wood chips to get started experimenting with your cocktails and liquors like whisky. The glass-and-stainless-steel box is made large to also fit taller glasses, though you can also load it with food that smokiness might complement.
Find it at Wine Enthusiast – $200
The holidays are nearly upon us, and soon advent calendars start counting down the days. But instead of sugary treats like chocolate, Drinks by the Dram’s got a bunch of Whisky Advent Calendars — amongst other non-whisky options — for the upcoming holiday season that hide one ounce of a different spirit behind each door to really get festive. Since last year the collection has grown dramatically, offering the classic 2016 Whisky Advent Calendar alongside calendars for bourbon, gin, tequila, vodka, cognac, and other themes. They’re not lacking premium options, either, with a half dozen or so choices that culminate in the The Very Old & Rare Whisky Edition filled with drams of exceedingly rare whiskies from around the world and packed in a bespoke walnut or Macassar ebony box — though these run you about ten grand each. Full lists of all included spirits available as well, but why spoil the surprise?
Grab one at Master of Malt – $103+
Create your own spirits without the fear of going blind or dying. Alkemista merges cocktail mixing and tea infusing into one beautifully designed product. It allows you to create custom infused spirits to elevate your cocktails to the next level by using fresh fruits, spices and herbs. The ultra-fine removable filter allows for capturing the flavors of fresh ingredients while eliminating the risk of unwanted particles making their way into your mouth. This is a must have tool for any aspiring DYI mixologist since it not only looks fantastic on your bar thanks to its traditional spirit bottle style — made out of high grade borosilicate glass — but is incredibly easy to use. Simply add your ingredients to the filter, let sit for anywhere between a few hours to a few weeks, remove the filter with the ingredients, and enjoy your masterpiece of a cocktail.
Hit up Kickstarter for details – $45
An impressive wine collection deserves just as impressive a storage solution. The Living Edge Wine Library is just that, laid out as wide and tall as need be — optionally so tall as to require the addition of a rollable ladder to access the highest-up bottles. Its bottle holders are made of laser-cut iron corten installed in one of a variety of finishes, including woods like oak or just more lacquered corten, and the library’s components come in six different modules that vary in size, bottles held, and bottle angle, for a better, custom-tailored fit to the room being used for storage. And for an even more impressive finish add in optional backlights.
Hit up Living Edge to learn more – $TBA
Both the original Pax and its first predecessor set the bar for loose leaf vaporizers. The Pax 3 is even better at vaporizing loose leaf, heating up to ready in just 15 seconds, and it’s also their first to work with extract as well thanks to a concentrate insert that slips into the back, held magnetically like its normal loose leaf cover. Vapor still only touches medical-grade materials the whole way along and the unit sports an accelerometer and lip sensor to know when you’re picking it up and when it’s touching your mouth, kicking up the heat to deliver thick vapor when you’re inhaling and cooling when it’s put down. It’s also Bluetooth-enabled to let you configure settings (like LED colors and heat settings) intuitively using your smartphone and comes in four colors — three not so discreet, though the device is more than good looking enough to fly under most radars.
Read more at Pax Labs – $275
Looking to eat instead of smoke? Unless you’ve been AFK for the past year you’re probably familiar with the large amount of edible options far tastier and more predictable than baking brownies. Défoncé’s Cannabis-Infused Chocolate is another to add to the list, and one that’s crafted by experienced chocolatiers who put as much care into the chocolate as they do the marijuana-fueled experience. Each one of their bars is made with high quality Fair Trade ingredients and spans a cacao range from 31% in their White to 81% in their Super Dark. The cannabis, on the other hand, is sourced from a Sierra Nevada Foothills farm and melded with oil using a CO2 extraction process that ends with an exceptionally pure cannabinoid concentrate devoid of the strong, unpleasant taste often present in edibles. The result is delicious chocolate that contains a precisely dosed, triple-checked 180mg of THC — or 10mg per pyramid or end — so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
Learn more at Défoncé Chocolatier – $20
If you take crafting your cocktails seriously enough to warrant quality spirits, don’t skimp on garnish and accessory ingredients. True Syrup makes it their mission to not only avoid chemicals and subpar ingredients but to make their syrups the pre-prohibition way. Their Tonic Syrup swaps out high fructose corn syrup and lab-derived quinine with cane sugar and Peruvian cinchona bark, integrating well with gin, vodka, or whiskey and mixing with club soda if a recipe calls for tonic water. They also make a Grenadine Syrup from real pomegranate juice instead of HFCS, cherry flavoring, and red dye, adding to ginger ale to make a mean Shirley Temple. Both are packaged in a handsome wax-stamped 375ml bottle and keep for 6+ months once opened and refrigerated, leaving you plenty of time to experiment.
Read more at True Syrups – $15