Fool your guests into thinking you've been taking serious Mixology classes by busting out these White Whale Bold Cocktail Mixers at your next gathering. Available in three styles, each of these mixers is formulated for pairing with a specific liquor — vodka, gin, or bourbon — and features top-notch ingredients like organic lemon, lime, and orange, youngberry, lychee, clove, rosemary, and even Siberian fir.
It's one thing to infuse some liquor with peppers to add a little spice, but normally adding hot sauce to your drink is a surefire way to make sure it doesn't taste quite right. Which is why they make Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub. Similar to bitters, this concentrated syrup is fortified with alcohol to better extract the flavors of the spices, and is perfect for adding a solid kick of heat to any cocktail. Just don't go overboard — normally just a couple of drops will do the trick.
Whether you want to liven up your family's dull holiday get-together, or be the life of the party when your high school classmates gather together over break, the Tumi Mixology Backpack ($700) will carry all the supplies you need. This backpack features coated Italian canvas construction with leather trim, and comes with all the gear you need to mix up a range of cocktails (gear like one- and two-ounce jiggers, a shaker, and a mixing spoon). It also sports plenty of additional pockets, slots, and sleeves to accommodate every bottle, mixer, and garnish you could ever need.
Visiting trendy cocktail bars can give you the opportunity to taste some impressive concoctions, but sometimes the price of one of these drinks can be tough to swallow. The Molecular Mixology Kit ($60) gives you the opportunity to recreate some of those high end cocktails in the privacy of your own home, and for a fraction of the price. The kit includes five pre-measured food additives, three specialized molecular tools as well as a 30-recipe DVD to help you keep your drink choices varied. So make room in the lab and add some intensity and new flavor to your cocktails.
It's a delicate goal, and one that most men spend the majority of their young lives trying to achieve, the much-sought-after work-life balance. You get up early for your job, work until late, and head out to meet friends for drinks — only to get up the next day and do it all again. With Ficks Cocktail Fortifiers ($15), you can maintain that careful balance, without feeling like crap after an overindulgent night. Each of these bottles (available in ginger, lemon, and lime) mixes deliciously with your favorite cocktail, and contains all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to get you going the next day.
You all know by now that locally-brewed beer is on the rise, and there are few things better than heading to your local brewery and grabbing a growler of your favorite fresh beer. With the Miir Growler ($60), you get that same great experience made better with inspired design. While most growlers are made of glass (or worse, plastic), these are made of stainless steel, and feature double-wall insulation, so your beer stays cold for up to 24 hours without it ever seeing a fridge. The threadless closure on the clamping lid means that your beer stays carbonated much longer, and provides an added bonus of making it easier to clean. In addition to getting a better growler, each purchase also helps people — they donate part of the profit from each sale to help with clean drinking water.
As part of an attempt to target an emerging market of guys who want to recreate the kind of premium draft beer experience they get at a bar, in their own homes, there's the Krups Heineken Sub ($TBA). This device, part beer cooler, part draft pouring machine, is made as a partnership between Heineken and Krups (known for their at-home coffee brewers), and works as a dispenser for a beer container known as a "torp." Each "torp" — short for torpedo — is delivered to your door, contains two liters of beer, and is available in a range of beer varieties. All you need to do is insert it into the Sub, close the hatch, and start pouring cold beer.
With Halloween just around the corner, there's still time to step your party game up a bit with a Pumpkin Tap Kit ($30). It might just be the best way possible to pour your favorite autumnal beer, pumpkin-flavored or otherwise. All you need to make your own pumpkin keg is a big, hollowed-out pumpkin, and this kit -- it's that easy. The faucet is made of brass with a chrome finish, and features a lever for easy pouring, as well as an easy-to-assemble three-inch shank.
Yes, there is something to be said for the time-consuming, careful, meticulous process of home brewing your own all-grain beer — but for those of us who don't have hours (even days) to spend brewing beer, there's the PicoBrew Zymatic ($3,000). This device takes all the equipment typical of a home brewing setup and consolidates it into one counter-top appliance capable of brewing virtually any style of beer imaginable. All you need to do to create repeatable, delicious beer batch after batch is fill the compartmentalized filter box with grain and hops, top off your keg with water, choose your recipe, and go. A few hours later, you're ready to add yeast to your wort, let it ferment, and carbonate. You'll be drinking in no time.
Give your next batch of home-brewed beer just the right amount of barrel-aged flavor with these used Homebrew Whiskey Barrels ($90). These barrels were used to age Texas-distilled blue corn whiskey for six months, making them ideal for containing your favorite barley wine, porter, or stout. Each five-gallon barrel is made from American white oak, and has been charred on the inside for an excellent smoky taste. They come with a stand and a rubber bung. They're available in very limited quantities, so pick one up while you still can.
Pour ice-cold shots of your favorite anise-flavored liqueur just like they do out at the bar with the Jagermeister Shotmeister ($200). This tap machine houses a single 750 milliliter or one-liter bottle, dispensing perfectly-portioned shots of Jagermeister chilled down to below zero degrees. It's also small enough to fit under the average kitchen cabinet, so it won't occupy too much space in your home bar or kitchen. It's energy efficient — using as much power as a home lightbulb — and requires no assembly, so you can start drinking right away.
If you liked their Alligator Skin Whiskey Flask, you're really going to like the Coach x Billy Reid Kentucky Cocktail Set ($600). This smooth black leather case comes packed with everything you need to make a cocktail on the move — three flasks, two shot glasses, a bar spoon, a napkin, and a folding knife — and features an attractive custom-designed liner. Each piece straps in to its own place, keeping them secure so you can carry it with you anywhere. All you need to add is the booze.