Lacking the foresight to stock glasses in the freezer, the Beer Glass Froster was seemingly designed just for us. Clamp one to your table or bar and hit the spout to instantly chill a beer glass or mug to ice-cold temperatures, inviting for any beer best served chilled. A blue LED also lights up the glass while in use, powered by a trifecta of AAA batteries. However, using the froster requires a CO2 tank which, while inexpensive, isn’t really helping much in the overall price department.
What’s the point of baking if you can’t plaster your attribution all over the resulting fare? That’s the idea behind Valek’s Personalized Rolling Pins, each made from beech wood with repeating patterns laser engraved across their rolling surface. Choose amongst a variety of patterns – including dinosaurs, dogs, cats, and geometric shapes – or customize one yourself, with “Made by” followed by your (or your brand’s) name. No word on how difficult it is for them to laser engrave a logo or graphic onto one, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Making one or two large ice cubes at a time is fine and dandy if you drink alone. Otherwise, Lékué’s XL Ice Cube Tray is bound to be of some help. This ice cube tray makes seven large 1.57-inch cubes that, while not quite as big as those made by some other devices, more than make up for it in numbers. It’s easy to use – just pour water until attaining the fill line, then snap the top on – and is ideal for stuffing with fruits and candy before freezing for making ice a little more interesting (and tasty).
Pick one up on Amazon – $18
Short of planning a wine tasting night, our experimentation with wines of the world usually consists of one cheap bottle arduously consumed over supper at a BYOW, leaving us none more cultured in the long term (and especially not over the ensuing hours). Wineist aims to change that, and without spending a fortune or doing things you’ll later regret. Wineist’s monthly wine tasting kits are mailed to your doorstep regularly, each containing six themed samples – 50ml each for the Solo tasting pack, or 187.5ml for the Group pack – of expertly handpicked wines from around the world. And if your wine experiences thus far have been limited to the bottles sold by your convenience store, you need Wineist more than you think.
Learn more at Wineist – $20+ per month
We’ve seen our share of portable grills. But are any remotely close to topping UCO’s Grilliput Portable Camping Grill when it comes to portability? Not a chance. With a 10.2 by 9.1 inch square cooking area, this grill handles lightweight loads with ease, but really stands out thanks to its tube inside a tube design: all parts fit within the largest tube, which then screws shut to keep everything tidy and secured for transport. A cleaning groove facilitates scraping soiled rods and all stainless steel parts are dishwasher safe for a more thorough – and thoroughly lazy – cleaning. Granted, it takes a couple of minutes longer to set up than your typical grill, but the fact that it fits into even the smallest daypacks is compensation enough.
Unsurprisingly, expressing one’s love for creating something usually entails handmaking small batches, meticulously perfecting each step of the process, and putting quality before profit. And No. 6 Depot is about precisely that. This Massachusetts-based small batch coffee roaster and café carefully sources their coffee before prepping and roasting, using a combination of passion, expertise and experimentation rather than computers and software that would otherwise treat each distinct imported batch as equal. They’ll sell you twelve varieties, of them one decaf and one organic, that are all perfect for brewing a little morning pick me up (to be repeated again four times throughout the day).
A 2012 Red Dot Design winner – ’nuff said – the Pop Up grill is amongst the most practical portable barbecues we’ve come across. Expand its collapsible body to cook some grub over charcoal contained within, or ditch the bottom entirely to grill over a campfire. Its three legs add versatility and also flip upwards to double as hooks for hanging the grill instead. And when all’s said and done and the grill’s cooled off, pack it into the included carrying case, then walk or ride home.
Learn more at Pop Up Grill - roughly $49
Sriracha’s play at culinary domination continues with Sriracha Pringles. This gem of a chip brings with it Pringles’ signature crispy aspect but for the first time also packs a sriracha-evocative punch thanks to a combination of garlic, red peppers, vinegar, and more – ingredients close in essence to what goes into sriracha. Of course, pouring sriracha on plain Pringles is still a viable option in a pinch, and one we definitely plan on making use of.
Nothing adds a touch of low-class to a barbecue or tailgate like a flimsy styrofoam cooler. While that’s not to say there isn’t a time and place for everything, Williams-Sonoma’s Red Cedar Wood Cooler lies on the opposite end of that spectrum. Its removable plastic cooler insert is completely disguised thanks to a handcrafted Western red cedar chest around it, complete with legs to raise the goods within, antique iron handles, a built-in bottle opener, and a hydraulic shock absorber to prevent the lid from accidentally slamming shut. Throw in an extra fifty bucks and they’ll even engrave it for you with up to 15 characters, though we’ll just need four to spell the beverage we’ll fill it with.
Meet Paris-based English designer Lee West’s latest product, the Nomu Tea Set. This small collection includes a ceramic teapot with a lock system that holds the lid in place while pouring, ceramic tea cups, and a removable heat-resistant cork sleeve that both keeps the teapot’s contents piping hot while remaining cool to the touch. It successfully embodies the mantra of Lee West’s company that good design is bought to be used and compliment the art of living, and we’ll drink (tea, of course) to that.