These aren’t Superman’s tackle, a Jan Fonda workout or a bar bet gone too far. Balls of Steel are no joke. Everyone knows that ice melts, and every whiskey or single malt connoisseur knows that melted ice means destroyed aromas and a diluted less flavorful libation. Giant ice cubes and cold soap stones were a step in the right direction, but where they fall short, Balls of Steel dominate. The secret is the Artic Core that is ready to chill after just 90 minutes in the freezer. Once dropped into your favorite whiskey, Balls of Steel chill your drink to the perfect temperature — and keep it there — to accentuate all the complex flavors inherent in your chosen distilled beverage. Each set comes with two balls, tongs, and a storage sack. Plus, with each purchase, 15% of proceeds go to testicular cancer awareness initiatives.
Titanium. Named for the primeval race of immortal giant deities descended from Gaia and Uranus, and a composite material for armor plating, spacecraft, missiles and the Titanium Funnel Flask. But the titanium construction of this holder of spirits isn’t the prime feature of this one of a kind vessel; it’s the unique filling apparatus built into the flask itself. If you’ve ever filled a flask – and what groomsman hasn’t – you know that even if it comes with a funnel, after the first fill the funnel is long gone and subsequent refills are prone to making sticky hands and wasted hooch. The integrated silicone funnel of the Titanium Funnel Flask makes sure you’re never without an easy, spill-proof filling method again. To fill, simply flip the funnel up, then flip it down when filling is complete. No funnel to lose and no plastic or metallic aftertaste. And with almost a third of a fifth capacity (8 oz., or 5 generous shots), you’ll be ready to make any event more interesting.
At first glance, it mightn’t be obvious what puts VapeXhale’s Cloud Evo above its competitors. Sure, this a tabletop vaporizer is without a control panel that looks like it was pulled from the space shuttle, intuitively employing a simple switch and temperature dial instead. But more importantly, it boasts an all-glass vapor path to spare you from any imparted taste, PerpetuHeat technology that quickly adapts to changes in airflow to provide consistent heat for abundantly thick vapor, and uses a variety of distinct HydraTubes that cool, diffuse, and moisten the vapor to varying degrees for a smoother hit. The end result? A ludicrously powerful, well-balanced vaporizer that will extract all the good stuff out of your loose leaf and deliver quality vapor quite unlike anything you’ve experienced.
Learn more at VapeXhale – $450+
So you’ve already made your own beer before tackling gin and wine. Sake’s next. Norse Hutchen’s Sake Making Kit covers just about everything you need to brew one gallon batches of your own sake, including a one gallon glass carboy, siphoning apparatus, tubing, yeast, short-grain rice, and fermenting bucket. Just add one pound of white raisins, 2.5 pounds of sugar, and a bit of elbow grease before enjoying large batches of your own homemade rice wine.
Take your bartending seriously? Then gear up with tools that are up to par. Über Bar Tools’ ProBostonRoll Delux includes an end-to-end, 17-piece set of bartending tools needed to take on the creation of most any cocktail. Tools include their ProStirrer, Endoblade bottle opener, ProCrush muddler and ice crusher, ProJig trilobal measurer, ProFlow speed pourer, Juliep strainer, and much more, all organized nicely within a handy water-resistant roll case with shoulder strap.
Cooling spirits with ice spheres beats using cubes by a mile, especially when it comes to dilution, but most ice sphere makers can’t make more than one, maybe two spheres tops at a time. That’s why Wintersmiths set out to change all that with the Ice Chest. Slim and made of silicone, BPA-free plastic and EPE foam, Ice Chest forms up to four ice spheres at once, enough for you plus a few guests. And, unlike most store-bought ice sphere makers, each ball is crystal clear and perfectly formed, even when using plain old tap water.
Find it at Kickstarter – $85
Why shoot from disposable plastic cups when there’s a better option in your pocket? Alexander Wang’s four-pack of shot glasses come with their own black snakeskin zippered pouch and deploy it an instant to up the baller factor in your drinking. Each glass is made of 100% stainless steel with a pale gold finish that matches that on the case’s zipper. Carry a set alongside your favorite flask to celebrate even the smallest victories alongside three friends, no matter where you find yourself.
Grab a set at Alexander Wang – $115
Glasgow, Scotland is known for Rugby’s favorite Glasgow Warriors and Malcom Young (as close to AC/DC as Scotland will ever come). And now also the Leather Flask Case. Handcrafted in Scotland, this piece is a collaboration between a pewter business founded six decades ago and a traditional Scottish company that produces some of the finest kilt belts and accessories available. Premium leather from a three generation tanner makes this accessory a must-have – at least, if you own the manufacturer’s 4-ounce pewter flask. Get rid of that paper bag and carry your single malt in style.
Enjoying craft beer shouldn’t mean scrambling to empty your growler within 48 hours after opening. The Synek Draft System uses vacuum-sealed, UV-shielded bags instead of kegs to hold your beer, keeping its contents fresh for upwards of 30 days after filling. Swapping bags in the portable dispenser is quick and easy, done by unplugging and replugging just two valves, meaning you can quickly switch to other beers on a whim. Otherwise, the dispenser handles cooling, pressurizing using CO2, and pouring via its straightforward tap system – just keep the 1-gallon bags coming.
Go pledge at Kickstarter – $300
For years there have been specialty glasses to bring out the finest in wines, liquors, cordials, and scotches. Now beer can be added to that list. The Fuji Glass was designed by famed Suzuki Keita and features a distinctive shape reminiscent of Mt. Fuji, a symbol of Japan. Recipient of the Tokyo Midtown Award and commercialized from Sugawara art glass, now you can own this piece of functional art. Exquisite thinness highlights your beers golden bubbles and reflects and refracts the morning sun – if you drink in the morning – or the afternoon blaze. Each 280ml glass comes in its own private wooden paulownia box, a nicety that we’d expect at this price point.
Check it out at Amazon – $105