In Fragrances Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male In The Navy Mens mens fragrances Mens Issues Mens lifestyle Product Review

High Seas, Higher Scent: Jean Paul Gaultier 'Le Male: In The Navy'

Personal space is hard to come by at times in this sprawling, sometimes annoying, oftentimes unforgivable metropolis.  Whether you are wedged in between sweaty pits and halitosis in a subway car or trekking to an event in a part of town that properly functioning sewer system forgot, sometimes our only personal space is the inside of our jackets or the crooks of our arms.  Which is why when you live in New York City you have to be happy that there exists things like colognes to act as those necessary scented little reliefs the rest on our skin, cling to our hairs and chill on our collars.  Tantamount to music in our headphones and games on our phones, our escapes can surely be in the form what we dab on our wrists and pat behind our ears.

When I find a good scent, I rejoice.  Speaking as someone loves the versatility of clothing just as much as fragrances, I was thrilled to discover Jean Paul Gaultier's  'Le Male: In The Navy'.  The Parisian wunderkind improves upon his signature Le Male with this new exciting scent that has basenotes of peppermint, vanilla, ambergris and fougere for an outcome that's sweet without being overpowering.  I chose to test this fragrance out this past weekend on what was a very crisp iconic New York Fall day.  What I found was that the sweetness balanced so nicely with the verdant airy freshness of the mint and fougere.  There was also this underlying hint of musk and spiciness that rounded this out to be a great day-to-evening fragrance and a perfect one to start out that clean Fall morning.  

The spirit of the seas is appropriately present in Jean Paul Gaultier's 'Le Male: In The Navy' with the breezy and sweet air-kissed effect of this fragrance.  It still clings to the lightweight scarf I wore that morning perhaps as a perfect set-up to use it as another escape from the city's ill-scented moments.  Jean Paul Gaultier 'Le Male: In The Navy' is available now exclusively at select Macy's stores nationwide and at

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In Freemans Sporting Club Made To Measure Mens Fashion Mens lifestyle Menswear Tailoring

Be About That Custom Suit Life: Freemans Sporting Club Made To Measure October Event

The seasons have changed.  As is customary, now is the time to think about replacing those shorts &  sandals with boots & chukkas or covering up those concert tees with Fall toppers.  However, now is also the time to start taking a look at those suits again as some of you may have lost or gained inches during the barbecue & beer heavy or fitness & fair-weather months.  

We often need to adjust the tailoring of our suitings if our bodies adjust to our lifestyles.  When all else fails, it's time for a new crop of single or double breasted, Super 180's or flannels and windowpane or nailshead.  Well starting today until the 27th of October, Freemans Sporting Club, that boutique-inspired suave  menswear haven of grooming, dressing and pampering is offering a cool 20% of all of their Made To Measure Suiting.  Then to sweeten the deal and coax you away from making do with those sometimes ill-fitting off the rack deals, they are making that 20% into 30% for all first time customers and referrers.  There's no excuse now to not get fitted for the season.  Call 212.673.3209 or email to make an appointment and be about that customer fit life.  Freeman Sporting Club is located at 8 Rivington Street New York, NY 10002.

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In Alcohol Review Cocktails Drinks Entertaining Food and Drink Koskenkorva Vodka Mens lifestyle National Vodka Day Recipes

Vodka For The Win: Koskenkorva Vodka for National Vodka Day Oct 4th

Rounding out my very necessary acknowledgment of National Vodka Day is a vodka that pulls from the land to give you a quality-crafted spirit.  Koskenkorva Vodka is a delightful vodka whose clean and pure flavor comes through which mirrors the raw materials and hands that came together to assemble it.  Pure Finnish water, good well-harvested barley and the tenured hands of a simple village collective conspired to give this vodka a refreshingly smooth taste.  There's no new age technology or witchcraft in this process, just honest passionate hands that use what nature has wrought to bring you a notable vodka.

So if you haven't left work yet or left work early and are on your way to the pub, let me keep the celebration going by offering up a simple sweet cocktail made with the remarkable Koskenkorva Vodka that you may want to pick up a give a try to.  I call this The Ginger-Rosemary Finnish.

The Ginger-Rosemary Finnish

3 ounces          Koskenkorva Vodka
1 ounce            Simple Syrup (I used raw coconut sugar for mine, so its a bit darker)
4 sprigs            Fresh Rosemary
3-4 slices         Fresh cut Ginger Root
Juice of 1/2 a fresh cut lemon

Put the rosemary and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker and muddle the ingredients.  Make sure to muddle well as rosemary takes a bit more elbow grease to release the essence of the flavor.  Next add the syrup and ginger and now muddle the contents again this time for only about 15-20 seconds.  Then fill the shaker with 2/3 of ice cubes and the vodka.  Cover and shake vigorously for 30-40 seconds.  Strain contents into a martini glass and garnish with a sprig of rosemary and enjoy.  (Note:  You may want to double strain into the glass to avoid rosemary and ginger pieces that may have separated during muddling).
The purity of the vodka delivers its kick but also allows the slight pepper punch of the ginger together with the herbal essence of the rosemary to shine.

This cocktail brings my salutes to National Vodka Day to a close but definitely try out Koskenkorva Vodka at your finer wine and spirit retailers and as always please remember to enjoy responsibly.  

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In Alcohol Review Cocktails Deep Eddy Vodka Drinks Food and Drink Mens Issues Mens lifestyle National Vodka Day Recipes

A Star Shines From Austin: Deep Eddy Vodkas

Do we really need National Days?  When you realize all the objects, rituals, food and drinks set aside to be honored in this country you may ask 'why'.  Why bless 'taffy apples', 'taking a chance' or 'fried scallops' with a day set aside while parts of the nation and its infrastructure need the attention and concern of the masses?  Well, that's kind of why we need national days.  Life can get heavy and while much of it needs our constant attention, all work and adulting with no play makes Jack a dull boy.  Sometimes in between saving the planet, fighting for gender equality and standing up against police brutality one has to stay mindful that there is joy in those less tense times in life where devouring a good donut, remembering the help of your custodial staff or enjoying a nice vodka neat reminds you in part what it's all for.  

I've always said that I don't really need to find a reason to enjoy a nice cocktail.  The reasons just always seems to keep coming on their own.  So since National Vodka Day is tomorrow you can enjoy a vodka cocktail to toast making it through your work day.  We all have a reason (or can find one).  To help you figure things out, I'd like to tell you about the amazing vodkas of Deep Eddy.  This brand comes straight out of Austin, Texas and is handcrafted in small batches which is like the highbrow quality control within the spirits industry to ensure a top notch flavor adherence.  

First up is Deep Eddy Vodka, a smooth fresh vodka that's been distilled 10 times.  Think more pure and clean than overkill.  Using temperature-controlled column stills, Deep Eddy Vodka is created in an ideal environment for obtaining a rich vodka and is filtered 4 times through charcoal filters with the finest local water.  The end result is a clean vodka with no waste and a surprisingly smooth finish that stands alone or perfectly adds life to a cocktail.  Next, Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka is like a naughty refreshing lemonade with a tremendous kick.  Take the great craftsmanship of the classic original and only now infuse it with real lemon, not lemon-like substitutes, and what you en up with is this really tasty vodka that already comes with an all-natural tart citrus edge.  

What's great about these Deep Eddy varieties is that the work is already in the bottle to ensure a flavor profile that behaves neutrally like vodka but impresses more significantly to distinguish itself from other brands.  So of course I had to test these vodkas out with two great cocktails.  First up, Deep Eddy Vodka shines in what I call a PomPom Martini.  

PomPom Martini 

2 ounces           Deep Eddy Vodka
1 1/2 ounces    Orange Liqueur (like Triple Sec)
2 tsps                Pomegranate Molasses
1 tsp                  Fresh Lemon Juice

Fill cocktail shaker with 2/3 ice then add all of the ingredients, cover and shake vigorously for about 40 seconds.  Pour cocktail through a strainer into a martini glass then garnish with lemon zest and about 1 teaspoon full of fresh pomegranate seeds (which are now in season).

I had to tweak this cocktail at first as the molasses is more potent than I thought but the measurement I suggest will make a great cocktail.  The weight and sweetness of the molasses is nicely balanced with the citrus pop of the triple sec and lemon juice.  The vodka pulls it all together with that mature flavor that hangs in there to simultaneously tone down yet unify all the ingredients.  Next up, Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka come through in a Garden Citrus Gimlet.

Garden Citrus Gimlet

2 1/2 ounces           Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka
1/2 ounce                Simple Syrup (I used raw coconut sugar so my syrup was dark)
4                               Sprigs of mint
4                               Large basil leaves
Juice of half a fresh lime

Place mint, basil simple syrup and lime juice in the cocktail shaker and muddle very well.  Let the muddled mixture stand for about 5 minutes to let the flavors meld.  Then fill the shaker with 2/3 ice and then add the vodka, cover and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.  Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a small sprig of mint and a small piece of basil.  

First off, this turned out better than I expected.  It was so verdant with the presence of the fresh herbs and they played so harmoniously with the natural lemon kick of the vodka.  One note: the muddling may cause tiny pieces of mint and basil to flow through the cocktail strainer.  If you'd rather have no herb pieces then you may want to use a second strainer when pouring into the glass.

Deep Eddy Vodkas are interesting alone or grouped with great accompanying ingredients and are perfect reasons to imbibe of National Vodka Day or maybe simply just because it's Thursday.  Whatever your reason, make sure to please enjoy responsibly.  Deep Eddy Vodkas are available now at your finer wine and spirit retailers.

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In Album Release Jon Batiste Mens lifestyle Mens Style Music New York City Events Product Review

Play It Again Jon: "Hollywood Africans" by Jon Batiste Album Release

Like balancing a coffee, bagel, smartphone and laptop bag all while holding onto a subway pole and standing clear of the closing doors, part of the New Yorker's modus operandi seems to be how well they can appear unimpressed.  Some of us get lost in our newspapers, become binge-watching zombies glued to our phones and some, like me, lose themselves in their headphones letting their playlists create a soundtrack to their day and be a rival to the noisy Metropolis.  How interesting that on hectic days afterwork many of us need the sounds of something soothing and relaxing while on our way to a night on the town we may substitute that easy listening for some thumping dubstep.  What we plug into our ears takes us away, if only for a while, and somehow gives us the hope through chord and crescendo that where we have taken our minds to is not that far off from reality.  

I think of this when I think of jazz.  The creative distortion of classical instruments, in the hands of the oppressed and the maligned created a unique musical voice in order to cope, express and communicate their cry, their message and their worth.  The beautiful discords, the irreverent tempos, the enigmatic segues and the brooding breakdowns all conspire to create an experience that in one song can take you from feeling dreary to feeling quite optimistic.  Enter Jon Batiste, who last Thursday rounded out a day of ups, downs, ins and outs for me with a release party for his new album  Hollywood Africans".  

What Mr. Batiste does to those piano keys along with the honey-coated vibrato of his voice conjures up a splendid harmony of instruments both man-made and nature-made.  He is a talented musician who understands and most of all respects what music's past has created for him.  With that, he creates homages and sounds that not only add to our soundtracks but also gives hope that talent and passion are not dead.  Hollywood Africans explores Batiste's jazzy, haunting, relaxing and moody sound through remakes of classics like "What A Wonderful World" and "The Very Thought Of You" along with moody and reflective new gems like "Don't Stop" and "Is It Over".  What struck me as I listened to Mr. Batiste's set that night was how the musical perspective of someone who is talented and driven can make the problematic and the tense seem manageable and more at ease.  I guess that's the sweet satisfaction that when we plug in to tune out sometimes we can discover the best reasons to tune in.  

Hollywood Africans is out now and available on and the iTunes store.

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In Alcohol Review Cocktails Drinks Entertaining mens interests Mens lifestyle National Vodka Day Recipes Seagram's Extra Smooth Vodka

Your Fall Should Be As Crisp As Your Vodka: Seagram's Extra Smooth Vodka

Those leaves outside my window are changing.  The rotation of Spring jackets have moved from the far left in the closet to front & center for their Autumnal reawakening.  Suddenly those shorts seem passé and I'm no longer keeping the AC on blast during my workout sessions.  As the Fall rears its moodily colorful, crisper more harvest-like head, up-ahead ushers the seasonal usuals like Halloween, Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving, but let's be honest.  Those days don't get me through the influx of inter-office seasonal coughs, sneezes and colds.  Further, those days certainly don't get me through the pandemic-like flu-shot announcements much less the upcoming ideas of holiday shopping leading to post-holiday debt.  That's predominantly why since 2009 there has been a National Vodka Day.

That crisp spirit that remains colorless and odorless until it's imbibed, then becomes full of color and festivity is being officially paid homage to on October 4th.  While this Thursday will not trump the frightful revelry of Halloween, the honor & salute of Veteran's Day or the gluttonous camaraderie of Thanksgiving, what it will do is remind you that there's a good ol' spirit to make the emotions of Fall that less annoying.  

So to start off my lead in to National Vodka Day is Seagram's Extra Smooth Vodka.  This vodka lives up to its name by being distilled five times to create a very clean taste that is free from the medicinal muddiness of some vodkas.  The finest pure American grain is used for this vodka which, together with the distilling process, creates a rather fresh and classic tasting spirit.  You can experience the clean crispness at first sip and even get a faint lingering note of sweet after it clears the palette.  This makes Seagram's Extra Smooth Vodka a great standalone on the rocks or an excellent base for a cocktail that won't add any unnecessary notes to the palette other than the purity of the spirit with the flavors of the additional mixology ingredients.  

Seagram's Extra Smooth Vodka can make a perfect vodka neat, vodka & soda or vodka & cran but I chose to revisit one of my faves with it, a dirty martini.  Check out the recipe for a Martini Noir below:  

Martini Noir

2 ounces          Seagram's Extra Smooth Vodka
1/2 tsp             Dry Vermouth
1/4 ounce        Kalamata Olive Juice ( use 1/2 - 3/4 ounces of you want it very dirty)

Combine the vodka, dry vermouth and olive juice to a shaker with ice.  Shake it up then strain into a  martini glass and garnish with about 3 kalamata olives on a cocktail skewer (5 if you like the drink dirtier I do).  Normally you just bob and stab the olives but I took a tad of artistic licensing with mine.

This was such a nice dirty martini.  The brininess of the kalamata juice is a saltier and earthier and a nice balance to fragrant vermouth and the smoothness of the vodka.

So you've now been briefed of an unofficial holiday that'll get you through the sometimes depressing start of Fall all the way to the rustling in of Halloween.  Seagrams Extra Smooth Vodka is available now at your finer wine and spirit retailers and as always please remember to enjoy responsibly.

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