Home

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Island Escapade, In A Bottle: Tommy Bahama St. Kitts For Men


How does one establish a memory that lasts?  How does someone cultivate a memorable experience that will be comfortably burned into the brain for a lifetime?  Tastes, sounds, sights, touches and smells all conspire to make experiences the wonderments that they are.  So a little over a week ago I packed my bags and headed for a week long island vacation in the Caribbean in search of a memory that would last.  Being the fashion maven that I'd like to think I am, of course the clothes had to be right.  I'd already planned to be off of any kind of diet and had faith that the food and drinks would be sinfully and delectably right.  Trading gritty concrete and black asphalt for powdery sand and teal water was sure to be a welcomed sight and provide a much more soothing touch. 


A few weeks before my travel I had received this new handsomely bottled fragrance from Tommy Bahama called St. Kitts for Men.  I had the idea that I wouldn't even smell the fragrance until I landed at my island destination.  My hope was that experiencing Tommy Bahama St. Kitts for the first time while in this new exotic locale would leave a sweetly burned memory to keep with me even when stateside again.


The pairing was kismet.  Tommy Bahama St. Kitts seemingly captures nuances of a Caribbean island through a nice balance of blended notes.  The sweet scent in the humid Caribbean air came through in St. Kitts' fresh mandarin note while the warm briny ocean air was captured with the present note of sea salt.  Cutting the sweet and the salty was the spicily soothing cedarwood and the musky and delightfully rare ambergris.  The fragrance worked well with just a couple touches at the pulse points and was a delight to experience again when slipping on that beach tee after a fresh invigorating seaside swim.  





Tommy Bahama St. Kitts for Men is a pleasant fragrance that made my trip to an island saint of another name that much more memorable.  I first sprayed it on while getting ready to go out for dinner on my first night there and remember how nice, but also sexy, the sweet woody fragrance was as I pulled of my tee getting ready for bed that night.  The right balance always comes together to make an experience that much more memorable.  Tommy Bahama St. Kitts for Men is available now at TommyBahama.com.

**Special thanks To Deulon Lesure (IG: _Deulon) for prop styling

Monday, October 19, 2015

From The Old To The New: Makar Glasgow Gin Review


Are you currently doing what I'm doing?  Are you begrudginly going into the deep recesses of your closet to pull the Fall/Winter items to the forefront of your everyday rotation?  No?  Perhaps you can't seem to let go of that favorite tank top or perfect sun-bleached khaki short but, let's face it, Fall is here.  Now figure for a sec that you may discover what I discovered buried behind your treasured summer linen suits and shirts and find a delightful but surprisingly forgotten gem of an article of clothing that somehow became lost over the years.  For me it was a pair of full cut trousers that my dad had made for me back in college.  

Rendered by a pair of older masterful hands, those trousers are ones my dad had made tons of times, but never in the fabric of choice that I had brought to him.  I picked out a crisp yet beautifully fluid Super 150's taupe grey wool gaberdine.  Having been used to only making these pants in thicker worsteds and twills, my dad and I arrived at a nice collaboration of the full cut that I wanted and I also got a lesson in a classic trouser cut in modern fabric.  The result was superb and my underlying lesson learned was that sometimes it's better to have the knowledge and inspiration of an older learned hand to produce a combined great experience of modernity and a revered classic. 

That's kind of how I felt when sampling Makar Glasgow Gin.  Here we have a brand new, under a year old gin that's elegant, refined, crisp and bottled beautifully.  The Glasgow Distillery Company was inspired by one of Glasgow's original distilleries founded in Dundashill, Scotland in 1770.  What Glasgow Distillery took for their Makar Glasgow Gin was the focus on an intense and sophisticated flavor profile through small batching and a recipe of key local ingredients to ensure a unique and modern taste experience achieved via the way of time-honored tradition.

The result?  Makar Glasgow Gin is a really great gin to cap off my official 'Month of Gin' series.  The melange of notes come together to create this juniper-led dry gin that is fresh and dare I say sexy.  How can something taste sexy?  Well take, for example, how I sampled this gin.  Simple, clean, over the rocks with just some orange zest.  When you taste a drink with an intricate flavor profile you have to pat attention to the subtleties.  That's what makes it a sexy gin.  The subtleties are discreet, tease the tastebuds and trigger synapses in brain that case connections with the familiar and the pleasant as far as the notes go.  The citrus pop of the lemon peel, the herbal soothing of the angelica root & rosemary, the fragrant woodiness of the cassia bark and the coriander seeds and then the beautiful contradiction of the black pepper and licorice make a tantalizing and soothing cocktail.

Since I'm waxing a bit of nostalgic, I think I'll slip on those handsome trousers and fix myself another drink.  Sleek, sexy and complex with nods to classic, cultivated and familiar; that's the modern way to drink.  Makar Glasgow Gin is available now at your finer wine, spirit and liquor stores and here at bespoke spirits.net and as always, please remember to drink responsibly.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

Garnish A Bad Day With Gin: Caorunn Gin Review


Suppose the following scenario.  A hectic day at work complete with the annoying retelling of their boring weekend from that bothersome co-worker.  The draining subway commute home made even worse by the presence of the President's motorcade being in town and yet another train-halting water main break.  All this happens only to find out that you rushed out the door this morning without taking out that restaurant cut of beef you had intended to enjoy for dinner.  Chinese take-out it is; however, you called and they just ran out of the crispy duck special which is the only reason you keep their menu on-hand anyway.  So what now?  What allows you to salvage the day since, let's face it, you're going right back to it tomorrow?  A satisfying cocktail!

Such a cocktail doesn't always require a trip to the bar, it could be that you walk over to your liquor cabinet.  To combat such a day, think special, think characteristic, think comforting and think unique. This is, as I dubbed last week, the official 'Month of Gin' and I recently discovered a delightfully great gin that makes a good end of the day cocktail so redeeming.  That gin is Caorunn.

Caorunn Gin is a small batch gin.  If that means nothing to you then think of it in this way.  Just as you may take pride in knowing that some items in your closet are made locally or lovingly with skilled artisanal hands, small batch simply refers to making strides to handcraft a gin to have more control over the unique and a distinguished flavor true to the original aesthetic.

As is the case with Caorunn Gin, this aesthetic boasts handcrafting from pure grains and time-honored Celtic botanicals.  So I can take all this into consideration when mixing that cocktail or I can just know that if you've been making gin since 1824 then you're doing something right. So I went over to my living room bar and gave this recipe a go:

Caorunn Perfect Serve G & T

1 part Caorunn Gin
2 parts premium tonic water
Red apples slices for garnish

Mix in a balloon glass with ice 

The result?  A pretty great gin and tonic.  It was smooth and the finish was crisp with an underlying note of sweet that only left me refreshed.  The presence of the red apple garnish played nicely with the drink as part of Caorunn Gin's flavor profile actually consists of Scotland's coul blush apple variety.  How fitting to enjoy a perfect G & T from a company that has taken pride in perfecting their gin to make sure, perhaps, that a less than perfect day could end up on such a delicious note.

Caorunn Gin is available at your fine wine, spirit and liquor retailers and as always please remember to enjoy responsibly.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Quite Sartorial In Spirit: Tanqueray Bloomsbury Limited Edition London Dry Gin Review


So for no other reason than that I was a bit on tequila overload this summer, I hereby dub this October the 'Month of Gin'.  Why gin?  Well, why not?  Let's chalk it up to the fact that this colder weather sends me back over to 'that' side of my closet again.  You know that side where all the flannels, chunky knits, down-quilted this, Harris Tweed that and double-faced wools live.  The overcoat has a place off of its seasonal hanger again and my fedoras and driver caps can comfortably perch atop my head again without fear of sweat.  In other words, its the classic time for what really says menswear to shine.  A man can't step out in a handsomely tailored overcoat, spongily cozy cable knit sweater, perfectly cropped grey flannel trousers and this season's coveted camel Chelsea boot and not feel like the ultimate gentleman.  So my gin-dubbing exists since nothing a gent can hold in his hand besides an attaché or cashmere-lined gloves says more gent than a perfect gin cocktail.  

Many gins exist, but if I have peak double-breasted lapels and longwing brogues on the brain, then it stands to reason that the benchmark of gins lie in the hands of London's own Tanqueray.  A perfect dry gin, Tanqueray has served to become the gentleman's gin.  This year it has gone on to tantalize blokes with Tanqueray Bloomsbury.  

Part of what makes Tanqueray Bloomsbury special is its history.  This recipe was originally crafted by Charles Waugh Tanqueray in the 1880s who improved upon his family's recipe with added elements, the biggest of which being Italian berries, coriander, angelica and classically juniper berries.  The result, named after the city where Charles' developed the recipe, is a smooth and crisp flavor with a hidden pop of sweetness.  However, the dry low-key tartness of the gin is preserved to create a flavor profile that is familiar with a twist.  The underlying notes of coriander and angelica usher in a fresh, dare I say slightly herbal, flavor that balances perfectly with the berries without sacrificing the essence of the gin.

For my sampling of this delightful gin, I kept it nice and easy which allowed me to experience the true heart of the flavor.  I enjoyed Tanqueray Bloomsbury with a a touch of soda and a combination of Meyer lemon and lime zests.  It was very soothing and delicious and quite distinguished in its finish.  So distinguished in fact, I slipped on a herringbone topper and enjoyed the rest of my glass while flipping through my Fall Mens September issues.  Hey, it's what gents do!

Tanqueray Bloomsbury is a Limited Edition offering and available now at your finer wine, spirit and liquor retailers worldwide.