Holiday Cure-All: The Hot Toddy

Toddy Long

Ahhh, the holidaze. It was a long flight back home, and the two rows separating you from the sneezing, coughing family does not seem like it was enough to protect you from the imminent cold coming on. Perhaps a day of sledding with your brothers, sisters, nieces and nephew didn’t help the cause. Regardless, it’s Christmas Eve and you’d like a little something to help ward off any ill effects of your holidays at home.

Enter the Hot Toddy. Warmth from both base and spirit will soon get you right. Our favorite recipe is terribly easy; Hot water, high quality honey (the darker the better, we love local Seattle Ballard Bee Company), lemon, either a dash of cinnamon or a small amount of clove, and Bourbon that you would drink neat. We’ve also used Brandy or Cognac (so smooth), Rum (a little sweet for our taste), even Grappa or Eau de Vie (whoa, nelly).  All measurements are essentially to taste, though one mustn’t go too far on the Spirit so as to offset the medicinal effect of the drink. As simple as a Toddy can be, you want to do it right; use only the best ingredients you can as a cheaper substitute will impart poor flavor and quickly flaw your midwinter warm up.

Find your balance of flavor, experiment with your favorite spirit of choice, and share your favorite recipe with us! You never know when another cold might be coming on.

Hot Toddies shown in True Farmhouse Stein with Rustic Holiday Slate Coasters.

Holiday Gift Guide for the Home Bartender

2013 Gift Guide for the Bartender

  1. 1. Recipe Shaker
  2. 2. Scrappy’s Bitters
  3. 3. Marquis Liquor Decanter
  4. 4. Striped Straws
  5. 5. Colossal Ice Cube Tray
  6. 6. Stainless Steel Muddler
  7. 7. Vista Double Jigger
  8. 8. Capatoo Bottle Opener
  9. 9. Festive Flasks
  10. 10. Glacier Rocks

Holiday Gift Guide for Wine Lovers

  1. 1. Metallic Holiday Stoppers;
  2. 2. Whirl Aerating Wine Glasses;
  3. 3. Classic Decanter;
  4. 4. Twist Adjustable Aerator;
  5. 5. Wine Stem Springs;
  6. 6. Festive Waiter’s Corkscrews;
  7. 7. Kingsley Penguin Corkscrew;
  8. 8. Digital Wine Thermometer;
  9. 9. Bottle Gift Box;
  10. 10. ZinZig Wine Tasting Trivia Game;
  11. 11. Eiffel Tower Cork Holder

Honor Your Wine by Decanting

decanters blog

Whether enjoying a cellared vintage, special occasion bottle, or everyday table wine, the one unifying trait is how beneficial decanting is. Aside from the obvious benefit of introducing oxygen and allowing a wine to reveal the layers beyond the first blush, there are other uses as well. The impressive style of presenting a decanted wine to your guests, no matter how casual the gathering, gives your wine a special place on the table – especially for the holiday season! It shows that you care enough to pay attention to the small details. When serving older vintages, you are able to reduce the amount of sediment that would otherwise end up in a glass. When serving younger vintages, a sneak peek is allowed, showing how a wine might evolve with time in the cellar.

When decanting, always take the time to decant older wines with a gentle hand, and don’t be afraid to use a little vigor with younger vintages. Certain whites benefit from decanting as well; youthful higher end Burgundy and Chablis, and the sweet wines of Sauternes almost always do well with a little air.

When wine is decanted, guests are more likely to finish the bottle rather than pour it back into the original container. So go ahead – pick up that extra bottle and enjoy!

The “New” Wine Industry

For many years, wine was branded for, and consumed by, the higher echelon of the American population. People flaunted the brands that they drank. A vineyard’s reputation was as important as consumer’s enjoyment of the actual wine fillings his or her glass. However, a new rogue group is breaking out of this trend consisting of a younger wine consumer for value driven wines that didn’t compromise quality for price. They didn’t want to be limited to “Two Buck Chuck”. They wanted an options..

Thus we find ourselves in a very different wine industry, one that has become split. Wine makers must still brand and create wines for the “traditional” wine drinker, but now they have to also provide fun and innovative wine and products for the “new generation” of wine drinker.

The “new” wine drinker wants to have fun when they drink. They go camping with wine (a previously beer-heavy activity), they BBQ while drinking wine, and even go swimming with wine. But all of this created new needs for the market: good inexpensive wine and products that enhance the wine experience.

Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine recently featured an article on this new generation. In their new addition called, “The Pouch Revolution”, they say that wine drinkers aren’t even limiting their bottles. In the article they explain about how new wine drinkers are actually going after bagged wine. They go with bagged wines because they are cheaper, and the pouches allow for more print space to brand their wine. Essentially the “new” wine drinker is not about the wine itself all the time, but also the wine’s branding, visual appeal, value, and sometimes portability.

Fun loving wine drinkers are expecting more and more out their wine and their wine experience. With new branding, and fun gadgets and products, wine drinkers are sure to fine something that will make their next wine the most enjoyable one yet!

A Real Must Have

True Fabrications and POPSUGAR teamed up this month to add a little something fresh and fun to POPSUGAR’s March Must Have Box, our very own Corkatoo Corkscrew.

POPSUGAR has over 20 million users, and continues to grow exponentially delivering “the biggest moments, the hottest trends and the best tips in entertainment, fashion, beauty, fitness, and food, and the ability to shop for it all, in one place.”  They also have the opportunity to subscribe to a monthly Must Have Box for just $35 a month.

The Must Have Box contains some of today’s hottest products hand-picked by the POPSUGAR editors, all revolving around a common theme for the month.  The boxes contain full-sized samples of must have beauty products, things for the home, fashion products and more, an entire box of goodies worth over $100.

For March, POPSUGAR featured some of the hottest spring product including the Corkatoo Corkscrew.  With raving reviews from a handful of bloggers, Corkatoo was a definite hit.  Beauty Info Zone called Corkatoo “the cutest item in the box” and the Girly Enthusiast claims to be “a little bit obsessed with the Corkatoo Corkscrew. It’s just friggen’ adorable.” Corkatoo Corkscrew is not only fun, but also function and truly is a must have!

Washington State Wine Month

With over 750 wineries, Washington State is the second largest producer of wine in the United States.  To celebrate the success of the industry, March was designated as Washington State’s wine month.

This entire month is full of promotions and events by restaurants, retailers, hotels and wineries coming together, offering discounts, and tastings to celebrate just how dynamic the Washington State wine industry is.

“Washington Wine Month is a time to commemorate the hard work of Washington’s more than 750 wineries and 350 wine grape growers,” said Steve Warner, president and CEO of the Washington State Wine Commission. “Our state’s wine is enjoyed across the country, but it’s the enthusiasm of retailers, restaurants and hotels to promote Washington wine that always makes this month shine.”

The main event every March is the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event, Taste Washington.  An entire weekend of Washington’s leading wine and food, featuring everything that makes Washington such an exceptional place for all things delicious and enjoyable.

So, this March support Washington Wineries and enjoy Washington wine month!

Another Great Aeration Innovation

We have the first look at HOST Studio’s newest aeration innovation, the WHIRL aerating wine glass.

This brand new wine glass is nothing like you have ever used before.  The WHIRL is made of a shatter-proof plastic that has specific design elements to aerate your favorite wines right in the glass.

As you gently swirl the glass, wine runs along the three internal aeration ridges agitating the wine and introducing oxygen to the wine. This creates a perfect mixture of wine and air positively affecting the wine’s flavor.  The oxygen introduced by the act of swirling binds with the tannin molecules to make the wine seem softer and reducing sulfites as well.

Swirling a glass of wine also releases aromatic compounds into the air. Every wine has these fragrant aroma compounds, some wines more than others, depending on the structure and character of the grape, and releasing these compounds makes the varietal aromas more apparent and enjoyable on the nose.

HOST continues to surprise us with the hottest new products.  HOST is a high quality brand by True Fabrications that will stand above the rest. HOST works hard to engineer and perfect their products so that you can sit back, relax and revel in life’s small pleasures.

Be the first to have this great new product! Look for availability around May 1st.

An Award-Winning Product

On January 29, 2013 the New York Marriott Marquis hosted the 2013 Housewares Design Awards Luncheon, where the “Best of the Best” and the 12 “Best in Category” award winners were announced and presented.

Created in 2003 by HomeWorld Business, the Housewares Design Awards was established “to honor the unyielding effort within the industry to create new ways to improve everyday living.”

Over the past 10 years, this annual event has received more than 2,700 entries, designated 585 finalists and narrowed it down to 119 winners.

Focusing on premier housewares designs and innovations, 12 judges with a wide variety of backgrounds collaborate and determine one winner for each category.

We are proud to announce the 2013 Tableware, Serveware & Beverageware “Best in Category” winner is HOST’s very own TWIST Adjustable Aerator.

Perfectly aerate any wine from your lightest pinot noir to your most robust Bordeaux. Just pick a setting, pour it through and drink it down.

Raise your glass with HOST!

Love is in the Air

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and True Fabrications has all the essentials for a truly memorable day.

Planning a romantic evening for two? The Wine Bottle Candelabra will decorate your table adding a little mood lighting as you raise a toast using our elegant Champagne Flutes.

Write a little message to the one you love on the Vintage and Vine Slate Board while enjoying your favorite cheese, and finish off with some delicious Chocolates. 

Wrap-up your Valentine’s favorite bottle of wine in the must-have Red Hearts Glitter Bag, or have a little fun with the Make Me Wine bag, both festive additions to any Valentine’s Day plan.  Want more of a classic option?  The Red and White Fold-n-Go Kraft Box or Sheer Paisley Heart Bag perfectly fit any wine bottle.

The perfect gift for him might be a Crystal Liquor Decanter or Stainless Steel Glacier Rocks, and you know she will love the Red High Heel Bottle Holder or Mandarin Chardonnay Grape seed Oil Lotion.

We really do have everything you need for a fantastic Valentine’s Day.  Make this holiday one you will never forget.