The Lowdown: Vintage Bar Mode

By Sean Chaffin and Randy Mastronicola From Mad Men to Suits, Hollywood has re-invigorated cocktail cachet, and modern drinkers are snapping up 1950s and ‘60s liquor cabinets. These classics have certainly seen a resurgence and the growth of the craft spirits industry has only added to the party. “During the mid-century era, drinking liquor was an acceptable, and expected, part of the daily scene,” notes Rachel Moreno, a manager with Lula B's Antique Mall in the Dallas Design District. “We’ve seen theatrical productions that portray majestic liquor cabinets in the home or workplace, bar carts abound with the best whiskeys, and a complete dry bar setup in homes, including barstools, to serve guests at neighborly soirees. “The trend of the liquor drinker was even extended to portable bars which were a totable, locking case that contained drinking cups, shot glasses, all the barware one would need, as well as a bottle or three of one's personal taste of liquors. I amusingly refer to these portable bars as being designed for the 1960s businessman on the go.’” Cabinet shoppers will find designs and sizes vary, along with prices. Smaller pieces [...]

The Lowdown: NFT: Fad or Fortune

By Sean Chaffin and Randy Mastronicola Who could forget excitedly tearing into a pack of baseball or football cards with friends? Would you find just the right card to complete a collection? Those looking to relive some nostalgia may want to forget searching out that Joe Montana rookie card. While the card biz has seen a revival, the industry’s now moving beyond cardstock. NFTs are all the rage now and have seen sky-high auction prices in the hundreds of thousands recently. For the uninitiated, NFT stands for non-fungible token. What does that mean in regular Joe language? NFTs are digital memories or events–and they’ve blown up the sports card industry. Collectors purchase digital “packs” that can include one-of-a-kind digital moments from slam dunks to touchdowns. It’s like a sports card coming to life–a rare Mickey Mantle rookie card meets Back to the Future II. Like cryptocurrencies, NFTs are stored on a blockchain and only the owner has access. These can be transferred, however, and many collectors are doing just that for big bucks. The NBA Top Shot NFTs are among the most popular. In February, a Lebron James dunk sold for $208,000. On the [...]

QB or Not QB?: ESPN’s Jeff Saturday Lines Up the NFL 2021 Season

By Kevin Kenney  NEW ORLEANS SAINTS With Drew Brees now retired, the big question in the Big Easy is…Winston or Hill? The battle will be between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill, the latter a utility man who’s played special teams as well as QB, who adds a running dimension, and who is not the interception machine Winston has been. It figures to be an interesting preseason and early season as coach Sean Payton figures it all out. ``Taysom Hill is a dual threat–a guy who’s really never played quarterback (regularly),’’ says Saturday. ``He’s really kind’ve a Swiss Army knife. Does Sean Payton want to move on with that type of offense? Or would he go back to the style of Jameis Winston–a pocket passer (whose talent) is not to be argued with?  It’s just, can Sean Payton control his turnovers? Because if he can, that’s an offense that could explode.’’ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS It was not at the level of the Rodgers-Packers contretemps, but Russell Wilson did make offseason news by airing gripes with the Seahawks, particularly in regard to his lack of pass protection. While [...]

The Lowdown: Frank Sinatra's Nice ‘n’ Easy 60th Anniversary Reissue

By Randy Mastronicola Give a listen to Enterprises reissued 60th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s 1960 album, Nice ‘n’ Easy from a couple of years ago. The vinyl version of the reissue is a faithful production of the original Capitol Records “Full Dimensional Stereo” sleeve and features the album’s original 12 songs. These tracks will put you in that Nice ‘n’ Easy mood along with a smoke and a sip. 01.Nice ‘N’ Easy 02. That Old Feeling 03. How Deep Is The Ocean 04. I’ve Got A Crush On You 05. You Go To My Head 06. Fools Rush In 07. Nevertheless (I’m In Love With You) 08. She’s Funny That Way 09. Try A Little Tenderness 10. Embraceable You 11. Mam’selle 12. Dream 13. The Nearness Of You (2020 Mix) (Bonus Track) 14. I’ve Got A Crush On You (Bonus Track) 15. Nice ‘N’ Easy (Bonus Track) Want more? Subscribe to Cigar & Spirits Magazine! Subscribe Check out the rest of our lifestyle pieces!

The Lowdown: Macallan Fine and Rare 60-Year-Old

By Randy Mastronicola The final stratospheric scotch on the list broke world records for the most money ever spent on a single bottle at 1.9 million. It came from a legendary cask known only as “263” that’s prized by collectors worldwide. This cask has produced several spirits that have each sold for over a million dollars. These masters only made forty bottles of this 60-year-old scotch.–Dave Johnson Subscribe Check out the rest of our lifestyle pieces!

The Lowdown: Ring of Fire

By Dave Johnson Ring of Fire Most everyone loves a toasty fire. With the return of winter, let’s take a look at a few options for one of our favorite spots to warm up: the fire pit. It’s that perfect place to bask in a crackling fire when reading a book outside, gather around while at a party, or break out the hot dogs and s’mores for a backyard family campfire. This Breeo fire pit has a traditional look with some modern amenities under the hood. It features X Airflow technology that allows air to circulate for a better flame, and even eliminates most of the smoke. It’s made of Stainless Steel and Cor-Ten steel which will develop a rich, rust-red patina over time, and it has a wide 24-inch opening for wood-burning. It features an outer sear plate for cooking and can accommodate an optional grill grate attachment if you want to turn this fire pit into a mean barbeque pit. MSRP: $299 If you want to commit to the fire pit idea as a permanent backyard fixture, go with this beauty. This block of [...]

The Lowdown: Shear Delight

By Dave Johnson Shear Delight Ever since humans realized animal skins could be used for warmth, leather and fur have been clothing staples. And the humble sheep has given us one of the best applications of animal hides: shearling coats. The shearling coat features sheep’s wool on the inside lining with additional accents throughout the coat. Shearling is a very comfortable textile that can be a great addition to your wardrobe especially if you’re seeking warmth and admiring looks. It definitely throws off a cool and masculine vibe for fall and winter. Here are a few outerwear options to get you started. Whenever shearling is mentioned, one classic design is the denim trucker-style jacket. Few brands do this jacket as well as Freenote Cloth with their RJ2 Denim White Shearling Jacket ($900). The company makes meticulously crafted, heavy-duty clothing that’s superior and stylish. This jacket is ruggedly made with a 20 oz heavyweight denim from Japan, heavy-duty hardware and then lined in shearling. The RJ2 looks great with a turtleneck, and other pieces if you’re going for a layered look. It’s a stunning denim jacket. The [...]

Speakeasys USA: A Modern Nod to Prohibition Era Watering Holes

By Audrey Pavia Prohibition was not a fun time. Getting together with your cronies and sharing some spirits could land you in jail. Those who were willing to take the chance found their way into dark, hidden speakeasies situated specifically to avoid detection by The Law. Prohibition only lasted from 1920 to 1933, but the excitement of sneaking a drink with friends in a clandestine hideaway has remained. Today, 100 years after Prohibition temporarily became the law of the land, modern speakeasies have become even more popular than the originals. Every major city in the U.S. has its share of speakeasies. Here’s a look at eight that have caught the attention of spirit lovers from coast to coast. Red Phone Booth Atlanta, GA If you want to know what speakeasies were like in their heyday, the Red Phone Booth is the spot for you. Located in downtown Atlanta, the Red Phone Booth strives to provide a Prohibition experience, including a cigar program and a turn-of-the-century cocktail selection. Featuring a collection of rare bourbon, whiskey and scotch selections, and more than a dozen tinctures, bitters and flavoring agents, the Red Phone [...]

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