Must-haves for libation lovers.
WRITTEN BY NATASHA BOURLIN
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MANUFACTURERS
The endless varieties of sophisticated craft brews and cocktails now available seem to call for an elevated imbibing experience. Look no further — we’ve rounded up our favorite drink-related products, available locally or online. Not only will they make every pour a pleasure, but they’ll also elicit oohs and ahhhs from your brew crew.
GrowlerWerks uKeg Pressurized Growler
Be the envy of your beer-loving friends with the ultimate growler. Thanks to its lockable dispensing tap and automatic regulator cap that holds a CO2 cartridge, air never needs to touch your favorite brew once filled, so you can serve it directly from the uKeg cold, frothy, and fresh. Carbonation levels and pouring pressure easily are controlled, and seeing exactly how much remains is simple through the sight glass. Not a beer fan? Use it to carbonate a batch of cocktails instead. And, yes, it’s easy to clean. Available at Growlerwerks.com. Starting at $149.
Patented in the late 1800s, the original cocktail shaker needed an update. Enter Shaker 33, made from shatterproof, BPA-free plastic that helps keep your drink cold and your hand from freezing. Lightweight and leak proof, it will dazzle guests as you perform some one-handed shaking, tossing, and catching. Its locking lid is designed to prevent ice from blocking the holes when pouring and from getting frozen in place afterwards, plus it offers two straining options. Available at Shaker33.com. $39.95.
SPARQ Home Beer Caddy
Debi and Mimi Canfield, the mother and daughter duo behind the Reno boutique Larkellen, seek out locally crafted or American-made, environmentally conscious wares to offer their customers. This beer caddy fits the bill. The foursome of four-ounce aluminum beer tumblers that you can write on with chalk comes in a rustic-looking, handy, ash wood caddy and is made by an equally eco-conscious company, SPARQ Home. Available at Larkellen in Reno, Larkellenreno.com. $34.
With the many home-delivery meal subscriptions available, it’s about time someone catered to creative cocktail fans. SaloonBox is a DIY subscription cocktail kit curated by mixologists. Each month, a box arrives at your door featuring two palate-pleasing recipes, along with all the booze and necessary accoutrements, giving you the opportunity to impress your guests and, as they marvel at your drink prowess, reply coyly, “What, this ol’ thing?” Available at Saloonbox.com. $37.50 monthly (plus $12.99 shipping fee).
The Wildcrafted Cocktail by Ellen Zachos
Foraging for food is one thing, but how about for your beverages? Author Zachos teaches us how easy it can be to concoct craft cocktails using common flowers, berries, roots, and leaves found in the great outdoors. Pick up this guide and you’ll soon be ingredient hunting to make such temptations as a tree-tini or a chanterelle-infused rum. Available at Sundance Books and Music in Reno, Sundancebookstore.com. $18.95.
If you’re feeling all beer-ponged out lately, Beeropoly may be just the solution for you. Created and handcrafted by a husband-and-wife team in Nebraska, this aesthetically appealing wooden board game makes swilling brews far more fun as beer caps are moved about the board, landing on spaces that require behavior and actions only entertainingly enhanced by the alcohol. Available at Uncommongoods.com. $35.
Natasha Bourlin is a Reno-based writer who adores exploring new products and gadgets that enhance her drinking experiences.