Posts Tagged ‘Holiday Gift Guide’


Nobler Holiday Gift Guide – Simply Gather

December 19, 2012


At the Nobler Experiment, we take our drinking seriously. Not in some obnoxious, holier than thou, drink this not that, type of serious. But rather, in the way we share in experiences over a mutual interest and curiosity in liquor, wine, and beer that keeps us gathering. So I couldn’t think of any better way to end this year’s Holiday Gift Guide with one of the easiest gift suggestions out there…

Purchasing gifts for everyone that you consider a friend, may not be so possible. And quite frankly, with all of the gifts we give and receive at this time of the year, they might go under appreciated anyway. So instead of wrapping paper and ribbon, go with a bar stool and a bourbon. Take a second to re-connect and share with each other the year that was, and the years that will be. It’s the least you can do this Holiday Season!

As for us, tomorrow night is our second annual Holiday Gathering which I’m pretty damn pumped for. Looking back (check out some of the pictures above), we’ve had a great year at the Nobler Experiment and next year even more is brewing (like what I did there?). We’ve got new batches of Cow Thieves on the way, a bunch more tours and tastings, and hopefully a few more Night Cap events early next year. For all of you out there who check in daily to see what we are up to, thanks a ton! If you want to be involved even more, and start making your way to our Gatherings, don’t forget to sign up to follow the Experiment above!


Nobler Holiday Gift Guide – Time For Some Wine

December 18, 2012

Time for some of the Noblers to get in on the Gift Guide mix. Here’s some great advice from our self proclaimed wine geek, Adam…decanter-horz

With so many gizmos out there for the wine lover in your life, it is easy to get overwhelmed.  So many of the gadgets and gizmos run the risk of being played around with a few times and then left to collect dust. 

That’s not to say that every wine gift out there is a waste, but one should be cautious of gimmicks when purchasing wine geek gifts.  One of the safest routes for a wine-related gift is nice glassware.  There is no point in drinking wine unless you share it with others, and when you share wine with others often, it’s pretty likely glasses are going to break, so even if the wine geek in your life already has stemware or a decanter, one can never have too much!  A go-to brand I really like for its quality is Riedel.  The great thing about Riedel glasses, and decanters as well, is that they have several lines at various price points, so you can always find nice glasses that are within the price range you want to pay.  At my house, I just have one glass shape from which I serve both white and red, but you can always go crazy and purchase glasses perfect for every varietal under the sun.

Another gift that is perfect for wine geeks is a mixed case of wine.  Head to your local wine shop, give them a price you want to spend and have them put together an interesting case or half case for your friend.  Then, when you deliver the gift, tell the friend your intention was that the two of you would try each of the bottles in that case together over the next few months, a win-win!

Happy Holidays!


Nobler Holiday Gift Guide – Ice

December 17, 2012


We’re heading down the home stretch, and with just a few gift guide posts left to finish out this week, it’s time to think about your cocktail lover’s most overlooked ingredient…

Ice, has taken on a bit of a resurgence in the cocktail world as more and more mixologists and bartenders are starting to pay attention to the flavor impact of ice as it melts. This is something I came across in my own home cocktail making as nothing spoils a perfectly balanced drink more than the smell and taste of some nasty ice. So considering it might be weird to give the gift of cleaning someone’s freezer for them, these covered ice-cube trays are a perfect fix. You’ll be amazed how big of a difference odorless ice makes.

For a little more fun with frozen water, these Kotobuki Spheres’s have quickly become one of my favorites for cocktails and whiskey drinking a like. The cool thing about these spherical ice cubes is not only the excitement they’ll garner from the guests you serve, but also from the science behind them. A sphere is the most compact shape for physical matter with the smallest surface area for a given volume. Besides just sounding smart (particularly after you’ve served a few strong cocktails to your friends), this phenomenon is truly ideal for mixing up drinks. These large ice cube varieties are really meant for straight up liquor or alcohol forward cocktails and the lower SA/volume ratio means slower melting; providing the chill without dilution.

With only a few days left to go, make sure you check back all week for some last minute gift guidance! Happy Monday!


Nobler Holiday Gift Guide – Floating Coolers

December 13, 2012


It may be mid December, and you may be tempted to buy your special alcohol lover in your life something seasonal, but I’ve got a must have item that will have you looking forward to some warmer times…

I’ve written about our now annual summer clamming trip quite a bit in the past but it was this uncanny find by Emily just a few years ago of the Intex Mega Chill floating cooler that completely changed the game. These coolers hold two dozen cans plus ice in the center cooler and have 6 cup holders along the outside. We load this guy up (actually we have two) with beer, head out into the water and drink merrily as we build our haul of sometimes close to a hundred clams and oysters. It’s the greatest weekend of the year, every year, and the Intex makes it happen.

There’s no question, this floating cooler will be one of the most appreciated gifts of the season…


Nobler Holiday Gift Guide – Go Vintage

December 10, 2012

Time for some of the Noblers to get in on the Gift Guide mix. Here’s some great advice from one of the originals, Marc Geffen…


A classy decanter is a great centerpiece for a home bar

Any good home bar is always a work in progress. It grows, diversifies, and evolves with your development of taste or with the shift from season to season. And so it seems that a good home bar should have something to say about time – and timelessness.

This nod to the past is what romanticizes the drinking experience, adding a taste of history to a well-crafted cocktail. Maybe that appreciation for time is what’s noble about our obsession with the alchemy of a good buzz. What does this have to do with a holiday gift guide? Well, here’s my suggestion: go vintage.

This idea came from my awesome mom, who, beyond being a talented interior decorator, is an avid antiquer and thrifter. She’s got a great eye for vintage pieces, and often passes her coolest finds on to me as gifts for my bar.

I’ve learned that a few one-of-a-kind pieces can bring your bar to the next level, and even elevate your home décor by bringing elements of nostalgia to your space. However, this is about more than just aesthetics.

Vintage items are unique: no one else is going to have the snifter-set you just bought your brother-in law. They are functional: sure, looks great, but your uncle will also use his 1960s shaker all the time, and he’ll probably prefer it over much of the new gear out there. Finally, vintage provides great value: you can get aesthetics, rarity and function for under $20…$10…$5.

So if you’re giving the wonderful gift of booze this holiday, why not pair it with a unique companion piece from your local Flea market or thrift shop? Below are a few examples of great vintage bar accessories that I’ve received over the years.

– Marc

1960’s cocktail shaker with essential mix recipes

1960’s cocktail shaker with essential mix recipes


An inherited Bartender’s Guide, copyright 1934.


Retro glass Whiskey container


Nobler Holiday Gift Guide – Bitters!

December 7, 2012


In last year’s Gift Guide, I called out the perfect stocking stuffer: a bottle of bitters. I stand by the fact that every home-bar needs a bottle of Angostura’s classic recipe. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that across the country, and particularly noticeably in NYC, the world of bitters has exploded. So many brands, so many flavors and I’ll be honest, it’s pretty easy to get swept up in it all. But if you want to gift a bottle of bitters in 2012, the best recommendation I can make is to keep it simple.

This could take on a few different approaches so let me elaborate. Bitters are meant to add that last little bit of complexity or nuance to a cocktail. My experience to date, is that even the most crazy sounded bitters flavors, often get lost or muddled once added to a full strength cocktail if not chosen correctly. That’s why as a gift, I suggest you stick with the flavors that sound most appropriate for a larger number of cocktail flavor profiles. I myself love a good citrus based bitters. Fee Brothers is a brand that is available more widely and I absolutely love their Grapefruit and Orange varieties.

But if your cocktail enthusiast is looking for a little more excitement in their bitters, you have to check out two of our local (Brooklyn of course) brands in Bittermens, Inc. and Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters for your perfect 2012 stocking stuffer. I first tried Bittermens varieties at our visit to NY Distilling. I had brought a bottle of my Nobler Orange Bitters as a little gift, and in return, we spent sometime tasting all of the bar stocked varieties while we waited for the crew to arrive. I remember being blown away by their Hopped Grapefruit bitters which packs an amazing punch of flavor perfect to add some excitement to  even simple cocktails like shandys. And speaking of flavorful, Brooklyn Hemispherical has made a splash with there Sriracha based bitters but I love their Mission Fig variety for the richness and sweetness perfect for whiskey based cocktails during this time of the year.

Happy Friday! And check out Day 2 and Day 1 of the Holiday Gift Guide here and here. Enjoy the weekend! More coming your way all next week…


The 2012 Nobler Holiday Gift Guide – Happy Repeal Day!

December 5, 2012


It seems rather appropriate that this year’s Nobler Holiday Gift Guide begin on Repeal Day. 79 years ago today, the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified signalling the end of the near 1 1/2 decade long era of Prohibition. The ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol in the states, often referred to as the Noble Experiment, was a tumultuous albeit fascinating time period in our country’s existence. Which is why for my first gift suggestion of the year, I refer you to Daniel Okrent’s Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.

You might be wondering if your drink loving gift receiver is into reading historical non-fiction (of if they even know how to read at all), but I’ll tell you from experience, Okrent’s work is sure to pull in just about anyone who appreciates the complexity of alcohol, particularly those who have become enamored with the new American resurgence in craft distillation. But just in case your friend, family member, or loved one is terrified of actually reading (so happy I overcame this fear a few years ago), pick up Ken Burns’ documentary, Prohibition, on DVD as this PBS aired mini-series covers much of the same material.

So Happy Repeal Day to you all and check back every day for the next few weeks for more of this year’s Nobler Holiday Gift Guide!

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