Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Drinkstuff Reviews

In the past week I’ve been made to feel like an expert barman and a drinks connoisseur thanks to a bundle of products from Drinkstuff.com. These include a brandy pipe that promises to change the way you taste brandy, and assorted cocktail gift sets that give you the tools to re-live the movie Cocktail, or start your own bar at home. So if you will raise your glasses, we’ll get started.

Manhattan Nights Cocktail Gift Set
One of the nicest things about this set is that in comes in a wooden presentation box that’s foam lined. So when guests arrive and you prepare them a cocktail you get to look like an expert in your craft as you open your case of tools. The main tool of your craft is a cocktail shaker with a removable lid, that’s nice and secure so you can throw the shaker around to mix drinks. There’s also a removable top with a strainer, allowing you to pour the drink and keep any big bits in the shaker.

If you want to do more advanced straining, a strainer is included that can pop nicely on to the shaker when you remove its lid. There’s also a stirrer for mixing and a ‘jigger’ shot glass that holds 25ml on one side and 50ml on the other, helping you measure out single or double shots easily. Then there’s a set of tongs for picking up ice or adding a lemon.

All in all it’s a fantastic starter set for the budding cocktail master, that is as practical as it is well presented.

Brandy Pipe in Gift Box
This is the more usual of the three sets, and offers a more gentlemanly way to drink. It bought me back to my time doing Movember, as you hold brandy as you would a pipe.

In essence it’s like an egg cup with a long curved straw protruding from the bottom. This gives room for a couple of shots and although it feels weird to hold a straw to drink, it is sturdy despite this.

The benefit of the straw is that the brandy passes through it as you drink. As you are holding the straw this process warms up the brandy helping to bring out the flavours. The process of drinking from the bottom of the pipe through a straw means you take in less oxygen, which keeps the brandy pure. These factors create a brandy that tastes nicer warm, and has more of a kick as it goes directly to your head via a lower amount of oyxgen.

It’s great for the brandy drinker, but I also found it went well with whisky. As with the Manhattan gift set it’s presented in a nice box, with a padded inside, although there’s less reason to keep the box afterwards as it’s far bigger than the pipe itself.

Cocktail Starter Pack
Unlike the other two products, the cocktail starter pack comes in a cardboard box, but that’s because the Drinkstuff team have tried to give as much value in to the box as they can. There’s no need for padding, just a box full of cocktail tools. You get a different cocktail glass this time, which is one half cocktail shaker and the other half a glass itself. You fill up the glass with your ingredients and then pop the top on for shaking. It makes it harder to do stunts like throwing the glass around, but you can see the drink as you mix it.

Some of the Manhattan set of tools make an appearance – the strainer and jigger – and they’re accompanied by a knife for cutting fruit, a longer spoon, a pourer that fits in the top of drinks bottles for easy pouring, a “muddler” which mashes fruit, and even straws and cocktail umbrellas. It’s a very complete set, which is confirmed by the bar book that’s included. The book lists the typical items you need, and most of them are in this set, the book even tells you how to use them. It also contains over 1,000 cocktail ideas and is the perfect compendium to your new cocktail hobby.

The cocktail starter pack was my favourite of the three sets as it feels complete and is only complimented further by the inclusion of such an excellent book.

Provided by Drinkstuff.com

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My Policy

Every product on this site has been received for free, and given to me by the product manufacturer or their associated PR organisation in return for a review.

I have no other personal or business association with these companies, and all reviews are written truthfully and based on my own experience. If I hate a product I will say so (and have done on many occasions!).