Etch Your Own Flask… And Win One!

drinkhacker collapsible cupHip flasks are a dime a dozen these days — but one you get to engrave yourself, with your favorite logo, initials, a picture of your kids, or whatnot, now that’s worth checking out.

PersonalizedFlask.net may be a rather obvious name, but it’s a website that makes, well, personalized flasks. They are stainless steel items, engraved by laser with the design of your choice. Pick off the rack initials or go crazy and upload your own images. The company sent me some credits to try it out, and I did.

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Watch George Dickel’s “Raising the Bar” – And You Can Win Cool Stuff!

So here’s a new thing.

Our friends at George Dickel — who have just launched their own Rye Whiskey nationally — got it in their heads to put a group of teams together and tasked them with building the “perfect bar.” They turned it into a short-form reality series for Hulu, where one episode is airing each week, six in total.

The craftsmen all made custom bars, some relatively orthodox, some decidedly not. It’s fun to watch all of this happen… but wait, there’s more! In fact, it’s where you come in. Dickel has paired up a bunch of us blogger types with the master crafters on Raising the Bar to see if we can’t upgrade these things a bit.

Drinkhacker’s been buddied up with — appropriately — Team Robotics, a trio which is angling to build a bar that comes equipped with a robotic pump that scoots around the bar to dispense shots of Dickel. How’d they do? Take it away, Hulu!

So, what do you think Team Robotics can do to enhance its fantastic creation? Dickel will be judging Team Drinkhacker’s suggestions — and building the winning ideas by hand. Submit the best bar enhancement, and you could win it! What are we talking about? The sky’s the limit. Laser-etched glassware? Hydraulic barstools? A conveyer belt for shots? You tell Dickel, and if ours is the most creative, most original, and most representative of American craftsmanship — just like these bars — Dickel will have them made (handmade, of course) and sent to us. For real. Just make sure your idea makes this bar “even more badass than it already is.”

To clarify: If you come up with the winning idea, your dream will become a reality, your reality. Because Dickel and Drinkhacker will send it to you.

What say ye? Send us your wild enhancements for Team Robotics’ wild robotender and we’ll pass the best idea of the lot on to George Dickel’s panel of judges. Winners will be announced in a few weeks. Meanwhile, check out the Hulu series, and post your killer concept in the comments section below, on Facebook or Twitter, or send them to us via email. (Links for all at the top of the page.)

Good luck, and happy drinking!

Contest: Win a Copy of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage

KBWThe folks at the University Press of Kentucky have been kind enough to supply us with three copies of Michael Veach’s new book Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage to give away to the three randomly selected people who can send the answers to the following questions to [email protected]:

1. True or False:  There are more barrels of bourbon in the Commonwealth of Kentucky than there are people.

2. What are the major differences between Kentucky Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey?

Send us over the answers along with your physical mailing address and you’ll be entered to win. Hurry though, as the contest ends at noon PST on March 15, 2013!

The fine print: Contests and giveaways are open only to readers age 21 and up with a U.S. mailing address. One prize per person per giveaway. We reserve the right to cancel any giveaway at our sole discretion. We are not responsible for lost, misdirected, or late entries. Not open to employees/contributors or immediate family members of Drinkhacker or Null Media employees/contributors, its affiliates, or advertising/promotion agencies and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, and agents. This offer is void wherever prohibited or restricted by national, state, or any governmental laws. We are not responsible for late, lost, or damaged prize packages. We do not use your mailing address for any other purpose than sending prizes; addresses are not kept on file. One entry per contestant — your entry is good for the length of each giveaway. Duplicate entries will disqualify the entrant.

Contest: Lapham’s Quarterly Issue Giveaway

ladiesSo the fine folks at Lapham’s Quarterly have been generous enough to give away a copy of the Intoxication issue to the three randomly selected people who can send the answers to the following questions to [email protected]:

1. Name a traditional hangover remedy used predominantly in Poland.

2. Complete the following quote from Melville: “Better sleep with a
sober cannibal than a _______ __________”

3. The allowed amount of whiskey a lumberjack was allowed to drink on
the job in 1850s Wisconsin:
a) 3.5 oz b) 4 oz c) 4.5 oz d) 5 oz

4. Name the artist behind the following lyrics: “When someone
overshoots the measure of his drink / He’s no more in control of tongue
and mind / He says wild things that make the sober blush / And feels no
shame in anything he does while drunk”

5. Which drink contains a larger percentage of alcohol: sake or port?

Send us over the answers and you’ll be entered to win. Hurry though, as the contest ends at noon PST on February 8, 2013!

The fine print: Contests and giveaways are open only to readers age 21 and up with a U.S. mailing address. One prize per person per giveaway. We reserve the right to cancel any giveaway at our sole discretion. We are not responsible for lost, misdirected, or late entries. Not open to employees/contributors or immediate family members of Drinkhacker or Null Media employees/contributors, its affiliates, or advertising/promotion agencies and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, and agents. This offer is void wherever prohibited or restricted by national, state, or any governmental laws. We are not responsible for late, lost, or damaged prize packages. We do not use your mailing address for any other purpose than sending prizes; addresses are not kept on file. One entry per contestant — your entry is good for the length of each giveaway. Duplicate entries will disqualify the entrant.

Review and Giveaway: SKIL iXO Vivo Wine Bottle Opener

skil ixo vivo kitI’m not one to swoon over the romance of drinking wine, but even I find that de-corking your bottles with a power drill is a little nutty.

SKIL, unhappy to dominate the world of DIY construction and IKEA desk-building projects, is entering the wine world in the only way it knows how, by offering a tiny power drill with a corkscrew attachment.

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Win a Trip to Scotland, Courtesy of Jura Whisky

This just in from our pals at Jura. A week in Scotland, why not?

Jura single malt whisky, in partnership with Olympus, is launching an online photography competition (www.jurawhisky.com/communityspirit) to find images from across the world that best embody the theme of ‘community spirit’.

Three budding amateur photographers are being offered the chance to win an unforgettable trip to the island of Jura, off Scotland’s dramatic West Coast. The island is famed for its small and close-knit community of less than 200, united by the island they love and the warmth of its people. The walls of the Distillery Visitor Centre are adorned with photos of Diurachs (the Gaelic name for the people of Jura) past and present, who have all played their part in contributing to the island’s famous community spirit.

To experience Jura’s island life for themselves, amateur photographers are invited to submit photographs that best tell a story of community spirit. These images could include photos of groups or individuals that evoke the spirit of the neighbourhood in which they live, or even photos of festivals and events that conjure the character of a particular place.

Each one of the three winners and their partners will enjoy a week’s all-expenses stay in the exclusive Jura Lodge and a VIP tour of the Jura distillery and island. The winners will also receive an Olympus PEN E-PL3 camera to create a lasting memento of their visit to Jura, and a photography workshop on the island from award-winning photographer David Nightingale (www.chromasia.com).

To enter, applicants must upload a photo that captures community spirit onto an e-postcard template along with a description in 50 words or less of why that picture tells a story of community spirit. Jura will assess a shortlist of the very best ‘postcards’ and pick three lucky winners – one from North America, one from the UK and a third from the rest of the world.

The competition, which can be found by visiting www.jurawhisky.com/communityspirit, opens today (Monday, 11 June) and will run for eight weeks, closing on Friday, 3 August.

Entrants are encouraged to share their e-postcards with friends and family. Every week for eight weeks, Jura will be awarding an Olympus VG-170 camera and a bottle of Jura 16 year old to the photo which receives the most public votes during the course of that week.

Seminar and Pairing: German Wine + Asian Food = Love

When you eat sushi, Chinese food, or pad thai, what’s your drink of choice? If you’re like most: Beer, maybe sake, if you’re feeling adventurous. Why not wine? The general dearth of wine options on most Asian food beverage lists is a good reason, but a more common one is that consumers just have no idea what wines to drink with Asian food. This food runs from ultra-spicy (General Tso’s chicken) to ultra-delicate (toro sushi), with some cuisines giving a taste of each during the meal.

Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee recently came to San Francisco to show us that pairing wine with Asian flavors isn’t just possible, it can be fantastic. And she turned to the country that makes the most inspired, common, and – if you think about – strange natural pairing with Asian food: Germany.

Lee led our group through a four-course meal at SF’s Ame restaurant, each paired with two different (and often wildly contrasting) wines, to see what we thought worked and what didn’t. A snapper carpaccio with two gelees, umami soy and lemon sea salt, was a great dish – and the soy gelee worked surprisingly wonderfully with 2009 Friedrich Becker Pinot Noir from the Pfalz region of Germany. I was less enamored with a 2010 Castell Silvaner when paired with the lemon gelee, which handily overpowered the wine.

Up next was a tuna tartare with slow cocked egg, dashi broth, and a smattering of bitter greens. Here, the reds didn’t pan out – a 2006 Furst Pinot Noir was too earthy and shallow, unflattering with the bitter components of the dish. A 2003 Fritz Haag Auslese Riesling was however a phenomenal match. Sweet wine? Yes, but at age 9 it had mellowed and caramelized, offering enough acid to keep up with complex dish.

Finally, a lobster dish in coconut curry broth. Here both wines – a 2010 Spatlese Riesling from Selbach-Oster and a 2010 Riesling from Leitz – worked well, but for different reasons. The Spatlese, though young, didn’t bomb the dish with sugar, tempering the mild heat in the curry, while the crispness of the Leitz Riesling was a natural pairing with the dish. It didn’t have the acid I would have liked but any Riesling probably could have done the job. (Alas I had to skip the last dish due to time constraints.)

That leads us into Lee’s general pairing tips – which were presented in a booklet created with the Deutsches Weininstitut – which, as you might expect, are heavy on the use of Riesling. All German whites get a shout-out or two for almost every region from India to Japan, but Lee also recommends German reds with Northern Chinese food, Sekt (sparkling wine) with Singaporean food, and even Pinot Noir with sushi and Indian curry.

Of course, you can’t define an entire country by one style of food, and wine pairing recommendations can’t be pinned down based on a gastronomic stereotype, either. Lee’s book is a great reminder of that, and should serve as a reminder that one size doesn’t fit all in the wine and food world – and that one needn’t resort to Sapporo just because it’s sushi night.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Sapporo.

Update: Congrats to our five contest winners, who will each be getting a copy of the book!