If you love entertaining guests in your home, the next upgrade you make to step it up a notch could be home made bitters to satisfy for your inner mixology pleasure. If you’re a history buff and glance at any cocktail book printed in the early 20th Century, you will most likely come across recipes that reference the use of bitters. Bitters were made using herbs and citrus fruits, and popularized as medicinal preparations to help cure various ailments.
Okay warning.. when tasted alone bitters can be pretty unpleasant hence the need to add it to your cocktail and not consume as a stand-alone drink. This early tradition provided the basis for what we know as the popular term “cock-tail”, as described in the May 13, 1806 edition of “Balance and Columbian Repository” as “a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters.” (Credit: Oh Gosh)
Sounds dated and far-fetched… Well thanks to a partnership between William Sonoma and New York artisan distillery Dutch’s Spirits you can now own a to kit that includes everything you need to make two types of craft bitters at right in the convenience of your home within 15 days.
- Kit includes everything you need to make Aromatic and Citrus Ginger bitters, including premeasured botanicals, an infuser ball, a swing-top glass jar for steeping the botanicals in vodka and complete directions (see More Info tab for details).
- Easy to use: follow the step-by-step directions to enjoy your first batch in a matter of weeks.
- Included bottles with droppers are ideal for dispensing small quantities of your homemade bitters for cocktails and other beverages.
- Citrus Ginger botanicals blend orange peel, lemon peel, and ginger root to create a delicate bitters well suited for gin and vodka cocktails.
- Aromatic botanicals blend allspice, clove and anise seeds to produce a bold bitters perfect for bourbon and whiskey cocktails. (Credit: Williams Sonoma)
Great news for DIY fashion designers and artists, Epson is making moves in the fashion world with it’s dye-sublimation and direct-to-garment printing technology released over a year ago allowing independent entrepreneurs access to cheaper fabric equipment to own and use. Dye sublimation (“dye sub” for short) refers to the process of using high heat to transfer dye onto a material, much like a giant iron-on transfer. During the Fall 2015 New York Fashion Week, Epson drew attention to its SureColor F-Series printers that yield high quality, industrial level print affording designers the ability to print their own patterns directly on large fabrics. The only downside uncovered from a number of users is that the printer only works on heat-reactive synthetic materials like polyester.
The SureColor F-Series models support a range of applications, including soft signage, sportswear, apparel, accessories, and customized promotional items such as mouse pads and ceramic mugs. Depending upon the application, F series models can output at speeds up to 618 sq ft/hr, boast output up to 720 x 1440 dpi on leading transfer papers, and feature an integral high-capacity 1.5 liter bulk-ink system.
Epson also introduced a line of dye-sublimation transfer papers designed specifically for the F series printers. Epson’s low-tack adhesive sublimation paper is designed for high-end cut-and-sew fabric and apparel production. This paper utilizes a unique chemical coating that allows for heavier ink loads to provide superior color and is available in a variety of sizes.
Priced on the low end at $9,000 for the F6070 and on the high end at $20,000 for the F7070, they’re at a price point that could make them within the budget of many fashion entrepreneurs and emerging fashion houses.
To read more about this new printer, click here for visit the Epson website.
Having spent almost a decade marketing and studying the world of fine spirits, I’m super geeked to share my new discovery- a homemade gin distilling kit. One of my all-time favorite brands is Tanqueray Rangpur so I’m not sure about you but I’m anxious to see how I can create my own interpretation of a quality batch of gin without the expensive distilling equipment and corporate barriers.
Join me in the exciting world of DIY booze making and let’s explore together. I’m looking forward to hearing about your concoctions so don’t forget to hashtag #CraftBrandTheory.
You start with a bottle of vodka, which will act as a blank canvas, then add the kit’s hand-weighed juniper berries, mixed spices, and botanicals. The ingredients will need to steep for about 36 hours. Afterwards you’ll enjoy a floral-tinged gin redolent with lavender, sandalwood, and green cardamom, as well as the requisite perfume of sweet juniper. The kit contains two attractive glass bottles for pouring and displaying your batch of quality homemade gin.
If you’re still in the creative zone why stop there. Make some fresh tonic to go with your gin with the Tonic Making Kit.
Try one of my favorite gin cocktails- The Mule
10 mint leaves
1/2 ounce simple syrup (or to taste)
1/2 ounce lime juice
1 1/2 ounces gin
2 ounces chilled ginger beer
garnish: lime wedge and mint sprig
You can order both the gin making kit and tonic making kit at http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/homemade-gin-kit.
Enjoy and don’t forget to drink responsibly.