Food & Drink | October 26, 2017 9:00 am

Staff Picks: All the Stuff Our Editors Fell In Love With This Week

Including smart lights, headphones and ukuleles

By The Editors

Welcome to InsideHook’s Staff Picks, a compendium of what our editors are digging recently.

Here’s a weekend sports score for ya: Hippos 30, Crocodiles 1.

Enjoy our staff picks:

GoRuck Simple Windbreaker
They make tough rucksacks. Now they make tough jackets. This is about as simple as a windbreaker gets, and as anyone who has even a splinter of insight into designing knows, doing simple well is hard to do. Constructed from the same ToughDry fabric used in their Challenger Pants, this windbreaker can be packed down to the size of a can. Plus, it’s priced under a Benjamin. — Michael Nolledo, Deputy Editor/Chicago Editor

Dyson Pure Cool Link Air Purifier
The head of the EPA thinks particulate matter caused by burning fossil fuels is good for you. This industry shill isn’t going anywhere, so I’m buying a Dyson Pure Link because it’s HEPA certified (cleans 99.7 percent of pollutants) and can help cool my house, which lately has reached unseasonably warm temperatures … huh. — Reuben Brody, Los Angeles Editor

Topo Designs Field Pant
Men’s pants keep getting smaller and smartphones keep getting bigger — a happy marriage, this does not make. If you want to stop suffering from crotch crowding, you’ll need a roomier pant with some roomy pockets to match. For that, these hard-wearing field pants from Colorado’s Topo Designs simply cannot be beat. Mid-weight twill for comfort, oversized patch front pockets for storage. G’head and put a tablet in there if you want. — Walker Loetscher, Editor in Chief

Fender Zuma Ukulele
Named after a SoCal beach, the two-pound Zuma is the mid-range model in Fender’s new line of ukes. Easy to pick up and pluck on (even if you’re not an experienced player), the concert-sized uke comes with lessons Fender’s new teaching app, Play. At $140, the pint-sized Zuma is already a decent value; for an extra $20 you get a Zuma bundle that includes a gig bag, tuner, instructional DVD and polishing cloth. You’ll be playing pig roasts in no time. — Evan Bleier, News Editor

Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless Headphones
Issues I have with over-ear headphones: They are large and my bag is small. I would just sport them around my neck, but I’m not that cool. Also, they make me look like I’m trying to make contact with outer space. And there’s the fear of running out of juice. Thankfully, these champs alleviate my woes. They’re minimal, they fold up nice and neat and have 22 hours of battery life. — Shari Gab, New York Editor

C by GE Sol
It’s a speaker, a versatile lighting system (that can help you sleep and wake up) and kitchen timer. An all Alexa-enabled. I tested out Sol this week, and it’s great if you want to get into the smart home world without clogging up your home with multiple devices. (Also, it’s now 35% off.)  — Kirk Miller, Managing Editor/Nation Editor

Canadian whisky is underrated. Flavored whiskies have their place. So cheers to Crown Royal, a perennial smooth-sipping brown spirit, for having legitimately tasty Vanilla, Apple and Salted Caramel variations in their portfolio (along with a recent Best Whisky in the World). This is what fall tastes like, and something your non-whisky friends will actually drink. Two easy recipes for parties below. (Yes, you can go back to single barrel bourbons and peated Scotches next week.)

Pumpkin Pie Cream Ale
1 Pint Pumpkin Beer
1.5 oz. Crown Royal Vanilla

Serve side by side, or drop the shot of Crown Royal Vanilla into the pumpkin beer.

Caramel Apple
0.75 oz. Crown Royal Regal Apple
1 oz. Crown Royal Salted Caramel
0.5 oz. lemon juice
4 oz. ginger ale

Pour ingredients over ice and stir. Garnish with fresh apple slices.

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