Gear | December 8, 2017 9:00 am

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

Including winter vests, bar trays, smart speakers and more

By The Editors

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

Remember “Chocolate Rain”? A more innocent time. But a reminder that erstwhile internet sensation Tay Zonday once nailed a Christmas classic:

Enjoy our staff picks:

CFORWARD Dustproof Mask
Nothing to see here. Literally: a thick cloud of smoke has been hanging around Los Angeles for three days now, thanks to a series of wildfires consuming the region. It smells like a campfire when you’re inside and it looks like Mordor outside. I’m adapting with a carbon filtering mask. It’s ergonomically snug and I can replace the filters. Wish us luck. — Reuben Brody, Los Angeles Editor

Bulk shopping on the cheap … without requiring you to be a member or do anything other than press buttons. Boxed is a perfect way to stock up for winter without going outside. Normally able to offer two-day delivery for free, Boxed also has pre-selected boxes for holidays and events if you don’t feel like sticking to your normal grocery list. Also: Free samples. — Evan Bleier, News Editor

Elizabeth Street Cafe Cookbook
Most underrated holiday meal? Christmas morning breakfast. Enter a brioche French toast with blueberry compote and brown butter sauce that will knock your family on its collective yuletide ass, courtesy of (in your correspondent’s humble opinion) one of the best damn restaurants in America. If you’ve not visited ESC in person, pick up their handy new tome and bring a little of their critically acclaimed Austin flavor into your own kitchen. And mouth. — Danny Agnew, Creative Director

Patagonia Recycled Wool Jacket
I’ve been mulling over mid-weight jacket options (since my current number has melted in three spots — long story), and Patagonia’s recycled fabrics are on my radar. This is at the top of my list, combining their 44% recycled wool melton and 53% recycled polyester jersey into a minimalist design. I also like to support the companies leading the charge to save our land. — Alex Lauer, Associate Editor

The Atlas 1-Day Backpack by Roark Revival
I’ve had the same backpack for five years now. By now, the bottom has had its share of visitors: pennies and dimes, scraps of loose-leaf paper, a half-melted chocolate peanut butter protein bar and ink from a spilt pen. Time for a change. This durable pack has the chops for following in Roark’s Nepal-motorcycling, Arctic wave-chasing footsteps, along with the necessary amenities to ease the load on your commute. — Tanner Garrity, Editorial Intern

CB2 Jax Leather Bar Tray
I’m currently rebuilding my home bar and it needs … something. This leather bar tray is that perfect something. Touch of gold stainless steel: check. Leather: also check. It’s perfect for serving and holding a few bottles when guests aren’t around. — Michael Nolledo, Deputy Editor

JBL Voice-Activated Link Speakers
These speakers are equippied with Google Home, which has hands down proven to be more accurate and attentive (yes, they are always listening) than Echo. In truth, I’ve become so reliant on the JBLs that I, “Hey Google, what’s the weather?” even when I’m on the road. I’m just going to start taking the Link10 model in my suitcase with me. — Shari Gab, Senior Producer

American Giant Buffalo Vest
Never understood the point of vests until this year. American Giant’s new canvas outerwear is great for layering — and the only way to comfortably survive fluctuating New York winter weather. Like their T-shirts and hoodies, AG’s vest feels strong (there’s heft here, but not bulk) that fits an XL like me perfectly. And thankfully, style-wise, it doesn’t make me look like I’m about to fish. — Kirk Miller, Managing Editor/Nation Editor


There’s not much to do on a craggy, boggy, infertile island with a population of 200 people. So they make whisky. And considering the distillery’s been there since 1810 (an early 20th-century closure notwithstanding), they’ve gotten pretty damn good at it. Earlier this year, the Jura distillery suspended the production of their other expressions to focus exclusively on a renovated recipe of Jura 10, a 10-year single malt finished in bourbon and sherry casks. It’s a mild, balanced, approachable whisky that we’ve dogeared as the ultimate sipper for the holidays — no matter how sophisticated your guests’ tastes are, they’ll dig this dram. And below, an after-dinner cocktail recipe perfect for the holidays (if you’re not drinking it neat). — Walker Loetscher, Editor-in-Chief

An Uncommon Ol’ Fashioned  

2 oz Jura 10
2 bar spoons of Amaro Montenegro
1 bar spoon of Demerara Sugar
2 dashes ango

Combine all ingredients and stir over ice. Strain into a Double Old Fashioned Glass over a large piece of ice. Garnish with expressed orange oils.

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