Welcome to InsideHook’s Staff Picks, a compendium of all the things our editors are digging on recently.
This might be the dullest Staff Pick an InsideHook editor has ever been responsible for, but bear with me. Scrub Daddy is the most indispensable household cleaning and maintenance item you will ever own. Within two-and-a-half years of a successful pitch on Shark Tank, the company had done more than $50m in sales, and for good reason: it f*cking works. I don't know what the hell it's made of (Plastic? Foam? Mr. Clean's beard trimmings?), but I do know what it does: removes any and all gunk off of dishes with a fraction of the effort you'd exert on standard sponges, never scratches anything, and is virtually odor-proof. — Walker Loetscher, Editor in Chief
Vans Authentic California Floral
At the end of Shawshank Redemption, as Red narrates Andy Dufresne’s escape from prison, he asks rhetorically: “How often do you really look at a man’s shoes?” Red must've never seen these floral Vans. They're a healthy departure from the mindless merry-go-round of Stan Smiths, discount Yeezys and white Chucks ... and will most assuredly have everyone looking. Pair ‘em with jeans/khakis and a simple white tee from Lady White. — Tanner Garrity, Associate Editor
I recently learned this wacky combo of bocce and bowling on the boardwalk in Dunkirk, France, where a ragtag crew of delightfully inebriated millennials were spending their afternoon drinking cheap (but excellent, because France) Côtes-du-Rhône out of the bottle and tossing the titular wooden pin just steps from the beach where Operation Dynamo took place back in 1940. Best game of lawn skill I've come across in a minute — easy to set up and keep score, requires slightly more skill and strategy (and thus is more interesting) than your typical tossin' contest, and highly conducive to both drinking and wagering. You'll be thanking me all summer, trust. — Danny Agnew, Creative Director
Herringbone Turkish Towel
I recently got a new towel, and let me tell you, it is a delight. Super lightweight and thinner than you would imagine, and what it lacks in plushness it more than makes up for in moisture wicking. Plus, the blue herringbone pattern and twilled ends look very nice hanging from a towel rack. And it's very reasonably priced at $30. — Eli London, Director of Partnerships and User Acquisition
Rockmount Fleece Western Shirt
Am I in the mood for some Western-styled, sunset-over-the-mesa-evoking threads because the new season of Westworld finally premieres this Sunday? Did packing away my winter flannels this week leave me feeling exposed and yearning for a comfortingly similar option? Are you feeling what I'm feeling? Then pick up this essential layer from Rockmount Ranch Wear. — Alex Lauer, Associate Editor
The Cocktail Guy by Rich Woods
The worst part about cocktail recipes? Most mixologists assume you possess a full library of spirits, the desire to infuse your own ingredients and an infinite amount of time and patience. Rich Woods, aka The Cocktail Guy, admits all that ... and then proceeds to very carefully instruct you — with accurate time measurements ("12 hours prep time") and the nicest cocktail photos we've ever seen — on how to make seemingly impossible drinks a real thing in your life. If you can perfect a Chocolate & Blue Cheese Martini or a Kobe Cocktail (note: start by crafting your own wagyu-infused whisky), then you'll certainly wow your friends. And maybe your bartender. — Kirk Miller, Managing Editor/Nation Editor
THE BEST THING WE DRANK THIS WEEK
We recently took a cocktail class at Analogue, one of New York’s finer drink destinations (and if you’re in New York, so can you! They offer ‘em monthly in the private space in back). The easiest and best drink we made was The West 8th, which requires no special ingredients and minimal prep. It’s also great for warmer temps ahead.
The West 8th
3 slices cucumber
Small pinch of fresh mint
0.5 oz simple syrup
1 oz lemon juice
2 oz Reyka vodka
Shake, strain and top with 1.5 oz soda. Serve in a coupette.
Says Analogue co-owner Jared Gordon: “The West 8th is our take on a Southside, one of the classics. We developed it a little, incorporating cucumber for its refreshing qualities, and using vodka to appeal to a wider audience. We often get requests for the drink to be made with gin, which we are happy to honor. The West 8th was one of our original house cocktails, and it has truly stood the test of time. It is both interesting and approachable, and goes down smooth and easy.”
(Photo: Asia Coladner)
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