CLEVELAND — Many people plan to entertain over the holidays, and the staple for a successful cocktail party may include lots of liquor.
But the quality of the drinks is also key. So, whether you say Na zdrowie!, L’Chaim!, or Salute! to toast, we have gadgets will have guests cheering.
We tested them at Lake Effects Bar in Cleveland, a pop-up hipster spot open just for the holidays and decorated like you were home for them.
Mike Farrell, who has tended bar there for the past two season says, “People start coming in here right after work downtown, and they stay all night, and a have a great time.”
For the first round of our test, we were chilling with the Corkcicle Ice Bucket. It's triple walled insulated, and keeps ice cold for 48 hours. And with a sweat-free exterior, you won’t get all that condensation on the outside.
If you don’t want to wait for your beer or bottle of champagne to cool, the Cooper Cooler Rapid Chiller will give you a cold one in minutes.
You pour ice into the machine, a couple of cups of water and pop in your warm beverage. Then hit the button for the corresponding booze and watch it shake, rattle and roll.
“It’s filtering the water from down below, and that’s how it’s cooling it,” said Farrell.
As for how cool?
“Cold,” he said. “Like it came out of cooler at a bar.”
Now, how about turning that beer into a nitro-style draft? The Fizzics Draft Pour Beer Dispenser looked good, but the beer ending up tasting about the same as the beer from the bottle. When we tried it with canned beer though, it was top shelf.
Finally, if wine pops your cork, you can clink your glass to the Cork Pops Wine Aerator and Dispenser. Farrell said people like to aerate their wine, or "let it breathe."
“There are certain gases in the air that will change the taste of wine.”
The Aerator draws wine up to a filter where it mixes with air, then automatically pours. But the wine had bubbles as it filled the glass.
Farrell said he thought that could be part of the process of aerating the wine, but added, "For me, if I'm ordering a nice bottle of wine, I'm going to sit and order it before I order anything else and sit there and just let it breathe naturally."
It did however get four out of five stars on Amazon and will likely impress your guests.
So, with gadgets like these, that makes toasting a breeze. The only hiccup of the night might be running out of booze.
But remember, drink responsibly and get a designated driver if you're going to hit the roads.