Thing 19: A Whiskey Decanter

You decant wine to enhance flavor and separate sediment and whatnot. I don’t think there are flavor reasons to put whiskey in a decanter but it looks so cool. If you want to feel like you’re fabulously wealthy or an extra in Mad Men, get a decanter and fill it with whiskey. In my case, I also buy my everyday bourbon from Costco so the smaller, cuter container is a bonus for easy pouring, plus I feel classy and rich.

You probably shouldn’t store your brown liquor of choice in the decanter endlessly due to a less intensive seal than a bottle provided by the distiller. But once it is out and on display, you will *want* to pour yourself a drink more often, so that problem sort of solves itself. Georgia in NYC gets a decanter and glass set to add some elegance to her drinking game.

Thing 16: Bucatini

Ok I am going to admit that I did not know about bucatini until there was a shortage. I am not writing much here because I am asking you to read this entire longform piece about the shortage from Rachel Handler. But it really is the superior pasta. 

And if you’re still buying tomato paste for every day cooking in a can like a chump, upgrade yourself to the tube. But write the opening date on it in sharpie so you can toss it at 45 days (if you haven’t gleefully consumed it all). Maite in Houston gets some bucatini and some ‘mato tube.

Thing 12: Tip Top!

canned cocktail and coupe glass

Prepackaged cocktails are both a boon and a scourge. So many are sooooo bad, but they ARE very convenient for going places (illicitly drinking in parks, camping, tubing, etc.). Tip Top comes through for me here. They are delicious, tiny, and come in the most recyclable material- aluminum cans. Plus, a fancy giraffe mascot!

Delta has started offering the Tip Top old fashioned and the margarita on board certain flights. But more importantly, the most prominent liquor store in Grand Central also sells them. These little beauties are PERFECT for trains. Drink straight, pour over ice, or as I recommend with the margarita, add a splash of your own seltzer water. 

I am currently writing this while drinking these on a train. And I could ask for no better feeling. Tara in Arlington will be getting a hand delivery of two margaritas, two old fashioned, and two manhattans. If you live in CO, FL, GA, NY, SC, or TX you can find them in store. Otherwise, you can order them online.

Thing 11: Honey from a local (sometimes unusual!) source

jars of honey

Bees!!! ? ? ? ? ?

Beekeeping is more popular than ever in urban areas. From hobbyists to academic programs and everywhere in betweenbees!!! And with bees comes honey. I love small batch, local honey where the bees are super cultured. Local honey has health benefits and they people who care for local hives tend to have immense respect for how the bees are treated too

I jumped to get a jar when the Whitney sold honey harvested from the bees that live on their roof in artist-designed ceramic containers; picked some up during a trip to Salt Lake City a few years ago from the apiary on the rooftop of the main library, and I have purchased from multiple DC groups too (DC Bee, Second Story Honey). 

So when Congressional Cemetery emailed me about Rest in Bees, the honey made from the cemetery hives, I was all over that. This was also the first time a Favorite Thing went in reverse order. Janet, from the great state of Michigan, wanted some of the Rest in Bees honey but didn’t live locally anymore. After I offered to get her some, I then decided it would be perfect for Favorite Things so this jar is on the house!

Thing 5: FBWIOCB

orange bitters and a drink

Bitters are an amazing liquid. If you want to deep dive, you can read all about them in Brad Thomas Parsons’ Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All (side note: I love a good cocktail book almost as much as I love a good cocktail; check out my favorite). 

While you may best know the classic Angostura (and their oversized labels), there is a whole world of bitters out there that can change your life—lavender, chocolate, cardamom, grapefruit, celery, firewater, rhubarb, black walnut, and beyond! However, my absolute favorite is orange. And it doesn’t get better than Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Cocktail Bitters.

Drink them with your bourbon, in a rye manhattan, add them to your martini, or just put a few dashes in your soda water! A nice selection of bitters is the perfect addition to your home bar for those who imbibe and those who abstain. Put a little orange in your mouth. Isaac, a Wizard in Massachusetts, can do just that ??