5 Things of the Moment: February 2013

In less than a month we rejoice at the arrival of Spring, warmer weather and  slightly longer days which melt into the balmy nights and sunny days of summer.

WITH temperatures shyly rising, in-between seasons are tricky times and although we will be releasing our Spring 2011 Manual (this Friday) for now these are our five favorite things of the moment…

The Venerable Home Shirt

The man at rest...

A gentleman’s home is his castle, not his cave and one can neither parade around in a smoking jacket all day nor can one walk around shirtless. This is why we believe that in a man’s wardrobe there is the need for the venerable, comfy, home shirt.

The Henley is the perfect shirt for this; long-sleeve for the cooler mornings (which can be rolled up as the temperature climbs, and, should you need to run a quick errand, a button short can be thrown on top of it at a moment’s notice. Look for a Henley that’s, made of soft cotton and comfortable. Fit is important, you shouldn’t be swimming in it, but neither should it look like you spray-painted it on (it’s not a muscle shirt).

The Safety Razor

The comfortable shave

Even the most ardent gentleman is tempted to go ‘grizzly’ during the cold winter months but Spring is time to welcome a new year, clean-shaven and properly groomed. Paying $24USD for four-pack of triple razors for a $3 razor that looks reversed engineered from a Transformer can be fun, but overall an unnecessary waste of money.

The truth is while three blades may give you a closer shave- they also irritate the skin much more causing razor bumps and ingrown hairs. The solution: an old-fashioned safety razor (the above is from German stalwart Merkur available at http://www.Amazon.com or here): “I swear by it,” says Alejandro Ortiz our Editor-at-Large “first off their incredibly economical and a single razor can easily sustain two weeks of regular shaving and they give a great shave without irritating my skin…”

The razor head itself may cost more than the drug-store plastic wonder, but pays for itselves in razor-savings within a few weeks.

A Boat Club

The life…

If you live by water and you don’t have a boat, then move somewhere else! We know why you don’t of course- the Young Gentlemean has many things to take care of and financial prudence is one of them which is why a Boat club is the best option.

Owning a boat is expensive, nevermoind the cost of buying the boat, but then you have to keep it in a marina, maintain it, insure it and the list (and costs) go on and on. With a boat club all those worries are gone! You only pay a monthly fee ($150-$300 depending on your club) and there will always be a boat waiting for you! No maintenance fees, no docking fees nothing= no headaches= pure pleasure. Enjoy

We like www.freedomboatclub.com but there are many boat clubs out there- shop around!

The iPad

The ultimate past-time…

Sure it’s been around but there is no better gadget on the planet (Barnes and Noble’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle are good, but cannot do everything an iPad can!). As the spring draws near and the nights slightly warm, it’s a good time to squeeze in a couple more books before it’s too late. www.store.apple.com

Cotton Chinos (by Brooks Brother’s)

The standards of Spring…

Chino season is coming, but it’s not too early to begin dusting the mothballs off them. A soft pair of chinos with a comfy Henley is the ideal stay-at-home get-up one which can, with a simply button-down shirt, be immediately dressed up. Live a little though, experiment with colors far beyond khaki and grey. We like Brooks Brother’s new line of soft cotton twill chinos which can be both casual-cool and with a roll or two of the cuff and a polo or a spruced up with a sports coat and an oxford..

-TGG

Where’s my favorite blog?!

And we’re back… excuse us for the absence but we’ve taken a break, recalibrated and back with much more content and a wider reach than ever before!

WE’VE got great bourbon recommendations, dreat digs for man shoes, easy recipes in “Man Can Cook”, more silly seasonal colognes that matter and a slew of other great content. We’re reaching into the archives bringing some of our best hits, emptying our mail with some great reader questions and are signing up a slew of contributors to round out our pieces. “

Where have you guys
gone!?” was a question we got… fret not, you’re favorite men’s blog is back. Spread the world—let the world know. This is The Young Gentlemen’s Guide.

Smell’s Like Spring/Summer: The ins and outs of seasonal cologne…

The Splash

More than just clothes summer, or the changing of any season for that matter, affords one the ability to also change the way they smell. Your perfume, or cologne, for those sensitive types who feel emasculated by the calling it perfume, is a scent unto yourself.

You’re not supposed to smell cologne several feet away; in fact if a someone with their eyes closed can tell you’ve walked into a small room because of the smell of your cologne you’re wearing to much.

How much is enough (and this goes for the ladies too, a lot of women out there wear waaaay to much of the stuff…)?

The idea is that only when someone gets close to you, snuggle-kiss-close then only then can tell your cologne. So that it is an integral part of you, an integral part of your presence, not an entirely different being that announces itself by its smell. No she (or he) is supposed to smell your cologne as a symbiosis between the perfumer’s art and your own chemistry.

Moreover perfume is like a watch, or shoes, or belts; there are particular ones for different seasons, times of the year, moods, etc. Like the kind of shirt you wear on any particular instance you need to ask yourself; am I wearing this to be comfy? Am I on the prowl? Am I going to a nice dinner? The beach? The Café? Walk the dog? A wine tasting, in which case don’t wear one!

Believe it or not these are all considerations to take- but my fellow one-thing-at-a-time-can’t-chew-gum-and-walk-at-the-same-time kinsmen; don’t fret; we may be getting a bit ahead of ourselves. Let’s stick with the four seasons at the very least; while it may not be necessary to rotate through four different scents a year (unless you REALLY want to, as most regular guys can get away with two) let’s at least, for shits and giggles, discuss the parameters of what “seasonal colognes” may look like:

Spring

You’re just coming our of week of brutal cold (maybe) and all that comes with it; so whatever the scent is it has to make that transition. Here is where “manly florals” come in as well as soft musks. Nothing overly flowery and nothing too dark and spicy; while at the same time leaving the full-blown citrus smells for the summer. Think mild spices (peppercorn, absinthe, juniper, cinnamon), flowers (hyacinth, violets, vetiver, patchouli), and ( I know I’m loosing you…) soft fruits; bergamot, etc.

The Prototype: Polo Black

Ok- enough; let’s keep the rest simple;

Summer

‘Aquatic’ smells; citrus, juniper, mints, think, if smells were colors; green, yellow, and light blue.

The Prototype: Cool Water, Aqua di Gio

Fall

This is where it gets interesting because there is a certain amount of overlap here and with the spring scents, without the floral and powdery notes, only this can afford to be a little headier, a little rounder, more mysterious with brown/baking spices, musk, but still a smattering of flowers and orchard and stone fruits, vetiver et al.

The Prototype: Chanel Pour Homme

Winter

Here we get into deep territory because winter can afford the gentleman a wide array of very cool and exotic scents- (wikipedia these guys) with things like oudh, ambergris, amber, musks, tobacco etc. You want this to smell like you with a bit of mystery, a bit of anticipation…

The Prototype: Tom Ford

From Theory to Actual Practicality:

Is this all necessary—yes and no, read my previous post  here on “ritual”- Ritual makes every day mundane things into elements of pleasure. Trust me. I travel nearly 250 days-a-year and definitely do not carry a treasure chest of perfumes with me, but I do carry one or two choice specimens on me at all times.

Scent Obsessed?

TGG ASKS/ Q: Do you really have to buy four perfumes for the whole year?

A: No. As for myself I actually juggle more like six or five; and not necessarily by season. For most of last summer I wore what has become one of my favorite perfumes of all time; Annick Goutal’s “Mandrigore” (buy here). The website says it’s supposed to be a composition of mandrake and other stuff but what it really reminds me of is a spicy mojito. In the fall I retired the scent, but if I had to go for a week-long trip inot the hot and humid climes of South-East Asia Mandragore was one of my first things to pack and I relished every second of it in a warm respite before returning back to the cold (and to a headier cologne). Another summertime favorite, especially by the beach was “Incontro” by Feragammo, a great little citrus-fresh perfume.

For the cold I have a usual ‘go-to’ which is what I wear the most often and that’s Creed’s Tabarome (buy here); if my girl misses me, this is what she sprays on the pillow. It’s good to have a scent like this, a scent that’s yours and is immediately identifiable with you- a scent, like a lucky shirt or your lucky underwear, that although you might do and try a bunch of other things, you still go back to.

In Delhi for late night partying, clubbing and mixing (or anywhere else for that matter-) my “ay papi” scent became Chanel’s “Pour Monsieur”; a haunting perfume that drives most women crazy, or my partner’s “1211” by Frappin (perfumes are universally unisex; the rest is marketing).

In cool spring and in summer nights, and the one little bottle I travel with quite a bit is Bulgari’s “Pour Homme Soir” which smells of bergamot, candied ginger, metal-aldehydes (sort of like an icy, metallic floweriness), and ends with a touch of leather and amber- very masculine, very cool.

But again, these all stay at home and a may bring one or two with me when I travel, especially if I know I’m going out and I have my “day” cologne and then my “evening cologne”

But, if you’re a one-smell-fits all kind of guy then so be it; I’m not, and subsequently all my toiletries deodorants, shaving cream and aftershave are scentless. But that’s just me, ultimately it adds a bit of fun to your life.

The stuff...

For this Spring/ Summer (accent on summer) TGG brings you a linne-up of some perfect pairings for summer and some of my personal favorites, one smell-inspired post at  time:

The Almanac of What the Modern Man Needs to Know: The Fuente Anejo #48

Many Fuente enthusiasts are thrown in ecstasy when they come across the highly desirable Opus X. Indeed, the Opus X has attained somewhat of a cult following in the cigar community. The ability to carry the Opus X is occasionally viewed as mark of excellence for cigar dealers.

The House

by: Richard Urban

NEEDLESS to say that i was very excited when  I smoked my first Opus X several years ago. Sadly,  I was left disappointed and thus continued my search for the perfect celebration cigar. Alas, I found said cigar in a lesser known offering from the venerable Arturo Fuente house. Some readers may remember that I mentioned in my previous column that I was devotee of the Anejo line. The cigars in this line from Fuente are some of the scarcest in the world. If the Opus X represents gold to the premium cigar smoker than the Anejo must represent platinum.

The quest for the Anejo is often an elusive one. Very few stores actually carry offerings from this line. Indeed, some retailers proudly claim it is the rarest cigar in the world. Fuente releases Anejos only around Father’s Day and Christmas in minute quantities. When one does find an Anejo, there is usually a strict three cigar per customer limit and an overly-inflated price. The retail price from Fuente is between $9.00 and $12.00 in the U.S. (depending on size) but it is not unheard of to see a price of $30.00 or more in cigar shops nation-wide.

The Goods

The Anejo No. 48 represents the epitome of luxury. Many of its components are secret, though it is believed to include blends used in the Opus X, Don Carlos, and Hemingway lines. Once it has been rolled it is aged in cognac barrels. I had the rare pleasure of being permitted to purchase a box of these rarities from a local dealer two years ago. Since that time I have smoked them only on special occasions.

The Test Drive

The first thing one notices about the Anejo is the presentation. A cedar wrapper encases the cigar with a red felt wrapper holding it all in place.

The Smoke

Upon lighting the cigar, one is greeted with aromatic delight. A combination of earthy, chocolate, and cognac scents provide the nostrils with a delightful experience. A small soft draw is all that is needed to keep this cigar light, allowing for a relaxed meditation. Immediately apparent is the flavor is the light scents of cedar interspersed with hints of spice. As it continues, the flavor of cognac is apparent but not overpowering. If one pays close attention, a hint of chocolate can be detected.

Another unique characteristic of the Anejo is the scent it produces. A friend of mine, who does not share my enthusiasm for cigars, once remarked that cigars smell wonderful until lit. The Anejo, however, seems to only get better as one smokes it. The aroma of flowers, cedar, and cognac is combined to produce an enjoyable bouquet [haters not withstanding].

The Experience

There is only one drawback when it comes to the Anejo; the fluctuating and always high price. As a result the Anejo is a cigar meant for special occasions. It is the Dom Perignon of cigars. Perfect for celebrating the purchase of your first sports-car or the post wedding conversation with your new father in law.

 
Richard Urban has been smoking fine cigars since he turned 18 and at any given night can be found in Union Cigar Club in Pennsylvania. Richard runs a rare book store and currently attends Gettysburg College.

The 2011 Gift Roundup!

Well…It’s that time of year again  and if you haven’t rounded up gifts for those special people on your life, then you’re in trouble!

THAT of course does not apply to you, dear reader, you have us, and we at TGG have rounded up a list of fail-safe gifts for either a) that special gentleman in your life (ladies) or b) a young Gentlemen’s father, brother, or bosss…

Read on…

 

Gentleman’s hint: these gifts work well for the other Gentlemen in a Young Gentlemen’s life…

 

For Him

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Tourbillon

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Tourbillon

The Watch

From our friends at Gentlemen’s Gadgets

Suit fits like a second skin, shoes are polished perfectly, shirt’s dazzling white, well then there’s an a definite need for an adequate timekeeper to complete the package. Jaquet Droz presents their latest watch, the Grande Seconde Tourbillon, which displays a loud elegance including an astonishing tourbillon carriage crafted from sapphire crystal. The case is made from 18kt gold and measures 43mm, the dial exhibits Grand Feu enamel, and the caliber is a Swiss automatic Jaquet Droz in-house caliber 25JD with 31 jewels, 21.600 vph and a power reserve of 7 days.

A scent to bring that special someone near:

HISTORIES de PERFUME ‘edition rare’ : PÉTROLEUM

The Fragrance

From our friends at Aedes de Venustas NYC:

In all of its precious form Oudh is effortlessly felt throughout the fragrance. Woven with bergamot and orange its fresh top notes unfold, assertively layered with woody and resinous power. Ozonic floralcy lives at the heart as a mystical rose unveils warmed ambered stones. An eccentric chypre character exhales narcotic fumes with an intense signature of leather wrapped in lucid white musk…

It is a potion, a rare elixir that will lead to exalted ecstasy and pure euphoria.

[What?! – it’s smells good that’s what…]-TGG

TOP NOTES: Oud, Bergamot, Aldehyde

MIDDLE NOTES: Rose, oud, amber

BASE NOTES: Oud, civet, leather, patchouli.

CATEGORY: Woody

buy here

 

A Grown Man’s Duffle Bag from T.Anthony

 

From our friends at T.Anthony:

With luxurious leather detailing our stylish canvas and leather carry on is ideal for shorter trips or weekend getaways. Lightweight and spacious, it has a removable shoulder strap and two interior zip pockets. This duffle is a customer favorite and a perfect gift item for travelers of any kind. 22” x 12” x 11”

[PS- they put your initials on it too… if that’s not enough you actually are carrying something distinctive and distinguished – not a tattered all cheap suitcase. If you want an “wheeled duffle” option check one out here]

The Cigar: Torano Single Region Jalapa Serie

The Smoke

From our friends at Cigarfan.net:

The word terroir means “land” in French, but it is most commonly used in the wine trade to indicate the qualities that are imparted to grapes by the growing environment. This basically comes down to soil quality and weather, both of which have a tremendous impact on the quality of the fruit.

The same thing goes for tobacco (and coffee, and probably all agricultural products.) Tobacco is a resilient plant that will grow almost anywhere, but black tobacco suitable for cigar making is much more finicky and is in many ways sensitive to the terroir. A tobacco grower does everything he can to produce the ideal conditions that will result in the type of leaf he wants –  from buttressing the soil with minerals and fertilizers to shading the plants with cloth to create a lighter shade of wrapper leaf.

Cigar blends usually incorporate leaves from several different regions to create a balance of the best qualities of each region. As an example (maybe not a great one), piloto cubano from the Dominican Republic might be used for spice, combined with a milder volado leaf to promote an even burn; a broadleaf binder from Connecticut might be used to give it a round leathery taste, and it might be finished off with a maduro wrapper from the San Andres Valley of Mexico for a chocolatey sweetness. It would be unusual to find tobacco with all of those qualities in one region, let alone one farm.

But that is exactly what the Toraño family has done with its Single Region release. Part of the reason they are able to do this is because it’s a hell of a region — the Jalapa Valley of Northern Nicaragua is one of the most fertile and productive places to grow cigar tobacco outside of Cuba. The Jalapa Valley is known for the sweetness and rich flavor of its tobacco, and is sometimes contrasted with tobacco from Esteli, which tends to be sharper and stronger.

All of the tobaccos in the Toraño’s Single Region come from one farm called El Estero after a stream that runs through the farm.

To buy: Ask you local tobacconist.

 

 

Tequila dressed as Cognac: Don Julio 1942

The Drink

A tribute tequila of astonishing depth, Tequila Don Julio 1942 (a limited-edition tequila) is best appreciated when served in a snifter.

The luxury tequila of choice in Mexico, Tequila Don Julio uses only the choicest, fully matured and ripened blue agave hand- selected from the rich, clay soils of the Los Altos region.

In commemoration of Don Julio’s 60th anniversary of producing the highest quality tequila, Tequila Don Julio 1942 was born. Using a personal selection of prime agave, Don Julio created this unique batch of tequila aged for at least two and a half years in American white oak barrels. Adding even more to its exclusivity, Tequila Don Julio 1942 is made with the distillate in Pot Still 6, which produces only three barrels per cycle.

Color: Deep, bright amber hue with specks of gold; full-bodied.

Nose: Sweet aromas of caramelized cherries and tones of nuts, almonds and chocolate combine with exotic cinnamon and a light essence of oak. The vanilla fragrance is interestingly sweet and enjoyable.

Taste: A silky, smooth character that coats the palate with roasted agave flavors, vanilla, sun-ripened tropical fruits and spiced undertones to create a wonderfully unique tequila experience.

Finish: Beautiful, sweet agave-laced finish with lingering hints of oak and rich vanilla essence; a full-bodied creaminess resulting from distillation and aging

[nuff said] – TGG

FOR the Young Gentlemen with Ladies in his life it is important that such gifts reflect the same class and attention to detail he wishes to embellish on himself.

Ultimately a gift is personal and not all women like champagne and truffles; some may just prefer a vintage cigar with a good bottle of brandy [God bless such women]. Nevertheless The Young Gentlemen’s Guide has rounded up a variety of basics sure to please most Ladies.

As for that ‘special woman’ in a Gentlemen’s life (i.e. not your mother) we always you stick stick to our traditional dictum: some say “…Go big or go home…” with her gift we say “…go bling or go sexy…” [i.e. jewelry or lingerie].

For Mom (grandma, cousin, boss, etc…)

A Box of Serenity: Santa Maria Novella Gift Boxes

The Goods...

From our Friends at Aedes de Venustas:

A beautiful signature Santa Maria Novella gift box filled with the signature Melograno candle, Melograno soap, a small box of potpourri and lemon verbena scented hand cream. Makes a stunning gift for any occasion.

[Guys… trust on this one…]

Buy here

“Happiest of Holiday Box” by John & Kira Chocolates 

 

 

The Sweets...

Local, organic, and sustainable… but just as important: handcrafted, top-notch ingredients and utterly delicious. Sure you can get that same old golden box of factory made Belgian stuff, but then again it’s everywhere and that makes it utterly not special. Know what we mean? For the same amount of dough you can go the quality route while repeating to yourself the golden rule “small is beautiful…”

This 28 piece chocolate box is John&Kira’s most classic and popular holiday gift and features all ten of their award winning flavors.

To make them, they infuse real herbs and spices into fresh cream, such as just picked garden mint or fresh young ginger from the island of Molokai in Hawaii. The infused cream is then heated and poured over amazingly complex Valrhona milk or dark chocolate and mixed until a super creamy ganache is achieved. The ganache is then poured into a frame, allowed to set for 48 hours, and cut into one and a quarter inch squares. Finally, each delicate square is enrobed in a thin layer of 62% dark Valrhona chocolate and marked by hand with a fork. The brown and red box is finished with a letter-pressed card announcing “The Happiest of Holidays To You”.

Buy them here

Ok—So, how bout for that very special woman? Go bling or go sexy (or go home!)

Go Bling: Victorian Mine-Cut Diamond Pendant

Victorian Mine-Cut Diamond Pendant

The Bling

Buy here… (don’t say we didn’t warn you– ultimately it’s a direction…)

Go Sexy: Lingerie from Agent Provocateur

Classic Agent Provocateur; the finest pink lace with a black Chantilly lace overlay in a flirtatious floral pattern.

The Classics - Francoise

The Sexy...

 Buy here

 

The Young Gentlemen’s Guide wishes everyone a Happy Holiday Season!

INDEX of SUPERFLUOUS NECESSITIES: The Velvet Slipper

It is said the truly great things in life are things one desires, not things one needs. This can be said for great Bourbon, a fast car or a luxurious smoke.

IT is further said you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes, but what about when shoes need to be 1) comfortable and 2) thoroughly decadent?

What if such a shoe need s to find itself appropriate for the opera and as at home for wearing around the house?

These shoes, potentially, can  be worn with smartly cut dark jeans and a black velvet jacket to go about town and are, not anything a man truly needs, but they still manage to be the perfect gift.

Enter: The Velvet Slipper.

True, the notion of a man in a seemingly precious pair of slippers is enough to  send shudders down most guy’s spines, but, alas, the velvet slipper has its place! A casual night at the local cigar-lounge, hanging by the pool in the moonlight at the Soho House or a chic evening outing, a velvet slipper can add a touch of nonchalant elegance to any man’s wardrobe.

Like anything that straddles that line between utterly and stupidly pretentious and smartly stylish and classic, it’s all about the details (and the rules that govern such details…)

Places to not wear one:

–       The local Pub.

–       The Office.

–       The Hardware store.

The Ultimate "Chill-out Shoe"

Places to wear them:

–       At home, chilling.

–       Whilst enjoying a cigar and a Scotch.

–       A brothel.

 

Otherwise go nuts with the following guidelines:

–       Do NOT wear with casual or sports clothing.

–       Do NOT wear them to walk around the town.

–       Keep embroidery to a minimum… some guys like skulls on them, some want their initials (keep them simple) but keep the snobbishness to a minimum (i.e. no crowns, fleur-de-lys or ‘family shields’ – unless, of course, said wearer belongs to a proper royal household).

–       Wear them well: Don’t cook in them, don’t mow the lawn in them, don’t run in them.

–       The shoes are the statement- keep everything else tame.

–       Wear with confidence.

 

Jeans and Blazer Shoe

The Color Protocol

–       Colors Light: Light blues and yellows can be worn with slim cut, flat-front khakis or white pants, even very faded well-cut jeans. This is important, when one wears velvet slippers one must account for them, that is, the velvet slipper is the punch-line and very much a central part of the outfit, and by wearing them one is referencing a very specific European lifestyle ‘look’ therefore if you are not comfortable with this look- ditch the velvet shoes (at least in lighter colors). Otherwise, wear as you would

Smart Casual

–       Colors Dark: This is the safest bet! Black (classic), navy or hunter green. As for the first two wear them with similarly colored blazers and either dark jeans or grey trousers. Dark ‘hunter’ greens get trickier but with a similarly colored polo or a khaki suit they may look appropriate. If “less is more” was ever a stand-by, this is it.

–       A Word on the “red/Burgundy” slipper: Should you be the ‘smoking jacket type’ (see our post about said smoking jacket here) in that classic shade of velvet and burgundy then by all means; but tread carefully—it is but the boldest men who can pull off this look!

 

In truth a great pair of velvet slippers could well be the most versatile shoe you own.

 

Where to find them

A small army of great suppliers feature velvet slippers; from Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren to venerable houses like Paul Davies London and John Lobb. We like Del Toro Shoes for their fantastic range and custom-options. For your first pair this is the way to go!

 

Enjoy (and don’t say we didn’t warn you!)…

The Most Benevolent Cuban Cigar Field-guide presents: The Partagas Culebra

TGG CIGAR PRIMER

Type: Figurado specifically: culebra

Origin: Cuba

Brand: Partagas

Background: Partagas was founded in 1827 and is often credited with being the first proper cigar factory.

 

THE lore of why Culebras are braided together range from “so the employees couldn’t steal more cigars”, to “making it difficult for employees to sell their unique daily stipend of cigars on the black market”.

Who knows what the truth is but I, for one, just care about the uniqueness of the cigar itself.

 

Appearance:

The twisted truth...

 

The Taste:

Cutting the end I take a few cold draws:  It’s a nice and easy draw and as far as the flavor is concerned I only detect the slightest hint of barnyard shine through. I quickly toast the foot and take a few soft draws. The first third of it hits me with a shot of spice and a very mild earthy flavor. Two-thirds into the cigar things get interesting with a very strong woody almost cedar-like essence and a persistent hint of earth.

The last bit of the cigar unfurls hefty notes of leather with bits of cocoa and coffee which never seem to be overwhelming.

The beautiful grayish/black ash never lasts more then an inch at a time, partly due to the fact that the cigars had been severely manipulated by twisting them together but if you are looking to make a statement at your next event I highly recomend this Partagas Culebras to be the life of the party. –RT

 

 

Ron Tulotta, a Staten Island Native and trained Chef has worked in the kitchens of some of the America’s most renowned restaurants and lends his discerning palate, sacrifices it really, for TGG’s newest column, posted every other Wednesday: The Most Benelovent Cuban Cigar Field Guide”.

TGG Welcomes it’s newest “Segment” : The Most Benelovent Cuban Cigar Field-guide

In the world of Cigars no stogie is morerevered than those which bare the much-coveted “Hecho a mano en Cuba” (made by hand in Cuba).

 

The Seal

WHILE a forbidden fruit in the United States, Cuban Cigars are the norm in the rest of the world and since The Guide has subscribers all over the world, particularly the UK, Australia and India it is only beffiting that our efforts to inform today’s gentlemen on the pleasures of Cigars include Cubans (or Habanos as they are known) alongside some of the best smokes coming out of the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras.

Ron Tulotta, a Staten Island Native and trained Chef has worked in the kitchens of some of the America’s most renowned restaurants and lends his discerning palate, sacrifices it really, for TGG’s newest column, posted every other Wednesday: The Most Benelovent Cuban Cigar Field Guide”.

The Sacrifice...

Stay tuned! Next-up:  Partagas Culebras!

 

(Remember to Join us on TWITTER: TGG_INSIDER)

 

Manual to Incessant Faux Pas: A Forgotten Valentine’s?s

It happens… life is what happens while you are making plans, and somewhere between work, your sanity and the occassional cigar or Scotch you are left in the frigid cold with a sick feeling in your stomach that reminds you that you completely forgot Valentine’s Day.

Hopefully it’s not too late… but maybe it is. If that’s the case then you need to up the ante (we’re saying it upfront… it’s going to cost you). But, if for whatever reason, she hasn’t caught up to the fact yet then there’s still hope… Remember, at this point… it’s too late for chocolate!

Top Three Gifts for a Last-Minute Valentine:

 

1- Spa Day

The Recovery...

Why: Because a soothing massage never gets old and there is nothing which will make them forget sooner than half a day being pampered. Check local luxury or high-end Hotels in your area, call them up and don’t skimp on the extras. When they’re done , meet them for a drink at the restaurant and make sure to make it champagne.

 

 

2- Personalized Fragrance (by Le Labo)

The personal scent...

Why: Because everyone likes something with their name on it, and unlike other monogrammed or engraved things this one takes no more than a couple hours. Le Labo names every single scent after the recipient who will be enjoying it, what’s more their fragrances are intoxicating and one of a kind. Let them know this is a rush gift and they will expedite accordingly… (tell them The Young Gentlemen’s Guide sent you…)

 

 

3- Something Cashmere

The source...

Why: Because there is no fabric as sexy… where does your Valentine spent most of their time? On the sofa? Cashmere throw. In bed curled up reading= Cashmere robe. Do they get cold easily= Cashmere sweater. BUT all cashmere is not the same… any of the above should be coming in the vicinity of $350USD or more– the best cashmere comes from the longest fibers on the goat of the same name. TGG’s Cashmere Kings: Loro Piana, Bottega Veneta, Ralph Lauren.

 

 

Top Three Gifts for a Forgotten Valentine: $$$+++

(Step one: Tell them their gift is either a) on it’s way or b) being made or c) both)

 

 

1- Trip to Paris

 

The perfect place...

Why: Because there is no city in the world that is more resplendent, romantic and timeless. See our “Gentlemen’s Guide to Paris” for more info. (Alternates: Siem Reap, Cambodia and/or Napa Valley, California)

 


2- The Gift Vault (by Ralph Lauren)

The hook-up

Why: Because these are truly unique pieces which, according to the Website, are assembled by a small team of individuals who scour the world for them. Register to the web-site for more pricing information.

 

 

 

3- Set of monogrammed Rawhide Hard Luggage from T. Anthony

The standout

Why: Because. “I swear by T. Anthony,” says Alejandro Ortiz, TGG’s Editor-At-Large; “They’re durable, functional, stylish and unique… you’ll never have a problem identifying your bag and they are understated only a few inductees can tell when you have a T.Anthony bag.” All T.Anthony bags are handmade and monogrammed- the raw-hide collection features hard-wood framed cases are finished in goat-skin and feature interior pockets, clothing ties, combination lock and polished nickel hardware. Moreover their guaranteed for a lifetime. These are as good as heirlooms and they are available (here) in a variety of sizes, from a carry on, to a full wardrobe trunk on casters and everything in between (make-up and hat boxes…).

 

~TGG~

 

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Index of Superfluous Necessities: The Spirits Decanter

The mark of a true gentleman is best illustrated in the details of how he carries himself, dresses himself and adorns his surroundings (and/or chooses to do away with frivolity while doing so).

TAKING a cue from this we shall visit the gentleman’s private bar, the place where he chooses to store a small but carefully curated selection of spirits for the Gentleman to enjoy at his leisure.

It is important that the gentleman carries a selection of spirits that suit his tastes (not a message or image he wants to convey) as well as those friends, colleagues and individuals whom imbibe with him in the pleasures of a Scotch or cocktail.

The Drink...

[TGG Hint; for more on re-stocking you bar see The Spirit’s “6 Upgrades to your Bar”]

In keeping with this notion (of doing away with unnecessary frivolity) a gentleman must eschew any possible show of pretension, unfortunately such avoidance is at times difficult as spirits producers have worked diligently in developing eye-catching labels which are as self-announcing as the shape of the bottles themselves.

 

Enter the Spirits Decanter.

The Decanter

Unlike a wine decanter which primarily serves to air a wine (in addition to separating sediment from the w2ine in older bottling) the spirits decanter hails from an era where a gentleman may have had his favorite local distiller bottle the spirit, straight from cask, into an often ornate decanter from his collection. These decanters were often made by the lead craftsmen of the day, many still recognized today: Christofle, Baccarat and in the Americans, Tiffany’s.

The crystal decanter

Today the spirits decanter, although made somewhat irrelevant by the lighter and more transportable bottle, serves as an elegant touch to a gentlemen’s bar an does away with the unnecessary affectations of recreating a gaudy tavern, with rows of labels, in what should be an elegant pursuit of pleasure… one sip at a time.

 

What to look for:

 

Look for a decanter which suits your tastes and sorroindings; cut glass is not a taste all enjoy equally. Should a Gentleman’s personal style lean more towards minimalist, then find a decanter which expressese the same kind of lean simplicity.

The most important part of a decanter is the stopper: it must create and air-tight seal, otherwise its contents will evaporate. Although plastic is popular, sanded glass, which requires a slight twist once inserted, is far superior.

 

Where to keep them:

The Setup

Keep decanters in an elegant setting on a bureau or in a corner table on a tray. Otherwise in the confines of a cupboard.

 

What to keep in them:

 

You’re go to spirits: Scotch, whiskey, gin, rum, etcetera. Cream-based liqueurs are best

The letter should reflect the spirit therein

in their bottles. Other items such as triple-sec or vermouth could also be kept in a decanter; but these are better-off kept stored in their own bottles.

While monogramming with one’s initials is a silly affectation having a single letter, that of the spirit  enclosed, is useful if all the decanters are the same style so that a “G” would denote Gin while a “S” is Scotch.

 

 

[All the decanters pictures in this post can be found at www.potterybarn.com or at www.ralphlauren.com as part of his “Home Collection” the ‘modern’ decanters can be found at Crate & Barrell]