April 2015 Product Reviews: The Generic Mitten, Mixology Dice and Portal Jacket

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Two Tumbleweeds’ Mixology Dice are a great way to get out of one’s usual cocktail-making rut, challenge drinkmaking skills or get creative with mixed drinks.
Two Tumbleweeds’ Mixology Dice are a great way to get out of one’s usual cocktail-making rut, challenge drinkmaking skills or get creative with mixed drinks.

Radical! Gloves

The Generic Mitten

radicalgloves.com

Radical! Gloves are a new company out of Australia, and their Generic Mitten is the base spring mitten that is a must-have from their collection. The Generic offers everything that you need in a spring mitten to keep cool and dry on warm days. Mesh backing keeps your hands cool on spring days and long tours in the backcountry. The silicone “sticky icky” grip helps you hold out those grabs and keeps those palms nice and dry. There is also an extra layer of fabric from the thumb to the pointer finger, which allows you to get those boogies off of your nose on a cold day. Surprisingly warm, the generic mittens would be the perfect backup pair in the later months of the season and the go-to for spring skiing. A mitten with the attitude of a pipe glove, the Generic Mitten is a solid buy for anyone who gets at it long into the spring months of the season. –Steve Goemaat

Two Tumbleweeds

Mixology Dice

twotumbleweeds.co

Two Tumbleweeds’ Mixology Dice are a great way to get out of one’s usual cocktail-making rut, challenge drinkmaking skills or get creative with mixed drinks—for amateurs and pros alike. Each of eight die correlate with a different category of ingredient (spirit, sugar, liqueur, citrus, fruit, herb, spice, bitters), and each side of a dice shows a different type of that ingredient. The instructions for the Mixology Dice place the ingredients in columns in a grid, which intersect with eight rows for eight different kinds of drinks—cocktail,sour, fizz, smash, punch, flip, swizzle and rickey. This may seem like a lot of options, but Two Tumbleweeds reduce the process to three-to-five key ingredients in the “Amateur” instructions, which underscores the appropriate proportions and optional ingredients for fundamental cocktail styling. I rolled rum (spirit), maple syrup (sugar) and lemon (citrus). Being the amateur that I am, I believe that I misinterpreted the “citrus” part for being a juice (as opposed to a garnish) and squeezed that sucker, and topped it off with club soda for a “smash.” Therein lies the genius of Mixology Dice: It was a happy little mistake that made this drink serendipitous with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. The “Pro” instructions for the Mixology Dice say to roll them dice all at once and pick and choose chanced-upon elements that “work well together,” and to “embellish as desired.” I rolled and kept brandy (I did Courvoisier cognac), maple syrup, almond liqueur, thyme and cinnamon. It ended up being too sweet for my dinner group’s and my tastes, but it was a fun experiment. The Mixology Dice is perfect for stay-at-home bartenders and ideal for parties. –Salamander Horchata

Valve

Portal jacket – Scientist Womens

store.valvesoftware.com

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I received this jacket from Valve for review. I figured that this would just be some run-of-the-mill jacket for me to add to my ever growing collection, but it is not your typical jacket. Every detail of this jacket is a perfect ode to the Portal games, from the Aperture Labratories badge on the right breast of the jacket to the orange-andblue-portal-colored thumb holes (storm cuffs). Instead of looking like every other bulky outdoor jacket, this outdoor jacket fit me like a glove and didn’t feel bulky at all. The jacket is water resistant, wind resistant and 100-percent polymide. It has a clean and simple look to it, so I felt comfortable wearing this with both my jeans and my slacks. This jacket only had a few minor problems: The zipper is a little annoying to deal with, and the inside pockets are about an inch or two too low to provide easy access to credit cards and ID. If I had not experienced this jacket myself, the $219 price tag would make me a little uneasy, but after experiencing it in both heavy rain, cold and wind, I am absolutely sold on both its form and function. –Nicole Stephenson

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