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Barware | Manolo's Basement of the Bargains
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Searching For My Lost Shaker of Salt

Oh the weather outside is frightful…and that makes me dream lazy dreams of warm weather and the parties it would be fun to throw in them. And of course that makes me think of cool drinks based around a lot of ice.

Margaritaville King of Frozen Concoction Maker Enter the Margaritaville King of Frozen Concoction Maker. This Cerberus of the frozen drink world has six automated settings: Ritas, Daiquiris, Coladas, Mojitos, Slides, and Smoothies, as well as three lightweight blending jars. 700 watts of power will assure the best blended frozen drinks in the neighborhood.

What’s that you ask? The price? Why let a silly little thing like that stand in your way?

Look, it’s like this. The usual price is $599.99. But these are not usual times, are they? No, they are not. And that’s why you can get this amazing blender of wonder from Macy’s right now for just $499.99. But wait! There’s more! For a limited time, order at least $99.00 from Macy’s, enter code: THEBEST at checkout, and get free shipping on your order!

$100.00 and free shipping? Sign me up!

Keep It Cool, Keep It Classy

White wine, anyone?

In these warm, summer months it’s important to find a way to keep both you and your chablis cool. What better way than this?

Nachtmann Basketweave Crystal Ice Bucket The good folks at Nachtmann have been making superfantastic lead crystal since 1834. Today they bring you this handsome ice bucket with a stunning yet subtle basketweave pattern on the bottom.

Whether you’re keeping a bit of chardonnay near the pool party or curling up in front of the fire in winter with a bottle of champagne and someone you love, this ice bucket will keep your beverage cool without setting fire to your budget.

Why is that? Why because it’s on a great sale at Williams-Sonoma, that’s why!

Regularly priced at $89.00, it’s now a cool $49.99.

Now that’s a price to help you keep your cool all summer long.

When Life Hands You Lemons

Continuing yesterday’s theme of keeping well-hydrated in the heat, allow me to turn your attention to my personal must-have accessory for summer:

recycled-glass-lemonade-server.jpg Not only does this lemonade server look utterly charming and just as cool as its contents, it’s also eco-friendly, being made of recycled glass. It holds 48 oz of cool, delicious ade of whatever fruit you prefer and comes with its own handsome metal stand.

Whether you’re holding a party, or just trying to keep your family from drying out, this is a practical, attractive, earth-friendly addition to your household.

It also happens to be a heck of a good deal. The retail price may be $130.00, but if you head for Smart Bargains right now, it can be yours for just $79.99.

And then invite me over for drinks, will you?

The Perfect Blend

In honor of the warmer weather it’s a good idea to think of ways to beat the heat.

One of the best ways of doing that – in my not so humble opinion – is a long, tall, cold drink, the frothier the better. And how better to acheive that froth than a really good bar blender?

KitchenAid 48-oz. Commercial Bar Blender  with Stainless Steel Jar Whether you’re making daiquiris or smoothies, this baby will do the trick. It’s by KitchenAid, so you know it’s sturdy. It holds 48 oz in the jar, so even if you’re mixing for a crowd you’ll have them cooling off in no time. Trust me, this is what you need for that pool party or that ‘I don’t have a pool, darn it’ party you’ll be throwing this summer.

The good news? If you act now, you can get it for a song. The bad news? Well, there really isn’t any bad news. How about some more good news?

The suggested retail price of this blender is $360.00. Cooking.com usually carries it for $299.99, which is a lot better. Right now, though, it’s on further sale for just $199.99! That’s more than $160.00 off the original price! Talk about good news.

Now, about that banana smoothie….

For When You Invite Johnny Depp – or One of the Borgias – Over for Drinks

Today is the very last day of the Private Sale at Ralph Lauren. Whether you go to one of their brick and mortar stores or shop online, selected items are 40% off through the end of the day. My friends, there are some superfantastic bargains to be had. Here’s a personal favorite of mine:

Ralph Lauren Skull and Crossbones Decanter I’ve long had a fondness for piratical and slightly gothy goodies. As a child I longed to live in the Addams family mansion. Now Ralph Lauren has created the perfect decanter to grace just such a home…or one of slightly less esoteric taste. The lines are classic, elegant, graceful. It’s just decorated with a delightful skull and crossbones motif. So whether you long to sail away with Captain Jack Sparrow, or always wanted to serve a smoking cocktail to someone, this is the perfect decanter for you.

It’s handblown of 24% lead crystal, so wash it carefully by hand with a non-abrasive cleanser. Or just let everyone look at it when they come it. It’s good enough to simply look at, even if you never fill it.

Oh, and that price tag? Well, even Captain Jack would have to admit it’s a steal worth nearly twice the price! The regular retail is $495.00. Today only, it’s marked down to just $297.00. Don’t let a great deal like this slip through your fingers!

Oh, and don’t forget the matching double old-fashioned glasses!

Chic Shaker

I’m not much of a drinker, I must admit, but I have a great fondness, nevertheless, for great looking barware. All the different shapes of glass, the arcane tools, the endless hours of amusement I’ve gotten from watching others take one drink too many…good times, my friends, good times.

But if there’s one thing about barware that I love above all others, it has to be the cocktail shaker. There’s just something about the shape of it, the gleam of silver, the sound of the ingredients sloshing inside, being turned from a group of distinct flavors into one frothy (or not so frothy, as the case may be) concoction. It’s a form of modern alchemy, and I find the tools endlessly fascinating.

Ralph Lauren Art Deco Cocktail Shaker

In this case, too, there’s nothing like a classic. Take, for instance, that handsome silver shaker pictured above. Ralph Lauren has created it in utterly pitch-perfect Art Deco style, which is, I think, the best possible look and feel for cocktail shakers. It stands a handy 9″ tall and is made of silver-plated brass. The best thing of all, though, is the perfect taper, the graceful lines. Even if you never use it to create martinis, it’s worth having just so you can look at it as a piece of elegant design.

At the price it’s going for right now, it’s well worth getting just to look at, too! Originally priced at $295.00, it’s been marked down to just $104.00!

Perhaps I’ll get one to mix cranberry juice cocktails in….

Hey Pitcher!

I must confess that I have a particular fondness for a pretty pitcher. Glass, ceramic, silver…I just have a thing for graceful lines and pouty lips. Okay, maybe these aren’t the kind of lips that really pout, but I have an imagination and it comes up with odd connections now and again.

But of all possible pitchers, I admit that I do have a favorite. I’m a complete sucker for a glass pitcher, preferably hand blown with some color to it. That’s why I fell in love when I saw this:

Jerpoint Hand Blown Glass 8-1/4 Just look at the elegance of the line, the lip perfectly proportioned to pour generously with little or no spillage, the easy use of color, and the charming detail at the base of the sturdy handle. This is no terrifyingly delicate piece that must be protected under, well, more glass. This is a pitcher you can use and enjoy, whether for drinks or displaying pretty flowers. And yet it perfectly showcases the fragile beauty of glass.

It’s hand blown in Ireland by Jerpoint, stands 8 1/4″ tall, holds 1 1/2 quarts, and even comes in two colors. The picture above shows it in Honey, but it also comes in Seascape Green.

As for the price, well it used to cost $79.00, which was a nice deal. Right now, though, QVC.com has it at the basement bargain price of just $45.21!

Now if I could just figure out whether I’d rather fill it with lemonade or larkspur….

Hey, Could You Hand Me That Towle?

When mixing drinks, it’s important to have the right tools right to hand. If you’re like me, though, you find things wandering off at the most inconvenient times. Unless, that is, they’re fixed with their own handy, dandy organizer like this one.

Towle stainless steel 'Concentric' 6-piece bar tool set
This is the Concentric 6-piece bar tool set by Towle. Made of handsome and sturdy stainless steel, it has everything you need to act as your own bartender and then keep it neatly in a compact state. You’ll find a 6″ double jigger, 6″ bottle opener, 9″ stirrer, 9 1/2″ strainer and 9 1/4″ fruit knife, all neatly organized and right to hand.

Of course one of the best things about it is the deal you can get on it at Bluefly. The suggested retail price is $105.00, but if you order it from Bluefly today you can get it for just $63.00…and probably in time for your next party.

I’ll drink to that!

If You Askew Me….

Darlings, it was a loooong night of partying, and now I’m just a teensy bit under the weather. I’m not sure I remember much, but I’m assuming I had a great time.

Anyway, deals. Great deals on cool stuff. That’s what we’re here to talk about. So how about this lovely barware by Nambe?

Tilt Barware I took one look at these glasses and said to myself it’s amazing how well-balanced they are. Why, unlike the rest of the room, these look straight as an arrow…what was that? Tilted? Really? Are you sure?

Huh. How about that. They are tilted! That must be why the pattern is called ‘Tilt.’ I was wondering about that.
All the same, they’re an exceptionally pleasant way of getting the hair of the dog to your lips, or for partying in the first place.

What’s more, if you head over to Bloomingdale’s, you can get them at a great deal. Choose from four highballs or four double old-fashioneds. Each is regularly priced at $130.00, but currently marked down to just $100.00. Alas! The decanter is full price…for now. I’ll be watching for the price to fall.

Get the Big O for Less

No, not that big O! I’m talking about the Riedel “O” series wine tumblers.

Riedel Set of 8

Not only are they pretty to look at and pleasant to hold, these wine tumblers are made of non-leaded crystal, so they’re safe to use anytime. They’re even dishwasher safe, so long as you use the top rack for them. Handsome, comfortable, and practical…yeah, that’s what I call superfantastic.

Of course it doesn’t hurt that they’re on sale at Cooking.com
. A six-piece set usually sells for $118.00, which isn’t at all bad for good crystal. Right now, though, through December 31, you can get them as an eight-piece set for just $69.95! That means you save nearly fifty bucks and get two extra glasses.

Drink up and enjoy!

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