Whisky sticks, space-age decanters controlled by smartphones, or some good old spices: here are the tricks to make your next drink taste like a million dollars (without spending it)
It can be hard to justify spending that bit more on a fancy bottle of wine or an artisanal dram of whisky. Especially if you're not sure your friends can even tell the difference between a £5 and a £15 Pinot Grigio anyway.
But now you don't have to make that compromise: behold the money-saving secrets that claim to make an ordinary tipple taste like you've spent a fortune on it.
Say hello to the Sonic Decanter. It's not available to buy (or test) yet, but the makers say the device uses ultrasonic waves to "age" your wine in 20 minutes or less (yes, you read that right). Controlled via a smartphone app, this American invention is said to soften tannins, develop flavour and release the aromas found in aged wines. It can also be used to bring open bottles back to life (well, a drinkable state at least).
It's set to retail at around $250 though, so even if it does exactly what the blurb says you'll need to transform quite a few bottles to make it worthwhile.
And breathe ...
Never underestimate the importance of aeration, even if you’re only having one glass (or maybe two). If you’re entertaining, pour your bottle of plonk into a decanter for that "rustic" vibe. Plus, it will keep the bottle (and its label) out of sight.
Give it some stick
Fine whisky can set you back a bob or two, but an American company called Whiskey Elements might have found the solution: a stick. There's a bit more to it than any old stick you might find in the garden, as these are said to make cheap whisky taste like the more expensive stuff in just 24 hours. Genius.
The oak sticks are designed to "age" the whisky by infusing it with the woody flavours associated with more expensive malts. The creators also claim it significantly reduces levels of certain chemicals linked to hangovers. Retailing at $12 each and currently being launched off Kickstarter, this could be an affordable way to give your whisky a bit more wow.
Something to mull over
Think your bottle of red is beyond help? Well, everything tastes better with some festive cheer and spices. Pop in some cinnamon, cloves, citrus fruits, nutmeg, sugar and simmer gently. Cheers!
Unless you’ve been living in a foodie wasteland for the last year, you’ll know that if you drink beer, then it has to be craft beer.
The Hoppier, a new invention by UK-based Cambridge Consultants, is said to give otherwise unremarkable beers a craft quality. The bad news is that the device (which is not available to buy yet) can only be fitted to a bar tap where the beer is jetted at a high pressure through a chamber filled with fresh hops. So, who has a bar tap then?
And if all else fails: smoke and mirrors
This may look like something from a sci-fi film or hipster hangout but Le Whaf is a device for vaporising liquids. It's quite an extreme length to go to, but this device will turn your cocktails into clouds and act as a great distracting device if you're feeling embarrased about your economy vodka.