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Sartoria Columbia, our weekly newsletter on a life well-lived and well-dressed.

A Gin-terview || Advanced Water Purification

Last night, during our in-store kick-off event with Founders Footwear, we were joined by Alex Weiss from Barr Hill Gin, who was on hand with a couple gins and several cocktails. I sat down with Alex for a few minutes before the evening began to talk about Barr Hill, cocktails, and gin in general. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. —  Hi Alex, thanks for taking the time. What’s the story with Barr Hill? Our company was founded 5 years ago by a gentleman by the name of Todd Hardie, who spent pretty much his entire life in agriculture producing raw honey, keeping bees, making value-added products with and from raw honey. About seven, eight years ago,...
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Advanced Water Purification: The Boilermaker

How 'bout a Boilermaker? ______________ I was thinking about Super Bowl drinking this week and coming up dry, so to speak, as bad beer and football is not really my wheelhouse, though I can see the appeal and even partake of it myself from time to time. So if you’re looking for the perfect Super Bowl drink this week you’ll have to lean on some other jeez-less cocktail writer. Or you can always suck on a frosty mug of the star-spangled Clydesdale piss that everyone else seems to relish with such sanctity during these high-stakes shoving matches.My midwestern upbringing does suggest one idea that seems in-line with the occasion, however, at least as far as hyper-masculine ritual is concerned. This,...
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Sartoria Columbia: On End Cuts

Picking a fabric for a suit or sport coat is fun process. It’s the beauty of custom — you can get whatever you want. Obviously price may be a concern — some fabrics simply cost more than others — and if you have a particularly particular glen plaid deco in mind, with just the right check spacing, you may only find something that is very close (i.e. not exact). We have thousands of fabrics in our store, some nicer and more interesting than others. But some of the most fun fabric offerings that we have are called ‘end cuts’, which are the last few yards of a bolt of fabric. Occasionally, we will buy these cuts for the store, so...
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Advanced Water Purification: A Punch!

There is a large and interesting category of mixed beverages which, technically speaking, do not count as cocktails but which, I think, fall within our fun-loving and bibulous purview. These are the punches. We’ve talked about them before.I like punch for it’s ability to be delicious while requiring almost none of my time once the party has started. I also like it because, properly made, it is just unreasonably, satisfyingly delicious. I am making some this evening to set out in the shop during our End Cuts Event tomorrow, so please do stop in for a cup, if you are in the neighborhood.I would like to say up front that, apart from some practical experience, the sole source of my punch knowledge...
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Sartoria Columbia: The Great Navy vs. Grey Debate

Lord Mountbatten & Prince Charles: Grey vs Navy ______________ We do a lot of suits here in DC. And they tend to be, for the most part, reasonably conservative. Obviously we put our unique spin on them, but if you are looking for a well appointed suit that will get noticed for the right reasons (both by your spouse and your boss), we're your shop. I was having this conversation with a friend recently: if you are going to own just one suit, what color should it be? Navy or grey? It's a question men have asked as long as suits have been around, which is a long time. While everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion (both colors with serve...
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Advanced Water Purification: A Toast

If there is ever a time to get dressed up, it’s when you are sworn into the highest office in the free world. Whatever your political proclivity, proper formal attire is apolitical.  And, whether you are a the President of the United States, or President of the board, every day you puts on clothes, those clothes play a role in how the world perceives you. In recent history, President Elects’ have opted for a dark suit and either a red or blue tie … which mirror just about every other day they have appeared in public. It’s boring, uniform, and, in my humble opinion, needs to change. If there was ever a day to switch up the attire, why not...
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Sartoria Columbia: On Inaugural Occasion

If there is ever a time to get dressed up, it’s when you are sworn into the highest office in the free world. Whatever your political proclivity, proper formal attire is apolitical.  And, whether you are a the President of the United States, or President of the board, every day you puts on clothes, those clothes play a role in how the world perceives you. In recent history, President Elects’ have opted for a dark suit and either a red or blue tie … which mirror just about every other day they have appeared in public. It’s boring, uniform, and, in my humble opinion, needs to change. If there was ever a day to switch up the attire, why not...
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Advanced Water Purification: Tea, The "Dry"-est Martini

Tea Time ______________ I’ve had four or five people through the shop this week who claim to be partaking of a “dry January,” so I’m going to run with the sentiment from last week’s column for one week more in support of this noble and healthful purpose. But just one week. After that, it’s back to the fun stuff.So you say you made a Resolution? Replace the ritual.The big thing for me in the evening is having something nice to sip. It’s the ritual of preparing something, focusing my entire attention on the task for a couple minutes by way of unwinding to the tinkle of the ice, swirling spoon — you know, all that tactile bullshit that is sort...
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Sartoria Columbia Series: Style Tips from the Masters

Style Tips from the Masters __________ "A man should look as ifhe’s bought his clothes with intelligence,put them on with care,and then forgottenall about them.”  -Sir Hardy Amies
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Advanced Water Purification: Cocktail Nutrition

Jinkies, Scooby — have you checked out the label on these!? __________________ So we’ve had another New Year and, while this idea seems more arbitrary and less monumental with each orbital stride toward my mortal demise, it strikes me that some of our readership will be taking a sudden interest in their health and fitness as a result of it. I do not discourage this, but, as a reader of this column, I have some pretty terrible news for you. While it may be nourishing to the soul and function as a creative spark-plug in reasonable quantities (before the ego-centric insistence kicks in) distilled spirits has no actual nutritional value no matter how little of it you drink. Let me...
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