Impressions

How to Craft the Perfect Summer Playlist

How to Craft the Perfect Summer Playlist

Sharing a drink is a powerful way to bring people together. But it’s often music that keeps us there, setting the mood and enhancing these shared moments with friends. With that in mind, here’s how to craft your perfect playlist for your upcoming summer soirees:

1. Identify the intent.

Is this an intimate dinner party, or a full blown block party? The distinction is important, and will dictate the kind of playlist you put together. For smaller gatherings, curating a collection of songs that don’t distract from your conversation while also setting the right tone is key (are you going for a chill hang or a fancy dinner, for instance?). A big party, meanwhile, requires danceable tracks that keep the energy up.

2. Know your audience.

As the party-appointed DJ, it’s not your job to appeal to everyone’s music sensibilities, but curating a playlist around your friends’ tastes will help ensure everyone is having a good time. Don’t be afraid to span genres within one playlist, so long as you're mindful of how the songs flow into the next. Country, hip hop, sad girl indie – it can all coexist when done right.

3. Make it longer than you think.

Making your playlist a little longer than you think it needs to be gives you the flexibility to skip over songs that miss the mark while ensuring you’re not repeating the same songs over and over in a loop. Parties rarely run shorter than you think they will, so building a bigger playlist means you can go into the wee hours of the night.

4. Find your flow.

Most parties ebb and flow in a similar fashion; there’s the quiet catching up at the beginning as you intercept bottles of wine and find your footing. Then, once the food and drinks get going and stories are passed back and forth, the energy picks up, requiring a collection of upbeat tracks to keep the party going. And then, as the night peters out, there’s the deeper moments, the “how are you really?” conversations that require a soundtrack that can fade into the background. Of course, it’s not an exact science, but following this framework can help keep the music matching the mood.

Looking for a ready-made playlist? Here’s our Dry Gin, distilled into a playlist that pairs perfectly with a dirty martini.

Botanic Hard Seltzer: The Full Story

Botanic Hard Seltzer: The Full Story

Social media has always been a highlight reel. For this past year though as we’ve all been stuck in our homes alone, all we’ve had are these brief glimpses into our loved ones’ lives via virtual channels. We’ve seen our friends post about moving cities, starting new jobs, and adopting pets. But what’s going on behind the scenes?

Now that we’re able to spend time together with our friends in person again, we can get “The Full Story” behind those late-night Instagram posts and vague tweets.

Our Botanic Hard Seltzer is an invitation: to come together, dig a little deeper, and get #TheFullStory behind those moments we may have missed. Join us, won’t you?

How to Participate

Share your full story by taking to social media with photos and videos of you and your friends catching up over AMASS Botanic Hard Seltzers.Tag us @amass.botanics with the hashtag #TheFullStory.

How to Soothe Your Summer Skin

How to Soothe Your Summer Skin

The stresses of modern life sometimes require a more elaborate nightly ritual; a way to demarcate day from night and truly unwind. And in the summer, as temperatures swell and we get our fair share of sun, our self-care routines often revolve around keeping our skin nice and supple. Here are our tried and true rituals for smooth summer skin:

1. Dry brush.

Slough off dry skin and get the blood moving with a quick scrub from a dry brush. This will prime skin to soak up nourishing botanical oils, and help ease some of the tension that’s accumulated throughout the day.

2. Soak.

Swirl a handful of our Forest Bath Salts into a tub with running warm water. Formulated with sweet almond and apricot kernel oils, these salts deeply nourish the skin. Meanwhile, Himalayan pink, Pacific Sea, and Epsom salts relieve tension, relax muscles, and act as a gentle exfoliator.

3. Apply lotion.

As you dry off, apply a generous amount of our Botanic Lotion from your shoulders to your toes. Coconut oil helps to lock in moisture, while sweet almond oil, rich in polyphenol antioxidants, conditions and soothes the appearance of dry skin. You’ll be left with silky smooth skin, and enveloped in the scent of cinnamon, basil, or lemon.

Looking to further elevate your bath experience? Turn to our guide to a soothing soak here.

Get to Know Your Glassware

Get to Know Your Glassware

You’ve got good spirits, so now it’s time to raise your glassware game to the same level. From Collins to Coupes, here’s all the glimmering glassware you need to stock in your liquor cabinet:

1. Collins.

A Collins glass is a skinnier, taller version of the classic Highball, used to serve mixed drinks over ice like Gin & Tonics and, of course, Tom Collins. They’re sleek in style and endlessly versatile, so you can use them for your morning OJ just as you would your evening nightcap.

2. Coupe.

Essentially a curved martini glass, the coupe is a stemmed glass with a wide, shallow bowl that’s used to house everything from a Gimlet to a Martinez to a Bee’s Knees. Because of their shallow bowl and delicate touch, coupe glasses are best reserved for drinks served “up” – in layman terms, that means cocktails that are shaken with ice and strained, as opposed to Collins and Rocks glasses that are designed to bear the brunt of heavy cubes.

3. Rocks.

A rocks glass is as classic as it comes, and for good reason – these short and stout glasses are used for just about any cocktail served on ice. They’re a standby for gin drinks like the Negroni, and are often used to house brown spirit cocktails like Manhattans and Old Fashioneds, diluting the potent libations with a large rock.

4. Martini.

The ‘90s are back, and with them comes the resurgence of the Martini glass, the conical shaped cocktail glass used to house Martinis, sure, but also drinks like the Cosmopolitan and the Appletini. While you could just as easily use a Coupe for these cocktails, there’s something nostalgic about an old-school Martini glass that earns it a place in our kitchen cabinets.

5. Nick and Nora

If a Martini glass and a Coupe glass had a baby, it’d be called Nick and Nora. And what a cute baby it is, with its delicate stem and small, curved bowl. Named after the main characters from the 1934 film The Thin Man, who were shown throughout the film sipping spirits from the iconic glasses, the Nick and Nora glass harkens back to retro cocktail culture, and can be used anytime you want to add a fun twist to any drink traditionally served in a Martini or Coupe glass.

Summer Solstice Rituals

Summer Solstice Rituals

Summer is here, and there’s no better way to ring in the season than basking in the light on the longest day of the year. Here are the midsummer rituals we’re practicing to celebrate this year’s summer solstice.

1. BURN BABY BURN.

The summer solstice is all about honoring the sun, and symbolically at least, fire is an extension of that. Bask in the glow of a bonfire, play with sparklers, or light candles around your home. Whatever you choose, set your intentions for the rest of the year as the flame flickers.

2. PARTY ALL NIGHT.

Traditionally, the shortest night of the year has been a time to party, staying up until the sun rises on the 21st or 22nd. Our advice? Go dancing, throw a beach bonfire party, and drink up – this time won’t come for another 365 days.

3. SETTLE IN FOR A SOAK.

If you prefer a leisurely evening in over an all night rager, consider settling in for a long soak in the tub. The meditative experience of turning off all the lights, running some warm water, and soaking in the soothing scent of eucalyptus and fir is the perfect way to clear your mind.

4. TAKE A WALK.

Flowers are symbols of the solstice, so in celebration surround yourself with burgeoning buds on a walk through your neighborhood or a nearby botanical garden as a way to ground yourself and stay connected with the changing of seasons.

5. PICNIC WITH SUMMER PRODUCE.

Celebrate the abundance of the season with a homemade meal featuring fresh summer produce. Honey is the symbol of the June moon, but other June blooms like asparagus, tomatoes, and peaches are also fit for feasting on this June 20th.

How to Take Care of Your Candles

How to Take Care of Your Candles

Candle care seems simple enough, until your flame starts sputtering and smoking. Here’s how to avoid that, plus four other tips on how to keep your candles burning clean.

1. Burn for at least two hours.

To avoid tunneling, it’s important to let your candle burn until the entire surface has evenly melted, otherwise you’ll end up with an unpleasant ring of unmelted wax. For an 8 oz candle like ours, that usually means burning it for about two hours, though you can let it burn up to four hours if you really want the scent to fill the room. Just make sure you’re keeping an eye on it, and avoid going much longer than four hours; extensive burn times can thin your wax, put off soot, and damage the oils in your candle.

2. Trim the wick.

You know that part of your wick that looks like a burnt piece of popcorn? It’s called a mushroom, and burning it results in a large smoky flame. To cut down on all that and have a cleaner, more even burn, use scissors periodically to trim your wick down to 0.25 inches, being careful not to trim so far that the wax covers the wick. Once your candle gets pretty low on wax, swapping in a wick trimmer for scissors will help you reach deep into the vessel.

3. Put out the flame carefully.

Candle snuffers exist for a reason; they gently extinguish the flame while minimizing smoke, preserving the lovely aroma that the candle has produced. If you don’t have a snuffer though, don’t sweat it. Just be sure to carefully blow out your candle with a small amount of air so that the wax doesn’t splatter everywhere.

4. Keep it out of the sun.

Exposure to direct sunlight and high heat leads to some sad, melted candles, accelerating their aging process and ultimately weakening their fragrance. Instead, keep your candles out of the rays and in a cool, dark place like a drawer or cabinet when they’re not burning. Too pretty to put away? Leaving your candles out on your coffee table is totally fine if you’re going through them fast; just make sure they’re not up against a window.

5. Upcycle your vessels.

Resist the temptation to burn every last drop of wax, as doing so could overheat the candle and lead to breakage. Instead, follow our tips on how to properly upcycle your candle, and use the leftover vessel to corral everything from makeup brushes to pens to your toothbrush.

 

How I Get Undone with Brianna Bitton

How I Get Undone with Brianna Bitton

We are constantly bombarded with productivity hacks – tips and tricks on how to cross everything off our to-do lists while also being a person/partner/colleague/parent. Here at AMASS, though, we are far more interested in how people get undone. We want to know the nightly rituals that happen after 5PM, from the cocktails drunk to the books read. To us, it’s those small moments behind the scenes that really count, because in them lies a glimpse into who we want to be.

This time around, we talked with Brianna Bitton, Co-Founder of Flo Vitamins and an LA-based Interior Designer designing AMASS’ HQ here in Los Angeles.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in a suburb of LA. I’ve been a California girl my whole life, and I love it. I’m an Interior Designer, and also cofounded a vitamin company with my brother. My favorite way to enjoy AMASS is in an espresso martini.

What rituals do you practice to take care of yourself?

I love a PCH drive. I love to take a drive down PCH, open my sunroof, and blast music. Everytime I do that I just feel like a fresh new person. So that’s a ritual I do. I love to light a candle and take a bath – that’s fantastic. And I love love love to bake treats. If I just want something fun to do, I’ll bake cookies or cakes or something. I actually haven’t made them in a little while, but all during quarantine I made these brown butter sprinkle cookies. They are so good. I would make them almost every night in the height of quarantine, and… it was troubling. I had to have a cookie every night [laughs].

You’re an interior designer. What does your ideal space look like for a relaxing night in?

So for my personal style, I love to keep it as neutral as possible. I love warm creams and whites, and really beautiful natural woods and walnuts. I do love a sparkle of gold though. My place is pretty natural – I love natural materials and linen, and those really nice warm colors, but I love to pop it with a little gold shimmer.

What music do you put on when you want to chill?

I have a playlist of all of these oldies. I call it “cutie romantic nostalgia,” and it’s all Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and Billie Holiday – all of these super old school songs that when I’m just chilling or cooking dinner I love to put on. It just makes me feel good. I love to listen to Dean Martin when I’m drinking wine and making Italian food. It’s just so fun, and puts you in a good mood – it’s almost like Christmas music playing when it’s not Christmas. That’s my way of having that warm spirit all year long.

Where are you hoping to travel next?

I’m going to Nashville next week actually, so that will be really fun. It’s my first time and I’m really excited to go. And then this summer, I’m doing a little European trip with my family. We’re going to go to Tuscany for the first time and also do the English countryside. I’m really excited about that. The EU just announced they’re opening travel for vaccinated Americans on June 15th, and we’re supposed to be going on June 29th. We’re really just jumping in [laughs].

What does an ideal day off look like for you?

I love a coffee walk. I’d start the day with a walk to coffee in my neigborhood and maybe a little pop into the farmer’s market, or a fun, casual shopping day around my neighborhood. Maybe some brunch with friends going into a really yummy dinner and a fun night out. That’s kind of a full day. I love a brunch that fades into a night out.

It’s the end of the day and you’re vegging on the couch–what are you drinking? Reading? Watching?

I’m definitely a TV girl. I’m probably rewatching some CW teen drama, if I’m being honest. Probably like a little OC, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl moment. And definitely drinking AMASS, obviously. I have a four-pack of Faerie Fizz in my fridge right now waiting for me.

Get to Know Your Bar Instruments

Get to Know Your Bar Instruments

Let’s be real: you could use a pair of chopsticks to stir a cocktail and still end up with a downright delicious drink. But for those interested in upping your bartending game, we’re breaking down all the tools you need to shake, stir, and strain in style.

Beginner

1. Shaker.

When it comes to shakers, there are two kinds: Boston-style and cobbler-style. The pros prefer the Boston, which essentially is just two metal cups that fit into each other and form a tight seal. It’s faster and a little more secure than the cobbler-style, which instead offers convenience through its small size and built-in strainer. Personally, we prefer the Boston shaker, mainly because of its precision and control, which requires a bit more finesse but is ultimately a much more elegant, specialized tool.

2. Hawthorne strainer.

If you opt for a Boston-style shaker, you’ll need a strainer, which keeps ice out of your drinking glass so as to not dilute your cocktail. Any old strainer will work just fine, but what you really want is a classic Hawthorne strainer that snugly fits your shaker.

3. Jigger.

For jiggers, we love a classic double-sided metal version, where one side measures one ounce and the other two ounces. But if you’re a novice, it can be tough to clock more precise measurements in one of these, which is where a small measuring cup comes in handy. Decidedly less chic? Yes. But good to have on hand as you’re getting started? Also yes.

Intermediate

4. Mixing glass.

For when you want a stirred cocktail, look no further than a mixing glass or beaker, a large vessel where you can pour all of your liquor and give it a good stir. While these are a pretty fairly simple tool, they’re also not the most necessary, as you could easily use a French press or other spouted glassware to stir together a drink.

5. Bar spoon.

Like with mixing glasses, bar spoons get knocked down to the intermediate level simply because you can get on just fine at first without them. But when you are ready to level up, nothing stirs a cocktail better than a nice twisted bar spoon. We favor the Japanese style, which is a bit heavier than American and European bar spoons.

Expert

6. Muddler.

If you’re a fan of cocktails like a berry smash or simple mojito, it’s also a good idea to have a muddler on hand. The blunt tool is used like a pestle to muddle fruit, herbs, and spices in the bottom of your glass, releasing their flavor for a more delicious drink.

7. Pitcher.

Once you’ve mastered your at-home bartending game and are ready to serve a crowd, it’s nice to have a big, beautiful pitcher, perfect for batching negronis, martinis, or any other large-format cocktail. You can turn to our batch cocktail recipes here for inspiration on cocktails to make en masse, with AMASS.

How to Recycle Your AMASS

How to Recycle Your AMASS

 

Hard Seltzer

Our aluminum hard seltzer cans are wrapped in labels. To improve each can’s recyclability, remove these labels by cutting down their seam with scissors or a knife. Crush the can and toss it in the recycling bin, along with the cardboard case packs.

Dry Gin, Botanic Vodka, & Riverine

Our spirits bottles are made with quality materials so you can continue to reuse them around your home, whether as flower vases or candle holders. If you’re going through quite a few bottles though (we know the feeling…), you can recycle the ones you don’t need by simply tossing them in the recycling bin, no label removal necessary.

Hand Sanitizer

Our hand sanitizer bottles are made with PET, one of the most widely used and therefore most recyclable plastics. Recycle them once they’re empty, or if you’re using our portable 2oz sprays, stock up on refills.

Soap & Forest Bath Salts

Made of tinted glass, the vessels for our botanic soaps and bath salts are made for reusing. While totally recyclable, these containers would love a second life, whether to house your reusable cotton pads (for Forest Bath) or as a small bud vase (for our soaps).

Candles

The first step in recycling or upcycling candles is to remove any remaining wax. Pour boiling water into your candle vessel and let it cool until the wax on the bottom begins to rise to the top. Remove the hardened wax, pour out the water, and you’ve got yourself a clean vessel perfect for holding makeup brushes, pens, or your toothbrush. On the off chance you’re ready to part with your candle, the matte black glass is totally recyclable.

Build Your Bar Cart with AMASS

Build Your Bar Cart with AMASS

In about 2010, households nationwide underwent the Mad Men effect. Living rooms everywhere were striving to capture the zeitgeist of the 1960s through velvet armchairs, oak furniture, and perhaps most lastingly, the bar cart. Embraced by drinkers and nondrinkers alike, these liquor cabinets on wheels were carted into a new generation and outfitted to fit the times. What was once a fixture in the stylish, mid-century modern homes of the 1950s and ‘60s had suddenly returned, although with some notable upgrades.

These days, bar carts are a standard interior design element, used to house booze just as much as they are to display tchotchkes, coffee table books, and bowls of editorialized fruit.

Here’s how to build yours:

1. Pick your poison.

It’s a no-brainer, but the spirits that take up shelf space on your cart should be a reflection of what you like to drink. For us, that means a bottle of our gin and vodka, as well as whiskey, tequila, and rum. Come winter, cognac and brandy are helpful additions to have for mulling wine and stirring up hot toddies.

2. Include a non-alcoholic option.

For evenings when you want a less potent potation or are entertaining friends who don’t drink, it’s nice to have a non-alc option on the table so you can sip on something a little more sophisticated than a Diet Coke. Riverine, our non-alcoholic distilled spirit, is fit for an array of cocktails. Use it just as you would your favorite clear spirit.

3. Add your add-ons.

Bitters, vermouth, Luxardo cherries; these are the building blocks to a number of classic cocktails. Keep it simple with some Angostoura bitters and a bottle of Dolin, or do it up to the nines with green Chartreuse (for Last Words), Campari (for Negronis), or Cointreau (for Cosmos and Margaritas alike). To start, make a list of your favorite cocktails and arm your cart with all the fixings to shake or stir them up at home.

4. Get your gear.

You don’t need an extensive toolkit to make bar-quality drinks at home. A shaker, strainer, jigger, and bar spoon are all you really need, plus some glimmering glassware to make your drinks look as good as they taste. A coupe, rocks glass, and a tall Collins-style glass will cover just about every cocktail you want to make.

4. Style it.

Start by framing your liquor tray with structural elements like a coffee table book, a lamp, or a floral arrangement to create height and fill up the space. Keep your chicest bottles on display and put the rest in a cabinet for a classy, never cluttered look. Then, from there, accessorize with glassware and smaller items like candles and fruit for a dynamic, lived-in space.

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Offer valid on orders of AMASS Personal Care. Offer not valid on AMASS Spirits. Order value must meet or exceed $50.00. Orders must be shipped within the contiguous US. Offer not valid for shipping to Hawaii or Alaska. Cannot be combined with other offers.

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