Author Archives: martinbalerdi

Small Bar Basics.


There are tons of way to impress guests when entertaining in one’s home. You can show off the old big screen, flat or otherwise. You can always cash in cool points on having a good collection of pretty much anything that doesn’t make you seem like a pre-teen trapped in an adult’s body. So knives, books, art, and furniture are a yes; baseball cards, model planes or cars, and comic books are a big resounding no. You keep the comic books in the closet or in your bedroom bathroom, not out in the open.

One guaranteed crowd-pleaser is a stocked home bar. Something about their being a home bar, and by that I mean something that is more than a cabinet with a couple bottles of liquor and wine, really gets people’s juices flowing. You don’t even need to build a gigantic fully stocked home bar, just something with the “bar essentials” that can be placed in the corner or a back of a room or salon. Once that’s done, a simple cocktail recipe book and a little common sense is all you need. Here are the basics for a small bar at home.

Beer, Lager(refrigerate)
Blended whiskey or Rye
Red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon and/or dry French
Rum, light
Sherry, dry
Tequila, white
Triple Sec
Vermouth, dry and sweet
Vodka(keep in freezer)
White wine, dry French or California chardonnay(refrigerate)

Cranberry juice
Diet soda
Ginger ale
Grapefruit juice
Lemon juice
Lemon-lime soda
Lime juice
Orange juice
Sparkling water
Tomato juice
Tonic water

Angostura bitters
Bar sugar
Black pepper
Cocktail Olives
Maraschino cherries
Tabasco sauce
Worcestershire sauce

Brandy sniffer
Champagne flute
Cocktail glass
Highball glass
Old-Fashioned glass
Pilsner glass
Wine goblet

Bar spoon
Bottle opener
Citrus reamer
Measuring cup
Measuring spoons
Mixing glass
Paring Knife
Standard shaker


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Yves Saint Laurent blue corduroy shorts


These shorts are just phenomenal. I love the color blue and I love the fact that YSL made these corduroy shorts such a bright blue. Blue is the type of color typically reserved for shirts, sweaters, and the rest of their ilk. You don’t see many people wearing pants done in bright colors. Well, I guess you could say you do, but I’m purposefully excluding every hipster douche and indie princess that haunt the downtown areas and thrift shops of our nation’s great cities.

Human refuse aside, I think these shorts are perfect for casual outings, especially to beach locales or out on the boat. I’m probably biased since I frequent South Beach all the time and many of my casual clothing purchases usually reflect on that choice of locale. Every man should really get a pair of corduroy shorts, they will outlast your denim ones stitch for stitch.

They go for $575

Jeffrey New York, 449 W. 14th St., New York, (212) 206-3928,
Get them here.

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5 must have colognes

I usually try to have half a dozen or so different colognes on hand at any given time. Out of that half dozen, one or two are usually a new cologne I’m trying out in order how to gauge how much I like wearing it and at what times I like to wear it. It’s the intern out of my cologne rack. The rest of the rack is dedicated to five colognes that I try to keep on hand throughout the year. These are the olfactory champions who have never steered me wrong.

Aqua di gio by Giorgio Armani

Aqua di gio by Giorgio Armani

Aqua di Gio is by far my favorite summertime cologne. It is very light and airy, almost ethereal. It is a wonderful balance of citrus, herbs, and wood scents. Everytime I smell it, I think of the beach, which is the place I wear it the most.

Dolce & Gabbana for Men

Dolce & Gabbana for Men

Dolce & Gabbana for Men is exquisite. The scent is fresh and sharp and very smoky. This is the type of cologne I like to wear at night, especially out at a restaurant or a good bar. It is very refined and nicely balances citrus notes with spicier scents.

Beyond Paradise for men by Estee Lauder

Beyond Paradise for men by Estee Lauder

Beyond Paradise is another great cologne. It is woody and green, but still very mysterious. It’s mystique is probably due in part to the esoteric mixture of exotic fruits and woods. I find that it’s very versatile, appropriate for daylight and moonbeams. It is very masculine and sensual, so I love wearing it around the females.

L'eau d'Issey by Issey Miyaki

L'eau d'Issey by Issey Miyaki

Another great warm weather scent, L’aeu d’Issey is very delicate and exhilaratingly light. The main component of the scent is the Yuzu fruit, making this cologne very japanese in more than just it’s manufacturers name. I also love the use of blue water lily, nutmeg, cinnamon bark, and saffron. The cologne comes off as very hip and modern, perfect for social outings.

Black Code by Giorgio Armani

Black Code by Giorgio Armani

This Armani’s first attempt at a masculine fragrance done in the Oriental-style and they really were on to something here. It is understated and very elegant, making this my obvious first choice for formal outings. It has a very confident feel and all the notes, especially the bergamot, lemon, and tonka bean, come together very nicely.If you haven’t heard of this cologne, it might be because Armani changed it’s name from Black Code to Armani Code. I still call it Black Code out of habit and I don’t plan on stopping, not even if Armani himself were to beat me with a sack of cologne bottles.

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Pocket Polka


For years, discerning men of taste have carried handkerchiefs on their person. Now a silk handkerchief is a great way to not look like a repugnant degenerate when sneezing in public, wiping one’s sweaty face on a hot day, or blowing one’s nose. To all my neighborhood street pugilists, a handkerchief can easily substitute as a bandage for a minor injury. One could argue that handkerchiefs are unhygienic, but you can easily solve this problem by buying a few spares to account for laundry turnover; furthermore, handkerchiefs are more environmentally conscious than paper ones, making it a great conversation topic with an eco-loving hottie.

Not only are they a great way for a gentleman to handle his hygiene with style, a good looking silk hanky can add a little something extra to any ensemble. Put it in the breast pocket of your jacket or coat to put a finishing touch to a formal outfit, or in the breast pocket of a nice short-sleeve shirt to add some more presence to your person when at a casual gathering. I wouldn’t even worry so much about matching it with your clothes, you want eyes to wander to your breast pocket. I love this simple polka dot handkerchief, I find the white on blue droll as hell. The handkerchief is a timeless accessory for any man, be it for style or hygiene.
This hanky from Aspinal of London is only $20.
Get one here.


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Gordon Rush royal-blue suede chukka boot


These chukka boots are vibrant and eye-catching. I really love this royal blue suede, it totally sells the shoe for me. This is some classy casual wear, something I would sport at a lunch at a nice restaurant or at party with at friends. Really, you can take these feet crowns pretty much anywhere.

I’d take them to the bar because they are sure to catch the attention of the women folk(they can spot shoes and color like an eagle spots injured rabbits.), but with my luck I know some douche is going to spill his drink on them. And then I’d stomp his face in and blood really does a number on royal blue suede.

They are really fresh take on chukka boots, a little modern and with an innovative use of color. These are a fresh way to add a little more color to your spring wardrobe. Your best bet is to pair them with cropped, cuffed khakis or slim/straight denim.

$495, Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave., NYC, (212) 753-4000

Or get them here.

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Mezlan Julian


These shoes are for the hardcore gentleman, they are sleek, stylish, and made up of the skins of animals. The Julian features both antiqued calf and genuine crocodile uppers for a look that is amazingly traditional and modern at the same time. The multiple overlays and that modern square toe mesh very well with the classic oxford styling. These are great shoes to hit the town or wear at the office, unless your bars and offices are staffed by baby cows and alligators.

I’d probably wear these sucker at the zoo and even the animals would give me props. Well, at least the cool carnivorous animals and the dangerous herbivores, probably not so much the pansy prey animals. The Julian comes in both black and brown, either of which can easily assimilate itself seamlessly into any ensemble. So you if can get over the guilty twinge at wearing animal skins, these are a great addition to any closet.
They retail for about $200.
Get them here.

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Hyden Yoo Vilas gingham shirt


“This is another peek at the new collections that are popping up this upcoming spring. This is a gingham shirt by Hyden Yoo Vilas. If I was an up and coming young banker or advertising exec who wants to seem professional but still hip, this is what I would wear. I feel that Hyden Yoo Vilas has a really great relaxed personal style that is always being communicated throughout all his pieces, be they a tweed suit or a t-shirt.
I think this shirt is snazzy as hell. I can just imagine the hot girl at the office mouthing those words as I pass by in this little number. I really enjoy the dark checkered patter and how it is very nicely accentuated by that large black stripe that goes down the center.

$156, Oak, 208 N. Eighth St., Brooklyn, NY, (718) 782-0521,

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