Accessorizing Kicks

August 1, 2007
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Accessorizing Kicks
Elizabeth Fuhrman
Managing Editor

Cool, fashionable and functional accessories have hit the market for trendy beverage consumers. My friend was amazed when he recently witnessed a guy open his beer bottle with the sole of his flip-flop.
The footwear was from Reef (reef.com), a manufacturer of surf-inspired footwear, who developed the Fanning flip-flop sandal with a built-in bottle opener in the sole. Creating a charming shoe would appeal to Reef’s target consumers, which are not exclusively surfers. In this shoe’s particular case, men are the target because the shoes only are available in men’s styles and sizes.
For those who would like to take the next step, no pun intended, Reef also created the Dram flip-flop, complete with a polyurethane encapsulated canteen in the heel and sealed with a screw cap. The company says the canteen’s intent is for surfers to store water in their shoes to help stay hydrated at the beach. A Chicago Tribune reviewer of the new $45 flip-flop couldn’t help but think of other intentions, “especially considering that each pair holds a maximum of 3 ounces of liquid, depending on the size of the shoe.” For those who would dare to put their mouths where their feet have been, the water that the reviewer poured into the heel ended up tasting like “aged plastic and a hint of rubber,” according to the article. The reviewer did say though “that taste is not the paramount concern when storing liquid in your soles.”
And for those eager to see the fall styles of water bottles, Sigg posted its newest Swiss engineered aluminum water bottles on its Web site, mysigg.com. The trendy water bottle company lets a person choose from all the Sigg water bottle designs available and select the lid and accessories to match his or her style. After all, the company says, “It’s not what you drink; it’s what you drink it in.”
Coffee and chocolate
Starting this fall, fans of Starbucks won’t have to order a tall mocha latte to get their chocolate fix – they’ll be able to buy it by the bar. The Seattle-based coffee chain announced its partnership with Pennsylvania’s Hershey Co. to create and market new Starbucks-branded premium chocolate. The line promises to translate Starbucks’ coffeehouse flavors into premium chocolates, and is currently in development through Hershey’s Artisan Confections Co., which includes Scharffen Berger and Joseph Schmidt. The products will be available in a broad range of retail channels – not just the coffeehouses.
Funny beer
Comedian Larry the Cable Guy entertains with redneck humor and his catchphrase “Git-R-Done.” Now his fans can stop by a microbrewery in the comedian’s hometown for a glass of Git-R-Done beer. The owners of the SchillingBridge Winery & MicroBrewery in Pawnee City, Neb., Mike and Sharon Schilling ran the idea past Larry the Cable Guy, whose real name is Dan Whitney. He agreed by saying “Let’s git-r-done.”
Drink adds ‘crunk’
The fifth annual CrunkFest in Memphis, Tenn., received an appropriate sponsor, Crunk!!! Energy Drink. Attendees of the hip-hop festival, held last month, were able to sample the energy drink, which was co-created by music producer and hip-hop artist Lil’ Jon. Though the artist did not perform at the festival, attendees got a taste of the pomegranate-infused energy drink.
Thank you, come again
Fans of the Simpsons are familiar with animated show’s convenience store, Apu’s Kwik-E-Mart. In preparation for the movie, select 7-Eleven stores transformed their shops into outlets for Squishees, Buzz Cola and other Simpsons-inspired merchandise. Twelve stores in North America stocked Simpsons-related merchandise alongside life-size character cut-outs last month. In addition to red and yellow cans of Buzz Cola, the chain renamed its own iconic Slurpees into Squishees in themed packaging. Officials say the movie’s PG-13 rating discouraged offering Homer’s favorite Duff Beer.
Floral accented cocktail
An Australian company has created the perfect complement to a celebratory glass of champagne. Hoo Roo Foods offers edible Wild Hibiscus Flowers in syrup that are said to bloom when submerged in champagne and other beverages. The wild hibiscus flowers are handpicked in northern Australia and individually preserved and jarred in all-natural syrup. When included in a cocktail, the beverage takes on the flower’s subtle flavor, the company says. The product, which has 11 flowers in a jar, is part of a signature champagne cocktail at London’s Dorchester Hotel.
Best commercial beer?
Dogfish’s 90 Minute IPA was voted the best commercial beer in America by the readers of Zymurgy, the journal of the American Homebrewers Association. The beer has slowly been moving up the ranks in this annual readers’ survey. Though it’s been on the market for eight years, it debuted at No. 18 in 2003 and tied for third in 2004. Zymurgy has conducted the survey, in which readers send in a list of their 20 favorite commercially available beers, for five years. This year’s second place was a tie between Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Stone Arrogant Bastard.

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