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STRAIGHT UP

Everything of interest to the modern gentleman.

Lifestyle

Man grooming his beard

13 Grooming Essentials Every Man Needs

Man grooming his beard

There was a time when a man could head out for a potential overnighter with nothing but a toothbrush in his pocket. If that.

We know better now. Among other things, we’re aware of the dire effects of excessive sun exposure. The appeal of the leathery Marlboro Man look is long gone, and for men who want to maintain a healthy — not to mention handsome — exterior, a few grooming essentials are in order.

Bourbon Truffles

4 Recipes for Bourbon-Infused Desserts

Bourbon Truffles

Bourbon straight is a classic; in a cocktail, it’s sublime. But sometimes we crave more ways, unexpected ways, to enjoy our bourbon. Like bourbon for dessert.

The idea of pairing spirits with sweets is not new. But bourbon and dessert is a game-changer. For starters, bourbon is not as sweet as the liqueurs you commonly see drizzled and doused on cakes and such.

Men's suits

The Modern Gentleman’s Guide to Buying a Suit

Men's suits

As our old friend Shakespeare notes in Hamlet: “The apparel oft proclaims the man.” In other words, it’s time to step up to an adult suit that wasn’t picked off the rack for you by Mom.

Rancourt & Co. Shoes

Honestly Good Stuff: Rancourt & Co. Hand-Sewn Shoes

Rancourt & Co. Shoes

What does it take to keep a family business going? Dedication, perseverance, and — perhaps most important — timing. That’s what the Rancourts learned not once, but twice, over the decades while hand-making moccasins.

Grilled Ribs

The Modern Man’s Grilling Guide

Grilled Ribs

The joy of sizzling meat on an outdoor grill is practically part of a man’s DNA, a skill usually handed down by preceding generations. But if you still haven’t flipped your first burger, it’s time to start. Here are some basics for bringing the heat.

Man tying a tie

The Modern Man’s Guide to Tying a Tie

Man tying a tie

There comes a time in every man’s life when he must put aside the clip-on ties and step up to the plate with the real thing. This is no problem if you know how to tie one. Otherwise, read on.

Normal Brand duffle

Ezra-Approved Duffle Bags Made in the USA

Normal Brand duffle

Every modern gentleman knows the importance of seeing the world, but it’s hard to globe-trot without a good duffle bag. These three stand out for their American craftsmanship, because you should never have to sacrifice style or longevity.

Cigar holder from Holtz Leather Co.

Honestly Good Stuff: Holtz Leather Company

Cigar holder from Holtz Leather Co.

When looking for an American success story, it doesn’t get more authentic than that of Coleen and Rick Holtz. Despite a series of tragic events, including almost losing their home, the resilient couple rebounded by starting a monogramming business in their garage.

Ezra Brooks bourbon with stack of books

Literature’s Great Bourbon Moments

Ezra Brooks bourbon with stack of books

In 35 B.C., the great poet Horace speculated in his XIXth Epistle, “… no poems can please long, nor live, which are written by water-drinkers.” William Faulkner took it a step further: “Civilization begins with distillation.”

While Horace preceded the creation of bourbon, Faulkner was well-steeped in the knowledge. He mentioned whiskey frequently in his novels, going so far as to write, “There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others.” Noir mystery author Raymond Chandler mirrored the line: “There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.”

Many of the manly writers of the first half of the 20th century were bourbon aficionados. Think Hemingway: “Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey.” Or F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby. Said Daisy to her husband, “‘Open the whiskey, Tom,’ she ordered, ‘and I’ll make you a mint julep. Then you won’t seem so stupid to yourself.’”

But references to bourbon run throughout the literary canon. Here are a few more well-read morsels to skillfully slip into your next sipping session with friends:

Ezra Brooks bourbon with hearts for Valentine's Day

The Modern Gentleman’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Ezra Brooks bourbon with hearts for Valentine's Day

Even without all the candy hearts, flower displays, and jewelry commercials, a modern gentleman wouldn’t forget Valentine’s Day. He knows to honor his significant other on the most romantic day of the year. Even if the holiday feels a little contrived, an authentic celebration of love never is.

If you’re looking for some V-Day inspo, here are five Ezra Brooks-approved ways show the love.