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GOODS: Elegant infusion jars
In the process of narrowing down our long list of potential summer cocktail recipes (tough duty, but someone had to do it), we tested several that required us to prepare infused liquors—from vodka infused with rosemary or cucumber to strawberry-infused tequila and peach-infused bourbon. Not only do these alcoholic “teas” make for spectacular summer quaffing, but when sitting on a windowsill or in the center of a table, they can also make great decorations, especially when they’re stored in hermetic, wire bale- infusion jars such as Bormioli Rocco “Fido” jars, sold at New Seasons. The elegant square jars come with airtight, replaceable rubber gaskets that help to seal the jar, and you can buy them in four different sizes (from 1/2 liter to 3 liters).
GOODS: The pig roast, perfected
If you’re more than willing to drink the full complement of cheap beer it takes to sit through an all-day pig roast, but you’re not committed enough to transform your manicured lawn into a permanent roasting pit, fake it with La Caja China (www.lacajachina.com). The coffinlike roasting-boxes-on-wheels are outfitted with a charcoal pan and stainless-steel cooking grill that sit atop the box and a large drip pan that sits on the bottom. The small farm animal of your choice (you’ll have to buy that separately from your local butcher) sits in between the charcoal pan and the dripping pan. The largest of the three sizes of Cajas (which range in price from $190 to $299) can fit a 100-pound pig, 16-18 whole chickens, 4-6 turkeys or 8-10 slabs of pork rib at one time. They also come with a free marinating syringe—an important tool that shouldn’t be abused, despite its potential to inspire creative drinking games during the long, relaxed wait.