Brooks Reitz Shares His Favorites...

Brooks Reitz of Charleston, South Carolina has a good thing going. As the mastermind behind the Jack Rudy Cocktail Company, he has created a legion of avid fans across the country. His small batch tonics are incredibly good and his care for product quality and design is truly inspiring. Featured in the NY Times, Garden & Gun, GQ and Bon Appetit to name a few, Brooks was kind enough to take a little time to share his favorite Holiday Gift Picks with Sweet Peach. Thank you Brooks...

1. BILLYKIRK CARD CASE WITH SNAPS, $74. Billykirk, a collaboration between the very talented Bray brothers, has been around for quite some time. This wallet, which is the only one I carry to this day, is streamlined and thin. The leather has gotten softer and more supple with each passing day and it never fails to invoke a compliment. 

2. CREAM-NUT PEANUT BUTTER, $6.49. Surely peanut butter is one of the most widely consumed foods in our fair nation, but most brands are packed with all manner of terrible sugars, preservatives and chemicals. Cream-Nut is BY FAR the greatest peanut butter ever made. Crafted by the same family for over 80 years in Michigan, this stuff is so good, it's worth buying by the case. 

3. ROPE KNOT DOORSTOP BY THE-COMMONS, $45. The Commons, a brilliant pop up shop in Charleston, focuses on American made objects for the home. I recently picked up a doorstop made from nautical rope (in pic above) that I use as a paperweight. The cool thing is they used technical rope to give it a modern feel. I love it. 

4. CERAMIC ASHTRAY BY HOTEL SAINT CECILIA, $25. I don't smoke but on a recent trip to Austin for my girlfriend's birthday, I picked up this ceramic ashtray from Hotel Saint Cecilia. Liz Lambert, the owner, is one of the most exciting hoteliers in the nation, as this hotel is a dream. I use this ashtray atop my bedside table for change, my watch and other crap I accumulate each day. 

5. QUILTED FLEECE CPO JACKET, $275. David Mullen, the owner of Save Khaki, designs beautiful, understated clothing that is produced in the USA. His clothes are made for guys that like nice clothing but don't have a taste for too much trend or fluff- like me! This jacket is perfect for Charleston, where it never gets too cold. You can toss it on when you leave the house and it carries you through the day.  

As a big fan of Brooks' wares, I had to include some pics and links to his incredible creations, the Small Batch Tonic and the Small Batch Grenadine. You'll find these in stores across the US or on his site, here. They make an amazing holiday gift- made better when you can share it with friends and family on a cold, winter's night. Enjoy. 

 

 

Oakleaf & Acorn

This 100 year old, 400 square foot store (once a barber shop) exemplifies all I love about the South. Oakleaf and Acorn, a men's store in Braselton, Georgia oozes character inside and out, equal parts history and soul. It's that, "C'mon in, i'll leave the door open for ya" feel where you leave all pressures of time and stress behind and just enjoy the experience of the shop... taking time to chat with the affable store owner, John Rich. 

This is a masculine space for sure but appeals to women for it's bevy of unique, well made finds, all creatively displayed. John wants you to spend some time here, and most people do. Beer, coke and ginger ale are stashed in coolers on the porch, or if you'd like something a little stronger...just ask John for a little bourbon or scotch behind his desk. It's a men's store after all. 

John remembers well his father's time and grandfather's time when products were handcrafted and made to last. John picks items to sell that he likes and items that you should only have to buy once that can be passed on generation to generation. Most items are local as well. The knives come from Marvin D. Poole in Commerce, Georgia, the gorgeous frames from Shuron in Greenville, South Carolina and the uber stylish ties from Hitsman out of Oklahoma and Southern Proper in Atlanta.  

One of the many gems in the shop are the handcrafted belts by Billy Moore of Nashville, Tennessee. Each belt is made of horse hide and is the product of a time consuming process involving a stream, a rock and the sun. One belt can take up to two weeks to make and because of this labor of love, each is unique in look, feel and character. These are belts to last a lifetime, and then some...

My personal favorite are all of John's leather items and I seriously need this green bag by Billykirk. Handmade by brothers, Chris and Kirk Bray, each leather piece is timeless in structure and design. As soon as you hold one of these leather pieces in your hands, you get the feeling that you want to take good care of it. I encourage you to watch Billykirk's well produced video here to learn more of their process. 

John...you are too cool for words. Keep the door propped open and the beer chilled as I'll be back for another blog entry soon...

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach