Rotgut Ingenuity: Holiday Salvation Part 1

The drinking man’s guide to holiday parties and the gifts to leave behind… The main objective as a holiday party guest should be to arrive bearing as considerate a gift as possible. And it should come as no surprise that whenever I’m asked, “What should I bring to the party?” before a person can get out the tee in party, I invariably say: “Good

Read more

The California Shirt on Esquire.com

I woke up this morning to a text message from Michael B. Dougherty, author of the latest post at Esquire.com. The text simply read, "BOOM." It was followed by a link to his story. It's about my journey to making the first product to carry my name, The California Shirt.  BOOM is right. It's fitting that the first story about a product made from

Read more

Rotgut Ingenuity: The Cornucopia

This originally appeared in Five O'Clock, Harry's Magazine Bobby’s Orange Sweater, The Missouri Horn Of Plenty, Like A Greek Mother’s Milk and The Sacred Place. As the season of halls decked with boughs of holly beckons, we hope you’ll celebrate the harvest by putting aside differences to come together around the same table in appreciation for the bounties of our lives. Today we

Read more

The California Shirt

Consideration is defined as “careful thought, typically over a period of time.” For the past decade, my central focus has been men’s clothing. For a time in 2009 and 2010, I traveled a twelve-state territory in the center of the country selling shirts and ties to high-end men’s boutiques. Prior to this experience, it had been my dream to build button-downs

Read more

Linen Shirts and Lemonade, a Mix on Spotify by Max Wastler

Linen Shirts & Lemonade

I’d like to resurrect the slow dance. Yes, I know. It’s not really dead, but its prominence at casual social gatherings among my friends and loved ones has diminished continually throughout my life. I recall a time as a young boy seeing couples at backyard barbecues swaying their hips between sips from a bottle of Bartles & Jaymes or a tall, gold can of Coors,

Read more

The Vehicles of Camp Wandawega

This originally appeared in Five O'Clock, Harry's Magazine. For more than a decade, David Hernandez and wife Tereasa Surratt have been busily restoring Hernandez’s boyhood summer camp in Elkhorn, Wisconsin to its former glory; dressing the place with vintage treasures culled from garage and rummage sales all over Walworth County. The result is Camp Wandawega—a living, breathing time capsule, where it’s

Read more

The Kitchen Sink

This originally appeared in Five O'Clock, Harry's Magazine. We’re taking a slightly different tact with this edition of Rotgut Ingenuity. Our intrepid reporter Max Wastler recently moved halfway across the country. Prior to doing so, he gathered his friends and loved ones in his backyard for a going away party and cleared out his liquor cabinet by improvising on a number

Read more

Planes, Trains & Other Mobiles

Originally Published for Five O'Clock, Harry's Magazine Armed with only a flask and a little ingenuity, Max Wastler elevates common cocktails with supplies from his seasonal surroundings. Plane Class Up Coach: The Aviation There are those of us who still wear a tie when flying, in hopes it inspires a special occasion. For the imbibed equivalent, rely on the last known cocktail recipe book published

Read more

Max Wastler’s City Guide for Barneys New York: The Window

I'm thrilled to share some of my favorite Chicago spots in Barneys New York's City Guide: Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits, Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, King Spa & Sauna, Longman & Eagle, the pool at The InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, Intelligentsia Monadnock, A New Leaf, Optimo Fine Hats, and Bavette's Bar & Boeuf.

Read more

Surviving Tax Season

This originally appeared in Five O'Clock, Harry's Magazine. Armed with only a flask and a little ingenuity, Max Wastler elevates common cocktails with supplies from his seasonal surroundings. The Harold Crick Water “Crick Water” was a cheap cocktail I recall pulling from a ladle in college. It usually involved combining citrus sodas and powdered lemonade and every possible clear spirit we could

Read more