Winter Survival Guide - 2016

At Peter Manning we think about more than just clothes. We think about the lifestyle of the Peter Manning man.  And since we don't make everything for him (yet), we like to let him know about stylish, useful and all-around great stuff that can enhance his life.

So at a time of year when we hunker down through the cold and gloomy months, we put together a selection of our favorite products (and some special recipes too) that will help our guys stave off the winter blahs (at least until our spring shirts arrive!). These items will help spice up life at home, whether you're watching the Superbowl, entertaining friends, taking in a movie, reading a book or just puttering around the house. We are always on the lookout for great stuff, so please let us know if you come across something worth recommending.

We hope you enjoy our picks below! 

If you haven't yet discovered Smart Wool socks, it is time. These are great socks to get you through the cold months and all your sporting needs. They are nice for just padding around the house as well.  They come in a variety of weights and styles, and they have seamless toes and a special section that grips the insoles of a shoe, making for a perfect, and perfectly comfortable, fit. They come in small sizes too! We know socks for shorter men can be hard to find.


Candles have been growing in popularity for several years, and now guys have their own version called a Mandle! Most candles are overly aromatic, but a good Mandle has scents that feel right to us. Candles are a great way to alter your mood and make your home smell great. It takes no effort and makes a serious difference. There's a reason why spas never do without them. We love the woodsy, piney smell of this Backwoods Cider option from Chicago Candle company. It reminds us of an old cabin in the winter woods. Choose the scent that's best for you.

Slipping into a warm slipper feels great after a long day at work or on chilly Saturday morning. Men sometimes overlook what a difference it can make to put these on the minute we get home. We love these two options, more for comfort than for style. First, a shearling lined moccasin, from one of our favorite old brands, L.L. Bean, is perfect for lounging around. The second, the classic Halfinger felted clog, which includes a rubber sole in case you need to actually get off the sofa and take out the garbage or walk the dog. Mens smaller sizes are available. Shearling Slippers-SR0&page=men-s-bison-double-sole-slippers-shearling-lined&attrValue_0=Raisin&productId=825465

At Peter Manning we also make a couple of products that are perfect for lounging around the house. Don't forget our ever popular Weekend Sweatpants and our Pajama Pants both with shorter inseams of 27" and 29". These beloved items are super comfy and made to fit you right. It is possible to be totally comfortable and look sharp!


We think we found the perfect blanket for hanging out on the sofa and reading the paper, watching the game or just taking a nap on a blustery winter day. This Buffalo Plaid Throw from Orvis is ultra soft, warm and good looking.

When relaxing it is important to keep fortified, so we wanted to share some our favorite snack foods. First, the best peanuts around come from a great family owned business in Virginia called Hubs. Hubs peanuts really are better than all the rest and they are good for you too! We are not exactly sure just what makes them such a cut above the rest, but take our word for it, they are the best. You'll want to keep your pantry stocked with these. They also make great gifts if you can bare to part with a tin.


My partner at Peter Manning, Jeff Hansen, has long waxed rhapsodic about his secret family cocktail mix. I've had it and have to admit, it's pretty fabulous. After a bit of cajoling (well, begging), he agreed to part with the recipe and share it with you. It is a little involved and takes some time but well worth the effort. It's perfect to share with company, if you have any left over! 

Hansen’s secret cocktail mix

1 box rice chex

1 box corn chex

1 box wheat chex

1 box cheerios

1 bag of small pretzel sticks

1 can of quality mixed nuts

4 sticks of butter

8 tablespoons of worchestershire sauce

2 teaspoons of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of celery salt

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.  Mix the cereals, pretzels and nuts into a large can - we use the old Charles Chips tins, but any 1lb can with a lid will do.  Then heat the butter, worchestershire sauce, garlic powder and celery salt in a large saucepan over low to medium heat, making sure the butter melts but doesn't burn.  Once melted, carefully pour the sauce over the mixed ingredients in the can.  Secure the lid of the can and rotate slowly for several minutes, so the sauce coats as much of the mix as possible.  Pour the mix out onto two large baking sheets and make sure the sauce is fairly well distributed (it will get baked into the mix, so this is important).

Slide the baking sheets into the oven to cook for 80 minutes.  It is important to remove and stir the mix every 20 minutes, in order to insure it cooks evenly.  Stir gently with a plastic spatula to avoid excessive breakage of the ingredients.  Once done, place the mix back in the washed can and secure with lid.  The longer it sits, the better it tastes; however, we often can't resist eating it right away!

The pefect accompaniment to the Hansen cocktail mix is the perfect cocktail. Once it turns cold, we head straight for the bourbon and get to work making our favorite Bourbon Old Fashioned. There is something about the fire of the bourbon, the tang of the bitters, and the sweet of the fruit that make this just right for colder weather. Now there are lots of ways to make this cocktail and ferocious adherents to their particular method.  We have tried them all and this is the recipe we love best. 

Bourbon Old Fashion Recipe

Put an orange slice, maraschino cherry, half teaspoon of sugar and a few dashes of Angonstura bitters, together with a splash of club soda in a rocks or double old fashioned glass. Muddle the ingredients around with a cocktial mudddler or a spoon, and add ice. Pour 3 oz of your favorite bourbon (the better the bourbon the better the drink) over the ice, add another ounce or so of club soda to your liking and stir. Drink. Repeat.

Finally, if old man winter has gotten the better of you, we can recommend a couple of great cold and cough remedies. They are available online, and we find they are much more effective than most American over the counter cold and cough options. You can feel they are actually doing something. Give them a try and you'll see (and feel!) the difference.

ColdZyme really does hold off and shorten the common cold. This works as a preventative medicine but also shortens a cold once you catch it. We carry this with us everywhere. Who has time for a cold when there is all that comfy lounging, snacking, and cocktailing to do!