“There ain’t nothin’ shakin’ but the leaves on the trees,
And they wouldn’t shake if it wasn’t for the breeze”
George Jones “Ain’t Nothin’ Shakin”
And we were grateful for that little breeze on this day. Because let me tell ya, it’s a hot one, complete with the humidity that likes to call our place home this time of year. If I didn’t believe the old adage of “timing is everything” I do now, because the Outdoor Recreation Company Of America (ORCA), out of Nashville TN, sent a cooler for this pit jockey to put through the tests and review, and brother, if there was a day to test it, this is it.
With the flexible, easy to grip handles, this cooler can be handily moved around by one person as easy as two, and with an easy to turn, durable and sturdy drain plug, the ORCA cooler is easy to drain when needed. Also notable is that the drain plug uses O ring washers for absolute sealing and zero leakage.
The flexible, whale tail latches were pretty cool, mimicking the design of the ORCA branding and logo while keeping the lid air tight and leak free.
Adding more ingenuity and a ton of practicality, a full-sized cargo net is attached to the back of the cooler, perfect for holding paper products, picnic accessories, keys, wallets, or just about anything you can think of. Instead of hauling extra bags around, stuff the cargo net and have everything where you need it, in one place.
The lid is as heavy duty as the cooler body, with a large, one piece gasket that, according to the ORCA website, helps reduce air leak, keeping the contents colder for a longer time.
Complementing this great looking cooler was also one of their other numerous products, all designed to keep cold things cold and hot things hot. It’s called the Chasertini, an insulated cocktail glass with a locking lid. We’ll be giving this a workout later today as well.
But first, we’ll get to work on this cooler. I’m expecting this 58 quart cooler, a midrange size of what ORCA has available, to hold everything I need for the day. ORCA measures the size of their coolers by available internal space, not just by the outside dimensions. When they say this is a 58 quart cooler, that is the amount of usable, fillable space inside the cooler compartment.
Quick trips to the local farmers market, grocery store, and craft beer distillery are on the agenda to provide the ingredients for today’s menu, including some liquid refreshment along the way.
Having a great cooler to load the contents into while making multiple stops is priceless, so if we wanted to hang out a little longer at a specific location, there was no worry that the grocery items already purchased would be compromised while sitting in the car or truck in extreme heat.
With the shopping all done, the ORCA kept everything cool during the food prep, saving on refrigerator space. But lets talk common sense here. With the hot days of summer upon us, I don’t want to keep running in and out of the house, wasting valuable air conditioning, now do I? With a good sized ORCA cooler like this 58 quart, it’s a logical choice to use as the holding area for my prepared foods until it’s their time to hit the grill. So after prepping, the food is loaded right back into the cooler in the order that I want to grill , and yes, I’m going to have an ice cold pit side drink at the same time.
So all prepped and ready to go, the ORCA is set within easy reach of the grill, holding all the prepped food that we made from this morning’s market haul.
And grill I did. One by one, I took the prepared plates of food out of the ORCA 58 quart cooler, loading them onto the grill for their time over the hardwood flames and smoke. Applewood, cherry, oak and hickory all exerted their influence while twirling their plumes of smoke over these market fresh foods.
The ORCA cooler was already performing admirably, holding the food and ice while allowing the repeated opening and closing of the lid on a hot and steamy afternoon. Bellies became full, belts were loosened, and positions in the chairs took on a noticeably reclined position.
And then, it happened. Like a sign from the heavens, the sun became fixated on the stainless steel chalice I mentioned earlier, the Chasertini.
Ah yes, our work here isn’t complete, is it?
For the Chasertini is waiting to be challenged in this sweltering summer heat as well. The Chasertini is a stainless steel cocktail glass, with an 8 ounce capacity and a tightly sealing, flip top, locking lid in the shape of the ORCA whale tail. Made for keeping your cocktails cold while you drink, I can also attest to the fact that it will keep those pesky little flying insects out of your drink as well. It has become somewhat of a barbecue and grilling custom around these parts to pick those little suckers out of your drinks, but with a lid that flips and locks, you can deter those pesky little uninvited buggers and send them over to your neighbor’s drink. Problem solved!
In order to pay respect to the good folks of Nashville for supplying these great products for my humble review, I decided that my cocktail would be made using a Tennessee based whiskey. I chose George Dickel Classic Recipe whiskey, out of Tullahoma, Tennessee. The drink of choice was one of my favorites, a classic Manhattan.
After mixing the whiskey, vermouth, homemade bitters and stemmed cherry with ample ice cubes, and vigorously shaking the mixture over a shoulder like a good mixologist should, the drink was strained into the waiting Chasertini.
With a quick push, the lid was sealed, the flip top was locked open, and the work of drinking this Manhattan began.
I sat back, going over the day’s events, and all the challenges the ORCA 58 Quart Cooler had on this steamy, Midwest summer day. It was hot. Very hot, but the ORCA Cooler stayed cool, even while positioned in the sun and enduring the constant opening and closing, packing, unpacking, loading and unloading of meats, produce, and drinks. The cooler held the ice in amazing fashion. So being curious at this point, I left the ice in the cooler and monitored it daily. I even did the old coin test, dumping a handful of coins on the ice and checking daily for the coins to start dropping through the melted ice.
The thing is, the ice just refused to melt at any noticeable rate, so those coins, I gotta tell ya, stayed on top of that ice for days, at least five by my count. I just kinda gave up looking after that. But when I did get around to emptying the ORCA 58 quart cooler, a full 7 days after the initial day of grilling, there were still a few cubes hanging out in the icy water. This is amazing to me, being in a previous position where I had to previously buy ice daily to keep my cooler (a name brand) cold.
So as I sat and pondered the ice holding capabilities of the ORCA coolers in this oppressive heat, I brought the Chasertini up to my lips for another sip. I can say that just like the ORCA coolers, this Chasertini was stubborn and resistant to the heat of the day. It gave me a cold drink of the Manhattan from start to finish, and even the cherry, which I had to fish out of the Chasertini at the end of my drink, was still cold. An excellent product in itself, the Chasertini will prevent mealy Manhattans, diluted Dirty Martinis, and compromised Cosmopolitans. It will keep your Sazerac salacious, your Negroni nom-nom, and all your Martinis, magnificent.
ORCA Coolers and their products are quality made and perform as they promise, to make sure your outing is enjoyable and carefree when it comes to keeping cold things cold, or hot things hot. For a long, long time. With summer just getting started and hotter weather here to stay, I would suggest checking out the ORCA coolers and products, as they have a tremendous selection of coolers, drinkware , and accessories to fit your lifestyle and needs.
And they put out a whale of a product. See what I did there?
Because Life Is Better Wood Fired (And well chilled)