The Best of the Best
The recipe of the year is a coveted award that's often given by the mixing community, to the mixing community. Much like how the movie industry has its Oscars, where the Academy chooses the award, in mixing, the mixing community chooses who wins. It's all based upon a set of traits that most recipes need to have, but every year we see new recipes that push the boundaries that we've previously set. This year was no exception, and I might even say that this year was the best year the DIY community has ever seen. Never before did so many, new, amazingly talented mixers, come up and drop some bangers for us all to enjoy. Month after month, week after week, new stunning recipes would be released, tackling profiles old and new. Thousands upon thousands of recipes were released, and now with the rise of a new recipe platform, alltheflavors.com, we saw even more mixers take their craft even more seriously. This year we saw the best of the best go at it for the top ranks and to see their names displayed at the tops of every leader board. And as a spectator and lover of the game, it was a fucking blast watching it happen.
DIYorDIE likes to look at each recipe objectively. I have a certain little checklist that contains traits every "top" recipe should strive for. Now while this doesn't necessarily mean that if a recipe hits every point it's a "recipe of the year" contender, there are other factors that come in to play. But this is a way for me to help gauge which recipes "score" better than others when the scores are close. Here's the criteria I use to help judge a recipe
- Flavor: Flavor is always first. A recipe should be delicious. There's no simpler way to put it. It needs to taste great, every single time I pick it up. It should make me crave it when I'm not vaping it. Of course, a lot of the time flavor is subjective, and a flavor profile I might not be too fond of might score lower. But I take that into consideration, and a risky flavor profile that actually impresses me and tastes great, often is scored higher than a "safe" flavor (like strawberry) of the same tastiness.
- Innovation / Risk Taking: This goes for two things. The flavor profile of the entire recipe, and the ingredients used. Many flavor profiles I see people tackle are insanely creative. Things like "cactus watermelon ice cream" or "mango hibiscus champagne" are flavor profiles that are innovative, and haven't been done before. The more creative, the higher I score a recipe. And the other goes for ingredients used. Using risky and difficult ingredients in ways that execute well and taste great gives a higher score as well.
- Accuracy: This is basically, how close the actual flavor of the vape is to the description the creator gives. If your recipe is Chocolate Chip Cookie and it tastes like a Chocolate Chip Pancake, well then that's not a good score. Accuracy is very important because it plays into all three scores, including flavor and innovation. If something isn't accurate, it's hard for the judge to know if the recipe isn't executed well, or the ingredients weren't used correctly, or something subjective occurs. Usually a good BETA test takes care of this, though I'm very strict when it comes to accuracy.
- Community Impact: How well does the recipe do within the community. This is important because it decides if a recipe is even looked at. It's impossible for me to mix every single recipe out there, so I rely on what the community is excited about to choose which recipes I want to try. The community has never let me down in terms of great recipes, and it serves as a great way to weed out the nonsense.
Click on the blue links to be taken to the recipe
This recipe is such an interesting, fun, and intriguing recipe. By the far one of the most ethereal recipes I've tried this year. Kopel being a master of the floral notes, this is my favorite he's created so far. The recipe contains a myriad of intricate flavor profiles, using risky flavorings like TFA Cherry Blossom and CAP Hibiscus. I think it gets an honorable mention because of how well the recipe is balanced, and how much of an "experience" the recipe is. It's a one of a kind recipe that comes from a one of the kind mixer, and I can't wait to see what Kopel does in the future.
Green Tea Kit Kat was easily one of the most hyped, and most controversial, recipes of 2016. In my opinion, it deserves the praise that many gives it. While the flavor profile is weird, and not for everyone, that's what I enjoy most about it. It's authentic in the most odd way possible. The flavor is this realistic green tea flavor, earth and watery, blended in (rather nicely) a white chocolate kit kat flavor. The kit kat being spot on and absolutely delicious, with the CAP Vanilla Whipped Cream really softening the entire recipe to what it needs to be. The flavor is almost obtuse, where you're not sure you like it or not, but in terms of accuracy it's 100%. ExclusiveGirl makes a recipe that doesn't clone the Green Tea Kit Kat candy bar, but rather clones a more authentic green tea kit kat that tastes like something you might make at home. It's odd, it's weird, it's not perfect, but I love it and I think it deserves a nod. Excellent risk taking and confidence coming from ExclusiveGirl
Skiddlz is no stranger to the "best recipe" list, being the winner of the first one with his Bangin' Bourbon Bread. This year Skiddlz was extremely successful, meeting huge acclaim from his "serially easy" line, and his extremely popular "God Milk" recipes. But one recipe that many people seem to skip over is his Cliche recipe. In my opinion it's his best work and embodies the skill that Skiddlz posses. It's a very straight forward, no nonsense recipe, much like Skiddlz himself. The recipe is a delicious, sweet, fruity, strawberry cream that has notes of raspberry. The flavor and impact is what I think make it on this list. It's such an easy recipe to make, and many new mixers look to Skiddlz to come in, that's its hard to find someone who hasn't mixed it. And the flavor is undeniably delicious.
This is one of my favorite recipes of 2016. It's so fucking weird, I love every bit of it. What I think really makes the recipe is the balance between each of the weird flavor choices. The INW Grape having this deep yet sweet nature about it, combined with the INW Cactus, INW Raspberry, CAP Sweet Strawberry and TFA Dragonfruit give off this amazingly refreshing, quenching, and intriguing flavor that's so hard to put down. The other ingredients in the recipe just there to help round off the main profile, but just as vital as the recipe tastes perfectly balanced. There's a beautiful harmony between each flavor that makes it a 'must mix' for anyone who's into fruit vapes. Innovative in its flavor profile, taking risks using difficult flavor choices, and the flavor being phenomenal, it deserves a spot on the list.
This recipe was born from the DIYorDIE World Mixing Championship. The comps entry level was to create a cannoli recipe under a certain amount of time with only a set amount of ingredients. And Trance handed in this beauty. It's a stunningly accurate Cannoli recipe that's as delicious as it is spot on. First off, I'm not judging this recipe because of the constraints of the comp, I'm judging completely based on the recipe itself. And on that note, it's a banger. The cannoli "cream" is perfect, and encompasses that traditional cannoli flavor. Nonna's Cake being a perfect choice giving the recipe that slight Italian zing it needs to stand apart. Then the rest of the recipe is straight forward with the Custard and Cheesecake and Vienna cream creating a decadent and rich cannoli filling, and the biscuit and joy making the perfect light cannoli crust. The recipe takes the cake when it comes to accuracy, flavor, and impact, showing other mixers that experience and a keen palate can create anything no matter the restrictions.
Chrisdvr1 had a great year in 2016, even making the list for "Best Mixer". His sugar cookies and cream is a wonderful display of the skills that Chris contains. I think what I love most about this recipe is the sheer flavor you get from it. The sugar cookie is perfect, contains the perfect amount of density and weight, as well as texture. And the way the cookie blends in with the rich vanilla creams is just delicious. A true all day vape for anyone who loves bakeries. Another thing I like about the recipe is that there's not much risk taking going on, and I think it benefits the recipe. The recipe focuses the palate soley on the perfected cookie and cream flavors, where as any risks might've distracted the audience away from how good those flavor profiles are. I also really enjoy the balance of the flavors, and I think Chris nailed the ratios. The top five in this list show how balance is so important when it comes to mixing, and Sugar Cookies and Cream shows how the perfect ratio can really make your recipe ten times better. I think it's safe to say this will be one of the most successful recipes since Bronuts.
It was so hard not making this the number one recipe. It's easily one of my favorites of the year, and it's so fucking delicious that it pains me to place a number 2 on the side. Let's first talk about impact. This recipe is loved by anyone who mixes it up, and because of how its a remix of a very popular eliquid, you can bet this will bring in many new mixers looking to vape one of their favorite companies eliquids for a tenth of the price. Also, the way Darren allowed the community to go on his journey with him while coming up with this recipe is invaluable. Now in terms of risk taking, going after any kind of lemon profile is risky. It's a difficult profile because it's so "love it or hate it", and you really need to nail the recipe for it to be successful. That was no issue for Darren as the lemon is expertly layered in to the recipe. In terms of accuracy, the recipe nails the Lemon Tart beautifully. The bakery aspects of the recipe are buttery, flaky, and light, but don't over power the lemon leaving it feeling "watered down", and the lemon filling is bright and tart without being to sharp or sour. The balance between the profiles are stunning and it shows the patience Darren went through to find that balance. And in terms of flavor, there's nothing more I need to say other than it's delicious. It's just a great vape that's hard to put down. A wonderful recipe that anyone who's a fan of bakeries needs to mix today.
Pebbles by NotCharlesManson is 2016's best recipe. It's one of the most intriguing, fun, innovative, risky, accurate, and delicious recipes. Just look at the recipe. It's fucking insane. The flavorings Manson uses in this recipe are some of the most difficult to mix with. Using things like CAP Lemon Lime, which tastes like Sprite, and to bend it in a way that fits a Cereal profile is something only a skilled mixer can do. The Blood Orange giving the recipe this sweet yet tart flavor, that just works perfectly in the recipe when paired with Meringue and Toasted Marshmallow. Even the Toasted Marshmallow itself, softening the edges of the fruits and allowing only their best qualities to come out, it's just wow. When I first mixed this I wasn't impressed, but after a few weeks, the recipe comes together and creates the most wonderful displays of flavor we've seen in mixing this year. It's just impressive to see how well the recipe comes together, and how accurate it is towards a Fruity Pebble's, when the recipe looks as if it's a fruit cocktail. The flavor is delicious, it's fruity, sweet, bright, yet creamy and milky, just like a fresh bowl of pebbles. The recipe checks all the boxes and then goes on to make even more boxes and then checks those too. A recipe that will easily go down as a classic. Just a stunning display of skill and expertise from a great mixer.
And that's it. There's 2016 in a nutshell. Just amazing mixers creating amazing recipes. I can't wait to see how far mixers push the boundaries this year, I can't wait to see how much more accurate other mixers can get their recipes, and I can't wait to see how much more delicious some mixers can make their recipes. It's such an exciting time to be a mixer, and as long as art and integrity remain the forefront of the community, I have no doubts that 2017 will be just as exciting.
Wayne "Young Lungz" Walker
Owner/Operator of DIYorDIE Vaping