Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

In Good Spirits

We recently visited San Francisco and had the opportunity to stop by nearby St. George Spirits and Hangar One Vodka who share space in Alameda, Calif. across the bay. There’s plenty of space to go around at their 65,000 square foot facility that’s located in a hangar on an old Naval base. The tasting room with San Francisco city vistas is worth a visit, and they’ve just introduced distillery tours on Saturdays. The friendly staff knows their stuff and will gladly explain how each product is made, as well as offer some recipe suggestions. If you haven’t gone spirits tasting before, we recommend it. While vodka is often defined as a “neutral” spirit without much flavor, sampling premium vodkas can reveal more complexity.

Highlights of our visit include the St. George single-malt whiskey with hints of cocoa and hazelnut and the well-rounded Hangar One Citron Buddha’s Hand infused vodka. If you don’t know what a Buddha’s Hand fruit looks like, see for yourself at Hangar One’s extensive website.

If you stop by, be sure to pick up a copy of the latest issue of Imbibe—we’re available for sale in their tasting room too!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Lovely Saketinis

This week, our friends at SakeOne threw a party for the launch of “saketini,” a lovely pocket-sized booklet filled with fantastic sake-based cocktail recipes. The recipes were developed by the incredibly talented Lucy Brennan, who co-hosted the party at Mint/820, her bar and restaurant in Portland. Sake is delicious on its own, but it’s also amazing as a base for cocktails. The saketinis we tried blew us away, so we had to share the recipes with you—enjoy!

G Sling (pictured)
2 oz. G sake
1 oz. Cruzan banana rum
1 oz. fresh lemon/lime juice
1 oz. fresh simple syrup

Serve on the rocks with a lime slice and a flower (edible, of course).

Pear Flower
1 1/2 oz. Moonstone Asian Pear sake
1 oz. Crater Lake vodka (Bendistillery)
1 oz. fresh lemon/lime juice
1 oz. jasmine syrup

Shake ingredients vigorously, strain into a glass and garnish with a flower.

Dragon Milk
2 oz. Momokawa Pearl sake
1 oz. fresh lemon/lime juice
1 oz. coconut syrup
1 oz. fresh simple syrup
1/4 oz. half & half

Shake ingredients vigorously, strain into a glass and garnish with a flower.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fieldtrip!: Oregon Hops

Earlier this month, we visited five Oregon hops fields and met the growers. The magic might happen in the breweries but it starts in the fields, where leafy green hop vines grow 20 feet tall—cheery swamp monsters standing shoulder-to-shoulder in endless rows, leaves twinkling in the breeze. When we toured the fields, the plants were fragrant and robust; By the time we post this, harvest will have begun, which means the delicate, chartreuse hop flowers are being picked, sorted and compressed in 200-pound, burlap-wrapped bales, destined for breweries near and far, big (Anheuser-Busch) and small (craft breweries like Russian River Brewing Co. in Sonoma County, Calif., and Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales in Rehoboth Beach, Del.). More than 90 percent of the domestic hops supply is grown in Washington and Oregon (the vast majority in Washington’s sunny Yakima Valley). It’s always exhilarating to visit the source of our favorite drinks and food, from hops fields to vineyards and organic farms, and to witness the hard work, science and passion that go into their production. Somehow it makes the final product taste that much better. And taste we did. Folks from BridgePort Brewing Co. and Rogue Ales kept us sated with BridgePort’s classic IPA and Rogue’s burly, punch-packing Brewer Ale. Check out our September/October issue for more on hops and the hopheads who can’t get enough of ‘em. (Thanks to BridgePort for the photos.)

LA Wine & Food Festival

If you live in or around the Los Angeles area, you should check out the Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival, happening this weekend at the LA Convention Center. This is a great event for anyone who’s passionate about quality wine and food. There will be lots of premium products to sample, demos to watch and seminars to attend. Imbibe is a sponsor and exhibitor at the event, so come visit us at booth 610. Tickets are $65 per person; $120 per couple, but if you’re an Imbibe subscriber, you can get a special discount. E-mail us at info @ imbibemagazine.com for details. We hope to see you there!

Grand Tastings at The Los Angeles Convention Center, Kentia Hall
Saturday, August 26, 2–7 p.m.
Sunday, August 27, 2–7p.m.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Dr. Cocktail's Fix

We’re excited to announce that the Sept/Oct issue, which hits newsstands at the end of the month, will debut a column by Dr. Cocktail himself, Ted Haigh. In keeping with his obsession with all things vintage, Ted will be helping us rediscover forgotten cocktails of the past. The first column delves into the history of the Fix and features a couple of fantastic recipes with Doc’s own unique twist. If you’re a subscriber, look for it in the mail soon; otherwise stop by your local newsstand to pick up a copy—the Doc never disappoints!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Rhumbarb Rhumba

Imbibe Circulation Manager Siobhan Crosby credits her work as a volunteer with the local farmer’s market for making her into an amateur mixologist. Having often extolled the virtues of the tart buckwheat relative for use in pies, crisps and even savory chutneys, she was exposed to a new method to enjoy rhubarb—in juice form. Rhubarb, when boiled and strained (see recipe below) produces an electric pink elixir ripe for use in mixed drinks. Siobhan added silver rum and deemed it the Rhumbarb, now a summer staple among her friends. What would your pink potion be?

The Rhumbarb
1.5 oz. Silver rum
4 oz. Rhubarb juice (recipe below)

Pour into an old-fashioned glass over ice and stir. Garnish with a lime or strawberry. Rhumbarb, with pitcher of rhubarb juice as Snoop the cat looks on

Rhubarb Juice
2.5 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch squares
8 cups water
1 cup sugar (more to taste)
1 lemon, juiced

Wash and trim rhubarb (the leaves are poisonous). Cut it into 1" chunks. Put rhubarb and water into a saucepan, cook on medium-high until rhubarb breaks down. Strain into a pitcher, discard rhubarb. Add one cup sugar and stir. If the result is not sweet enough for your tastes, add up to 2 cups sugar. Add lemon juice and mix. Chill and serve.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Blueberry-Lavender Lemonade!

We were busy recently in the Imbibe test kitchen trying out different lemonade recipes for the summer. This was our favorite. The lavender gives it an extra refreshing quality, and the blueberries add a fantastic flavor and color.

1/4 cup dried lavender
1 1/2 cups boiling water
3/4–1 cup white sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
10 lemons
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 Tbsp. water
6 cups cold water

Place lavender in a bowl, pour boiling water over it and steep for 5-10 minutes, depending on desired strength (we steep ours for about 7 minutes). Strain the lavender, stir the sugar into the lavender water, then pour into a pitcher over ice. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice into the pitcher, add cold water and stir. In a blender, puree blueberries with 2 tablespoons of water. Add puree immediately to lemonade and stir well. Adjust sweetness and lemon strength accordingly. Garnish with a few fresh blueberries on a toothpick. Makes about 8 servings.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Welcome to Imbibe Unfiltered

Check back often for exclusive recipes, product reviews and other interesting notes from the drink world. First, we'll share our recipe for sweet-tart, refreshing blueberry-lavender lemonade, straight from the Imbibe test kitchen. Let us know how you like it. Soon we'll be posting a report from the field—literally. We visited Oregon hops fields last week on a quest to see exactly where some of our favorite beer tastes come from. We learned some fun facts too.