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, November 29, 2006

Chocolate Dreams

With winter in full swing, now’s the perfect time for a deliciously comforting cup of drinking chocolate. One of the most amazing sipping chocolates we’ve tasted lately is Bellagio. It’s perfectly rich and velvety. It’s great on its own, but for an even more decadent twist, try a chocolate “martini.” Here’s a recipe that is SO good!

2 oz. vodka
2 oz. Bellagio sipping chocolate
1 oz. Irish cream liqueur
1/2 oz. vanilla syrup

Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving Tipples

It's that time of year again—timing the turkey perfectly, reinventing green bean casserole and gathering together to give thanks for our friends and family and the good things in life. Here in Oregon, Thanksgiving also signals another annual event: the Willamette Valley Wine Country Thanksgiving weekend to continue the celebration.

Pinot Noir is the reigning grape in Oregon, and it pairs beautifully with turkey, so we got together with our friend Bruce Bauer, owner of Vino wine shop in the Sellwood area of Portland, and came up with some suggestions for your holiday meal. Though just a few of these are available far and wide, there are many wonderful wines from Oregon—just ask the staff at your local wine shop:

J. Christopher 2005 Zoot Allures Pinot Noir - Bruce calls this the best Oregon pinot value today.
EIEIO 2004 Cuvee E Pinot Noir - This is a several-vineyard blend with a big flavor. Bruce says this wild & wonderful wine has a lot of spice.
Scott Paul 2003 Audrey Pinot Noir - Inspired by the great Hepburn of the same name, this is an elegant wine with a smooth texture, berry & floral nose and a full fruity palate with a long finish.
Cameron Winery 2004 Pinot Noir Abbey Ridge - Bruce feels the single vineyard wines from this vintage are classic, "ripe, rich, perfectly balanced and filled with terroir." Cameron's John Paul was featured in our Sept/Oct issue story, "Crush Time."

If it's whites you prefer with your turkey, here are a few ideas:
J. Christopher 2005 “Zoot Allures” Blanc - Another value from J. Christoper, this wine is a blend of sauvignon blanc, with a little pinot gris and riesling. This stainless steel fermented white is crisp and dry, with notes of citrus and melon.
2002 Ponzi Chardonnay Reserve - This silky chardonnay has a touch of spice and lovely citrus notes.
Chehalem 2005 Dry Riesling - Chehalem's 2005 vintage is bright and dry with intense fruit and a long finish.

When it's time to dig into some pie or wind down after your big meal, try SerendipiTea's Holiday Cheer blend ($10). With peppermint, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, spearmint, orange peel and black tea, this blend is so delicious and warming, you'll drink it all winter long!

What drinks are the stars of your Thanksgiving menu?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Mixology Monday IX: Bitters

Another Mixology Monday, another batch of great cocktails! Check out this month's host blog, A Dash of Bitters, for links to recipes that call for bitters. Thanks Michael!

Bitters give an herbal kick to many classic and classic-inspired cocktails. When we heard the zesty additive would be the star of MxMo, our minds traveled to another type of bitter; we thought of a contemporary drink that's built around Becherovka, a deliciously herbal, warming, bitter aperitif from the Czech Republic.

The Metamorphosis was created by Jackson Cannon, bar manager at Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks in Boston. "This rejuvenating aperitif, named for [Prague-born writer] Franz Kafka's seminal work, inspires transformation—it's good for preparing for a meal," Jackson tells us. Find it and many more great winter drink recipes in the November/December issue of Imbibe, on newsstands now. Photo, above right, by Lauren Coleman

The Metamorphosis

2 oz. Becherovka (find it at Wally's Wine & Spirits and other well-stocked spirits shops)
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. clover honey syrup (heat equal parts clover honey and water on the stove to create a thin syrup)
Tools: saucepan, shaker, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: lemon twist wheel

Combine ingredients in ice-filled shaker. Shake, strain into glass and garnish.