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.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Forget Red Bull

My husband's band played a gig in Eugene, Ore., this past weekend, which gave me the chance to check out cocktail blogger and mixologist Jeffrey Morgenthaler in action behind the bar at El Vaquero. I opted for a flight of sours, including an Angostura-scorched Pisco Sour (watch Jeff's how-to video on the topic) and a Marmalade Sour, made with Bulleit bourbon and orange marmalade.

The cocktails were deliciously balanced and smooth, but it was my request for a cup of coffee that led me to a new favorite—The Shakerato. Popular in Italy, this caffeinated quencher is a refreshing, citrus-infused mocktail with a gorgeous stout-like froth on top. Here's Jeff's recipe:

The Shakerato
2 oz. espresso
2 tsp. sugar
Ice
Glass: Cocktail
Garnish: Lemon twist

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker, "shake the hell out of it" and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish.

—Siobhan Crosby

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Philly: Best Beer City?


Philadelphia has declared March 9–16, 2008 as Philly Beer Week to celebrate Philadelphia as the best beer drinking city in America. Citing tradition from the signers of the Declaration of Independence swishing suds to over 400 taps in the metro area, the City of Brotherly Love is inviting locals and tourists alike to celebrate the region's beer culture.

Check the Philly Beer Week website for updates as the schedule is finalized. The line-up already includes brewery tours and tastings, beer dinners, a Michael Jackson tribute, and sessions with renowned beer writers. The special event will arive on the heels of Philly's Craft Beer Festival on March 1.

So, how do you think Philly stacks up to other great beer cities?

Friday, October 19, 2007

SWEET BEAN 2007


On Nov. 1, our pals at The Roasterie are hosting their annual Sweet Bean Competition in Kansas City, Mo. This is a very fun event where local bartenders and mixologists will come together to pair The Roasterie’s coffee with other beverages to create a winning recipe. Kansas City area French presses will be ready for battle right next to shakers, muddlers and blenders.

Sweet Bean 2007 will be held at one of Kansas City’s best-kept secrets, Screenland Theatre, in the Crossroads District. The event kicks off at 6 p.m., and the night will be full of entertainment beyond the competition. Tickets can be purchased at theroasterie.com, or by calling 816.931.4000. Proceeds will benefit Water Partners.

We’ll be there helping to judge the drinks, so if you’re in the area, be sure to stop by!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Miss Flighty's Indie Spirits Fest Faves

Our friend Alberta "Miss Flighty" Straub, hostess of On Networks' "Cocktails on the Fly," was on the ground at the Independent Spirits Fest in San Francisco on Saturday. There were a lot of great indie spirits to taste. Here, she reports on her five favorites of the fest:

Greetings Imbibers, Miss Flighty here, recovering from a super fun night at the first annual Independent Spirits Festival in San Francisco. Put on by world famous whisky maven Riannon Walsh, of Celtic Malts fame, this event was launched as a way for her to get back to her roots and reconnect with the independent bottlers and distillers that inspired her passion for spirits in the first place.

All Miss Flighty can say is the event was a rip roarin', taste testin' success. There were two rooms at the W Hotel filled with these artisan craftsmen and their wares, ticket holders were free to peruse and taste at will, talk to the distillers, enjoy a delicious buffet and pair their libations with delicious cheese and chocolate. What could be better? There were so very many amazing spirits. Some of the more established companies, like St. George Distillers, Square One Vodka, Damrak Gin, Charbay and Anchor Brewing Co. are, without question, leaders in the independent spirits industry and not to be missed. But there were so many smaller companies, with such amazing products its hard to single out my favorites, but here are five standouts that ya gotta watch out for!:

Del Maguey Mezcal
: Literally among the best spirits Miss Flighty has ever tasted. Del Maguey's single-village mezcals explode the mythology that once relegated mezcal to the basement of spirits. Tasting these amazing single-village offerings, truly organic in every sense, you can taste more than a spirit. You taste history.

Mae de Ouro Cachaça
: The only estate-bottled cachaça available in the U.S., this stuff is amazingly good. With no harsh alcohol flavor or cloying sweetness, this spirit is full, rich and complex, smooth yet full-flavored. It makes for a caipirinha that's not to be missed.

Monteverdi Spirits: Their Nocino Walnut Liqueur is rich, complex and full-bodied, with cinnamon and other spices on the finish, and no bitter walnut tannins. Perfect for adding to Manhattans and Negronis, and my mind goes crazy with other cocktail possibilities!

Modern Spirits: This company, the love child of a delightful husband and wife team, puts a whole new spin on flavored vodkas. It's the true flavors of whole ingredients (Black Truffle, Celery Peppercorn, Pear Lavender, Candied Ginger and Chocolate Orange). They're eclectic and unique, without being overly sweet or artificial tasting. Best of all, Modern Spirits' vodkas are perfect for a party. They're made to pair with food. (For pairing suggestions, visit the Modern Spirits site.)

Loft Liqueurs: These chicks are cool. And fun. And they make great all-organic liqueurs in fun flavors like basil, lemongrass, ginger and lavender. They're perfect as modifiers to other organic spirits and organic mixers. Loft Liqueurs, like all of the above, are truly a homespun operation. They fill a much needed hole in the market as we strive to live green. Look out for more from Loft in the future.

With so many delicious and intriguing spirits to be had, ya gotta come next year!

Monday, October 15, 2007

San Diego Wine & Food Festival


If you haven't already squared away your travel plans, be sure to secure your tickets for this year's San Diego Wine & Food Festival, November 14-18. This is Southern California's largest wine and food event, with more than 150 wineries on hand, as well as an impressive array of specialty foods. There a lots of fun and educational events surrounding the festival, including wine dinners, cooking classes, wine tasting classes, an olive oil competition and wine auctions. We'll be there and can't wait to sample all of the great food and drink—hope to see you there!

Reserve & New Release Tasting Featuring AIWF Silent Auction
Date: November 16
Time: 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Price: $85 (in advance); $100 (at the door)
Location: Hornblower's 1,000 passenger Inspirition (stays at the dock)

Grand Tasting Event & Fine Wine / Luxury Lifestyle Auction
Date: November 17
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (TRADE ONLY)
Time: 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. (Open to public)
Price: $100 (in advance); $125 (at festival)
$150 VIP (early entry, VIP Gift Bags, and VIP tent access, not available onsite)
Location: Embarcadero Park North Behind Seaport Village

Friday, October 12, 2007

Best Bars Reader Survey

As you know from reading Imbibe, we love to talk about our favorite bars and bartenders. But this time, we want to hear what you have to say. We’ve created a short survey to help us learn all about where you prefer to imbibe and why. So please take a couple of minutes to make your voice heard—the results will be compiled for use in a future issue of the magazine. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Drink Pink

All this week and select other days in October, The Wine Spies has invited Imbibe readers to join them in teaming up with fine wineries to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. When you purchase one of the daily deals from the Wine Spies, $2 per bottle will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

If you haven't seen their site, here's how it works: The Wine Spies offers a deal on one specially selected wine a day. Their operatives—Agents Red & White and their cohorts—include a full "dossier" on each wine, including tasting notes, winemaker bios and sometimes a satellite picture of the winery.

Be sure to use Coupon Code IMBIBECARES when making your purchase, so they know we sent you. Cheers!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hop Harvest!


Recently, we were invited behind the scenes to the bottling line at Bridgeport Brewing. This wasn't just any bottling. Bridgeport is planning a new series of limited-edition 22-ounce beers; the first, Hop Harvest Ale, was packaged on 9/19/07. This delicious floral, triple-hopped ale—infused with freshly harvested Centennial hops—will be available on tap and in retail shops in the brewery's hometown in Portland, Ore., while supplies last (there are only 120 barrels), so get it while you can!

This release comes on the heels of the annual hop harvest, which is always a great reminder of the delicate and complex process involved in getting our favorite beers from seed to pint. For more on one hop farmer's experience, read about the fascinating Gayle Goschie and her beautiful Oregon farm in our Sept/Oct issue, on newsstands now. —Siobhan Crosby

Monday, October 01, 2007

Toddy Time


Several years ago, I learned how to make hot toddies from a friend who swore by a formula of Bushmill’s Irish whiskey, ginger tea, honey, lemon, cloves and cayenne pepper to see him through cold season. I was never quite clear on whether the idea was that this potent combo would knock the cold out of you, or simply calm your symptoms and let you temporarily forget about your stuffy nose. In any case, it offered an excuse to get out of my pajamas and join my friends at a party or bar, and in my experience, laughing and having a good time is as good a remedy as any. I love that even now, in a modern world with an endless selection of over-the-counter cold meds, hot toddies as a folk tradition still persist. Everyone has a favorite recipe, with ingredients ranging from basic to fancy to bizarre. What toddy recipe do you swear by? —Shoshanna Cohen