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, March 25, 2008

Imbibing with David Wondrich

This past Saturday, we were graced with two rarities in Portland, Ore.: first, a full day of sunshine in March and second, a visit from Brooklyn-based writer and cocktail historian, David Wondrich. In town for his first visit to the Northwest, David joined hosts Teardrop Lounge and the Oregon Bartenders Guild for a Tribute to Jerry Thomas, the 19th-century barman known for writing the first book of cocktail recipes. David is well-positioned as an expert on the topic—as you may know, he recently published the book Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar, a well-researched history of Mr. Thomas himself, plus original and updated recipes from Jerry's 1862 Bartender's Guide. OBG member and blogger Jeffrey Morgenthaler did a great wrap-up here, so I'll focus on sharing a drink recipe from the event that's simple yet delicious: The Stone Fence.

Portland bartender and Imbibe contributor Lance Mayhew presented his version of the Stone Fence, a drink that originally calls for hard cider and brandy (or rum, bourbon, Scotch or rye). As the fourth in a seven-drink event, he wisely substituted alcohol-free apple cider for the hard cider. The crowd was pleasantly surprised by the sweet and smokey flavors in such a simple drink. I enjoyed it so much that when my friends Ben and Kate, blogger at Kate of All Trades, asked me to provide a cocktail pairing for a barbecue chicken dinner that evening, I picked up some fresh apple cider on the way. My usually bourbon-shy friends changed their tune after a taste of this Stone Fence. Here's the recipe I used:

Stone Fence
2 oz. bourbon
Apple cider
Glass: Collins or old-fashioned
Garnish: Cinnamon (optional)

Fill a glass with ice. Add bourbon and top with apple cider. If desired, add a dash of bitters and/or cinnamon. Enjoy! —Siobhan Crosby

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Down to the Wire

The deadline is finally near for the Averna Cocktail Competition—you only have one week to submit your best recipe, so be sure to get yours in. We've been hearing from lots of people who have been busy testing and refining recipes, so the competition looks to be an exciting one. Remember, the winner gets a trip to Sicily and a $1500 American Express gift card, so there's a fantastic prize at stake. Here's another recipe created by the talented Duggan McDonnell to get you inspired for your own recipe-testing.

The Intercontinental
1 oz. Averna
1 oz. Cognac
1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: orange twist

Pour ingredients into an ice-filled mixing glass, stir well, strain into a chilled glass and garnish.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Clover Gets Starbucked

Big news for coffee drinkers everywhere. Starbucks has announced that it is acquiring Coffee Equipment Company, maker of the ingenious Clover coffee brewer. We've sung the praises of the Clover since it first emerged a couple of years ago, and since then, this brewer has been consistently garnering praise and coverage across the country. With Starbucks taking steps to overhaul its coffee service and elevate quality, it's not surprising that they would look to a product like Clover. And if executed well, it certainly bodes well for the millions of Starbucks customers who might get a better cup of coffee out of the deal. But it will also be interesting to see how this impacts independent coffee shops who have used this innovative machine as a point of differentiation.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lost Beers Found

If our story on lost beer styles in the March/April issue made you thirsty to try some lesser-known beers and you happen to live in Pittsburgh, then you're in luck. The folks at East End Brewing (6923 Susquehanna St.) have just put a batch of Gose, a wheat beer made with salt, in their tanks to sour and will be serving it up in about two weeks. Apparently not content with only one style of nearly extinct beer, they are also heading over to Marzoni’s (4643 Route 8) this week to collaborate on a batch of Lichtenhainer, a sour smoked beer currently being made by only one brewery in Germany. These won’t last though, so get over there, local Imbibers, do some tasting, and tell us all about it!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Not Such a Long Way from Tipperary

Happy St. Patrick's Day! This year, eschew the green beer and go for something classic to celebrate the saint who drove the snakes out of Ireland. Since Patrick himself was Gallic descent, it seems somehow appropriate to mix a little Chartreuse, courtesy of France's Carthusian monks, into this cocktail that shares a name with a town in southern Ireland. The following recipe is adapted from the 1922 book by Scotsman Harry McElhone, ABC of Mixing Cocktails.

2 oz. Irish whiskey
3/4 oz. Carpano Antica Formula or other sweet vermouth
1/2 oz. green Chartreuse
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: lemon twist

Combine ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish and serve.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tap Into World Water Week

In 1992, The U.N. General Assembly declared March 22nd World Water Day to call attention to the global issue of availability of clean drinking water. While potable tap water is abundant in some countries, more than 2 billion people worldwide don't have regular access to clean drinking water.

In 2007, a grassroots organization launched the Tap Project in New York City to help raise awareness and dollars for the campaign, and now the program going nationwide this year. Here's how it works: from March 16 - 22, participating restaurants will invite diners to donate at least $1 when they order tap water that would customarily be served for free. All the funds will be collected and donated to UNICEF who, with that $1, can provide a child with clean drinking water for 40 days.

Want to get involved? Visit the Tap Project website for more information and to find a restaurant near you that's participating.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

T-Shirt Contest: Liquid Culture You Can Wear

We’re always proud that Imbibe readers are so creative, enthusiastic and involved. We love hearing from you regularly about your latest drink creations, product finds, bar discoveries and story ideas and requests. One thing a lot of you have been asking about is Imbibe t-shirts. As we started brainstorming about designs, we thought it would be fun to get readers involved in the process. And so we announce the 2008 Imbibe T-Shirt Contest. It's your chance to dream up your ideal Imbibe tee. We're looking for designs that are eye-catching, fun and representative of Imbibe—something you'd be excited to wear yourself, and to see others wear.

The winner will have his or her design printed on our t-shirt and will receive recognition here on our Imbibe Unfiltered blog, as well as a specialty coffee gift package, including a six-month coffee subscription from Batdorf & Bronson and a Bodum Chambord French Press. Runners up will receive recognition on our blog, as well as delicious Bloody Mary gift packages from Freshies, including their fantastic Original, Mild and Hot Mixes, rimming salts and spicy green beans.

We'll be accepting entries through May 1, 2008, and will announce a winner on or before May 31, 2008. See the submission guidelines & rules for full details.

Even if you don't consider yourself a designer, check our blog for updates and details on our finalists—we may put it to a public poll to help us choose among the contenders. And stay tuned for your chance to wear the winning design around town this summer!

Read the full post for full rules and submission guidelines...

Use the this t-shirt template to create your design. Designs should fit on the front of the T-shirt body, and one-color designs are preferred. E-mail your design(s) to tshirt {at} imbibemagazine dot com, along with your name, e-mail address, phone number and a brief description of why your design is perfect for Imbibe. The Imbibe logo may be represented by this low-res example in your design.

For file size considerations, you may submit your design in 72dpi resolution jpg, gif or png format. The selected design will need to be made available as high-res vector artwork for printing, however, so consider this when submitting. The submissions deadline is 11:59 PM Pacific Time on May 1, 2008.

1. You are welcome to submit as many designs as you like.
2. Designs will be reviewed and selected by Imbibe staff with the following priorities: concept/originality, brand alignment and aesthetics. We reserve the right choose a winning design at our own discretion and/or to choose no winner at all and to conduct public voting, the results of which may also be factored into final selection.
3. The contest will allow for no more than four finalists, which will result in three runners-up and one Grand Prize winner. The Grand Prize winner will have his/her design printed on the t-shirt, receive a t-shirt, promotion on Imbibe’s blog and a Specialty Coffee Gift Package as outlined below. All other finalists will receive a t-shirt, promotion on Imbibe’s blog and a Freshies Bloody Mary Gift Package as outlined below.
4. By entering the competition, you acknowledge that your design is original and your own, does not violate privacy or libel any one, and does not include any copyrighted material.
5. By entering the competition, you agree to grant Imbibe exclusive rights to publish your work on our website and/or blog. The winner agrees to give Imbibe exclusive rights to his or her design, including rights to sell t-shirts printed with his or her design.
6. No purchase is necessary to enter. You must be 21 or older to participate. Void where prohibited.

One Grand Prize winner will receive:
- Your design printed and sold on the Imbibe t-shirt
- An Imbibe t-shirt
- Promotion on the Imbibe Unfiltered blog
- Six months of specialty coffee from Batdorf & Bronson, 1 lb. single origin and 1 lb. of blended beans per month for six months (retail value: $150)
- One Bodum Chambord 12 oz. French Press (retail value: $30)

Three runners up will receive:
- An Imbibe t-shirt
- A mention on the Imbibe Unfiltered blog
- The Ultimate Bloody Mary kit from Freshies: One bottle each of three Bloody Mary Mixers, one for every palate: Smooth-N-Mild, Original, and Habañero Hot, plus Bloody Mary Fresh Rimz salt & Spicy Green Beans (retail value: $32)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Toby Cecchini in Portland

Drinks writer Toby Cecchini, author of Cosmopolitan: A Bartender's Life, the unblinking behind-the-scenes account of his time running a bar in New York City's West Village, will be "talking cocktails and technique" at Nostrana in Portland, Ore., on Wednesday (6-7 p.m., $10, call for tickets: 503-234-2427). With attendance limited to 30 people, it should be a great opportunity to meet the guy who invented the modern cosmo and ask him questions (like what, exactly, happened to the cosmo). Cecchini's making time for the appearance while he's in town this week to judge the wines submitted to the Portland Indie Wine Festival (the top 40 of more than 100 Oregon wines will make it into the festival, May 2-4). Don't be surprised if you see him around Portland's better bars in the coming days ... razz him about the cosmo at your own risk.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Ginger Lovely

We are absolutely loving Domaine de Canton, a new ginger liqueur that we can’t say enough good things about. From the bottle to the aroma to the flavor and finish, this is a special liqueur. A blend of VSOP cognac and baby ginger, Domaine de Canton is warming, supple and smooth, with an incredibly pure aroma and flavor of crystallized ginger—perfect for sipping straight, but equally delicious in a cocktail. Here’s a great recipe called the Canton Caipirinha:

2 oz. Domaine de Canton
2 oz. cachaça
2 lime wedges
Club soda
Glass: rocks
Garnish: lime wedge

Shake Domaine de Canton and cachaça with ice and strain into ice-filled glass. Squeeze lime wedges into glass and add wedges to drink. Top with soda and stir.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Spreading Good Cheer

On a belly-satisfying visit to the new North-Carolina inspired biscuit joint in town, Pine State Biscuits, I found bliss in addition to their amazing biscuits & shiitake mushroom gravy. Here, they stick to the theme and import flavors from their home state, including Winston-Salem's Texas Pete hot sauce and soda with a great name: Cheerwine.

Cheerwine is a cherry soda, in production since 1917, that's distributed primarily in the Southeastern US; Pine State Biscuits has a special distribution deal set up with the manufacturer. They serve the Retro version, made with real cane sugar instead of the usual high-fructose corn syrup. The sparkling soda doesn't have a lot of foam, so it's light and sweet, not as filling as cola.

One of the best parts about the whole experience was visiting Cheerwine's tongue-in-cheek website. It plays itself as a news channel site, complete with investigative reporting videos, and provides lots of laughs. You can even download Cheerwine desktop wallpaper.

—Siobhan Crosby

Monday, March 03, 2008

Reader Survey: OXO Drawing Winner

Thanks to everyone who participated in our reader survey late last year. We had many responses and picked one lucky random winner among them to take home the OXO 11 piece barware set, which includes a full set of bar tools plus an ice bucket & tongs and the OXO cocktail shaker reviewed as a top pick in our Mar/Apr issue, now on newsstands.

Congratulations to Christian O'Connor of Maryland who will be mixing up cocktails in style soon. Christian was thrilled to hear the news—especially since he just moved and will be rearranging his home bar. The OXO barware set will make a great addition to his new home.

During the survey, we also partnered with Drop in the Bucket, a non-profit dedicated to bringing permanent sources of drinking water to Africa. We have made a donation for every response received to support their cause, so thank YOU, readers!