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.

Friday, August 29, 2008

8/29/08: Drink of the Week

In honor of our September/October cover story on the 100 Best Places to Drink Beer in America, our latest Drink of the Week is Redhook Late Harvest Autumn Ale. According to the Brewers Association, seasonal beers are now the best-selling craft beer style, and this seasonal proves why. With a rich and malty aroma, this toasty ale combines Northern Brewer and Saaz hops and four varieties of grains. Try it with your next burger or pulled pork sandwich or even a bowl of roasted butternut squash soup. It's on shelves across the country from August through October.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Upcoming Event: Epicurean Classic

epicurean classic logo
The 5th Annual Epicurean Classic takes place September 11-13 at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute in Traverse City, Mich., and promises to be a great event for foodies and imbibers. With nearly 70 cooking demos and tasting classes (including sessions on wine, spirits beer, coffee and tea), you're guaranteed to find something interesting and delicious. Plus, scores of well-known cookbook authors and chefs will be on hand serving up their own creations (and giving autographs) during the Grand Reception overlooking Lake Michigan on Saturday, complete with wines from Michigan and around the world.

Last week, we invited Midwestern Imbibe readers to enter a drawing to win two 2-day passes (a $458 value) to the event by sharing their favorite summer sips with us, and John Bertoldi of Iron Mountain, Mich., won the random drawing. John's drink of choice this summer has been absinthe. He also says he's been making lots of drinks from the pages of Imbibe—very fitting since he just installed his very own home bar. Congrats, John, and thanks to all the readers who entered the drawing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DNC Drinking

What better time for a cocktail than while you're watching the American political process in action? With the Democratic National Convention now in full swing, it seems fitting to highlight a cocktail in honor of the host city, so with that, we bring you the Denver Mint, adapted from cocktaildb.

What will you be drinking this week to mark the festivities?

Denver Mint

1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. white creme de menthe
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. sugar
Soda water
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: highball
Garnish: orange slice

Shake first four ingredients with ice, strain into an ice-filled glass, top with soda and garnish.

Friday, August 22, 2008

8/22/08: Drink of the Week

Our latest Drink of the Week comes from Bridget Albert’s new book, Market-Fresh Mixology. Drawing inspiration from farmers’ markets and fruit stands, Albert mixes fresh produce with an assortment of spirits for delicious seasonal cocktails. Try this recipe with creamy avocado and fragrant tarragon, and you’ll be making a run to the bookstore. Or surf on over to Albert’s new website, marketfreshmixology.com.

Savory Avocado Cocktail
5 fresh tarragon leaves
1 1/2 oz. fresh sour (see recipe below)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 1/2 oz. añejo tequila
1/2 oz. triple sec
Tools: shaker, strainer, knife, muddler, small sieve, barspoon
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: tarragon sprig

To rim the glass: On a small plate mix 4 barspoons of superfine sugar with 1 1/2 barspoons of sea salt. Rim the outside top of glass with lime wedge. Roll the outside rim of glass in sugar mixture. Set aside.

Peel and cut avocado into one-inch cubes. Combine one cube of avocado, 5 tarragon leaves, fresh sour and lime in shaker. Muddle until avocado is well mixed. Add tequila and triple sec. Add ice to shaker and shake. Double-strain into a glass, using the strainer on the shaker while pouring contents through a sieve over the glass. Garnish with a tarragon sprig.

For fresh sour, combine 2 cups fresh lemon juice with one cup of simple syrup. Stir and cover; will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Move Over Napa

With all eyes on Beijing these days, there have been a flurry of China-related stories dominating the news lately. One that caught our eye recently was an article on Slate about China's growing interest in wine. The writer points out that China is the sixth largest wine producer in the world, and that a quarter of wine currently sold at auction goes to buyers in Hong Kong. Not surprisingly, huge international wine companies are scurrying to get in on the action, and wine collectors around the world are taking note of the emerging competition for their coveted wines. For a mere $4649 (plus tax) you can even sign up for a 15-day tour of China's wine country. Check out the full article here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

8/15/08: Drink of the Week

Caves Alianca Vinho Verde

Made from a blend of four grape varieties, this cheerful white wine from Northwest Portugal is crisp, light and refreshing and perfect for the dog days of summer. It pairs beautifully with fish, chicken, shellfish and even fruit salad. Best of all, it’s a steal at around $6 a bottle—buy a case and you’re set for the rest of barbecue season!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

August's Where to Drink Now

From Hank’s Oyster Bar chef Jaime Leeds comes CommonWealth, Columbia Heights’ newest gastropub. Offering local, farm-fresh twists on traditional English pub fare, CommonWealth doesn’t really have a whole lot in common with other bars in the area. Pub-goers with an adventurous palate will find themselves in hog heaven with charcuterie offerings of sweetbreads and pig’s trotters, while the more mild-mannered patrons can enjoy everything from traditional Scotch eggs to tofu shepherd’s pie. Perfect to wash down all of that hearty grub is a beer list that boasts more than 40 imported and domestic brews. Samuel Smith’s rich and creamy Taddy Porter is available in the bottle, as is Cisco Brewers’ Whale’s Tale Ale, and draft offerings range from perfect pints of Guinness to Old Dominion’s lager. Be sure to check out the daily board to see which visiting brew is on cask, grab a seat at one of the large communal tables and toast the CommonWealth.

1400 Irving St. NW
Washington, D.C.

Friday, August 08, 2008

8/8/08: Drink of the Week

Great Plains Coffee Roasting Co. Sumatra Blue Batak Peaberry

My feet are tapping and my leg is twitching, and I’ve probably had enough caffeine to keep me alert for the next week. But there’s something about a French press full of Sumatra Blue Batak Peaberry that urges me to drink more. While typical Sumatras show bold notes of earth and chocolate, this Peaberry is different. With whiffs of tropical fruit and dark rum, this higher-elevation Sumatra is roasted in small batches and offers a bright acidity and brown-sugar flavor. Meanwhile, its complexity and smoothness will have you hooked. And for a perfect warm-weather twist, try it as a cold-brewed coffee on ice (check your May/June 08 issue for easy iced coffee tips). $15.95/pound at greatplainscoffee.com —Tracy Howard

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hoppy at Home

It all began with a plan for an outdoor space where we could entertain friends. We built a simple arbor that would host some climbing plants aggressive enough to grow over the top and provide some shade. I did some research and learned that hops grow quickly, the added bonus of using hop flowers from the garden in our home-brewed beer just seemed too fun to pass up.

I planted three Cascade hop plants at the base of the arbor last August, knowing I wouldn't get much growth, but I'd be laying groundwork for this year. Hops don't usually produce many flowers their first season, so if you want to harvest hops next year, you can plant them this year to establish roots. After the summer, I cut the plants down to the ground, mulched them and waited for summer. Once the plants sprouted, I set up twine to the top of the arbor for vine support and wound new growth around the string. Once it warms up, hops send up vine shoots very fast; I swear I actually witnessed growth during the course of dinner at our picnic table below one evening.

Now, it's August and our hops are flowering, quite abundantly. I think I may have a couple pounds of on my hands in the coming weeks. Cascade hops have floral and citrus aromas, with notes of geraniums and alfalfa and are often used in pale ales. I've enlisted my friend and home brewer Dave Selden to help with brewing. Stay tuned, if things go well, I'll report back with my brewing experiences! —Siobhan Crosby

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

One More Reason We Love Oregon

Mark your calendars, folks—August 11 has been declared Brothers Day in Oregon by Governor Ted Kulongoski and Portland Mayor Tom Potter in honor of brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer of Widmer Brothers Brewing fame, and brothers everywhere. To kick off this upcoming holiday, Widmer Brothers has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest to raise money for the organization's mentoring program. Beer drinkers can join the celebration by sending a personalized Brother’s Day e-card from the Brother’s Day website, and for every card sent, the Widmer brothers will donate $1 to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Next up: Kurt and Rob Widmer will be working to make this a national holiday in appreciation of brothers across the country.