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, December 31, 2008

Drink of the Week: Japanese 75

We decided to post our Drink of the Week a couple of days early to help those of you looking for something beyond the usual glass of bubbly to toast the New Year. Imbibe Editor-at-Large Kate Simon, whose new book Tiny Bubbles offers a delicious array of fizzy cocktails, came up with this twist on a classic French 75, made with sparkling sake instead of Champagne. We think it's the perfect way to ring in 2009. Happy New Year, everyone!

1 1/2 oz. gin
1 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 oz. sparkling sake, chilled
Glass: highball
Garnish: lemon twist

In a 10-ounce highball, combine gin, simple syrup and lemon juice and stir gently. Fill glass halfway with cracked ice. Top with chilled sparkling sake. Garnish.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Drink of the Week: Juniper Berry Dry Soda

If you've had your fill of cocktails, wine or beer this week, and you're looking for something sans alcohol, we think Dry Soda's newest flavor, Juniper Berry, is the perfect option. We love how the folks at Dry Soda manage to take seemingly tricky ingredients and they turn them into delicious grown-up sodas with the prefect balance of sweetness and dryness. The juniper berry soda is a great example; it's floral and herbal with just a touch of sweetness and vibrant carbonation. In fact, it's a lot like an alcohol-free gin & tonic, which also makes it an excellent choice for designated drivers on New Year's Eve or any other night. Dry Sodas are also made especially for pairing with food, and this one is a great match for a bowl of steamed mussels or a dark chocolate souffle.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Gift of Good Drinking

If you're like us, you've been busy this week taking care of last-minute holiday shopping. So for those of you hoping to squeeze in some gift subscriptions to your favorite drinks magazine, we thought we'd remind you that you have until December 29 (last day of Hanukkah!) to send your friends and family a year's worth of Imbibe in order to begin with the Jan/Feb issue, which is packed with great recipes and stories, including a feature by Camper English on scotch whisky, a fascinating look into the world of speakeasies by Paul Clarke, a story by Joshua Bernstein on homebrewing, an absinthe taste test, and much more. Simply click here to use our easy gift page, and take advantage of our special gift offer: your first sub is $20, and all additional subs are only $18.

We hope your holidays are happy and relaxing, and here's to another year of delicious imbibing ahead!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Drink of the Week: Rishi Organic Cinnamon Plum Tea

The little sugarplum fairies at Rishi Tea must have had Tchaikovsky in mind when they blended their Organic Cinnamon Plum Tea. A symphony of currants and Japanese plums greet you upon first sip, while soft herbal and spice notes of licorice root and cinnamon round out the finish. Full-bodied, fruity and a deep magenta in color, this tea is perfect alone or with warm biscuits and jam. Try simmering the loose-leaf tea with a few cloves, allspice berries, some grated citrus peel and a cinnamon stick for a holiday mulled tea—it makes a delicious pairing with a holiday ham. As a bonus, with every purchase of this tea, Rishi donates 25 percent of the profits to Clean Water Fund, an organization dedicated to protecting and restoring America’s waterways.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December's Where to Drink Now: Dosa

Just as December’s chilly fog settles in to the San Francisco Bay Area, Dosa, a popular Indian restaurant in the Mission neighborhood, opens a second, Pacific Heights location with a menu full of spicy, warming flavors. Dishes like channa bhatura (chickpea masala) and lamb meatballs are reminiscent of owner Anjan Mitra’s Indian childhood, while the drinks menu is the perfect complement to the exotic cuisine. Consulting mixologist Jonny Raglin (who also counts Absinthe Brasserie & Bar and Nopa among his credentials) crafted a unique cocktail program that enhances the flavor of the food, tending toward pungent spices (black cardamom, saffron and cumin), exotic fruits and nuts (mango, jackfruit and coconut), and house-made syrups and bitters (coriander nectar, chicory bitters and mango gastrique). Cocktails range from the Batsman, with Martin Miller’s gin, Darjeeling tea cordial, lemon juice and ginger beer, to the Smoked Cup, combining mezcal, Pimm’s, black cardamon tincture, ginger beer, cucumber and smoked sea salt. 1700 Fillmore St., San Francisco; 415.441.3672; dosasf.com

Monday, December 15, 2008

Event: New Year's Eve Party in LA

Looking for something fun to do this New Year's Eve? Head to Hollywood's Knitting Factory December 31 for ZaneFest, a full night of festivities with Zane Lamprey, host of Three Sheets, the travel show that explores the drink culture of destinations around the world.

The evening includes an open bar from 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m., a midnight buffet, a craft brew biergärten sponsored by Imbibe, the sounds of DJ Morty, contests and much more. VIP tickets include a pre-party dinner with Zane, gift bags and private VIP lounge access. General admission tickets are $209 in advance or $309 at the door; VIP tickets are $509 (and are not available at the door).

Check out full episodes of Three Sheets online at Zane's official site, plus learn how you can join the rally to find the show a new home in 2009.

ZaneFest New Year's Eve 2008
When: December 31, 2008 8 p.m. (VIP dinner), 9 p.m. (party)
Where: The Knitting Factory, 7021 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles [map]

Friday, December 12, 2008

Drink of the Week: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Celebration Ale is a beer we look forward to every year, and we stock up on it as much as possible while it’s available. This bold American IPA combines three varieties of hops, which gives it lots of great citrus, pine and floral character, but there’s also a delicious balance of malt flavor and some spicy undertones. If you lean toward hoppy beers, you'll love this one. It’s generally on the shelves until the end of January or beginning of February, so be sure get it while supplies last!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Map to Your Next Pint

Thanks to Imbibe reader Joe Gremuska of Chicago, you'll never be without directions to one of our 100 Best Places to Drink Beer in America. Joe took the time to input all 100 of our picks into a handy Google Map. So, whether you live in Chicago, are visiting New York or have family in Montgomery, Ala.—your next pint (or bottle, as the case may be) is now just a click away.

Thanks, Joe!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Holiday Booze Bazaar

For all of you Northwest Imbibers, this coming Saturday, December 13, brings the festive cheer of the Annual Booze Bazaar held in Portland at House Spirits. This is one of our favorite events of the year, because it's always a fun chance to taste the latest creations of the mixmasters over at House Spirits (they'll be sampling their highly anticipated Apothecary line) as well delicious edibles and quenchables from a number of other local companies, which this year includes Sub Rosa Spirits, Ransom Spirits, Absinthe Marteau, Xocolatl de Davíd, Fraga Farm Goat Cheese and the Oregon Cheese Guild. And, of, course, we'll be on hand as well with our latest holiday issue and special holiday savings. So be sure to swing by to check everything out—we hope to see lots of new and familiar faces!

What: Holiday Booze Bazaar; free to the public, 21 and over
When: Saturday, 12/13, 1-5 p.m.
Where: House Spirits, 2025 SE 7th Ave. Portland, Oregon

Friday, December 05, 2008

Drink of the Week: Old Forester Repeal Bourbon

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, the day the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. And how better to mark such a momentous day than with a toast? The makers of Old Forester seem to have had the same idea; they’ve released a limited-edition Repeal Bourbon, which comes with a handy commemorative glass and a rolled-up scroll on which they've printed the 21st Amendment. The bourbon itself is blended from barrels with, to quote the press release, “a more robust character that is similar to the Old Forester that was bottled during Prohibition.” Yes, during Prohibition: Old Forester was one of just 10 distilleries issued a government permit to produce bourbon “for medical purposes” during those dry years.

Strong medicine, indeed: Old Forester Repeal is distilled to 100 proof. On the nose, it sends up potent whiffs of caramel corn, butterscotch and cake batter. It continues those sweet, buttery notes on the palate, though we found them easier to detect when we mixed in a little water to tame the 100 proof’s burn. Further sips bring plenty of oak and peppery spice, along with a touch of leather, and the finish is a long hum of pleasantly burnt butter and sugar—like the top of a torched crème brulée. It’s an assertive bourbon, well-suited to marking America’s return to legal imbibing.

And to help you celebrate this occasion, check out this 1933 playlist from A Dash of Bitters. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Copia on Hold

Some unfortunate news from the wine world: On Monday, Copia, the American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts, filed for reorganization relief under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy code. This Napa Valley museum opened, with the help of Julia Child and Robert Mondavi, to enthusiastic reviews in 2002 and has served as a significant source for food and wine culture and education ever since. But today, their classes are on hold, the lights in the wine bar are off and the pathway through the organic edible gardens is closed.

While Copia’s recent bankruptcy filing may come as no surprise to some—last May the museum publicized a sizeable cost-cutting and restructuring plan—its acting president still hopes to come back strong. “The decision to restructure the business through a Chapter 11 filing should provide us with the opportunity to strengthen our balance sheet, create a more efficient expense structure and ultimately position our public-benefit corporation to compete more effectively,” explained Garry McGuire, Jr. in a recent press release.

So for now Copia’s doors remain shut. But for the sake of foodies and wine enthusiasts around the country, we hope it isn’t for long.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Upcoming Event: Holiday Mixer in New York

On Thursday, December 11, the folks at DrinkUpNY will be hosting a Holiday Mixer at Vino Italian Wine & Spirits in New York City. This will be a fun opportunity to sample some of the wide variety of spirits and liqueurs DrinkUpNY offers, including the likes of Zirbenz pine liqueur (in the cover recipe from the Nov/Dec issue) or Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette (from our 2008 online holiday gift guide). If you don't already have these spirit or others, this will be a great chance to try before you buy (they have aa fantastic selection of everything from absinthe to scotch). And best of all, DrinkUpNY is offering Imbibe readers a special 10% discount on tickets, just enter IMBIBEMIX when you check out to take advantage of the savings. Admission includes light snacks.

What: DrinkUpNY Holiday Mixer, tickets $30
When: Thursday, 12/11
Where: Vino Italian Wine & Spirits, 121 E 27th St, New York [map]