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, September 25, 2009

Spiegelau Glass Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to M. Quinn Sweeney of San Francisco, the randomly drawn winner of four Spiegelau Beer Classics glasses ($60 value), including two stemmed pilsner glasses and two lager glasses, like the one pictured on the cover of our Sept/Oct 2009 issue.

We asked readers of our Tasting Notes newsletter to tell us about their favorite beer among our list of 100 of the Best Bottled Beers in the World. We had so many great entries and stories from all over the country, including a few people who couldn't settle on a top pick—one person listed five!

Didn't get a chance to submit your pick? Not receiving Tasting Notes? Don't miss out on upcoming giveaways, event invites and special discounts—sign up to receive the newsletter by clicking here, and as a bonus you'll get our fantastic guide to the 100 Best Places to Drink Beer in America!

Drink of the Week: Drinko de Gallo

We're seriously into fresh tomatoes here at the Imbibe office, and several of us have been harvesting an array of varieties from our back yards all summer long. And even though fall is officially here, the tomatoes don't seem to care, because they're still ripening like crazy, inviting us to keep on picking. So what to do with all these garden-fresh jewels? We say mix them with a little tequila for the oh-so-delicious Drinko de Gallo. This recipe, dreamed up by Jeff Hollinger of Absinthe Brasserie, was featured in our May/June 07 issue and remains one of our favorite cocktails to make every year during tomato season. It's a perfectly savory and sweet cocktail that's packed with bright, fresh flavors. And even if you're not growing your own tomatoes, this recipe offers a perfect reason to take advantage of the seasonal varieties available in farmers markets and grocery stores.

Photo by Craig Wagner/Studio 3

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hop to It!

Fall is the season for hops to be harvested in full force, and for homebrewer's it's a perfect time to start working on homemade lagers. Of course, you'll need to snag some special yeast strains for your brews, and luckily, the folks at Midwest Homebrewing just announced their upcoming Wyeast seasonal strains to use in your own recipes, or in their handy recipe kits (they have over 100 recipes). Here's a sneak peek of what Midwest Homebrewing will have available beginning the first week of October:

Wyeast 2247-PC European Lager Yeast
If you're aiming for crisp, clean pilsners, this is the yeast for you.

Wyeast 2487-PC Hella Bock Yeast
Perfect for brewing Oktoberfest lagers, German bocks, or Bavarian doppelbocks, this Austrian strain will produce rich, full-bodied, malty beers.

Wyeast 2782-PC Staro Prague Lager Yeast
Try this strain for full-bodied, fruity lagers with some malty backbone.

Happy brewing, and in the meantime, check out this fun article on the experiences of a few homebrewers across the country.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Web Poll: Cast Your Vote!

The ability to ace classic cocktails can be one of the surest indications of a bartender's chops—if your bartender can't pull of a perfect Old Fashioned or Negroni, it's a sure sign that they haven't mastered the basics. Here at Imbibe, we each have our own favorite classic cocktails that we like to order when we try out new bars—what's your "test" cocktail of choice? Our new web poll asks this question, so cast your vote here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Search Is on for America's Undiscovered Bartending Talents

Imbibe is excited to partner with DRAMBUIE to find undiscovered bartenders in cities across America, and you’re invited to join the Pursuit! From September 28 through November 17, bartenders in seven U.S. cities (Denver; Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wis.; Philadelphia; New York; Portland, Ore.; and Austin, Texas) will showcase their talents during a series of exclusive competitions and cocktail parties. Cocktail enthusiasts are invited to watch the competition, and even participate by sampling each competitor’s drink and then casting their vote for their favorite. Event guests, along with a panel of industry judges, will evaluate the signature cocktails on presentation, flavor and creativity and select one lucky winning bartender from each city.

All winning bartenders will have their cocktails entered into a final competition in which each of the seven regional cocktails will be judged in order to choose one national winner. That national winner will be featured on imbibemagazine.com and PursuitOf1745.com and will receive a trip to the 2010 Tales of the Cocktail festival as a DRAMBUIE ambassador.

So join us in our pursuit to find some of America’s most exciting undiscovered bartenders. Click here to see a list of upcoming dates, cities and locations, and to RSVP to attend any of these events (space is limited, so be sure to RSVP before tickets are gone). Entry is free, but you must be 21 years or older to attend.

The first competition and party will take place in Denver, September 28–29. For additional info on times and locations, check out PursuitOf1745.com. We hope to see you there!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Drink of the Week: Shipyard Brewing Smashed Pumpkin Ale

Stick your nose in a glass of the recently released Smashed Pumpkin from Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine, and you’ll swear it’s Thanksgiving already: The smell is like freshly baked pumpkin pie. On the palate, it’s more like pumpkin bread, with spicy rye-bread notes and a finish that delivers nutmeg, toasted walnut and plenty more pure pumpkin flavor. You can tell Shipyard is into its gourds—the brewery has long made a seasonal pumkin-laced wheat ale called Pumpkinhead. But Smashed Pumpkin—part of the brewery’s limited-edition Pugsley’s Signature Series—weighs in at twice Pumpkinhead’s 4.5 percent alcohol content and is more potent in terms of its pumpkin flavor. Try it with sharp cheeses, spiced pecans or savory fall dishes like roasted root vegetables and lamb stew. Check it out while you can—Smashed Pumpkin hit the shelves at the end of August, and before long it will be harder to spot than Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin. shipyard.com

Friday, September 11, 2009

Drink of the Week: Forty Creek “Barrel Select” Canadian Whisky

When John Hall decided to add whisky distilling to his winemaking background, he held tight to his vintner’s roots and approached distilling as a winemaker would their Bordeaux blend: Each grain type is copper-pot-distilled into its own whisky and aged separately in barrels whose char levels match the grain (lightly toasted oak for the rye, heavy char for the corn, etc.). These single-grain whiskies are then blended together in used Sherry casks before bottling, yielding a smooth and supple whisky with a bold backbone. Forty Creek’s Barrel Select has inviting, Sherry-laced aromas and flavors of caramel, toasted oak and loads of spice. While fans of sweeter bourbons will enjoy sipping this whisky neat, it also makes a great addition to a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned.
$26, drinkupny.com

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

September's Where to Drink Now: Espresso Neat

When 26-year-old Rachel Haughey was laid off from her job as a commodities trader last October, she took the opportunity to pursue another passion: coffee. And after filing for permits, securing a business partner and renovating a former cosmetics shop, the Gimme! Coffee-trained barista opened Espresso Neat just over a week ago in the small New England town of Darien, Connecticut. The former Manhattan resident sources her beans from Counter Culture Coffee and her whole-leaf tea from Intelligentsia; she works with numerous local purveyors for everything from the ice cream in her affogato to fresh-baked scones and muffins for the pastry case. Alongside Espresso Neat’s simple yet well-executed espresso offerings is a “Slow Coffee” menu, which allows customers to order seasonal single-origin coffees in a variety of flavor-rich brewing methods like the Clever Coffee pour-over system and siphon pots.
Coordinates: 20 Grove St., Darien, Connecticut; 203-202-7215; espressoneat.com

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Trip to the Zoo

Now that you’ve absorbed all the helpful info on how to make espresso drinks like a pro from the home espresso feature article in our most recent issue, maybe it’s time to step up your game with some clever latte art. We love this video from Café Yala in Canberra, Australia, showing various animals being made in lattes and hot chocolate by means of both free-pouring and etching methods. Check out the piglet!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Drink of the Week: Bear Republic Racer 5

In researching the cover story for the new issue of Imbibe (on newsstands now) we took up the task of tasting a serious array of beers from around the world (hey, somebody had to do it) and surveying industry pros and readers to come up with our list of 100 of the world’s best bottled beers in categories like “Beers to Drink With a Burger,” “Beers to Serve Your Friend Who Claims to Be a Beer Snob” and “Beers to Cellar.” With the start of Labor Day weekend and thoughts turning to outdoor grilling and kicking back with a cold one, we thought we’d highlight one of our favorite burger brews from our Top 100 list: Bear Republic Racer 5. This bold IPA from Northern California offers up big-time hops—from two Pacific Northwest varieties—in its citrusy aroma and palate-cleansing piney bitterness, and it has just a touch of maltiness to smooth things out. It’s perfect with juicy burgers, sausages, portobello mushrooms and just about anything else you can fit on the grill.