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, February 26, 2010

Drink of the Week: Patricia Green Cellars 2008 Reserve Pinot Noir

In our new March/April issue, writer Amy Zavatto’s cover story offers up an array of real-world wine pairings, with tips on drinking wine with everything from pizza and Chinese takeout to fondue and fried chicken. Sourcing some of our favorite bottles for this article (not to mention food), we did some serious tasting and were stopped in our tracks when we sipped Patricia Green’s 2008 Reserve Pinot Noir alongside a batch of cheddar/whisky fondue with chewy cubes of pumpernickel bread. The delicate herbaceousness and bright fruit of the pinot is a spot-on match for this deliciously gooey recipe from Lou Sierbert Pappas’ book, Fondue (Chronicle, 2007). For more mouthwatering wine and food matches, be sure to check out Pair & Share in the current issue. $25, patriciagreencellars.com

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Upcoming Event: Whiskies of the World & Artisanal Spirits Fest

Bay Area whiskey enthusiasts only have a few weeks before the annual Whiskies of the World Expo & Artisanal Spirits Fest kicks off in San Francisco on Saturday, March 27. Now in its 11th year, the Whiskies of the World Expo & Artisanal Spirits Fest brings together distillers from around the world and is a terrific opportunity to sample, learn about and experience the art of whiskey. In addition to tasting a huge array of spirits, there will be seminars covering topics like the wonders of craft distilling and the whisky regions of Scotland. There will also be food, bartending demos, chocolate and fudge pairings, and live music.

The brands that will be on hand for tasting include:

8 Seconds Canadian Whisky
Aberfeldy Scotch
Aberlour Scotch
Aito Ruiz Whisky
Aqua Perfecta Liqueur
Archive XXV Year Old Scotch
Ardbeg Scotch
Ardmore Traditional Cask Scotch
Asyla Scotch
Baker’s Small Batch Bourbon
Balcones Baby Blue Bourbon
Basil Hayden’s Small Batch Bourbon
Booker’s Small Batch Bourbon
Bourye Whiskey
Buck Bourbon
Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Bulleit Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Bushmills Irish Whiskey
Canadian Club Whisky
Caol Ila Scotch
Cascade Mountain Gin
Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine
Clynelish Scotch
Cofia Hazelnut Expresso Vodka
Compass Box Whiskey
Cragganmore Scotch
Crater Lake Vodka
Crispin’s Rose Liqueur
Crown Royal Canadian Whisky
Dalwhinnie Scotch
Dewars Scotch
Diamond 100 Vodka
Dickel No. 12 Whisky
Eagle Rare Bourbon
Fog’s End California Moonshine
Fog’s End Monterey Rye
Genevieve Genever Style Gin
Germain-Robin Brandy
Dry Fly Washington Dry Gin
Dry Fly Washington Wheat Vodka
Dry Fly Whiskey
Glenkinchie Scotch
Glenmorangie Scotch
Gordon & MacPhail Whiskies
Hangar One Vodka
Hankey Bannister Scotch
Hedonism Scotch
Hibiki 12-Year-Old Whisky
Isle of Jura Scotch
Isle of Skye Whisky
Johnnie Walker Scotch
Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon
Junipero Gin
Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon
Lagavulin Scotch
Laphroaig Scotch
Liberty Ale & Porter
Mackillop’s Choice Scotch
Maison Surrenne Cognac
Maker’s Mark Bourbon
Mazama Infused Pepper Vodka
Nadurra Scotch
Oban Scotch
Old Potrero Whiskey
Old Pulteney Scotch
High West Peach Vodka 7000’
Peat Monster Scotch
Prichard’s Fine Rum
Prichard’s Sweet Lucy Bourbon Liqueur
Rendezvous Whiskey
Rough Stock Montana Whiskey
Sazerac Whiskey
Scapa Scotch
Signatory Single Cask Whisky
Snake River Stampede Canadian Whisky
Spice Tree Scotch
St. George Spirits Whiskey
Stranahan’s Colorado Whisky
Talisker Scotch
Templeton Rye
The Dalmore Scotch
The Glenlivet Scotch
High West Silver Whiskey
The Singleton of Glendullan Scotch
Tomintoul Scotch
Tuthilltown Hudson Whiskey
Yamakazi Whisky
Zacapa Rum

VIP tickets cost $120 and general admission tickets are $110. For more info and to purchase tickets, head over to whiskiesoftheworld.com. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bols Around the World Finalists Announced!

We're excited to announce the finalists in the Bols Around the World Shaking Twenties Cocktail Competition! More than 500 bartenders from 27 countries entered this competition, and now six finalists will be heading to Amsterdam to compete for top honors on March 22, where judges from six continents will be on hand to choose the grand prize winner who will be able to design and create his own signature Bols liqueur in Amsterdam with a Bols product developer. The judges for this year's competition are Jason Crawley, Daniel Estremadoyro, Kurt Schlechter, Hidetsugu Ueno, Stanislav Vadrna and David Wondrich.

And the six finalists are:

Edwin Cruz of Tlapazola Grill in Los Angeles representing North America

Luis Claudio Simoes of Blue Bar 1820 in Sao Paulo representing South America

Timo Janse of Door 74 in Amsterdam representing Europe

Luke Redington of Hugos Bar Pizza in Sydney representing Australia

Mike Stephenson of News Cafe Woodmead in Johannesburg representing Africa

Katsuya Takano of Keio Plaza Hotel Aurora Lounge in Tokyo representing Asia

Congrats and good luck to all of the finalists—we can't wait to see who takes home top honors! In the meantime, here's a sneak peek of the top six recipes—this one's from Edwin Cruz of Tlapazola Grill in Los Angeles:

The Third Way
3/4 oz. Bols orange curacao
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. agave syrup (50% agave nectar: 50% water)
1/2 small egg white
1 1/2 oz. Bols genever
1/2 oz. Glenfiddich 12
1/2 oz. Averna
1 orange slice
2 drops Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: cocktail

Add lemon juice, egg white, agave syrup, orange curacao and genever to a shaker and dry shake vigorously. Add remaining ingredients, fill with ice, shake well and strain into a glass.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Drink of the Week: New Belgium Ranger IPA

Venturing outside of their well-honed Belgian-style beer model, New Belgium Brewing recently introduced the West Coast-influenced Ranger IPA. Balanced with a fruity/floral blend of Simcoe, Chinook and Cascade hops, Ranger is nuanced, bright and refreshing. With fruity aromas of pineapple and orange marmalade, full, floral and fruity flavors, and a trace of toasted malt on the finish, this IPA is a welcome segue into spring and a great beer to drink all summer long. newbelgium.com/rangerland

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Upcoming Event: Spring Craft Beer Festival

In just a few weeks, the annual Spring Craft Beer Festival will kick off in Uniondale, NY., where more than 50 craft brewers from around the country will be on hand to pour samples. This is always a great chance to taste both regional and national beers, everything from Brooklyn Brewery and Dogfish Head to Stone Brewing and Goose Island. Admission includes a 6 oz. tasting glass and 2 oz. samples from any exhibiting brewery. There will be two tasting sessions, one from 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m. and one from 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Tickets for each session cost $45 plus tax or only $12 plus tax for designated drivers. Check out the festival's website for more details.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Drink of the Week: Hum Liqueur

Forget the roses this Valentine’s Day and seek out a bottle of Hum liqueur. This garnet-hued spirit is the brainchild of Chicago bartender and advanced sommelier Adam Seger, who has spent nearly two years perfecting the recipe. A blend of rums from Bolivia and North Shore Distillery, and herbs and spices like ginger, whole cardamom, kaffir lime and hibiscus, Hum is spicy and sweet with a touch of bitterness. Hugely aromatic with notes of cardamom, cinnamon bark and ginger, and lots of peppery flavors to match, it’s delicious mixed with Champagne, or in the Hum and Sand cocktail below. The only hitch is that it’s currently only available in California, Illinois and Nevada, but distribution in New York and Texas is coming soon with the rest of the country picking up in the following months. $40 for 750 ml.; humspirits.com

Hum and Sand
1 1/2 oz. Hum
1 1/2 oz. scotch (Seger recommends Springbank 10-Year)
1/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 orange, peel on and cut into quarters
Ice cubes
Tools: muddler, shaker, strainer
Glass: rocks

Muddle orange in a heavy rocks glass. Combine liquid ingredients and shake with ice. Strain over the muddled orange into an ice-filled rocks glass.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Upcoming Event: Coffee & Tea Festival

Coffee and tea enthusiasts in and around New York City only have two weeks until the 5th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival kicks off. We love this event because it's such a great chance to sample coffees and teas from around the world while checking out new gadgets and tools and learning something new in one of the classes or demos. This year's event takes place February 20 and 21 and will feature a topnotch line-up of exhibitors, including serendipiTea, Rishi, Harney & Sons and Tavalon Tea. An all-day pass is only $20 and can be purchased ahead of time online. Click here for more info on the event and to buy tickets—hope to see you there!

Drink of the Week: Anderson Valley Anniversary Imperial IPA

Tailgating at home for this year’s Super Bowl? Get game-ready with this imperial IPA from California brewer Anderson Valley. Back by popular demand after an inaugural release in 2007 commemorating two decades of brewing, this big beer has the body and balance to pair with everything from light snacks to burgers, pizza or pork ribs. Approachable and nuanced, this IPA shows layers of sweet, floral aromas, fruit and citrus flavors and a long, creamy finish. And, while we’re not placing bets on who’ll take the Super Bowl, we’ll definitely take our chances on calling this brew a winner come game day. avbc.com

Thursday, February 04, 2010

February’s Where to Drink Now: Espresso Cielo

When Diane Maler and husband Lew couldn’t find a coffeehouse in Los Angeles that they personally wanted to frequent, they set out to create their dream café. They found a storefront on Main Street in Santa Monica and renovations quickly began. White walls became a brilliant shade of Caribbean blue, complemented by marble countertops, black bistro furniture and silver leaf detailing throughout the 750 square-foot space. Meanwhile, they chose to serve coffee from 49th Parallel, even hiring a barista who formerly pulled shots for the Vancouver, B.C. roaster/retailer. “It was the best coffee I’d ever tasted,” says Diane, “and I wanted to be able to bring that to the Los Angeles coffee scene.”

Since last month’s soft opening, Espresso Cielo has been generating lots of neighborhood buzz for its rich, robust espresso, creamy cappuccinos and cups of pour-over coffee, as well as a pastry case stocked full of locally baked goods, like blueberry tarts and granola muffins. Asked if she’s had a chance to slow down and enjoy the café’s debut, Maler mentions the million details left to complete, but she’s quick to brush off the frenzy of it all saying, “We’ve had an amazing beginning.”

Coordinates: 3101 Main St, Santa Monica, California; 310-314-9999; espressocielo.com

Rendering sketch of Espresso Cielo by Bernadette Faye Stewart.