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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Stumptown Coffee Unveils a Cold Brew

Stumptown Coffee Roasters is gearing up for iced coffee season with the release tomorrow of its first-ever bottled coffee. Cold-brewed from the roastery's house blend and bottled at Portland’s House Spirits Distillery, these bottles of cold-brew goodness are full of rich, chocolaty aromas, tangy fruit flavors and earthy undertones. The coffee is packaged in a retro stubby glass bottle (a nod the the Olympia Stubby) and will keep refrigerated for up to 10 days. Look for it at select Stumptown cafés for about $3.50 a bottle. It's even finding its way into the newly released Berserker Bock from Brooklyn’s SixPoint Craft Ales, which is available on draught in a few Brooklyn bars. Here’s a fun little video about the beer’s inspiration.

Friday, February 25, 2011

And the Mixing Star Is...

Over the past couple of months, Disaronno has been hosting special events across the country, inviting bartenders to submit original Disaronno cocktail recipes and then selecting a group of those bartenders to attend mixology seminars led by bartending gurus Tony Abou-Ganim and Dom Costa. Events were held in Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, New York and Miami, during which participants made their signature cocktails for Abou-Ganim and Costa, who then chose a “Mixing Star” from each city. Of those regional winners, one bartender was then chosen as the national Mixing Star.

All of the recipes from the winning bartenders were impressive, but we couldn't help sharing the cocktail that took top honors. Chicago bartender Debbi Peek earned the national title with her French 75-inspired Italian 57 combining Disaronno with gin, lemon juice, blood orange puree, orange marmalade, fresh rosemary and sparkling rosé. You can check out Debbi's recipe here, and head over to the Mixing Star Facebook page for photos from the U.S. events.

Drink of the Week: La Trappe Quadrupel

When you think of Trappist beer, chances are Belgium is the first place that comes to mind. But today’s Drink of the Week—the La Trappe Quadrupel ale—is brewed by Netherlands-based Koningshoeven, one of only seven abbeys permitted to produce Trappist ales, and the only outside Belgium. And though the abbey’s been brewing since 1884, in 2001 they began bottling their beer for U.S. export under the Koningshoeven label to appease the North American Monastic Business Association, but just this past month they reached an agreement allowing them to again bottle under the La Trappe name for the U.S. market. Their quadrupel is the same ale we’ve come to love under the Koningshoeven label with yeasty, tangy fruit aromas, flavors of tart cherry and apple cider and a subtle hop bitterness on the finish. This big beer—it comes in at 10 percent ABV—goes down easy on its own, but it’s just as delicious sipped alongside roasted meats and cheeses.
$7/11.2 oz., monastarygreetings.com

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Get Your Coffee Fix in Houston

If you're in any way involved with coffee—barista, roaster, retailer, journalist—the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America Expo is a great event to check out. It's the largest coffee gathering in the U.S., and you can find pretty much everything coffee-related under one roof—interesting new coffees and cool gadgets, like brewers, grinders, tampers, cups, etc. Plus, there's a conference with seminars and labs covering a wide range of coffee issues, and the US Barista Championship will be taking place, which is always entertaining to watch. This year's expo is happening in Houston from April 28–May 1, and the early bird deadline for discounted registration is fast approaching, so be sure to take advantage of that before March 13.

The SCAA is also running a fun contest called the 6-Second Buzz Challenge inviting all of the expo's exhibitors to create a winning video to entice people to visit their booth at the show, and the winning video will be promoted on the SCAA website and social networking pages. So if you happen to be exhibiting, be sure to submit your video by March 15. You can check out the rules here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Drink of the Week: Michael Collins Irish Whiskeys

Get a taste of the Emerald Isle with today’s Drink of the Week. Irish whiskey sometimes gets overlooked in favor of other types of whiskey, but with so much character, it’s a spirit that deserves more recognition. Copper pot-distilled and aged in used bourbon barrels at Ireland’s famed Cooley Distillery, Michael Collins produces two whiskeys: a 10-year single-malt as well as a blend. The single-malt is lightly smoky with some fruity notes, while the blend is light and creamy with hints of honey and citrus. Both are nuanced enough for sipping neat, but they also have a sturdy enough backbone for cocktails like the Ceo Maidin from Stephen Siebert of Village Whiskey in Philadelphia. Keep an eye out for Michael Collins and a few of the brand’s ambassadors, who are currently touring the country with cocktail parties planned in New York City, Philadelphia, D.C., Chicago, Denver and Austin over the next few weeks.
Michael Collins blended Irish whiskey, $35, wallywine.com
Michael Collins 10-year single-malt, $39, caskstore.com

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Imbibe's Cover Cocktail Contest

Imbibe is turning 5 this summer, and we want you to help us celebrate! We're looking for a cocktail that best embodies the spirit of Imbibe—a cocktail that we'd be proud to feature on the cover of the magazine. Think you have the perfect cocktail? Starting today and up to March 10, we're accepting submissions for the ultimate Imbibe cocktail to feature on the cover of our upcoming anniversary issue.

If your recipe is chosen, not only will it be featured on the cover of the May/June issue, but you'll win a Founder's Day Pass to the 2011 Tales of the Cocktail, along with a 4-night stay in a King Deluxe room at the beautiful Hotel Le Marais, located in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter. This issue will also be distributed at Tales of the Cocktail.

The Tales of the Cocktail Founder's Day Pass includes the following:

Tickets to 12 seminars
1 Ticket to the Diageo Cocktail Hour
1 Ticket to the USBG Margarita Competition OR the Bar Room Brawl
1 Ticket to Meet the Distillers
1 Invitation to the Native Spirits Brunch on Sunday, July 24
1 Official Poster

For details on how to enter, contest rules and prizes, click here. We can't wait to see what all of you creative Imbibers come up with!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Calling all bartenders!

We recently found out that the folks over at Beam Global Spirits & Wine have created a small private online community of bartenders who gather to share input on the direction of the company's brands. Now Beam is interested in expanding this group, and they might want to pick you as their next member! It's rare to get the chance to directly impact the direction of the brands you purchase, so this is a great opportunity to do just that.

As a member of the forum, you'll have a voice in influencing the development, education, advertising and strategy for Beam products while connecting with other bartenders from around the country. If selected, you'll be able to share your thoughts on a variety of spirits- and bartending-related topics, and in appreciation for your feedback, you'll earn monthly Amazon.com e-gift certificates.

To see if you qualify, all you need to do is complete this brief questionnaire. Good luck, and enjoy the conversation!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Drink of the Week: Boulevard Brewing Company’s Chocolate Ale

Monday is Valentine’s Day, and today’s Drink of the Week is the object of our affection: Chocolate Ale from Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company. Lightly roasted malts meet crushed cacao from Kansas City’s Christopher Elbow chocolates, yielding earthy flavors of bittersweet chocolate, vanilla and light spice and a hint of tangy fruit on the finish, all of which perfectly temper the brew’s 9.1% ABV. Released earlier this week in the Kansas City area, rollout to Boulevard’s 19-state distribution region begins on Monday. Visit boulevardbrewing.com for distribution details.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Cocktail Video: Barspoons and Stirring Cocktails

Ever wondered what all of those fancy barspoons are all about? Curious about which cocktails get stirred and whether you're strirring your drinks correctly? Bartender Evan Zimmerman of Laurelhurst Market is back with tips on choosing a barspoon and stirring cocktails, using a classic Manhattan as an example. Click here to check it out!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Drink of the Week: Super Bowl Cocktails

The Super Bowl is only a couple of days away, and while everyone is picking their favorite team, we thought we’d extend a little healthy competition to the drinks of game day. So today have a Drink of the Week from each team’s home state: the Green & Yellow from Merchant in Madison, Wisconsin, and the No Contest Punch from The Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company in Philadelphia. Let the competition begin!

Green & Yellow
Packer fans can color-coordinate their gear to their glass with this cocktail from newly opened Merchant in Madison’s King Street neighborhood. Combining green Chartreuse, unaged whiskey and elderflower liqueur, this cocktail is one the Merchant’s whole staff will be enjoying on game day—they’re closing the doors after brunch so the whole crew can get together and cheer on their home team.

1 1/2 oz. Death's Door white whiskey
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
3/4 oz. fresh egg white (pasteurized if you like)
1/4 oz. green Chartreuse
Ice cubes
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: coupe
Garnish: 6 drops of green Chartreuse

Combine all ingredients, except ice, and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Add ice and shake for an additional 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with 6 drops of green Chartreuse.

Merchant, Madison, Wisconsin

No Contest Punch
This punch recipe from the Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company in the Steelers’ home state is sure to please with its delicious combo of sherry, gin, amaretto and fresh juice. The recipe below serves four, so just multiply as needed for your game-day crew.

8 oz. gin
3 oz. fino sherry
3 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 oz. amaretto
2 oz. grapefruit juice
2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
1/2 tsp. Angostura bitters
Club soda
Large ice cubes
Tools: wooden spoon, small punch bowl or pitcher
Glass: punch

Combine all ingredients, except club soda, in a bowl or pitcher and stir. When ready to serve, top each glass with 1 ounce of club soda.

The Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company, Philadelphia

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Your Ultimate Super Bowl 6-Pack

With an expected 100 million people tuning in, chances are your plans for Sunday include (if not revolve around) catching the Super Bowl. And what would the big day be without a cold brew in hand? Whether you’re pulling for the Packers or the Steelers, here are six brews that’ll keep all your beer buddies happy no matter who goes home with the win.

Sly Fox Pikeland Pils
4.9% ABV, Phoenixville, PA
Planning to do some tailgating before kickoff? Pace yourself with an easy-drinking session beer like the Pikeland Pils from Steelers’ home-state brewery, Sly Fox. Coming in at 4.9 percent ABV, this canned German-style pilsner is crisp, refreshing and won’t leave you snoozing by halftime.

Sierra Nevada Estate Homegrown Ale
6.7% ABV, Chico, CA
Wisconsin craft brews can be tough to find if you live outside of the Badger State, but Cheeseheads around the country can still chant “Go Pack!” with a bottled homage to quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his hometown of Chico, California—Sierra Nevada’s Estate Homegrown Ale calls on organic barley and wet hops that are farmed mere minutes from where Rodgers first picked up the pigskin. What to eat alongside this hoppy IPA? Beer-cheese soup, of course!

New Belgium Abbey
7% ABV, Fort Collins, CO
If your Sunday is likely to be led by a Super Bowl snack attack with loads of cheese, this Belgian-style Dubbel is your beer. Brewed with six types of malt, the bottle-conditioned Abbey ale is rich, complex and bold with a spicy kick.

Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat
4.8% ABV, Chippewa Falls, WI
Anyone hailing from Wisconsin tends to have a soft spot for Leinie, and if you’re a fiercely loyal Packers fan, this is a beer you might want to have flowing freely at your Superbowl gathering. The Sunset Wheat is crisp and smooth with a fruity backbone—perfect if you’re looking for a light beer with some interesting flavor.

Dogfish Head 60-Minute IPA
6% ABV, Milton, DE
There’s nothing like an IPA on game day, and with its generous dose of Northwest hops, 60-Minute is one of the best. Its delicious balance of hops and malt will hold up to everything from burgers to barbecue, and it’s a beer that’ll please even your pickiest beer-drinking buddies.

Bosteels DeuS
11.5% ABV, Buggenhout, Belgium
High rollers can hedge their bets with a bottle of DeuS from Belgium’s Brouwerij Bosteels. Made in the traditional methode de champenoise, DeuS is the Champagne of beers—be ready to pop the top when your team takes home a win.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tales of the Cocktail Heads to Vancouver

Tales of the Cocktail is taking its popular cocktail festival on the road next month and heading north to Vancouver, BC. With such a vibrant cocktail culture, Vancouver is the perfect location for a cocktail event and a fun city to explore. The event will feature a great line-up of seminars from some of the world’s top cocktail experts, including:

* Famous New Orleans Cocktails led By Chris McMillan and Philip Greene
* Who's Your Daddy? A Mai Tai Paternity Test led by Jeff Berry
* For the Love of Gin led by Desmond Payne and Dan Warner
* The Science of Cocktails: New Techniques Behind the Bar led by Dave Arnold and Eben Klemm
* The History and Importance of Ice in Cocktails led by Charlotte Voisey and Jon Santer
* The Birth, Death and Rebirth of Canadian Whisky led by Allen Katz and Drew Mayville with Neal McLennan and David Wolowidnyk

There will also be plenty of tastings and parties and a BC Bar Crawl. Ticket packages cost $155, and only 300 tickets are available, so you'll definitely want to get yours in time. Check out the Tales of the Cocktail website for more details and to purchase tickets, and click here to read a little more about Vancouver's cocktail scene.