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, April 29, 2011

Drink(s) of the Week: Bubbly Fit for a King and Queen

Let’s be honest—we’ll take just about any occasion to open a bottle of bubbly. Still, a royal wedding seems an affair as fit as any to fill our flutes, so for today’s Drink of the Week we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite bubbles from around the globe. And since our Champagne tastes live on a non-royal budget, each pick won’t set you back more than $20, meaning you can happily toast the newlyweds with a second (or third) glass.

Bianchi Extra Brut NV
Mendoza, Argentina may be best known for its Malbec, but this sparkler carves out its own niche thanks to its blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes grown in the foothills of the Andes. Combine that cooler climate with an extended aging of the wine, and you’ve got a bottle of bubbly perfectly balanced between brisk acidity and a silky-rich finish. $12, klwines.com

Sorelle Bronca Prosecco NV
This organically grown Prosecco from the Bronca sisters in Italy’s Veneto region retains just a hint of its natural sweetness, offering flavors of orange blossoms, white peaches and almonds. $17, blackwellwines.com

Castillo Perelada Brut Reserva Cava NV
Literally fit for royalty—Spain’s ruling monarch pours it during official functions—this bright, citrusy Cava blends Spain’s traditional Macabeo, Xarel-Lo and Parellada grapes into a zippy bottle of fizzy delight. $10, klwines.com

Veuve du Vernay Brut Rosé NV
Fresh strawberries, white pepper and rose petals—it’s all in this low-alcohol, dry French rosé. Even better, it comes in at a mere 11 percent with a killer price tag.
$9, napacabs.com

J Vineyards Cuvée 20 Brut NV
Perhaps one of the best values among domestically produced sparkling wines, this California bubbly from Russian River producer J Vineyards is full of lemon zest, tart green apple and fresh pear flavors. $19, bevmo.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

A virility-boosting beer in honor of the royal wedding. Get it while supplies last. SlashFood

Eric Asimov explores an oft-forgotten, racy white wine that’s perfect for the summer ahead. New York Times

Cocktails, omakase-style at the Library Bar in Hollywood. CNN

Going, going! Centuries-old bottles of bubbly are set for the auction block. Huffington Post

I scream, you scream—we all scream for affogato. Bon Appétit

Lemonade is… LL Cool Ade. Tomhaverfoods.com

Is that beer or wine you're drinking vegetarian? Miami Herald

Monday, April 25, 2011

Derby Days: Where to Score a Perfectly Made Mint Julep

Derby Day is fast approaching, which means it's time to start practicing your Mint Julep skills. This sublimely refreshing porch sipper is a simple mix of mint, sugar, bourbon and crushed ice, and though it seems simple enough, a properly made Julep can be surprisingly hard to find. Here are six spots that do the Julep justice, including a helpful how-to from Mint Julep maestro Chris McMillian.

Photo by Josh Meredith courtesy of Proof on Main

Friday, April 22, 2011

Drink of the Week: The Midtown Cocktail

It's Easter weekend, and all of the impending holiday brunches, lunches and dinners will certainly be needing a special cocktail, so today's Drink of the Week has you covered. From the award-winning Snackbar in Oxford, Mississippi (one of our picks for the 100 Best Places to Drink in the South) comes this light, crisp combination of floral Hendrick's gin with grenadine, rose syrup, lemon, mint and sparkling wine—a cocktail that's made for for springtime sipping. Get the recipe here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Manhattan Cocktail Classic Ticket Giveaway #3!

Today's the day for our final ticket giveaway for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. For today's giveaway, one lucky imbiber will win two tickets to the "Gin: Distilled" event. Steve Olson, Angus Winchester, Andy Seymour and Tom Nichol, Master Distiller of Tanqueray, will school you on how gin is made and cover the spirit's fascinating history and place in the cocktail world.

The be eligible to win tickets to this event, simply click here and send us an email telling us about your favorite gin cocktail. The deadline for entries is tomorrow (Friday, April 22) at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. One randomly selected winner will be chosen and notified by Monday, April 25.

What: Gin: Distilled
When: Monday, May 16, 4 - 5:30 p.m.
Where: Astor Center, 399 Lafayette Street at East 4th Street

You must at least 21 years old to enter/win this giveaway and to attend any Manhattan Cocktail Classic events. Please be prepared to present a valid photo ID verifying that you are of legal drinking age. Includes complimentary admission to the Official Bar of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (plus one drink ticket) on Sunday.

Indie Wine Festival Ticket Giveaway

The Indie Wine Festival in Portland is only a few weeks away, and we're excited to be able to offer a special VIP ticket giveaway to one lucky imbiber. This year's festival happens on May 14 and will feature more than 50 boutique wineries from Oregon and Washington, as well as food from some of Portland's most talented chefs.

To make yourself eligible to win two VIP tickets to this year's festival, simply click here to tell us which wine you'd most like to try at this year's event. The deadline for entries is Sunday, April 24 at 11:59 Pacific time. One winner will be randomly selected and notified by Monday, April 25.

Photo by Holland Studios

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter-Ready Egg Cocktails

Looking to add a little extra oomph to your drinks this spring? Whip up one of these Easter-ready egg cocktails.

Absinthe Suissesse
This is a classic New Orleans brunch cocktail. Indeed, this version by Chris Hannah of Arnaud’s French 75 is a tasty way to start the day—creamy but light with notes of anise and almond, and a light minty kick.

Clover Club
This enduring classic is so beloved, it even has a bar in Brooklyn, New York, named after it.

Coffee Cocktail
Though there's actually no coffee in this classic cocktail, it still makes a delicious brunch-time sipper.

Goodnight Moon
Airy egg white and floral, aromatic bitters come together in this frothy, flavor-packed cocktail.

Pretty Jessica
Canlis bartender, James MacWilliams updates Harry Cradock’s classic, the English Rose, with the addition of Cherry Heering and an egg white.

Ramos Gin Fizz
This New Orleans classic was invented in the 1880s by Henry C. Ramos. Original instructions dictated that it be shaken for a good 12 minutes, requiring a bit of a bartender relay. The drink lives on today in bars around the world—minus the marathon shaking time.

Sueño
At his Los Angeles mezcal bar, Las Perlas, Raul Ystorza honors the Southern Mexico-born spirit with concoctions like this warm-weather beauty.

The Whaler
For this sparkling rum-and-honey cocktail, San Francisco bartender Brooke Arthur drew inspiration from the classic Bumble-Bee Cocktail.

For more on using eggs in cocktails, check out "Get Cracking" from our Sept/Oct 2008 issue.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Quick Sip: Tasty Bits From Around the Web

Ever tried boutique bar crawling? NY Times

Could you tell the difference between cheap wine and expensive wine? Slashfood

Consider the chemistry of the Bloody Mary. NPR

A ban on bars in Brooklyn? Wall Street Journal

Finally, a dishwasher for wine glasses. Food Republic

Obscure drink of the week: water kefir. Chocolate & Zucchini

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Manhattan Cocktail Classic Giveaway!

We have another ticket giveaway for the upcoming Manhattan Cocktail Classic! For today's giveaway, one lucky imbiber will win two tickets to the "Age: The Final Frontier - Barreling Spirits & Cocktails" event. Writer, bartender and consultant Philip Duff will cover the aging of everything from genever to tequila to cocktails—and when the process goes right ... or wrong. You'll also get the chance to taste custom-aged gins, rums and cocktails—should be a great event.

The make yourself eligible to win tickets to this event, simply click here and send us an email telling us what sort of aged cocktail you'd most like to try. The deadline for entries is tomorrow (Tuesday, April 19) at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. One randomly selected winner will be chosen and notified by Wednesday, April 20.

What: Age: The Final Frontier - Barreling Spirits & Cocktails
When: Monday, May 16, 6:15–7:45 p.m.
Where: Astor Center, 399 Lafayette Street at East 4th Street

You must at least 21 years old to enter/win this giveaway and to attend any Manhattan Cocktail Classic events. Please be prepared to present a valid photo ID verifying that you are of legal drinking age. Includes complimentary admission to the Official Bar of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (plus one drink ticket) on Sunday.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Drink of the Week: Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace

Is it summertime yet? The wild spring weather has us craving a hefty dose of sun, and here to remind us of warmer days ahead is today’s Drinks of the Week—the soon-to-be-released Sorachi Ace from Brooklyn Brewery. A saison-style ale brewed with light Pilsner malts, Brooklyn’s top-secret Belgian yeast strain and its namesake hop, sorachi, this beer is as crisp and refreshing as it gets with bright lemon notes and a dry, slightly piney finish, all underlined by a subtle maltiness. Look for it to hit shelves across the country beginning in the next few weeks—just in time for the summery sunshine. $15/750 ml., brooklynbrewing.com for distribution info.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Royal Wedding Cocktails

The Royal Wedding is than two weeks away, and it only seems appropriate that the couple should have a few cocktails to mark the occasion. Tanqueray global ambassador Angus Winchester has stepped up to the challenge and created four royal recipes. We especially love The Newlyweds recipe, below, and for the rest of the recipes, check out Tanqueray's Facebook page.

The Newlyweds
3/4 oz. Tanqueray gin
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. simple syrup
3 chunks fresh pineapple
1 small slice fresh ginger
Soda water
Tools: muddler, shaker, strainer
Glass: Collins
Garnish: pineapple leaf and pineapple wedge

Muddle fruit and add remaining ingredients (except the soda). Shake vigorously with ice and strain into tall ice-filled glass. Top with soda and garnish with pineapple leaf and wedge.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Win Manhattan Cocktail Classic Tickets!

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic is only about a month away, and tickets are selling out quickly. If you still have your eye on some of the events but have yet to purchase tickets, we've got a special giveaway today for one lucky Imbiber to win two tickets to the "A Drop of the Hard Stuff: The History & Uses of Irish Whiskey & Its Liqueurs" event on Sunday, May 15.

Led by Irishmen Philip Duff & Sean Muldoon, this will be an entertaining gathering with lots of great information about Irish spirits and tastings of whiskies and liqueurs, several distilled specially for this seminar.

The make yourself eligible to win tickets to this event, simply click here and send us an email telling us about your favorite way to enjoy Irish whiskey. The deadline for entries is tomorrow (Thursday, April 14) at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. One randomly selected winner will be chosen and notified by Monday, April 18. And if you don't win, we'll be doing 2 more ticket giveaways for other MCC events over the next week, so you'll have a couple more chances!

What: A Drop of the Hard Stuff: The History & Uses of Irish Whiskey & Its Liqueurs
When: Sunday, May 15, 4-5:30 p.m.
Where: The Gallery at Astor Center, 399 Lafayette Street at East 4th Street

You must at least 21 years old to enter/win this giveaway and to attend any Manhattan Cocktail Classic events. Please be prepared to present a valid photo ID verifying that you are of legal drinking age. Includes complimentary admission to the Official Bar of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (plus one drink ticket) on Sunday.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Q&A With Jenni Pittman of Proof on Main

With a Mint Julep that’s known throughout Louisville and a cocktail menu that highlights local ingredients, Proof on Main (one of our picks for the 100 Best Places to Drink in the South) head bartender Jenni Pittman is at the forefront of southern cocktail culture. Here she chats about her first night behind the bar, where she finds her cocktail inspiration and why you’d best be a bourbon fan if you’re going to sit at her bar.

Photo by Kenneth Hayden courtesy of Proof on Main

Friday, April 08, 2011

Drink of the Week: Trybox New Make Rye

Unaged whiskeys are bigger than ever, and today’s Drink of the Week is the latest example. Released last week, the Trybox New Make rye from Heaven Hill Distillery is a familiar formula—if barreled for aging, this straight-off-the-still, uncut white rye whiskey would become Rittenhouse 100. But bottled unaged, this rye is full of characters all its own. Wildly assertive, yet complex with bright fruit flavors and a sharp, peppery finish, the Trybox New Make stands out in cocktails like the Glass House from Louisville bartender Jared Schubert. The whiskey is just now entering national distribution channels, so look for it soon on store shelves and online at web retailers like Binnys.com. And for more ryes we love, check out “Catcher in the Rye” from our March/April issue, and this additional roundup, here.
$26, heaven-hill.com for distribution information

The Glass House
1 oz. Trybox New Make rye
1 oz. white rum
1 oz. dry vermouth
3/4 oz. Bénédictine
1 dash Jerry Thomas Own Decanter Bitters
1 dash Free Bros. lemon bitters
Ice cubes
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: Old Fashioned
Garnish: lemon twist

Combined all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir well. Pour into an Old Fashioned glass half filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Jared Schubert, Mozz, Louisville, Kentucky

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Sam Adams Helps Fund Craft Brewers With Its Brewing the American Dream Program

Looking to launch a brewery but not sure how to get the funding? Samuel Adams might have the answer for you. Since 2008, the Boston-based brewery has been partnering with ACCION USA to grant microloans to food, beverage and hospitality small business owners in the Northeast, but now the company has pledged $100,000 specifically to brewery startups nationwide.

Small business loans will help with things like expanding or starting a business, marketing, or buying inventory or equipment. The Brewing the American Dream program also offers entrepreneurs free seminars and coaching on running and expanding their businesses. In the past, the program has helped fund everything from a Voltage Coffee to The Boston Shaker. Head here to learn more about the program—you can even donate to the microloan fund.

A Q&A With Leslie Henderson of Lazy Magnolia

Leslie Henderson is as southern as the beers she brews. A Mississippian born and raised, she and her husband Mark opened Lazy Magnolia Brewery in Kiln, Mississippi, in 2005 and have since developed a loyal following for their regionally inspired beers brewed with local ingredients like roasted pecans and honey from a bee-keeping uncle. Here Leslie talks about how they came up with the name, her most challenging ingredient and what other local flavors are next up on tap.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

New Video: How to Make a Margarita

The Margarita is one of the most simple yet misunderstood cocktails out there. Artificial sour mixes and low-quality tequilas have run amok, but it's easy to do right by this delicious classic. Here, bartender Evan Zimmerman shows how to make a Margarita with quality ingredients—easy as 1-2-3.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Drink of the Week: Cheerwine

It’s hard not to love a soda called Cheerwine, and today’s Drink of the Week proves the adoration is in more than just the name. A North Carolina favorite since 1917, this ruby-hued soda has been gaining a following across the rest of the country for its bright cherry flavors. The glass-bottled version is cane-sweetened, and its growing popularity has sites like Kegworks.com selling it online for $1.50 a pop, while plans for nationwide distribution are in the works. A super-refreshing sipper on its own, Cheerwine also adds a dose of brightness to cocktails, like this one from Tim Faulkner which combines the soda with apple brandy, Campari, sweet vermouth and maraschino. And for more on southern sodas, check out “Pop Culture” in our March/April issue. $1.50/bottle, kegworks.com