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, May 27, 2011

Drink of the Week: Bernard Baudry Chinon Rosé 2010

With the holiday weekend kicking off, we’re already thinking about hanging out by the grill over the next three days, and today’s Drink of the Week is one thing we’ll be sipping while we’re grilling. Bernard Baudry’s 2010 Chinon rosé just hit the U.S. market, and already we’ve been making space in our fridge for multiple bottles. Produced by one of the Loire Valley’s most reputable vintners, this minimally processed rosé is light and fresh with flavors of red summer berries balanced by a touch of dried herbs on the finish. Pair it with grilled chicken, summery salads and an extra day of relaxation. $17, chambersstwines.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Island Wineries of British Columbia

Can’t decide between a week in wine country or an island getaway this summer? Merge the two trips into one with the help of Island Wineries of British Columbia, a newly released guide to the wines, people and culture of our neighbors to the north. Written in part by Imbibe contributor Adem Tepedelen, this book is part history lesson of the varietals and viticultural landscape of the region; part tour guide complete with suggested wine excursions and part cookbook with wine-pairing recipes from some of the region’s most well-regarded chefs. Traveling with imbibers of other sorts? The book also includes chapters on local meaderies, cider houses, craft brewers and distillers. So start packing the car—the islands of British Columbia are calling! $25, amazon.com

Dog-friendly Pubs Across America

Sad but true: Not everyone loves your dog as much as you do. But a number of pubs across the country are coming close by opening their doors and patios to your furry friends. Here are 10 places where you can pack your pup and head out for a pint.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Drink of the Week: Pisco Portón

We get a lot of samples at the Imbibe office, and today’s Drink of the Week is a recent one that we’re excited to share: Pisco Portón. The brainchild of longtime pisco pioneer Johnny Schuler, Portón is new to the market, but it’s produced at an estate in Peru founded in 1684. Crafted from a blend of estate-grown Quebranta, Albilla and Torontel grapes, this pisco is made in the “mosto verde” style, where the grapes are distilled before they fully ferment, yielding more complex flavors and a subtle sweetness. The resulting pisco is balanced and expressive, with fresh grape and floral aromas, full fruit flavors of raisins and stone fruits, and a lingering finish of fresh citrus. It’s refined enough to sip on its own but equally delicious in cocktails, like a classic Pisco Sour or the Kiwicha from San Francisco’s La Mar. It’s currently available in a handful of states and with online retailers and will continue a nationwide rollout throughout the summer. $45, drinkupny.com

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Win a Bar Kit and Bitters Collection!

Want to win a bar tool kit and trio of orange bitters? Now's your chance! The folks at kegworks.com are giving away both to one lucky Imbibe reader. The Pro Bartender Cocktail Mixing Set includes a Boston shaker (complete with measurements), Hawthorne strainer, barspoon, jigger, bottle opener and bottle pourers, and the the Orange Bitters Collection includes bottles of Angostura, Regans' and Fee Brothers.

Whether you're just beginning a home bar set-up or looking to add to it, this great giveaway will help. All you have to do to enter is click here to email and tell us what the first cocktail will be that you'll mix up with this bar kit and bitters collection. Entries are due by Sunday, May 22 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. One randomly chosen winner will be notified by Tuesday, May 24. Good luck!

5 Rhubarb Bitters Cocktails for Summer

Rhubarb season is here, and if you’re like a lot of people, you might pass these springy, magenta stalks in the market and wonder what the heck to do with them. Our favorite use? Cocktails, of course! In our May/June issue, you’ll find easy instructions for whipping up a batch of homemade rhubarb bitters, and here are five cocktails that’ll allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Lancelot’s Deception
Genever, yellow Chartreuse and gin share center stage in this cocktail from New Orleans restaurant Sylvain, while a few dashes of rhubarb bitters round out the finish.

Las Perlas does it again with this amazing blend of mezcal, pepper flakes, balsamic syrup and rhubarb bitters.

R&R Cocktail
Kick back and relax with this sprightly combo of reposado tequila, rhubarb bitters and sparkling wine, courtesy of Seattle’s The Walrus and the Carpenter.

Rhubarb Smash

Gin, thyme, lemon juice, fresh rhubarb puree and rhubarb bitters make music in this summery sipper from The Tipsy Parson in New York City.

A rinse of orange flower water and a few dashes of rhubarb bitters add an extra depth to this cocktail from blogger Michael Dietsch.

Photo credit: © istockphoto.com/raphotography

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Does more coffee a day keep cancer away? ABC

A beer brewed for outer space. Reuters

Paul Clarke says the world needs more Chartreuse cocktails. The Cocktail Chronicles

Exploring Burgundy’s other white wine. Washington Post

Could a new beer bill have Sierra Nevada considering a satellite brewery on the East Coast? Greenwich Time

Napa Valley vinters band together to supply wine for veterans. Business Week

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gluten-Free Beer

If you’re gluten-intolerant, you know how tough it can be to find some of your favorite foods, and if you’re a beer drinker, that challenge gets even trickier. Traditional beers are commonly brewed with wheat and barley, which contain gluten, but gluten-free beers replace those ingredients with everything from sorghum to millet. And how do they taste? The flavor of gluten-free beers doesn't quite compare to the real thing (though that's sure to change), but we recently sampled an array of options and found five worth giving a shot. Click here to check them out.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Drink of the Week: Red Geisha Cocktail

Happy World Cocktail Day! On this date back in 1806 The Balance and Columbian Repository first defined the word “cocktail” in print, describing it as a drink “composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters,” and bars and bartenders across the country have been toasting all week long. Bars including the Crunkleton in Chapel Hill, N.C., which for the past four nights has been hosting a series of tastings representing different milestone eras for cocktails. Today’s Drink of the Week comes from their closing class tonight, which is dedicated to contemporary cocktails. Combining fresh strawberries, ginger and vodka, this cocktail, from bartender Wesley Wolfe, highlights the current trend of using fresh, local ingredients, and it’s a refreshing way to toast the defining moments in cocktail history. Want to know where else you can raise your glass to the cocktail? Click here for a list of celebrations, courtesy of the Museum of the American Cocktail.

Red Geisha
2 oz. vodka
2 fresh strawberries
1/2 oz. fresh ginger, roughly chopped
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
Ice cubes
Tools: muddler, shaker, strainer
Glass: Old Fashioned
Garnish: lime wheel

In a shaker, muddle strawberries and ginger. Add the remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Summer Brewing, and Having a Blast

With the DIY craze continuing to spread by the day, we’re always on the lookout for new resources on things like roasting your own coffee or brewing your own beer, and this week we were excited to see the just-released Beer Craft: A Simple Guide to Making Great Beer come across our desks. Homebrewing books can be a dime a dozen, but this one stands out with its fun “you can do it” tone to easy-to-navigate design. Realistic recipes walk you through brewing everything from pilsners to porters without the need for fussy ingredients or over-sized equipment, and each recipe easily adapts for those eager to take their homebrewing to the next level. Perfect for novices and über-enthusiasts alike, Beer Craft includes everything from field guides for yeast, hops and malts to tips on barrel aging, adding fruit and brewing sours. Complete with notes of inspiration from industry insiders like Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada, Shane Welch of SixPoint and Ron Jeffries of Jolly Pumpkin, and with additional chapters on trouble-shooting off flavors, designing labels and pairing your homebrews with food, Beer Craft promises to make summer DIY drinking a whole lot more satisfying. $18, amazon.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

The ongoing wine label debate heats up. Chicago Tribune

Asheville gets named Beer Town USA for the third year in a row. Citizen Times

Bernie Madoff’s wine collection hits the auction block. Does anyone care? Huffington Post

Think a beer should list everything that’s in the bottle? The Feds say yes. Yum Sugar

A glimpse of California wine culture, before Chardonnay. Eater

Want to brew your own beer or roast your own coffee? Tune in later tonight to Make’s latest DIY episode, dedicated to both. Make

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Poll: Which Drinks Pro Do You Think Has the Coolest Job?

When it comes to work, drinks pros have some of the coolest job descriptions out there. But who would you say has the coolest job of them all? Brewers? Bartenders? Roasters? Inquiring imbibers want to know, so cast your vote in our latest web poll!

American Craft Beer Week

Raise a pint to your favorite craft brewers when American Craft Beer Week kicks off next week. From May 16-22, celebrations will be taking place from coast to coast in honor of the more than 1,700 craft brewers across America. American Craft Beer Week has been growing since 2006 when 124 breweries hosted events around the country. Last year, nearly 350 breweries hosted more than 600 events in 45 states, and Congress passed a resolution to formally recognize American Craft Week. This year, events are expected to take place in all 50 states. Head over the craftbeer.com for a comprehensive list of events happening all next week, or to add an event in your area.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Mother's Day Cocktails

Planning a Mother's Day celebration? Brunch cocktails are the perfect way to toast your mom tomorrow, and we’ve made it easy by rounding up a few of our favorites—including an alcohol-free option.

Homemade Pimm’s
Based on its namesake spirit’s flavors of gin, fruit and spice, this homemade version of Pimm’s is mixed with sparkling lemonade for the perfect brunch time sipper.

Sweet Tea Punch
This flavor-packed cocktail combines gin and green Chartreuse with sweet tea liqueur and pineapple syrup for a perfect brunchtime sipper.

Limoncello Sparkler
A bottle of bubbly livens up this sparkling cocktail, which gets an added dose of sweetness from a splash of limoncello.

Ceo Maidin
Whiskey-loving moms will swoon for this Emerald Isle-inspired cocktail that combines Irish tea and whiskey with fresh citrus, rosemary and honey.

The Scarecrow
This chamomile and cantaloupe mocktail proves that skipping the alcohol doesn’t mean skimping on flavor. Cantaloupes are just coming into season, so be sure to use the ripest you can find.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Drink of the Week: Churchill Downs Cocktail

The Mint Julep may be the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, but if you're looking to break from tradition and put your own spin on Derby Day imbibing, today’s Drink of the Week—the Churchill Downs cocktail from Blokes & Birds in Chicago—offers some delicious inspiration. Named in honor of the racetrack that hosts tomorrow’s famous horse race, this twist on the classic Mint Julep calls on fresh basil, pineapple and reposado tequila for a refreshing sipper that’s a cinch to make, giving you plenty of time to jockey for a spot closer to the tv.

Churchill Downs
2 oz. reposado tequila
1 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
6 fresh basil leaves
3 fresh pineapple cubes
Cubed and crushed ice
Tools: muddler, shaker, strainer
Glass: small Julep or rocks
Garnish: fresh basil leaf

In the base of a shaker, gently muddle pineapple and basil. Add remaining ingredients and shake with ice cubes. Strain into a Julep cup or rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish and serve with a straw.

Justin Leone, Blokes & Birds, Chicago

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A Tour of New Orleans Bars with Chris Hannah

In our May/June 2011 issue, Wayne Curtis profiles Chris Hannah, the star bartender at Arnaud’s French 75 in New Orleans’ French Quarter. We caught up with Hannah to talk coffee, classic cocktails, po’ boys and gypsy jazz. When he’s not behind the bar, you might find him at one of these local haunts.

Photo by Daymon Gardner

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

A congregation gathers to celebrate Dark Lord Day. Chicago Tribune

Coffee prices hit a 15-year high. Wall Street Journal

A Negroni so wrong it’s right. New York Times

Breaking a Lenten fast with a bacon smoothie. CNN

Mead makes a modern revival. NPR

Looking to hone your palate? Matt Kramer says monogamy is key. Wine Spectator

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Cinco de Mayo Cocktails

Cinco de Mayo is only a couple of days away, and if you're looking to raise a glass with something other than a Margarita, we've got plenty of ideas. Here are 10 cocktails honoring two of Mexico's most delicious native spirits.

And for more on artisanal tequilas and mezcals, check out the Jan/Feb 2011 issue.

Photo by Stuart Mullenberg

Monday, May 02, 2011

Finding the Best Coffee in San Francisco

Chockfull of specialty roasters, skilled baristas and enough geeky gadgets to keep even the nerdiest coffee drinkers happy, San Francisco’s bean scene is a haven for coffee quality. From where to score a taste of the city’s coffee history to where to get the best coffee show, here are our picks for 13 of the city’s must-visit spots.

Photo by Jeremy Tooker