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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Melissa Clark’s recipe for wine-spiked cheesy puffs? Yes, please. Gilt Taste

Say hello to the captivating Rieslings of Alsace. New York Times

Got a beer belly? Try heading out for a jog. AHN

Jack Daniels turns 161 and NYC’s South Street Seaport is ready to party. Food Republic

Meet the new generation of California’s white wines. SF Gate

Monday, August 29, 2011

Win Tickets to the Kentucky Bourbon Festival!

It's almost September, which means it's almost time for the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, an event we look forward to every year. As always, this year's festival, happening September 13-18, is set to be a bourbon-soaked celebration filled with tours, demos, seminars and tastings from world-renowned local bourbon makers, such as Four Roses, Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill. The schedule is packed with fantastic events, and we're excited to offer one lucky person two tickets to the Kentucky Bourbon All-Star Sampler event on Wednesday. This will be an amazing chance to meet master distillers from local bourbon distilleries in person and sample their award-winning bourbons. Yo can even bring your special bottles or memorabilia for autographs while enjoying genuine Kentucky food and music.

All you have to do to make yourself eligible to win is click here and email to tell us about your favorite Kentucky bourbon of the moment. Entries are due by Wednesday, August 31, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, and we'll randomly select a winner on Thursday, September 1. And click here for a full schedule of this year's festival.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Drink of the Week: Joseph Drouhin Satenay 2009

Yeah, weatherman—we heard your 90-degree forecast for the weekend. Think that’ll stop us from opening a bottle of red? Not if it’s today’s Drink of the Week—Joseph Drouhin’s 2009 Satenay. 100% Pinot Noir grown in southern Burgundy, this wine is light and engaging with earthy aromas of herbs, mushrooms and minerals and nuanced flavors of wild, tart berries and fresh herbs. This summery red will complement just about anything you eat this time of year—from sausage and burgers to light pasta dishes and fresh salads. $27, klwines.com

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Win Tickets to the Euphoria Wine & Food Festival!

Anyone who saw Imbibe's Southern Issue last spring got a fun peek into the amazing drinks culture that runs through the American South, and among the cities we featured was Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville is one of the most beautiful cities in the Southeast, and over the past few years, it's become a hotbed of culinary goodness—we even include a recipe from Greenville's American Grocery in our upcoming book, The American Cocktail. And now, every fall, Greenville celebrates the best of its food and drink at the annual Euphoria festival. This weekend-long event includes tastings, cooking demos, wine seminars, and special dinners with chefs and winemakers from across the country. This year's event is happening from September 22-25, and we're excited to be able to give away 2 Saturday tickets (includes access to the Tasting Showcase, Cooking Demos, Grand Wine Tasting and Beer Garden) and 2 Sunday Jazz Brunch tickets to one lucky winner!

All you have to do to make yourself eligible to win is click here and email to tell us about your favorite southern-inspired drink. Entries are due by Sunday, August 28, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, and we'll randomly select a winner on Monday, August 29. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Drinking in Danville

It’s hard to believe that there are still parts of the U.S. that don’t sell alcohol, particularly in states like Kentucky, which produces the lion’s share of America’s whiskey. But if you happen to be heading to Kentucky’s bourbon country (especially with the Kentucky Bourbon Festival happening next month), you’ll find one less dry town. Venture off the beaten path and take a mini detour down to Danville, a quaint 16,000-person enclave conveniently situated less than an hour from the distilleries that dot the route from Lexington to Louisville. Danville is one of a handful of recent Kentucky towns to leave its dry roots behind in favor of a “wet” designation, yet it sits smack in the middle of what is still a dry county. Last year, the town voted with 57% in favor of allowing the sale of alcohol through restaurants and stores, and since opening the spirited gates, bars, breweries and bottle shops have been flowing in, and with them bringing more than 60 new jobs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in local tax revenue. “The vote had an instant impact,” says executive director of Danville’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Adam Johnson. “It has greatly added to our tourism while giving locals another reason to stay close to home.”

Among the first to jump on the opportunity was Beer Engine, which offers a dozen rotating taps pouring a mix of house-brewed favorites and pints from craft brewers around the country, and V The Market, which boasts an incredible selection of bourbons (naturally), as well as more than 250 craft beers and wines, cheeses, and chocolates from around the world. According to Johnson, there are two more liquor-licensed businesses in the works, including a cocktail bar and a new restaurant, and though that puts Danville at its six-license quota with the liquor board, he says if demand remains high, the town could be awarded several more licenses over the next few years.

There are still nearly 40 dry counties in the state of Kentucky, but Johnson hopes Danville’s success will inspire other towns in the state to follow their lead. “Kentucky is a fantastic travel destination,” says Johnson, “and ultimately the dry vs. wet option can become about more than just drinking—it can be about historic preservation, economic development and entrepreneurship.”

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Is a new style of Guinness coming to a store near you? Irish Emigrant

An Argentinean forest may hold the key to cracking the genetic code behind the unique yeast strain of lagers. Los Angeles Times

Archeologists discover ancient shipwrecked wine jugs off the coast of Albania. The Boston Globe

Pizza beer? If The Bruery’s behind it, it must be delicious, right? LA Weekly

Sick of single-bathroom bars? You’re not the only one. Bon Appétit

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cold Coffee Cocktails: Just What Summer Ordered

In the height of summer, a hot cup of coffee isn't exactly the most appealing proposition, but fortunately there are plenty of ways to chill out with your favorite brew as the mercury rises, including, of course, coffee cocktails—the cold variety. You can use your favorite hot-brewing method and then chill your coffee for cocktails, or you can use a cold-brew method or even use one of the new bottled coffee options on the market. Whatever your method, we're pretty sure cold coffee cocktails are just what your summer ordered. Here are five to try.

Check out our list of the latest and greatest ready-to-drink bottled coffees.

Photo by Stuart Mullenberg

Friday, August 19, 2011

Drink of the Week: Numi Pu-erh Iced Tea

This time of year, nothing hits the spot like a glass of iced tea, but when it comes to grabbing a ready-to-drink bottle on the go, many are packed with sugar, making them less-than-refreshing. But today’s Drink of the Week—bottled pu-erh teas from Numi—offer a pure taste of the tea leaves they were steeped from. An ancient style of tea that undergoes an extended fermentation process, pu-erh is alluringly earthy, and Numi’s bottled pu-erhs are available in several flavors, including a classic version, as well mint, jasmine, peach, mango and Earl Grey. And for more on pu-erh, check out “Bold & Beautiful” from our January/February 2009 issue.
$12/pack of 6, shopnumitea.com

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August's Where to Drink Now

It seems not a week goes by without another notable wine bar, cocktail lounge, coffeehouse or bottle shop opening—here’s a quick roundup of where we’re looking forward to imbibing this month.

8th Street Bottle Shop
Los Angeles’ favorite beer chicks Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune curated the 100+ craft beer selection at this downtown bottle shop inside Ced Moses’ Golden Gopher, so good brews are aplenty.
417 W. 8th St., Los Angeles; 8thstreetbottleshop.com

Barrel Room
Open a mere week and already generating positive buzz, the Barrel Room (co-owned by sommeliers Nikki Goddard and Sarah Trubnick) focuses on small-production, terroir-driven wines, with a rotating list that highlights various regions around the globe. This month’s menu offers up more than a dozen flights (with everything from bubbles to obscure French whites to Loire reds), “comparisons” (blind tastings of two different wines), dessert wines and even a wine cocktail.
620 Post St., San Francisco; 415-775-8100; barrelroomsf.com

The Everleigh
The Milk & Honey crew heads Down Under to open their first Australian bar with a focus on, what else, the classics.
Level 1, 150-156 Gertrude St., Fitzroy, Australia

Sip clandestine cocktails like the namesake Jbird Swizzle with jasmine-infused rum, Don’s spices, blueberry syrup, fresh fruit and bitters, or the North Garden with apple brandy, bourbon, scotch, demerara and bitters at this intimate new penthouse bar in midtown Manhattan. The space is small, so reservations are required, but you can book via email. Photo courtesy Jbird.
251 W. 48th St., New York City; jbirdny.com

Houston's latest cocktail lounge gives locals plenty to choose from, whether it's a classic Clover Club, a refreshing Constantino (aka Hemingway Daiquiri) or a summery Mai Tai. Pair those with an order of truffle fries, and you'll have a new favorite hangout.
5175 Westheimer Rd., Houston; 281-940-4636; prohibitionhouston.com

Rize Coffee
Rise and shine with a shot of Stumptown Hairbender espresso at this cozy Murray Hill café in Manhattan. Bonus points for locally made pastries, ice cream from Jane’s in Kingston, N.Y. and frozen yogurt made in-house.
122 42nd St., New York City; 212-663-7493; rizecoffee.com

Silver Lining
Head to Sasha Petraske’s new subterranean Tribeca bar for jazz (often played on a classic Steinway, no less) and equally enticing cocktails (from their index of more than 400 classic and contemporary fixes).
75 Murray St., New York City; 212-513-1234

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Guide to Portland Beer Week

Maybe it's because every week is beer week in Portland, but it's hard to believe the city hasn't had its own official Beer Week until now. But starting this Friday, that changes, and Portland will be celebrating its craft beer community with a series of beer festivals, tastings, pairings, special tappings and memorable culinary experiences. Click here for a list of the week's lineup, and for more updates and details, including ticket and pricing info, head to pdxbeerweek.com. And if you're on Twitter, look for the #pdxbw hashtag for updates throughout the week.

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Men say buh-bye to their beer gut with the help of Manx. Daily Mail

Rockers AC/DC launch their own wine label. New York Post

Starbucks’ CEO cuts off political contributions. CNN

A Chinese white dog may soon enter the U.S. market thanks to Diageo’s new major stake in the brand. Wall Street Journal

The science behind beer goggles. Food Republic

Should coffee shops be able to limit your laptop usage? Gothamist

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What We’re Tasting Now: A Peek at the Imbibe Shelves

Products arrive at the Imbibe office on a daily basis for us to taste, test and review—sometimes more often than we have the space to write about. Since not all of these products make it into the pages of the magazine or website, we decided to start a regular feature on our blog that offers a peek at what we’ve been receiving lately. Here’s a sampling of some of the latest deliveries.

Bacardi OakHeart
The latest entry into the spiced rum category, Oakheart’s spice is subtle, but the flavor is smooth with buttery, vanilla notes, tea-like tannins and a hint of smoke on the finish. It’s set to be on shelves in September. $12/750 ml., bevmo.com

Sumarroca Temps de Flors 2010
An aromatic and expressive blend of Muscat, Xarello and Gewürztraminer from the Penedes region just outside of Barcelona, this white wine begs for a sunny front porch and the afternoon off. Floral aromas, bright acidity and an olive-y finish make it a perfect match for shrimp, scallops and calamari. $18/750 ml., winejunction.com

Stone Cherry Chocolate Stout
A collaborative brew between Stone, Tröegs and homebrewers Jason Fields and Kevin Shepphard, this decadent (but not heavy) stout combines notes of bittersweet cocoa with tangy sour cherries and roasted coffee. Recently released as a part of Stone’s Collaboration series, expect to see it on the shelves through the end of summer. stonebrew.com

Millars Wood-Roasted Coffee Sunset Espresso Blend
From a small, family-owned business near the base of Mt. St. Helens in Washington State, the green beans for this coffee are first aged in a 25-year-old Kentucky bourbon barrel before being roasted with a variety of local hardwoods on an antique cast iron drum roaster. It’s dark, full-bodied and smoky, and certified-organic to boot. $19/lb., millarscoffee.com

Smugglers’ Notch Vodka
Distilled from corn, winter wheat and Vermont water, this small-batch vodka is light, smooth and creamy with a hint of sweetness and peppery spice. It’s currently only available on-site at the distillery and at retail locations throughout Vermont. smugglersnotchdistillery.com

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mix Up a Winning Cocktail & Score a Trip to Spain!

Want to win a trip to Spain's beautiful Rioja region (do we even need to ask)? Enter the Click Rioja Pour Genius Bar Competition and you'll be in the running! From now until October 3, 2011, you have time to dream up your best cocktail featuring the Rioja wine of your choice. Wine is an incredibly versatile cocktail ingredient, so this competition is a great opportunity to get creative with your mixing skills. And the Rioja region gives you plenty to choose from, whether its red varietals (Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo) or whites (Viura, Garnacha Bianca and Malvasia).

Finalists will be chosen in December after a series of semi-final rounds of judging, and a grand prize winner will be announced at the beginning of January and will receive a five-day trip to Spain, including airfare, hotel and tours of at least two wineries. Click here for rules and more details on how to enter. And for a little inspiration, check out this delicious cocktail recipe combining reposado tequila with a Rioja-pear syrup.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Drink of the Week: Pok Pok Som Drinking Vinegars

If you’re lucky enough to live anywhere near award-winning chef Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok thai restaurant in Portland, Oregon, then you probably already know how good their homemade drinking vinegars are. Tart, tangy and a little sweet, these drinking vinegars are packed with flavor, and though they’re delicious on their own, they’re especially refreshing alongside super-spicy food (like Pok Pok’s legendary chicken wings). And now, even if you don’t live in Portland, you can get a taste with a bottled version of some of Pok Pok’s most popular flavors, including honey, tamarind, apple and pomegranate. Especially handy is the fact that the bottled drinking vinegars are concentrated, which means one bottle gives you 16 chances to mix your favorite flavor in a glass of fizzy water or in cocktails, like the Pattaya Highball below.
$16.95-$18.95/16 oz., pokpoksom.com

Pattaya Highball
2 oz. Gammal Krogstad or other aged aquavit
1 oz. Honey Som drinking vinegar
3 oz. soda water
Ice cubes
Tools: barspoon
Glass: Collins

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled Collins glass and stir to combine.

Matt Mount, House Spirits, Portland, OR

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Win Tickets to San Francisco Cocktail Week!

San Francisco Cocktail Week is just over a month away, and we're already gearing up for the festivities. This year's celebration is taking place from September 19–25, and it will be a week full of parties, seminars, dinners and tastings across the Bay Area. We're excited to be a sponsor this year and are especially excited to offer a ticket giveaway to what is sure to be one of the best parties of the week: the Barbary Coast Bazaar. This will be a night of all things bizarre and delicious with incredible cocktails from San Francisco’s best bars. With entertainment that harkens back to the era of a 1920s traveling circus, the party will feature fortune tellers, stilt-walkers, contortionists, magicians and games in a darkly wonderful and memorable evening.

To make yourself eligible to win two tickets (valued at $170) to this event, simply click here and email to tell us about your favorite San Francisco bar and/or bartender. Entries are due by Sunday, August 14, at 11:59 p.m. We'll randomly select one winner to win the two tickets and notify that person by Tuesday, August 16. You must be at least 21 years old the attend. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Two words: Butterscotch budino. Food Shed

A coffee-fueled social experiment encourages strangers to use one guy’s Starbucks card. CNN

The enchanting wines of Croatia. Wall St. Journal

The King of Beers preps for a makeover. NPR

The future of wine kiosks in Pennsylvania is uncertain. The Mercury

Friday, August 05, 2011

Drink of the Week: Boulevard Brewing White IPA

Today’s Drink of the Week—Boulevard Brewing Co.’s White IPA—proves that great minds do indeed think alike. A collaborative brew between Kansas City, Missouri’s Boulevard Brewing and Bend, Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery, this White IPA combines the former’s expertise with Belgian-style brews with the latter’s mastery of hop-assertive ales into one really tasty beer. By aroma alone you’d swear this was a classic Belgian wit beer ripe with notes of light spice and citrus peel, but on first sip you encounter a balance of refreshingly bitter, citrus-flavored hops reminiscent of a West Coast IPA. Released earlier last month, look for the beer over the next few weeks on shelves across the country.
$12/750 ml., boulevard.com for distribution info

Thursday, August 04, 2011

6 Boozy Milkshakes for Summer

Want to add a little more decadence to your next milkshake? Add a splash of booze! This summer, bartenders around the country are spiking their frosty favorites with everything from tequila to bourbon to crème de menthe, and we couldn’t be happier. Seriously, ice cream never tasted better.

Aztec Mocha
A pinch of cayenne adds a kick to this spirited combo of coffee ice cream, tequila and chocolate. Click here for the recipe.

Bourbon St. Shake
Bourbon and vanilla are a natural match, but add Nutella to the mix and you get this delicious shake from Brooklyn Bowl. Click here for the recipe.

Key Lime Pie Shake
The pie house classic gets a milkshake makeover in this blend of vanilla ice cream, gin, lime juice and graham cracker crumbs. Click here for the recipe.

Péché Shake
Save the cherry on top and infuse that fruity flavor right into this spirited combo of vanilla ice cream, cherry brandy and a splash of absinthe. Click here for the recipe.

Thin Mint Milkshake
Break open that box of Thin Mints you’ve got stashed in the freezer and grab a blender for this dreamy shake from food blog Piece of Cake. Click here for the recipe.

Velvet Elvis
This unexpectedly delicious blend of coffee ice cream, reposado tequila and Crème Yvette is named after the King himself, who was known for his affinity for quirky flavor combos. Click here for the recipe.

Boozy Thin Mint Milkshake image: Shauna Sever, pieceofcakeblog.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Think you know which country consumes the most alcohol per capita? CNBC

Can drinking red wine help prevent sunburns? CBS News

For a barista, elbow and wrist strains are no joke. Food Republic

There’s a new beer in town from Dogfish Head and Portsmouth Brewery. Portsmouth Patch

What does the high cost of aging whiskey mean for America’s craft distillates? The Atlantic