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, September 30, 2011

Drink of the Week: Wandering Aengus Wickson Cider

Fall is in the air, and with today’s Drink of the Week—Wanering Aengus’ Wickson Cider—it’s in our glasses too. A single-variety cider crafted from pressed and fermented Wickson crabapples, this offering from Salem, Oregon’s Wandering Aengus is bright and assertive with tart lemon flavors, bright effervescence and a dry, salty tang on the finish. Look for it in specialty beer/wine/spirits shops and markets across the country. For more American craft ciders we love, check out “Apple of Our Eye” in the current September/October issue, and if your fall plans take you to the Big Apple, be sure to check out Cider Week, happening October 16-November 8 with cider tastings, workshops and pairings happening at locations throughout greater New York City. $10/500 ml.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The American Cocktail, Imbibe's First Cocktail Book, Launches!

We're so excited to announce the launch of Imbibe's first cocktail book, The American Cocktail. We've had readers asking for an Imbibe cocktail book for years, but the trick was always deciding on a theme that felt right. Since so much of what we do at Imbibe is celebrating the culture and craft of drinks across the U.S., we felt that was the perfect angle to explore. America has a such a long and storied history with spirits and cocktails, and that history has helped define the drinks landscape of today, from the fresh, seasonal cocktails of the West Coast to the classically inspired drinks of the South. What’s more, uniquely American ingredients have found their way into some of the country’s best cocktails, from regionally produced spirits, beers, wines and sodas to fruits, veggies and herbs.

The 50 cocktails featured in The American Cocktail come from an incredible cross-section of bartenders who celebrate these flavors and influences in their recipes, whether it's a marionberry bramble from Jeffrey Morgenthaler in Portland, Oregon, or a strawberry julep from Jennifer Pittman in Louisville, Kentucky. Consider this book your personal cross-country tour of America’s most intriguing regional cocktail flavors, traditions and stories.

The book will be available in stores toward the end of October, but you don't have to wait that long to get a copy, because we already have it available on our website. Click here to order your copy today, and all orders received by October 14 will be guaranteed a special signed copy plus a free download of Imbibe's Ultimate Home Bar Guide. We hope you enjoy the book as much as we loved putting it together!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

In Greece’s Macedonian wine region delicious vino meets unfailing hospitality. SF Gate

More well-deserved love for James Freeman and his Blue Bottle Coffee. CNN

Want to mix better drinks? Pick up the PDT Cocktail Book. Washington Post

Eric Asimov searches for definition in New Zealand Pinots. New York Times

Sure you’ve heard of food carts, but this cocktail cart may be a first. Oregon Live

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Conversation With Ken Burns About Prohibition

If you’ve ever caught a documentary on PBS, you’re probably already familiar with the work of Ken Burns. For more than 30 years, the filmmaker has tackled topics ranging from the Civil War to baseball to jazz, earning multiple Emmy and Oscar nominations along the way. His most recent film, Prohibition, takes on the temperance movement, and with stunning archival footage and the voices of actors like Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson and Patricia Clarkson, Burns breathes new life into the era. Here he chats with us about what he was most surprised to learn about the time period, whether or not he thinks he would have been tempted to tipple, and what he sees as Prohibition’s most lasting impact on society today. Be sure to tune into PBS October 2-4 to catch the three-part series.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Drink of the Week: St. George Terroir Gin

Long known for its pioneering approach to distilling, St. George Spirits is at it again with today’s Drink of the Week—the Terroir gin—one of three new gins the distillery released just earlier this month. Inspired by the coastal forests on northern California’s Mount Tam, this gin calls on a blend of local botanicals, including Douglas fir, sage and bay laurel foraged in part by distiller Lance Winters. The result is a spirit with earthy, woodsy aromas, fresh herbs flavors and a bright citrus-y backbone. Sip it neat or in the Aristocrat cocktail with Cynar, Dolin Blanc and celery bitters.
$31, klwines.com

The Aristocrat
1 1/2 oz. St. George Terroir gin
3/4 oz. Cynar
1/2 oz. Dolin Blanc
2 dashes Bitter Truth celery bitters
Ice cubes
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: celery leaf, optional

Combine all ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass and garnish.

Eric Grenier, Luka's Taproom and Lounge, Oakland

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

The sad passing of a wine importing icon and champion of natural wines. New York Times

Popping the cork on Indian wines. The Guardian

Pennsylvania pulls the plug on wine vending machines. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A $200,000 bottle of whiskey? CNN

Setting out to design a more sustainable to-go coffee cup. Forbes

Friday, September 16, 2011

Drink of the Week: Hibiscus Soda Syrup from P&H Soda Co.

We first discovered P&H Soda Co. while researching our July/August 2011 feature on the revival of the American soda fountain, and ever since, we’ve been enamored with their Brooklyn-made syrups, especially today’s Drink of the Week—the hibiscus soda syrup. Made from a combination of dried, organic Egyptian hibiscus tea from SerendipiTea and lime, ginger, and a touch of spice, soda jerks and bartenders from coast to coast are infusing its floral tang into old-fashioned sodas, contemporary cocktails and crowd-pleasing punches, like the Colonial Punch with floral gin, fresh lime and orange juices, and sparkling water and wine. $12/12 oz. pnhsodaandsyrupinc.com

Colonial Punch
8 oz. Hendrick’s gin
2 oz. P&H Hibiscus Syrup
2 oz. fresh lime juice
2 oz. fresh orange juice
2 oz. soda water
2 oz. dry sparkling wine
Peychaud’s bitters to taste
Ice block
Tools: wooden spoon, punch bowl
Glass: punch
Garnish: edible flowers, optional

Combine all ingredients, except sparkling wine and club soda, in a large punch bowl and stir well to combine. Add bitters to taste and refrigerate for 20 minutes prior to serving. Add one large ice block to punch bowl and stir again. Top with sparkling wine and soda water and garnish.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Dicey weather divides French vintners on when to start this year’s harvest. Reuters

A smelly batch of homebrew prompts an evacuation in Colorado Springs. The Denver Channel

Deciding which beers pair best with your favorite breakfast foods. Wall Street Journal

Watch as a server stacks, fills and then carries away more than a dozen full cups of tea. Eater

Coffee talk with some of NYC’s best baristas. New York Post

Monday, September 12, 2011

Enter PAMA’s Beyond The Glass Bartender Search for a Chance to Win $4,500!

The best bartenders combine topnotch cocktail-making skills with impeccable service and style. To recognize these great skills, PAMA is looking for the bartender who best exemplifies all of these qualities. The best part? That bartender will receive $4,500!

Starting today, PAMA is opening its Beyond The Glass Bartender Search in partnership with the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild. This online search, which runs until Monday, October 31, invites bartenders to submit a video through PAMAPros.com showcasing their personal style, garnishing skills, and how they contribute to the local bartending profession.

A panel of judges from the USBG will award points for each section of the submission, ultimately awarding $4,500 to the bartender who earns the most points; 10 runners up will have their annual USBG dues paid for a year.

To enter and to find more details about the competition, head to pamapros.com/beyondtheglass or facebook.com/pamaliqueur. Again, entries are due by October 31. Good luck!

Friday, September 09, 2011

10 Delicious Ways to Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month

September is Bourbon Heritage Month, thanks to a unanimous Senate vote back in 2007, and you don’t have to plan a trip along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to celebrate. From bourbon-spiked bites at brunch to bourbon cocktails, we can’t think of a better way to toast America’s native spirit than with these 10 recipes. And if you do plan to visit Kentucky this month, be sure to check out the Kentucky Bourbon Festival playing host to all sorts of spirited events throughout Bardstown.

Seelbach Cocktail
A splash of sparkling wine and a flute gussy up bourbon in this cocktail named after the Louisville hotel where it was first mixed back in 1917.

Angel’s Share Biscuits
Want better biscuits? Add a splash of bourbon!

The Boulevardier
This combo of bourbon, Campari and vermouth might seem like an American’s answer to the Negroni, but it actually preceded the venerable Italian classic in print by two decades.

Maple Bacon Bourbon Ice Cream
Maple syrup, bourbon and bacon? You don’t have to ask us twice.

Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is an exercise in delicious simplicity, but it’s a cocktail that’s often made incorrectly.

Maple Sangaree
Bourbon, maple syrup, and apple brandy make for a rich, subtle sipper where the spirits take center stage.

Mint Julep Panna Cotta
Cooling mint cuts through this creamy dessert, and a generous dose of bourbon gives it a grown-up kick.

Artemis Flower
This herbal, spiked twist on classic strawberry limeade balances rich bourbon and fiery sambuca with fresh strawberries and thyme.

Kentucky Bourbon French Toast
Brighten your breakfast by adding a splash of bourbon to the batter of this spirited French toast.

And to All a Good Night
Bourbon, tequila and Cherry Heering make this cocktail the perfect nightcap.

Drink of the Week: Oxley Refuge Gin & Tonic

San Francisco Cocktail Week is less than two weeks away, and even if you haven’t yet booked your tickets, you can still get a taste of the upcoming festivities by mixing up today’s Drink of the Week—the Refuge Gin & Tonic by SF Cocktail Week co-founder and Cantina owner Duggan McDonnell. The official cocktail for this year’s festival, McDonnell’s mix of gin, Lillet, coconut and lime is bright and tropical—and the perfect drink for some Friday afternoon imbibing.

1 1/2 oz Oxley gin
3/4 oz. Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz. Perfect Puree Coconut (or other coconut cream)
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup (1:1, see note)
Tonic (McDonnell uses Fentimans)
Ice cubes
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: Collins
Garnish: cardamom powder and a lime wheel

Combine all ingredients, except tonic, and shake with ice. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass and top with tonic. Garnish.

Duggan McDonnell, Cantina, San Francisco

Photo: Rick Camargo Photography

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Where to Drink Now: A Sneak Peek at Woodsman Tavern

Portland’s bar scene is about to get even better with the upcoming opening of Woodsman Tavern. The bar is the brainchild of Stumptown founder Duane Sorenson, and he’s bringing loads of talent to the table. Evan Zimmerman (formerly of Laurelhurst Market) will be helming the bar, Carly Laws (formerly of Olympic Provisions) will be overseeing the wine list and Jason Barwikowski (also formerly of Olympic Provisions) will be the chef. Alongside the more than two-dozen craft beers and well-curated wine list, Zimmerman will be mixing up 10 or so classically driven cocktails, each with a unique spin, like the Hunting Vest with rye whiskey, fino sherry and charred, cedar-infused Campari. The tavern is scheduled to open early next month (and there will even be a companion specialty market next door), so it won’t be long before Portlanders have yet another amazing drinking destination to call home.
4537 SE Division St., Portland, Oregon; woodsmantavern.com

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

What We’re Tasting Now: Fall Beer Seasonals

September may be off to a blazing hot start, but breweries across the country are already gearing up for a seasonal shift with their fall releases, and we’ve been receiving some interesting samples at the Imbibe office lately. From a malty märzen to an imperial IPA, here are five bottles that have us warming to the idea of the cooler temperatures ahead.

Sweetwater Crank Tank Rye’d Ale
Not too malty or bitter, this easy-going rye offers citrusy aromas and a quick burst of floral flavors—a perfect match for fish and chips.
6.2% ABV, sweetwaterbrew.com

Brooklyn Oktoberfest
Not headed to Munich’s famed fest this year? This märzen-style beer from Brooklyn Brewery will get you close with its caramel malty aromas, yeasty flavors and slight bitterness on the finish. And while some märzen-style beers can be a little too sweet, this one stays deliciously light and crisp.
5.5% ABV, brooklynbrewery.com

Stone Escondidian Imperial Black IPA
Leave it to San Diego’s Stone Brewery to toast their 15th anniversary with this blockbuster of a beer. Each sip takes you further into it complexities, from smoke to malt to coffee to blackstrap molasses—it’s all there and then some.
10.8% ABV, stonebrew.com

Goose Island Harvest
This copper-colored ESB is pretty much everything you’d expect from a flavorful fall seasonal—rich malts, supporting bitterness and an overall tastiness primed for the cooler weather ahead.
5.7% ABV, gooseisland.com

Alaskan Perseverance Ale Russian Imperial Stout
They weren’t kidding when they named this stout—a bold smokiness perseveres from first sniff all the way through the final sip, offering up a velvety mouthfeel and notes of savory herb and hazelnuts along the way.
9% ABV, alaskanbeer.com

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

This year’s hops harvest, in photos. MSNBC

A Colorado bartender and writer ponders the punk rock of whiskey. Denver Westword

Bar legend Dale DeGroff takes his show to the stage. New York Times

Chasing down rare brews on the beer black market. Washington Post

A whiskey heirless saves several Louisville landmarks from demolition. Wall Street Journal

Is Provo, Utah about to end their Sunday beer drought? Daily Herald

Friday, September 02, 2011

Drinks of the Week: 5 Camping-Approved Cocktails for Labor Day Weekend

Planning to park it at a camp site this holiday weekend? Just because you’re trading your lounger for a log doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice a good drink, and while many cocktails can be too much work for a camping trip, we’ve rounded up a handful that require little more than a few simple ingredients (most of which can be pre-mixed) and a scoop of ice. From a versatile gin classic to a two-ingredient sipper, these camp-worthy cocktails are ready to help you celebrate this last long weekend of summer.

Moscow Mule
Cool down up your camp site with this mix of vodka, lime juice and ginger beer.

Milano Torino
Only two ingredients mixed in equal parts? It doesn’t get any easier than this Italian-inspired combo of Campari and Punt e Mes.

Red Hook
A relative of the Manhattan and Brooklyn cocktails, this rye-forward sipper finds its sweeter side with a splash of Punt e Mes and maraschino liqueur.

Classic Martini
Class up your campsite with a batch of Martinis. You can even save time and pre-mix the ingredients beforehand—easy as 1, 2, 3.

Sidecar
Take your Cognac fireside with this old English classic—all you’ll need to add is a little Cointreau and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Photo by Stuart Mullenberg