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, October 28, 2011

Drink of the Week: Oolong Teas from Naivetea

After the non-stop festivities of Portland Cocktail Week, we’ve been enjoying a low-key week of teetotaling, and one our favorite finds is today’s Drink of the Week—oolong teas from Naivetea. Sourced exclusively by company co-founders Ann Lee and Lawrence Lai from small-production tea farms in Taiwan, their 12+ teas highlight varying regions, altitudes and flavors, all with loads of depth and nuance. We can already tell we’ll be finding comfort in steaming mugs of their Li Shan, Dong Ding and lavender oolongs all winter long.
Starting at $12/1 oz., naivetea.com

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Will Pennsylvania privatize their liquor sales? Philly.com

Beer gardens are on the rise in sunny SoCal. Los Angeles Times

For the ultimate boozehound, only buying their own barrel will do. Food Republic

Esquire’s 2011 World Series of Beer. Esquire

Earthy beets fall into a crop of seasonal cocktails. Wall Street Journal

Love Italy’s rustic Brunellos, but not the hefty price tag? Take one of these tasty Rosso di Montalcinos for a spin. New York Times

Friday, October 21, 2011

Drink of the Week: Portland Cocktail Week Edition

The second annual Portland Cocktail Week kicked off last night, and for the next few days, cocktail enthusiasts, drinks writers and bartenders from across the country will converge on the City of Roses to take part in spirits-fueled seminars, tastings (including the Great American Distillers Fest) and hobnobbing. But even if your plans don’t bring you to the Pacific Northwest this weekend, you can still get a taste of the bibulous festivities sure to ensue with today’s Drinks of the Week—a cocktail mixed up one of Portland’s best bartenders, Tommy Klus. And for a complete rundown of Portland Cocktail Week events, click here.

This botanical and slightly bitter combo of gin, Campari and orange adds some brightness to the otherwise grey skies of Portland.

1 1/2 oz. gin (Klus uses Beefeater)
3/4 oz. orange liqueur (Klus uses Combier)
1/2 oz. Campari
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
Ice cubes
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: grapefruit zest

Combine all ingredients and shake with ice cubes. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish.

Tommy Klus, Kask, Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Does sommelier certification really matter? Four wine professionals take on different sides of the debate. Eater

The growing growler trend brings fresh draught beer home. USA Today

Can a quick whirl in the blender really make bad wine taste better? The Globe and Mail

The James Beard Awards names a new category this year: Outstanding Bar Program. Now get nominating! San Francisco Chronicle

Starbucks lightens up. Reuters

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Win Tickets to the San Diego Wine & Food Festival!

In just a few weeks, the annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival will kick off, and as always, this year's event should be a blast. Taking place November 16-20 at San Diego's Marina Park, there will be 170 wine and spirit purveyors, 70 of San Diego's top chefs, cooking and wine classes, a wine auction and a $50,000 Chef of The Fest Competition. Once again, Imbibe is a sponsor of the festival, and we're excited to be able to give away two VIP tickets to the Grand Tasting to one lucky person. The Grand Tasting takes place on Saturday, November 19, and includes early entry to the festival, gift bags and VIP tent access.

All you have to do to be eligible to win is click here and email to tell us about your favorite California wine of the moment. Entries are due by Friday, October 21 at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time), and one winner will be randomly selected and notified by Tuesday, October 25. Good luck!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Drink of the Week: Victory Brewing's Otto Ale

Combining the smoky intensity of a German rauchbier with all the grace and elegance of a Belgian Trappist ale, today’s Drink of the Week—the Otto Ale from Victory Brewing—makes its mark in a sea of new seasonal brews. Rich and inviting, yet as crisp as a brisk fall day, this beer offers up sweet campfire aromas and flavors of smoked cherries, dried figs and vanilla, all wrapped up in a warm, but not overwhelming 8.1% ABV. Released just today, look for it in the coming weeks on shelves across the country. $8/750 ml, victorybeer.com for retailers

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Brooklyn Brewery’s Garrett Oliver on what bottle he’s most likely to crack at 10 a.m., how he defines a craft brew and the worst beer he’s ever tasted. Gothamist

Fruit wines find a growing legion of fans. The New York Times

Dogfish Head toasts Pearl Jam with a musically inspired brew. Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Hunting ghosts at some of California’s oldest and most prestigious wineries. ABC

Brooklyn gears up for its first-ever Cider Fest. The Brooklyn Paper

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What We’re Tasting Now: Spirits Edition

With our November/December holiday issue off to press and a counter full of spirits waiting to be sampled, we took some time out recently to taste through them all. Here are five of the highlights.

Sempé VSOP Armagnac
Commercial production for this Armagnac began in the early 1930s, but the Sempé family can trace its local roots back to the 14th century. Silky smooth and full-flavored, this single-distilled French brandy offers warming notes of apples, plums and spice. After tasting this, we’re thinking about Armagnac eggnog this holiday season.
$49, melandrose.com

Johnnie Walker Double Black
Most anyone who knows Scotch is already familiar with the various bottlings of Johnnie Walker. This latest, limited expression is the edgy big brother to the Black label with amped-up char and smoke and notes of leather, wood, tobacco and dried cherry.
$40, johnniewalker.com for retailers

New Amsterdam Vodka
This offering from New Amsterdam is five-times distilled and delicate on the palate with notes of lemon, vanilla and cream, all at a price that’s hard to beat.
$17/1 liter, internetwines.com

Der Lachs Goldwasser
Guilty pleasures? We’ve all got them, and we can already tell this alluringly spiced liqueur will find its way into our glasses and toddies more than once this winter. Dating back to the 16th century, this herbal liqueur offers notes of cinnamon, clove, wintergreen, pine, anise, citrus, saffron—the list goes on. And on.
$35, winecommune.com

Van Gogh Rich Dark Chocolate
This flavored vodka is a pleasant surprise. Van Gogh somehow managed to harness the flavors of rich cocoa powder, chocolate cake batter and a hint of spice without becoming cloyingly sweet.
$23, totalbeverage.net

20 Days Left to Enter for the Chance to Win $4,500!

There are 20 days left to enter PAMA's Beyond The Glass Bartender Search for the chance to win $4,500. The deadline for entries is Monday, October 31, and bartenders are invited to submit a video through PAMAPros.com showcasing their personal style and garnishing skills, and explaining how they contribute to the local bartending profession and how they use their bartending skills to benefit good causes. A panel from the United States Bartenders Guild will judge the submissions and award $4,500 to the bartender who earns the highest score; 10 runners up will have their annual USBG dues paid.

To enter, head to pamapros.com/beyondtheglass—there's a great video there of bartender Eben Freeman explaining the process. Remember, entries are due by October 31. Good luck!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Drink of the Week: Oliveto Cocktail

In each issue of Imbibe, we highlight some of the latest and most notable bar openings across the country, and in the September/October issue, we featured the launch of Marvel Bar—the Minneapolis cocktail den helmed by Pip Hanson. For today’s Drink of the Week Hanson shares what’s become Marvel’s most popular cocktail—the Oliveto. An “emulsified sour”—since Hanson emulsifies olive oil right into the cocktail with the help of an egg white—this delicious cocktail takes on “a totally unique, silky meringue texture,” says Hanson. Thirsty for more of Hanson’s drinks? Pick up a copy of The American Cocktail for Hanson’s Cynar- and rye-rich Bitter Branch cocktail.

2 oz. dry gin
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup (2:1 sugar:water)
1/4 oz. Licor 43 (available at most well-stocked liquor stores)
1/2 oz. full-bodied extra virgin olive oil (Hanson uses Almazara Perales from Spain)
1 fresh egg white
Ice cubes
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: rocks

Combine all ingredients, except ice, and shake hard to emulsify the egg white and olive oil. Add ice cubes, shake hard for 20 seconds and strain into a chilled glass.

Pip Hanson, Marvel Bar, Minneapolis

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Auchentoshan Names the Top Finalists for the Auchentoshan Switch

Last summer, Auchentoshan announced the The Auchentoshan Switch, where two bartenders in the US and the UK will swap positions for two weeks to work in one of New York City’s and London’s most prestigious bars. To enter, bartenders submitted videos of themselves creating cocktails with Auchentoshan Three Wood, and the votes are in. The top 20 US finalists will travel to Las Vegas on October 26 to participate in a live competition hosted by the United States Bartenders’ Guild, and the winner will travel to the UK early next year to work at famed 69 Colebrooke Row. The UK finale in London will take place on October 24, and the winning bartender will be sent to New York City. Here's a list of the finalists:

Jeff Bell, PDT, New York City
Amber Berry, Ward III, New York City
Gina Chersevani, PS7’s, Washington, DC
David Curiel, Dalva Hideout, San Francisco
Michael Flannery, Michaels, New York City
Abigail Gullo, The Beagle, New York City
Dev Johnson, Employees Only, New York City
Charles Joly, The Drawing Room, Chicago
Mirjana “Mindy” Kucan, Grand Prize Bar, Houston
Jason Littrell, Death & Co, New York City
Ian McCarthy, Boiler Room, Omaha
Alexandra Parks, Green Russell, Denver
Zachary Safron, Metro, Lafayette
Steve Schneider, Employees Only, New York City
Rachel Sergei, The Jack Rose, Washington, DC
David Shenaut, Kask/Rum Club, Portland
Ezra Star, Drink, Boston
Lucinda Sterline, Little Branch, New York City
Clinton Terry, PX, Alexandria
Jenn Tosatto, Manifesto, Kansas City

Martin Ball, Corrido, Manchester
Divyesh Chauhan, Match Bar, London
Matthew Dakers, Whistling Shop, London
Kevin Griffin, The Raconteur, Edinburgh
Andrew Harrod, Wabi, London
Richard Hunt, Hawksmore, London
Scott Ingram, Blythswood Square, Glasgow
Alex Kratena, Artesian, London
Simon La Moon, Zetter Townhouse, London
Bruce Lerman, Epernay Champagne Bar, Leeds
Antonino Lo Iacono, The Dukes Hotel, London
Giuseppe Miggiano, The Bar at Chancery Court, London
Khalil Moh’d Lahham, Donovan’s Bar/Brown’s Hotel, London
Martyn Nicol, Blythswood Square, Glasgow
Matt Roberts, Quo Vardis, London
Andreas Tsanos, Lonsdale, Notting Hill
Tom Walker, Bramble, Edinburgh
Sam Watson, Purl, London
Faye Woodcock, The Blind Pig, Glasgow

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

A new Ohio law allows guns in bars. Houston Chronicle

This video takes coffee snobbery to new levels of amusement. Funny or Die

This year’s late wine harvest could mean tastier wines on the horizon. Reuters

A new social network taps into beer lovers. Good

Oktoberfest’s long list of lost and found includes 425 keys, 520 wallets, an electric wheelchair and one set of dentures, among other oddities. Speigel

Finding new solutions for the gallons and gallons of waste water created during wine harvest. SF Gate

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Portland Cocktail Week Schedule

Portland has become a mecca for the best in drinks, especially cocktails, so it's only fitting that the city would have its own celebration to recocgnize that passion and creativity. From October 20-23, Portland will be bustling with all sorts of fun cocktail-centric festivities, from parties to seminars to tastings and competitions, and Imbibe is proud to be a sponsor again of this year's celebration. Click here for a list of the 2011 lineup.