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, June 29, 2012

Drink of the Week: Watermelon Tea from Davids Tea

Biting into a juicy slice of watermelon is pretty much requisite for any Fourth of July gathering, and thanks to today’s Drink of the Week—the Luscious Watermelon tisane from Montreal-based DavidsTea—you can enjoy those same summery fruit flavors in your glass. A naturally sweet, mouthwatering mix of dried watermelon, honeydew and apple (with bits of carrots, strawberry leaves and beetroot also flavoring the mix), this tea is great served over ice either on its own, or mixed with a splash of vodka, rum or tequila. So if the summertime melons at your local produce stand have yet to fully ripen, this tea provides a delicious backup plan.
$13/3.4 oz., davidstea.com

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Beer made with beard hair? Seattle Post Intelligencer

A rare pocket of French wine vines becomes a national heritage monument. Reuters

Eric Asimov explores the elegance of small-production sherry. New York Times

How what we spend on drinking has changed over the years. NPR

A desperate dad offers a year’s supply of beer in exchange for employing his son. ABC News

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Angels Share Kicks Off Today!

Launching today with Charles Munat at its helm, Angels Share is a collaborative, multi-media project that will document the opening of a cocktail bar in Buenos Aires. The goal is to raise $33,000 in 31 days, starting today and ending during Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans next month.

So how does one go about documenting every aspect of building a cocktail bar? Munat is using interactive social media forums like Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and videos to provide an open, collaborative dialogue between those building the bar and those who want to learn the ins and outs of building a bar. From construction blueprints to ice programs to menu design, the Angels Share will cover all corners of getting a bar off the ground and will serve as an open forum for people across the globe to participate in the bar-building conversation. When all is said and done, the plan is produce a hardback book—half no-holds-barred narrative, half specific how-to with graphs, charts and a dvd—with a free digital version accessible to all.

Photo: Damian Matsumoto
But talks of opening a cocktail bar led to another idea—launching a Museum of the Latin American Cocktail. Currently hundreds of items are being catalogued for a museum (which will be housed in a private room at the bar), with hopes to eventually trade exhibits with the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans. And a Latin American Craft Bartenders Guild is also in the works where bartenders will have the opportunity to apprentice under a mentor and really hone their craft.

And Angels Share is the umbrella project that links all these things together. The angels are bartenders, architects, writers and historians, among others who are sharing their time and knowledge to get the bar, museum and guild off the ground. And the Angels Share is how they’re going to get the word out to the rest of the world. So what does the $33k buy? Six months of producing videos, running web servers, legal fees to set up their non-profit status, and the tools and equipment to get it all done right. And if all goes as planned, build-out for the cocktail bar should start late next month with a soft opening planned for December 21.

Celebrating today’s big fundraising kickoff, Rob Roy in Seattle and Korova in Buenos Aires will host simultaneous launch parties with an anticipated live online feed between the two.

For more on the Angels Share project, and to make a contribution, click here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Drink of the Week: Echelon Vineyards 2010 Red Blend

With summer officially upon us, and barbecue season in high gear, we’re filling (and refilling) our glasses with today’s Drink of the Week—the 2010 Red Blend from Echelon Vineyards. We know that red wine and warm weather might seem like an odd match, but trust us on this one—or better yet, get a taste for yourself. Crafted mostly from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grown in California’s Central Valley, this wine strikes a crowd-pleasing balance between fruity freshness and a solid structure that tastes well beyond its 10-dollar price tag. Open a bottle, fire up the grill and raise a glass to the warmer weather ahead.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

One man’s tea trek through the Himalayas.  Montreal Gazette

A well-loved vermouth company reintroduces its U.S.-only formula. The Gray Report

Perfume finds its way from the beauty counter to the cocktail glass. New York Times

A DIY guide for making mineral water. PopSci

One industry insider’s take on why every bar has its place. Possessed by Spirits

A helpful Oregon wine app from Imbibe contributor Katherine Cole. Oregon Uncorked

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Second Annual Coffee Cocktail Mash-Up Fundraiser

Hey, New York. Do you love coffee and cocktails? What about coffee in your cocktails? Then be sure to check out the Second Annual Coffee Cocktail Mash-Up and Fundraiser held this Sunday, June 24, at Weather Up in Tribeca where some of NYC's best bartenders and baristas will team up for a coffee cocktail throwdown of deliciously caffeinated proportions. MC’d by Imbibe contributing editor Amy Zavatto (who is also the co-creator along with NYC coffee darling Cora Lambert of the seminar Coffee: The Missing Ingredient, which is being presented at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans), and with a panel of expert judges on hand to crown the coffee cocktail victor, your $20 entry gains access to the caffeinated shenanigans and a complimentary coffee cocktail, with all proceeds helping to offset some of the costs for Zavatto and Lambert’s panel members to travel and present the seminar at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans next month. Click here to purchase tickets.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Drink of the Week: Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky

Until recently, Canadian whiskies were too often overlooked among global whiskeys, but the tide is changing thanks to some stellar products from our pals up north. So much so, that we named Canadian whisky as one of the 50 Most Notable Drinks of the Moment in our May/June issue, and joining the ranks of Canadian whisky deliciousness is today’s Drink of the Week—Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye. Released just this past spring, this silken spirit combines a blend of 3-, 5- and 7-year rye whiskies (aged in a variety of oak barrels ranging from new to neutral) with a splash of grade A maple syrup from Quebec. The results are at once smooth and approachable with the maple taking more of a backseat helping to mellow the spiciness of the rye and highlight the vanilla tones from the barrel, all without adding a lot of extra sweetness—try it solo over ice, or mixed in cocktails like The Montreal and Canadian Summer, below.

The Montreal
2 1/2 oz. Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky
3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Ice cubes
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: orange peel

Stir all ingredients well with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish.

Jonathan Pogash, The Cocktail Guru

Canadian Summer
1 1/2 oz. Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. agave nectar
8 fresh raspberries
8–10 fresh mint leaves, torn
Sparkling wine
Ice cubes
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: rocks
Garnish: fresh mint sprig

Combine all ingredients, except sparkling wine, and shake with ice. Strain over fresh ice cubes in a rocks glass, top with sparkling wine and garnish.

Jonathan Pogash, The Cocktail Guru

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Win Passes to Nostrana's Exclusive Invite-Only Negroni Social!

We are excited to be partnering with Nostrana for their upcoming Negroni Social on Friday, June 22, a benefit event for Outside In. Thirteen bartenders will be mixing up 12 signature Negronis with a seemingly endless supply of pizza pies flying out of the kitchen! This event is invite-only, and we have five pairs of passes to give out to five lucky imbibers. Your invite will get you access to the exclusive party in Portland, Oregon, a copy of the Nostrana Negroni Social Scout Book chock full of Negoni recipes and your first Negroni is on the house. Additional Negronis can be purchased, with the proceeds benefiting Outside In.

To make yourself eligible to win, click here to send us an email with your name, address and email. The deadline to enter is Sunday, June 17, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, and you must be at least 21 years old to win and attend. We will choose the lucky winners at random on Monday, June 18. Good Luck! 

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

When it comes to beer, the secret’s in the water. NPR

Barrel-aging wine at the bottom of the sea. Discovery

An interactive classic cocktail guide with PDT’s Jim Meehan. NYT

Georgian wine is on the rise. CNN

So what exactly is espresso? PopSci.com

Getting to know France’s other sparkling wine. CNBC

Monday, June 11, 2012

Disaronno Names Its Next Mixing Star!

Photo: Courtesy Disaronno
A big congrats to Julio Cabrera of Sra. Martinez in Miami who just won the title of Disaronno’s next Mixing Star. His Pearfecta Vita cocktail beat out those from competitors coast to coast, scoring Cabrera the Mixing Star title and a trip to Mumbai, India to be in a Bollywood film. Want to mix like a star at home? Here’s Cabrera’s recipe:

Pearfecta Vita
1 oz. Disaronno
1 oz. VSOP Cognac
3/4 oz. pear purée
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz. Herbes de Provence-honey syrup (see below)
Ice cubes
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: coupe, partially rimmed with Herbes de Provence powder sugar (see below)
Garnish: two fresh pear slices

Combine all ingredients and shake with ice cubes. Strain into the sugar-rimmed glass and garnish.

For the Herbes de Provence-honey syrup: Combine 1/2 cup honey with 1/4 cup hot water and 1 Tbsp. Herbes de Provence

. Stir until honey is dissolved. Let cool to room temperature, strain into a clean glass jar and use within two weeks.

For the Herbes de Provence powdered sugar rim: In a blender, combine 1/4 cup granulated white sugar with 2 Tbsp. Herbes de Provence and pulse until it becomes a fine powder. Sprinkle over the bottom of a plate and rim half of the glass by first moistening it with a slice of fresh citrus and then gently rolling the moistened portion through the sugared plate.

Julio Cabrera, Sra. Martinez, Miami

Friday, June 08, 2012

Drink of the Week: Dogfish Head Festina Pêche

Flavored with some of the best produce of the season, fruit beer is #37 on our list of the 50 Most Notable Drinks of the Moment in the May/June issue, and today’s Drink of the Week—the Festina Pêche from Dogfish Head—is yet another example of why the category continues to gain popularity. Light, refreshing and low in alcohol (it clocks in at 4.5% ABV), but packed with pure peach flavor, this summery brew sticks close to its classic Berliner Weisse style with a whisper of wheat and a bright pop of tart flavors on the finish. As one of Dogfish Head’s seasonal releases, you’ll find bottles on shelves across the country for a few more weeks, but if your weekend plans take you to Portland, Oregon, you can also taste it on tap at the second annual Fruit Beer Fest happening outside Burnside Brewing this Saturday and Sunday.

Alongside the Dogfish brew, the festival lineup includes more than two dozen fruit beers (as well as several craft ciders and another two dozen or so rare brews and one-off kegs) from brewers around the country in fruity flavors that range from the soft and subtle—like Widmer’s Marionberry Hibiscus Gose—to the decadent—like Burnside Brewing’s rum barrel-aged Red Light Disctict imperial stout brewed with Belgian chocolate and 400 pounds of strawberries—to the downright bizarre—like Breakside Brewery’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie in which whole pies (crust and all) get tossed into the brew. With a few of the city’s favorite food carts also on hand and sunshine hopefully on the horizon, getting your daily dose of fruit has never been more fun (or delicious). For the whole festival lineup and to purchase advance tickets, click here.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Homemade Nocino

Photo by Stuart Mullenberg
A feast day celebrating the birth of John the Baptist is not the only Italian tradition to take place on June 24—every year on San Giovanni, Italians gather unripe, green walnuts to infuse in a neutral spirit for homemade nocino. Delicately nutty and subtly spiced, this traditional liqueur is perfect paired after a rich meal with custard-based desserts like crème caramel. And while every recipe varies slightly—some use more sugar, others introduce additional spices like cloves and cardamom—Erik Ellestad, San Francisco bartender and keeper of the cocktail blog underhill-lounge.com, encourages experimenting with flavors at different stages to find the combination of spice and sweetness that suites your tastes. You can also experiment with resting times, as nocino mellows with age. Ellestad flavors the syrup used to sweeten the liqueur with cinnamon and citrus, allowing the flavor of the green walnuts to shine. Click here for the recipe, and try it in this delicately nuanced Matrimony Cocktail, which blends nocino with genever and dry vermouth.

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

A glimpse into the world of rhum agricole. LA Times Magazine

From coffee to croissants—guess which major beverage company just bought a bakery chain? NY Daily News

A new wine start-up gives burgeoning winemakers a boost. Forbes

Global views on Bloomberg’s proposed ban on super-sized soft drinks. Washington Post

Gallo gobbles up two well-known Washington wine estates. Seattle Times

A spirited advertising campaign as seen over the years. Neat Designs

Monday, June 04, 2012

June’s Where to Drink Now

Photo: Courtesy Judson Copeland 
Café Evoke
Mobile coffee cart caterers Jenni and Jason Duncan recently sprouted some more permanent roots with the opening of their bricks and mortar café located in the heart of historic downtown Edmond. Aside from offering a rotating assortment of coffees from top roasters coast to coast (brewed on their custom La Marzocco Linea espresso machine) Café Evoke offers a great menu of wine and craft brews and a simple assortment of small eats. 103 S. Broadway Ave., Edmond, Oklahoma; cafeevoke.com

Cocktail kingpin turned architect Paul Harrington combined his two passions as a partner in Spokane’s newly opened Clover restaurant. Located in a renovated house near Gonzaga University, dining options range from brioche French toast for brunch to dry-aged steaks for dinner, while the cocktail menu highlights Harrington’s (who co-authored the James Beard award-nominated Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century) passion for cocktails with a mix of 30+ drinks that range from classics to contemporary creations from a handful of bartenders around the globe. 913 E. Sharp Ave., Spokane, Washington; 509-487-2937; cloverspokane.com

Photo: Sergio Mottola
Ice plays a starring role at Portland, Oregon’s Riffle NW, the newly opened seafood spot that employs a Clinebell ice machine, which freezes crystal-clear 300-pound blocks of ice. This means that bar manager David Shenaut’s prep work involves carving fresh cubes and spears for original cocktails like the Souracher (click here for the recipe), Mayor Rock with mezcal, applejack and bitters, and the gin-, celery- and absinthe-spiked Riffle Collins. 333 NW 13th Ave., Portland, Oregon; 503-894-8978; rifflenw.com

Photo: Courtesy Region
San Francisco's cocktail scene just got even better thanks to Region, a Pan/Asian restaurant with a bar helmed by longtime Bay Area bartender Victoria Damato-Moran. Damato Moran designed Region's cocktail menu to complement the restaurant's food, a challenge she says she relishes having been raised in San Francisco's Chinatown. The opening menu features 11 original cocktails, including a Birch Tree Manhattan with rye, sweet vermouth and birch tree syrup as well as a Saigon Sour with gin, ginger liqueur and lemongrass syrup. There are also be four Belgian beers on tap, along with two wines on tap towers with four red wines and four white wines. 139 Steuart St., San Francisco; 415-896-1398; regionsf.com

From the crew behind Philly’s ever-popular Franklin Mortgage Investment Co. comes this spacious Louisville lounge and restaurant that bolsters the local drinks scene with its selection of domestic wines, American craft beers and cocktails like the Golden Stag with a mix of rums, lime juice and sugar, and its namesake punch with bourbon, rum and bitters. 113 S. 7th St., Louisville, Kentucky; 502-618-1917; stcharlesexchange.com

Friday, June 01, 2012

Drink of the Week: Spodee

From the spirits innovator behind Hendrick’s gin, Sailor Jerry rum and the Art in the Age’s line of craft distillates comes today’s Drink of the Week—Spodee. Modeled after a Depression-era hooch of the same name, Spodee is a mix of red wine, herbs and spices and unaged whiskey. The name is a little goofy, but the taste is seriously delicious with flavors similar to a spice-forward sweet vermouth, but with a slight chocolate edge on the finish (think Tootsie Roll). It’s great on its own over a few ice cubes, or try it in a “Spodee & Sody” with an equal measure of cola. It’s currently available on shelves in Pennsylvania and New Jersey (with expanded distribution expected in the coming months), but it ships nationwide from select web retailers. $9/500 ml., superwinewarehouse.com