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 28, 2012

Drink of the Week: Widmer’s OKTO Festival Ale

Germany’s famed Oktoberfest is in full swing, and thanks to today’s Drink of the Week—the OKTO Festival Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing—you don’t have to book a transatlantic flight to get a taste. Instead, Portland, Oregon-based beer-loving brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer offer up their own take on the traditional German brew with this full-bodied fall seasonal that mixes sweet, malty flavors with mild hop bitterness and a finish that’s crisp as a cool fall day. widmerbrothers.com for distribution info.

And for more Oktoberfest beers we love, click here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Imbibe Magazine Teams Up with Speed Rack, a National Cocktail Competition Supporting Breast Cancer Research

Female bartenders are a force to be reckoned with, and the ladies behind Speed Rack aim to show the world why. Now in its second year, Speed Rack is a national cocktail competition featuring talented female bartenders in some of America's top cocktail cities, putting them head to head in round robin style timed and judged challenges. Each city has only one winner who is invited to compete in a national competition for a chance to be crowned Miss Speed Rack USA (be sure to read our interview with last year's winner, Yael Vengroff). This is the first competition to focus on showcasing the up-and-coming generation of women in the spirits industry, and Imbibe is proud to be a Top Shelf Sponsor of the 2012/2013 tour, which kicks off on October 3 and raises money for breast cancer research. 

Founded in 2011 by New York bartender Ivy Mix of Clover Club and James Beard award-honoree Lynnette Marrero, this marks Speed Rack's second national tour. Last year, they raised more than $69,000 for National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and Self-Help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer (SHARE). This year, they hope to raise even more.

Speed Rack is traveling to ten cities this year, including Boston, New York, Tucson, Tampa, St. Louis, Texas, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and Chicago. You can check out the full list with tour dates here, and if you're in the Boston area don't miss the opening event of the season, which takes place Wednesday, October 3, during the Boston Cocktail Summit. Buy your tickets here!

We’ll be sure to keep everyone up to date as the competition gets underway. In the meantime, we suggest you find your closest tour stop and buy those tickets. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Munich’s 179th annual Oktoberfest begins. Washington Post

Recent wine auctions top $30 million thanks to a few prize lots. Bloomberg Business Week

Beer as a beauty product? US News

California’s undisputed queen of wine, Cathy Corison. Today

A stock market for cocktails? The Daily Meal

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Boston Cocktail Summit

Boston is one of the top cocktail destinations in the country, and now the city lays claim to its very own cocktail-centric event launching next week. And, guess what? We're sponsoring it!

On Thursday, October 4, the first annual Boston Cocktail Summit kicks off three days of celebrating the city's fascinating cocktail history and New England breweries, wineries and distilleries—all while raising money for local charities.

Designed with both the professional bartender and cocktail enthusiast in mind, the Boston Cocktail Summit is packed with parties, seminars and tasting events allowing you to witness (or taste) first-hand just what why Boston continues to lead the national cocktail conversation.

Here at Imbibe HQ, we're excited to give away one pair of tickets to each of the Imbibe-sponsored seminars listed below. Click on each seminar link for more details and to enter to win, click below.

The Subtle Nuances of Vodka with Tony Abou-Ganim 
So you think all vodkas taste the same? Join Tony Abou-Ganim as he takes you on a tasting journey into the world's most consumed spirit. 

Bartender to Brand Ambassador with Gary Hayward, Jamie Evans and Aaron Rodonis
Get an inside look at the transfer from bartender to brand ambassador.

Join father and son team Jonathan and Jeff Pogash for an exploration into the rich history of cocktail books. 

Join Oxley Gin Ambassador Jamie Evans as he shares the science behind how we taste and how it is possible to train this sense.

To sweeten the deal, our friends at the Boston Cocktail Summit have also offered Imbibe Fans a 15% discount code on festival tickets. To receive the discount code and make yourself eligible to win, please click here and send us an email with your name, address, email and the name of the seminar you would like to attend. The deadline to enter is Sunday, September 30 at 11:59 p.m. PST. You must be at least 21 to win and attend. We will choose the lucky winners at random on Monday, October 1. Good luck! 

A complete list of events is available on Boston Cocktail Summit's website.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Drink of the Week: Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. Guatemala Tesoro de Concepcion

We drink a lot of coffee at the Imbibe office, and today’s Drink of the Week is one of our favorites of the moment—the Tesoro de Concepcion from Olympia Coffee Roasting. Grown high in the foothills above Huehuetenango, Guatemala, the coffee cherries for this microlot ripen slower than others in the region, resulting in elevated levels of sweetness and acidity and concentrated flavors of melon, strawberries and a a kiss of milky-caramel goodness. It’s delicious brewed hot or cold, served with cream or without, as espresso or a single brewed cup, making it just the bean to keep an entire office of coffee drinkers happily buzzing away. $15.27/12 oz., olympiacoffee.com

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

There’s a fungus among us. At least if you’re a bourbon drinker. Huffington Post

How one tea company manages to maintain its organic roots even after being bought by a big-name brand. CNN Money

An ice cream shop does double as the neighborhood bank. Wall Street Journal

Deconstructing coffee culture snobbery. Time

After a nuclear explosion, is beer still safe to drink? NPR

How altitude affects the tastebuds. CNN

Friday, September 14, 2012

Drink of the Week: Shipyard Pumpkin Head

Believe it or not, it's time for pumpkin ales, and today's Drink of the Week is one of our favorites, so much so that it made our September/October issue's list of the world's 50 most coveted beers. Shipyard Pumpkinhead is released every September, and by the end of October it's gone for another year. It's a wheat ale with hints of spice and, of course, pumpkin, but at only 4.7% ABV, it's nice and light. And this year, the Maine brewery is rolling out a first-ever canned version of Pumpkinhead. Six-packs will reach stores in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, with more markets to follow.

And to see the rest of the beers that made our list of the world's most obsessed-over beers, check out our September/October issue, on newsstands now.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Drink of the Week: Imbue’s Petal & Thorn Bitter Vermouth

Love aperitif wines? Then you’ve got to taste today’s Drink of the Week—the Petal & Thorn from Oregon vermouth maker, Imbue. Domestic vermouths are bigger than ever (check out “American Beauty” from our current issue for more proof), and this beguiling bottle exemplifies why they’re continuing to grow in popularity. For this newly released offering, the Imbue team combined Oregon-grown Pinot Gris grapes with locally distilled brandy from Clear Creek, dried botanicals and ruby red beets that give this aperitif its distinctively rosy hue and earthy sweetness. Its flavors range from orange peel to dried chamomile to raw shaved beets, and it proves equally dynamic sipping alone over ice or mixed in cocktails like the Cognac-fueled Strange Bedfellows.

Strange Bedfellows
1 1/2 oz. Imbue Petal & Thorn
1 1/2 oz. Cognac
2 oz. club soda
Ice cubes
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: rocks
Garnish: lemon twist

Combine Cognac and Petal & Thorn in a mixing glass and stir with ice cubes. Strain into an ice cube-filled rocks glass, top with soda and garnish.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Kegs for Kids Benefit

Hey Chicago-area imbibers! Want to drink some beer while helping out a good cause? Then be sure to check out Kegs for Kids happening this Sunday (September 9th) at the Hopleaf Bar on N. Clarke Street. Your entry buys unlimited samplings of more than 70 kegs of rare beer, specially roasted coffee from Metropolis, lots of snacks from local restaurants and the opportunity to bid on items like a Brooklyn Brewery skateboard, New Belgium bike and vertical Dark Lord beer set in the silent auction. Advance tickets are $40 ($50 tickets will be available at the door), and all proceeds benefit the Helen C. Peirce Elementary School. Last year’s event raised more than $40,000, and this year’s party promises to be bigger than ever, so go do a good deed and drink some beer.

Click here for more info and to purchase tickets.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Can a car really run on moonshine? Slate

The White House finally reveals its recipe for homebrew. Whitehouse.gov

Does the shape of the glass influence how much we drink? The Atlantic

The Netherlands contemplates closing its coffee shops to non-locals. The Florida Times-Union

Without sight, one woman relies on the other senses to fuel her wine business. CBS News