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, October 30, 2013

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

A quick look at the history of coffee lids. New York Times

Are we about to experience a global wine shortage? CNN

One major coffee chain will open the doors to its first NYC tea shop tomorrow. NBC

A new automated brewing system lets you make beer at home. The Verge

Vino for cats? Believe it. Philly.com

Friday, October 25, 2013

Drink of the Week: Deschutes Brewery’s The Abyss

With our Sept/Oct beer issue winding down, we’re raising a final glass to each of the 50 brews featured in our cover story. From Alaska to Maine and every state in between, contributing editor Joshua Bernstein sipped his way across America to pick a single beer that best represents each state, and today's Drink of the Week—The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery—does Imbibe’s home state’s suds scene proud. An annual release from one of Oregon’s most beloved breweries, this inky imperial stout offers up layer after layer of smoky-sweetness with notes of black licorice, molasses and dark dried fruits. Keep an eye out for it in the coming weeks when it makes its annual appearance across the country, and watch your mailboxes and local stores for our next issue (due out next week). Deschutesbrewery.com for distribution info.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Are coffee importers about to super-size their bean sacks? Wall St. Journal

Watch as a bow tie-wearing robot brews up a cup of joe. Slate

Is Starbucks moving into the land of Juan Valdez? Boston Globe

First civet coffee, and now beans passed through a bird? Modern Farmer

Craft beer finally finds its way to Berlin. New York Times 

Two fraudsters are arrested for bottling counterfeit wine. Wine Searcher

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bobbing for Apple Cocktails

Photo: Stuart Mullenberg
Forget the neon green appletinis; when apple season rolls around, there are plenty of ways to mix up autumn’s favorite fruit into an array of cocktails. With a pour of calvados here and a good glug of fresh apple cider there, here are six recipes that make use of the apple’s uniquely sweet-tart, earthy flavor. 

“I love the idea of enjoying an apple when they’re at their best,” says chef Marcus Samuelsson of this cocktail. “And the spices remind me of a warm apple pie during the autumn holidays.”

An Imbibe staff favorite, we recommend mixing up a double batch of this hot, buttery, orange-scented cider—your guests will thank you! 

What could be more autumnal than a drink with calvados, a good pour of bourbon, and rich maple syrup? 

Apple is the star and co-star in this hyper-seasonal cocktail. Apple brandy, apple butter and even fresh apple juice are blended together with a bit of bittersweet Averna and lemon juice to create an immensely sippable fall treat.

This cocktail is a wonderfully complex and shows off the versatility of apple brandy as an ingredient. Combined with Punt e Mes, pear brandy and spicy pimento dram, it shines in all its fruit-forward glory.

We love this drinks’ combo of peppery fall spice and a blend of both bourbon and Scotch. Rich and warming, this is cocktail will carry over beautifully into the winter months, too.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Drink of the Week: Finnriver Forest Ginger Botanical Cider

From vineyards to orchards, harvest season is here, and today’s Drink of the Week—Finnriver’s Forest Ginger Botanical Cider—celebrates the seasonal bounty of one of our favorite fall crops, the apple. This autumn we’re seriously into hard apple cider, and with more producers than ever bottling their own versions, there’s no better time to sample the wares. And while cider itself is centuries old, Finnriver (located in Washington’s Puget Sound) is putting its own modern-day spin on its latest fall release, infusing ginger and fresh fir tips harvested right on the farm into every bottle. $10/500ml., klwines.com

And for more apple ciders we love, click here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kickstarter Check-In: October 15, 2013

Every few weeks, we browse through all the drinks-related projects over on Kickstarter and sift through to find the best of the best. Here are six campaigns we’re excited about right now.

Keavy Blueher of the Kumquat Cupcakery and Allison Kave of First Prize Pies have dreamed up a brilliant project: a cocktail bar that features their incredible baked goods. If they make their goal, they’ll be signing their lease by the end of 2013. 

Brooklyn-based potter and artist Susannah Tisue has been selling her stunning, one-of-a-kind porcelain pieces around NYC for six years and is ready to ramp up her production. What does this mean? More availability of these gorgeous mugs, cups, creamers and bowls.  

The guys behind Denver’s Huckleberry Roasters want to raise $12,000 to put the finishing touches on their first brick-and-mortar café, a place they hope will be a community hub, a place to slow down, and a source for delicious, quality coffee.    

Jason Wuerfel is putting his (well, your) money where his mouth is—or at least, that’s what he’d like to do. As an avid believer in keeping things local and community building, he hopes that his nanobrewery and book shop will be a place for locals to have a pint and unplug.  

Husband-and-wife duo Zac and Jill Stafford are hoping to bring their take on drinking chocolate to the chilly streets of Minneapolis via a food truck they call The Warming House. The recipes (think coconut milk drinking chocolate and housemade marshmallows)— are developed and ready to go. Now they just need a kickstart.

They surf. They make cider. They drink cider. They surf. You want their life. You also want to drink their cider. To learn more, and to vicariously ride some tasty waves, watch their video here. 

Fall Event Watch

Transitioning into the fall season just got a lot more fun. There's a lot going on for imbibers across the country, but here are three events we're especially excited about this month and next.

Portland Cocktail Week
October 19-24 | Portland, OR

With the tagline "By Bartenders, For Bartenders," you know Portland Cocktail Week is going to be good. Now in its fourth year, Portland Cocktail Week continues to gain momentum, and hundreds of the country's top bartenders descend on the city for the week's activities. As a nod to its roots in bartender education, this year’s festival adopts a stronger emphasis on learning with the launch of the Portland Bartender Institute. Teardrop Lounge’s Sean Hoard and Daniel Shoemaker, Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common, Imbibe’s own Karen Foley and Ryan Magarian of Aviation Gin developed curriculum that aims to provide bar pros with top-level education. 

Once again, we're excited to be partnering with The Bon Vivants to bring you the 2nd annual Swig N Swine—aka: Pig N Punch on the road. This year's festivities kick off on Saturday with a volunteer day at Self Enhancement Inc. Then, Sunday brings an epic pig roast and punch party at the Jupiter Hotel at 2 PM, with ALL proceeds benefiting Self Enhancement Inc. To RSVP to Sunday's event, please click here. You won't want to miss it.

Art of the Cocktail
October 26-28 | Victoria, BC

Victoria is becoming one of Canada's coolest cocktail towns, so it's no surprise that Art of the Cocktail has edged its way onto the hit list of cocktail festivals worldwide. It celebrates every facet of cocktail culture over three days of events: workshops, demos, competitions, tastings—you name it, they've got it. This year, we have our eye on Dave Wondrich's seminar "Cocktail Archeology," during which he'll decode several fragmented and obscure recipes on the spot, then mix them up for the audience.  For tickets to this and more Art of the Cocktail events, visit the website.

Thirst Boston
November 9-11 | Boston, MA

Thirsty, Boston? You're in luck. Thirst Boston is just around the corner and is promising to serve up a weekend that will keep your glasses full. Don't miss Blender Blender, a battle between 12 bartenders and their secret weapon ... the blender, or Stars, Stripes and Swig, a party honoring Armistice Day complete with live music, swing dancing  and classic cocktails from the lovely ladies of LUPEC. Check out all things Thirst here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

PAMA Asks, “Are You Indispensable?”

Want to win $5,000? PAMA is giving you the chance! Through October 31, PAMA is accepting submissions from professional bartenders and mixologists age 21+ for its first-ever “Are You Indispensable?” Cocktail Competition. The goal is to create a winning cocktail recipe that combines PAMA with no more than 3 other ingredients. Six finalists will be chosen to compete in New York City in January, and the grand prize winner will receive $5,000, while the second and third place winners will receive $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. Finalists will be announced on December 2.
The prestigious judging panel includes:
  • Paul Pacult – Noted spirits critic and publisher/editor of The Spirit Journal
  • Steve Olson – Founder of aka wine geek and renowned spirits, wine and cocktail expert
  • Julie Reiner – Owner of Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club in NYC
  • Eben Freeman – Director of Bar Operations and Innovation at the Alta Marea Group
  • Kate Shapira Latts – Director of Marketing and a member of the third generation of the family behind Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., the parent company of PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
The deadline for submissions is October 31, and to enter and find more information on rules and guidelines, head to PAMAPros.com.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Drink of the Week: Chet Helms Cocktail

Photo: Courtesy The Family Dog
Is pisco finally poised for its breakthrough into mainstream imbibing? We think so. In our September/October issue, contributing editor Paul Clarke digs into the history and culture of the South American grape-based spirit, and today’s Drink of the Week—the Chet Helms cocktail from the Family Dog in Atlanta—shows just how versatile pisco can be. Mixed with Campari, Carpano, fresh citrus and a splash of soda, it’s a bright and bittersweet refresher that puts pisco in the spotlight.

And for more on pisco, check out or September/October 2013 issue, on newsstands now. 

Chet Helms
1 1/2 oz. pisco
1/2 oz. Carpano Antica
1/2 oz. Campari
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
3 dashes rhubarb bitters
Club soda
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: Collins
Garnish: orange wedge and a fresh mint bouquet

Combine all ingredients, except club soda, and shake with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass, top with soda and garnish.

The Family Dog, Atlanta

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Win Tickets to the San Diego Wine & Food Festival

The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is just around the corner (November 18 - 24) and we’re giving away two Grand Tasting tickets coupled with a pair of passes to the anniversary party that follows. Why do you want to go? The Grand Tasting features more than 170 wine and spirit purveyors, 70 of San Diego's top chefs, culinary competitions, live music and more. And it all take place coast-side at the Embarcadero Marina Park North, behind Seaport Village.

Grand Tasting: Saturday, November 23 from 12 - 3 PM 
Anniversary Party: Saturday, November 23 from 7 PM - 11 PM

All you have to do to be eligible to win is click here and email to tell us what California wine is in your glass. Entries are due by Monday, October 21 at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time), and one winner will be randomly selected and notified by Tuesday, October 22. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Pumpkin Beers: 5 to Try

As seasonal beers go, pumpkin ales sometimes get a bum wrap for being, well, too pumpkiny. But not all pumpkin beers are alike, and across the country, breweries have been steadily improving on the centuries-old style by experimenting with different hops, malts and, of course, ways of incorporating pumpkin into the mix. Here are five of our current favorites.

Avery Rumpkin
This unusual take on a pumpkin beer ages in rum barrels before bottling. In less skilled hands, this could make the beer a bit overwhelming, but we find its heft and complexity downright addictive. Rum’s richness permeates the brew, giving it a caramel sweetness and bitter, dark cocoa finish that complements the more traditional pumpkin beer elements of autumn and winter spice. Enjoy with caution—at 18% ABV, these are some serious suds.

Dogfish Punkin
We’ve been fans of this seasonal release from Dogfish for a while, and can you blame us? Crisp and refreshing, with a light-handed approach to pumpkin and spice, this riff on traditional brown ale has everything you’d want from a pumpkin ale. ABV: 7%

Elysian Night Owl
Another pumpkin brew that keeps us coming back year after year, Elysian’s Night Owl bursts with sweetly spiced pumpkin pie flavors. The finish is smooth and benefits from the combo of roasted and fermented pumpkin and toasted pumpkin seeds. ABV: 5.9%

Schlafly Pumpkin Ale
You won’t be lead astray by this glowing, orange-hued beer. It’s super-tart with a light kiss of ginger and clove on the finish. Not your average pumpkin ale. ABV: 8%

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale
The brewers at Smuttynose took inspiration from their suds-loving forbearers, brewers in colonial America who turned to local ingredients like squash (or, in this case, pumpkin) to extend their limited supply of imported malt. The resulting beer is nice and hoppy with a pumpkin bread-like quality on the finish. The IPA-lovers pumpkin beer. ABV: 5.8 %

photo: ©iStockphoto.com/nashvilledino2

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

What your choice of beer says about you. 9GAG

A wine producer in Bordeaux wakes to find his fields have been unexpected harvested—but by whom? Wine Searcher

An 11-year-old designs a beer-brewing kit for outer space. The Drinks Business

Commemorating five of the vintners who helped create Napa’s first appellation 30 years ago. Napa Valley

A new brewer promises coffee sans bitterness—but is it possible? CNET

Friday, October 04, 2013

Mon Sherry: 6 Cocktails to Celebrate Sherry Fest

Photo: Stuart Mullenberg
The second annual NYC Sherry Fest starts this Saturday, promising three sherry-filled days of dinners, classes and tastings. However, if find that you can’t make it to NYC on such short notice, host your own personal sherry fest in the comfort of your home by mixing up one of these sherry-based cocktails.

Building a cocktail around sherry is a great way to mix up a low-alcohol cocktail that still packs a punch. The Adonis, which dates back to the 1880s is a classic example, and with just three ingredients, there’s no reason not to mix one up.

With a distinctive fruity depth from both reposado tequila and a dose of pear liqueur, this sherry-heavy cocktail’s transparent appearance belies its warming heft.

Sultry and supple, this mix of Armagnac, sherry and honey-sweetened liqueur is delicious any time of year.

A smoky, powerful cocktail from our 2013 Cocktail Bar of the Year, NYC’s Pouring Ribbons, this unexpected mix of flavors shows off sherry’s unique and surprising versatility.

Aside from being fun to say, this cozy cocktail is a study in how to enjoy gin when the cold weather sets in.

One of the Martini’s many relatives, in the Tuxedo, sherry stands in for the traditional dry vermouth, bringing a nutty richness and satisfying dryness.

Drink of the Week: Wood Fire Roasted Ethiopia Yrgacheffe

With the beginnings of a blustery fall blowing in, our coffee cravings are shifting from frosty cups of cold brew to something more warming. Our go-to? Wood-roasted coffee. We explore the growing trend in our September/October issue, and today’s Drink of the Week—the Ethiopia Yrgacheffe from Reno, Nevada’s Wood-Fire Roasted Coffee company—is a delicious example of that movement. Sourced from Ethiopia’s Yrgacheffe district, this mix of heirloom varietals roasts over aged oak in a 15-kilo Italian drum roaster under the watchful eye of company founder Tim Curry, whose 10+ years in coffee roasting has taught him how to coax even the most subtle nuances from beans. The results? A harmonious mug that balances the bright fruit-forwardness typical of Ethiopian coffees with a sultry undercurrent of earthy woods and spice. $16, woodfireroasted.com


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Decoding a restaurant’s wine mark up. Yahoo Travel

The absolute true story of the French 75—as told by Jeffrey Morgenthaler. Playboy

A recent test of French wines showed most—including organic ones—test positive for pesticides. Bloomberg

A field guide to bartenders. First We Feast

Wet weather has Oregon winemakers worrying about this year’s Pinot Noir crop. Register Guard