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 26, 2014

Drink of the Week: Left Hand Brewing Oktoberfest Märzen

With Oktoberfest in full swing, we’re raising our steins with today’s Drink of the Week, Left Hand Brewing’s Oktoberfest. A Colorado take on the märzen-style lager, this brew starts its life in the spring, lagering for several months before being bottled, resulting in nuanced notes of biscuits and toast, with subtle hop spiciness sweeping through on the finish. Pop a top and prep some pretzels and brats—Oktoberfest is here (leiderhosen optional).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

A beer-flavored latte? One coffee company is giving it a go. Boston Globe

Eric Asimov offers his guide to drinking wine at home. New York Times

One distiller lands in hot water over its label lingo. Bevlaw

This illustrated flow chart will help you order whiskey like a boss. Business Insider

A glimpse of coffee particles on a microscopic scale unveils a whole new world of the mighty bean. Daily Coffee News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Reading Material: Five fall book releases to add to your shelves.

Autumn’s crisp air and shorter days mean that we’re finally ready to head indoors and hunker down with a good book. Whether you want to cozy up on the couch or stay busy behind the bar, this fall promises to bring some of the most interesting drink-related releases we’ve seen in a while. Here are five to add to your reading list.

A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus, September 30 
Renée Erickson’s Seattle-based restaurant empire has seen a seemingly meteoric rise in popularity since launching. Small, lovely spaces and mouth-watering menus mean there’s almost always a line out the door. Now we can all enjoy Erickson’s unique brand of seafood-worshipping cuisine in the comfort of our own kitchens. Drool-worthy, approachable recipes are accompanied by helpful advice about how to be a great host, as well as cocktail recipes and Erickson’s own favorite wine and food pairings.

Of all the Gin Joints, September 30 
Mark Bailey’s history of drinking in Hollywood is pure fun. Forty cocktail recipes are accompanied by gloriously gossipy stories about tinseltown’s biggest stars and their drinks of choice. Speckled with frame-worthy quotes (“When a horse learns to buy martinis, I’ll learn to like horses.” —Steve McQueen) and nods to many of Los Angeles’ most notorious watering holes, it’s a perfect bedside reader.

Death & Co., October 7 
Cocktail enthusiasts can finally get their hands on the highly anticipated Death & Co. book this October. David Kaplan and Alex Day spend nearly 1/3 of the book explaining their philosophy of cocktail-making process and technique, as well as telling the story of their beloved NYC bar and its creation. This is a must-have for any bartender, home or professional.

Cocktails for the Holidays, October 14
The editors of Imbibe help you mix holiday drinks like a pro with this book featuring favorite seasonal recipes from bartenders around the world. From classic to contemporary recipes, Cocktails for the Holidays includes recipes for every festive occasion—everything from Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s famous Tequila Eggnog to the Spotted Pig’s Mulled Wine. With this book, there’s no need to ever stress about your holiday drinks again.

Prune, November 4
Gabrielle Hamilton—perhaps best known to many as the author of the funny and brutally honest memoir Blood, Butter and Bones—finally shares the rich, comforting, often autobiographical recipes from her East Village restaurant. We can’t wait to mix up one (or two) of her infamous, heavily garnished, Bloody Marys—there are eight variations—and enjoy it with brunch at home.

Drink of the Week: The Spotlight Cocktail

Photo: Stuart Mullenberg
With more pears coming into season by the day, we’re starting to add their juicy goodness to our cocktail glasses. But even if you don’t have a fresh pear on hand, you can still take advantage of the fruit’s fall flavor by reaching for a pear brandy and making today’s Drink of the Week—The Spotlight cocktail from Bay Area bartender Jeff Lyon. Combining creamy pear brandy with dry sherry and a ginger liqueur, it’s sweet and savory and supremely delicious proportions. And for more pear cocktails we love, check out our Sept/Oct issue, on newsstands now.

The Spotlight
2 oz. Manzanilla sherry
1/2 oz. pear brandy
1/2 oz. ginger liqueur
2 dashes celery bitters
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: rocks
Garnish: thin slice of fresh pear

Combine ingredients with ice and stir to chill. Strain into a rocks glass over one large ice cube and garnish.

Jeff Lyon, Third Rail, San Francisco

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Is climate change ruining wine corks? Wine-Oh TV

A Chicago cocktail crawl from an industry local. Town & Country

Was James Bond a coffee buff? Believe it. PRI

A monster deal may be brewing between two beer behemoths. CBS

Satire? This coffee piece rings all-too true for us. The Onion

Friday, September 12, 2014

Drink of the Week: A. Christmann Spätburgunder 2011

The red wines of Germany and Austria are on a hot streak. Case in point? Today’s Drink of the Week. A Pinot Noir by another name, this Spätburgunder comes from lauded German producer A. Christmann (7th generation Steffen Christmann is currently at the helm). Crafted with organically farmed grapes from the Pfalz region, it finds balance between high acid fruits and an undercarriage of dried herbs and earth. Serve it with a slight chill alongside late summer salads, or at room temperature with roasts come early fall. And for more on the red wines of the region, check out “Scarlet Fever” in our current September/October issue. $25, astorwines.com

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Could mapping coffee’s genome lead to better beans? NY Daily News

Is this Spain’s most underrated wine region? Wine Folly

Will this coffee maker change the way you auto-brew? Dear Coffee I Love You

Where did Australian wine go wrong? Social media chimes in. Vinography

Friday, September 05, 2014

Drink of the Week: Piña de Agave with Pineapple Shrub

Photo: Lara Ferroni
Tart and tangy, vinegar-based shrubs have been quenching thirsts since colonial days, and today’s iterations are as inspired as ever. Simple enough to make at home (Fruit? Check. Sugar? Check. Vinegar? Check.), but with enough complexity to interest even the most adventurous bartenders, shrubs infuse seasonal flavors into everything from cocktails to zero-proof drinks. We feature five shrub recipes in our September/October 2014 issue, including the pineapple shrub in today’s Drink of the Week. Combined with tequila, mezcal, lime juice and a spice syrup, this shrub lends a bright, summery edge to the Piña de Agave cocktail—a welcome reminder that summer isn’t over just yet.

Piña de Agave
2 oz. blanco tequila
1 oz. fresh lime juice
¼ oz. oz pineapple shrub
½ oz. spiced simple syrup
5 dashes mezcal
Tools: shaker, strainer, fine strainer
Glass: rocks
Garnish: apple slices dusted with cayenne pepper

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a shaker and shake with ice. Fine-strain into an ice-filled glass, top with the mezcal and garnish.

Spiced simple syrup: In a saucepan, combine 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 cup water, ½ tsp. ground nutmeg, 1 fresh cinnamon stick, 3 cardamom pods, 3 star anise and ¼ tsp. each allspice and white peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat, let cool to room temperature and strain into a clean bottle. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Pineapple shrub:
Combine 1 cup of cubed fresh pineapple and 2 cups of white wine vinegar in a container, cover and let rest at room temperature for 3-4 days. Using a rubber spatula, press the fruit through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as possible. Combine the liquid with 1 cup of granulated sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let the mixture cool; bottle for use. Store in the refrigerator and use within 2 months.

Brandon Lockman, Red Star Tavern, Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

The strange mechanics of a vertical siphon brewer. BoingBoing

Some of the most bizarre beer laws on the books. Yahoo

Aussie coffee culture hits SoCal. LA Weekly

The curious link between wine and exercise. The Atlantic

Life after Napa’s big quake. Men’s Health