Imbibe Unfiltered

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, December 19, 2014

25 Days of Holiday Drinks, Day 19: Fairytale of New York

Photo: Lara Ferroni
One of the many festive recipe featured in Imbibe's Cocktails for the Holidays, this drink had our attention right away, with a name that calls to mind one of the sweetest Christmas songs we know. Oh, and the drink is pretty darn delicious, too. “The notes of spice, vanilla, and toffee from the whisky go nicely with the hint of orange, which pairs perfectly with the slight sweetness of the apple and pear syrup" says bartender Dave Mitton. “And that touch of cinnamon and walnut from the bitters brings it all together and makes a damn good Canadian version of an Old Fashioned.”

Fairytale of New York
1 piece of orange peel (about 1 by 2 inches)
3/4 oz. Winter Warmth Syrup (recipe follows)
2 dashes of Fee Brothers black walnut bitters
2 oz. Canadian whisky
Tools: mixing glass, muddler, barspoon, strainer
Glass: Old Fashioned

Place the orange peel in a mixing glass, pour in the syrup and bitters, and muddle. Pour in the whisky, add ice, and stir until to chill. Strain over 1 large ice cube in an Old Fashioned glass.

Winter Warmth Syrup
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup Demerara sugar
1/2 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 pear, peeled, cored, and diced
12 walnut halves
3 cinnamon sticks, broken up
6 whole cloves
1 whole nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves, and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Strain into a clean glass bottle, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 2 cups.

Dave Mitton, The Harbord Room, Toronto, Canada

Drink of the Week: White Light White Heat tea from the T Project

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we often forget to take time to relax, which is why we’re sipping on today’s Drink of the Week. As comforting a wintry tea as they come, the White Light White Heat from T Project fuses delicate white peony and maofeng tea with warming cinnamon bark, tangy dried cranberries and bright orange zest. Think of this as a welcome reminder to treat yourself to a little down time this holiday season. $24, 2.5 oz.,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

25 Days of Holiday Drinks, Day 18: Miel Picante Punch

Photo: Stuart Mullenberg
This warm party punch from Manhattan bartender Jane Danger packs some added heat with a spicy jalapeño and rum honey. But chile-phobes shouldn’t fear: the heat of the spiced honey is not at all overwhelming; “in fact it’s very light and warming,” Danger notes.

Miel Picante Punch

6 oz. aged rum 

12 oz. apple cider

2 oz. fresh lemon juice

3 oz. jalapeño-rum honey

Tools: barspoon, punch bowl

Glass: mug

Garnish: freshly grated cinnamon and a lemon wedge

On a stovetop, heat all ingredients together until steaming. Ladle into mugs and garnish. 

To make the jalapeño-rum honey: Combine 1 1/2 cups of honey with one sliced and smashed jalapeño (seeds intact) and two ounces of aged rum. Stir and let sit overnight at room temperature. Remove the jalapeño chunks before using. Store in a dark, cool place for up to one month.

Makes approximately 6 servings.

Jane Danger for Cienfuegos, New York City

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

25 Days of Holiday Drinks, Day 17: Good Noggin'

Photo: Anthony Mair
This sophisticated take on egg nog gets a kick from a bit of smoky chipotle syrup as well as a good pour of créme de cacao.

Good Noggin’ 
1 ½ oz. dark rum
½ oz. créme de cacao
¾ oz. chipotle syrup
½ oz. heavy cream
1 fresh whole egg (pasteurized if you like)
Tools: shaker, strainer, fine strainer
Glass: sour or coupe
Garnish: chili powder

Combine all these ingredients in a shaker and dry shake (no ice). Add ice, shake again and strain into a glass. Garnish.

Chipotle Syrup
4 dried chipotle peppers
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Combine the water and the peppers in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain out the peppers. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Store in the fridge until use, up to 2 weeks.

Juyoung Kang, Las Vegas, NV

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Allegro Coffee Holiday Giveaway

Time for a caffeine-fueled holiday giveaway from Allegro Coffee Company. This Gesha gift set includes a 12-ounce bag (whole bean) of Allegro's limited-edition Panamá Esmeralda 1500 Gesha coffee—featured in our November/December issue—along with a glass coffee cup packaged in a wooden keepsake box. 

Enter to win by emailing us at by Friday, December 19, at 5 PM PST. 

25 Days of Holiday Drinks, Day 16: Chapman Cobbler

Photo: Allison Webber Photography
As far as we're concerned, winter may as well be known as applejack season, because there's nothing we crave more in the colder months than a cocktail like this sherry, orgeat and créme de noyaux-tinged beauty from Trick Dog bartender Caitlin Laman.

Chapman Cobbler
1 oz. applejack
1 oz. amontillado
¾ oz. orgeat
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
1 barspoon crème de noyaux (Laman uses Tempus Fugit)
Tools: shaker
Glass: double Old Fashioned
Garnish: lemon wheel

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin filled with crushed ice. Flash-shake and dump into a double Old Fashioned glass. Garnish.

Caitlin Laman, Trick Dog, San Francisco

Monday, December 15, 2014

25 Days of Holiday Drinks, Day 15: The Rusty Rudolph

Photo: Chris Spear
The classic Rusty Nail gets a fizzy, beer-spiked makeover in this seasonal adaptation—red nose not included. 

The Rusty Rudolph

1 oz. Scotch
1 oz. Drambuie
2 dashes orange bitters 

6 oz. favorite holiday beer
Tools: barspoon
Glass: rocks

Pour the Scotch, Drambuie and bitters into a chilled rocks glass. Top with the ale and gently stir to combine.

Chris Spear, Perfect Little Bites

Sunday, December 14, 2014

25 Days of Holiday Cocktails, Day 14: Changing Seasons

Photo: Mike Di Tota
This recipe calls for a few DIY ingredients, but they're easy to make, and the resulting cocktail is well worth the effort.

The Upstate
2 oz. brown butter bourbon (recipe below)
1 oz. pear juice
1/2 oz. winter syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 drop orange blossom water
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Tools: shaker tin, strainer
Glass: rocks
Garnish: cinnamon stick

Add all ingredients to a shaker tin with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish.

Brown butter bourbon: Cook 1 stick of unsalted butter in a skillet on medium heat until it browns, about 3 minutes. Combine browned butter and 750 ml. of bourbon in a large, freezer-safe container. Let it sit in the freezer for 3 days. Strain out the butter though cheese cloth. Bottle.

Winter Syrup
2 cups turbinado sugar
2 cups water
5 cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup star anise
10 cloves

Combine the sugar and water in saucepan and heat to to dissolve the sugar. Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves, stir and remove from heat. Let cool. Store until use, for up to 3 weeks.

Mike Di Tota, The Botanical Bartender, Queens, NY