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, February 29, 2012

Bols Around the World: Enter for Your Chance to Win the Ultimate Global Bar Tour!

Want to win the ultimate bar tour around the world? Then don't miss the deadline for the 2012 Bols Around the World Competition. This is one of our favorite cocktail competitions, and this year’s theme is “The Master of Flavor”—in other words, who can create the most distinctively flavored cocktail using Bols liqueurs and/or Bols genever.

Show off your cocktail creativity, and you might be the lucky winner of a three-day trip to Amsterdam to compete in a live competition in May with bartenders from 12 regions around the world. The grand-prize winner of the live competition will receive an amazing eight-day global bar tour of the best cocktail bars in four different cocktail capitals of your choice: cities like London, Tokyo, Sydney, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, New York, Los Angeles and more! The grand prize winner will also receive a one-year Bols Platinum Ambassadorship, which includes two trips to Amsterdam for intensive training and an all-expenses-paid visit to a world-class bar show, such as Tales of the Cocktail, Manhattan Cocktail Classics, Bar Convent Berlin, or Cocktails and Spirits.

The 11 global finalists will receive a one-year Gold Bols Ambassadorship, which includes one additional trip to Amsterdam for intensive Bols Ambassador training and an honorary contract to represent Bols in your own country at different seminars, trade shows and courses. And all national winners will receive a Bols Around the World 2012 National Champion Trophy and a Limited-Edition Bols Barrel Aged Genever signed by master distiller Piet Leijenhorst.

Again, the deadline for entries is March 15. You must be a working bartender to qualify, and cocktails must contain at least a 1/2 ounce of any Bols liqueur or a minimum of 1 ounce of Bols Genever, or both. For a full overview of rules and prizes, and to submit your recipe, click here.

We can't wait to see the finalists' recipes—last year’s submissions were incredibly creative and diverse. Be sure to get your recipe in by March 15 for your chance to win, and best of luck!

And here's a fun video with tips from Andy Seymour on mixing the perfect competition cocktail.

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

The German Chancellor takes an unexpected beer bath. The Australian News

A new wine website caters to canines. Seattle Post Intelligencer

Expect to pay more for vino you can’t pronounce. NY Daily News

A Canadian liquor board tells the wine industry to shed some weight. Sustainable Business Forum

Iceberg-brewed beer? NPR

An Oregon vintner creates a global scavenger hunt for his wines. KVAL.com

Friday, February 24, 2012

Drink of the Week: Green Flash Palate Wrecker

Craving a little taste of spring? Today’s Drink of the Week should do the trick. The latest release from San Diego’s Green Flash Brewing Co., the Palate Wrecker double IPA is a shining example of the West Coast IPA style with loads of bright hoppy bitterness, tangy flavors of grapefruit and tangerine, and a creamy mouthfeel. It’s set for release next week, so look for it on shelves across the country soon. greenflashbrew.com for distribution info

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Drinking in high-altitude wines. Sacramento Bee

The acid test for wine. Montréal Gazette

The number of Beijing’s craft breweries doubles … to two. Wall Street Journal

A new social network emerges for coffee lovers. ShinyShiny

The James Beard Foundation announces its 2012 Restaurant and Chef Award nominees. JamesBeard.org

Repurposing old wooden wine boxes into garden planters. Networx.com

Friday, February 17, 2012

Drink(s) of the Week: Mardi Gras Cocktails

Mardi Gras is just around the corner, and even though we may not all be celebrating in the Big Easy, we can still get a taste of the Carnival spirit. For today’s Drink(s) of the week we’re round up five New Orleans cocktails ready to help let the good times roll.

Popularized in the 1930s by New Orleans bar owner Pat O’Brien, this mix of light and dark rums, a handful of fresh fruit juices and a splash of Galliano has become a staple on New Orleans’ Mardi Gras scene. Click here for the recipe.

Ramos Gin Fizz
Invented by a New Orleans barkeep back in the 1880s, this airy drink combines gin, juice, cream and an egg white with a good, long shake. Click here for the recipe.

Cajun Bloody Mary
A brunch staple known to help kick a hangover or two, this version from New Orleans’ famed Cochon restaurant offers a tasty Creole kick. Click here for the recipe.

Vieux Carré
Named after New Orleans’ French Quarter, this 1930s mix of rye, Cognac, Bénédictine and vermouth is one smooth sipper. Click here for the recipe.

A legendary cocktail of the Crescent City, this heady mix of rye whiskey, absinthe and Peychaud’s bitters dates back to a 19th-century New Orleans pharmacist. Click here for the recipe.

Photos from the top: David Kressler, Chris Granger, Baydra Rutledge

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Holding onto a special bottle of wine? What are you waiting for—open it up! USA Today

The canned beer trend picks up another brewer. Houston Chronicle

Debunking the stigma of organic wines. Good

Bottled water faces a growing ban among colleges and universities. NPR

A coffee-fueled, dart-throwing robot. Time

The risky business of buying older wines. SF Gate

Friday, February 10, 2012

Drink of the Week: Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero 2007

Planning a special dinner for your Valentine’s sweetie? Of course, you’ll need a bottle of wine to mark the occasion, and today’s Drink of the Week—the Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero 2007—is up to the task. Crafted from 100% Tempranillo from a third-generation vintner in Spain’s lauded Ribera del Duero region—an area that can date its wine production back to the 12th century—this food-friendly red is edgy and assertive with a delicious fruitiness that brings you in sip after sip.
$23, astorwines.com

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

The key to a mega marathoner’s success? A bottle of beer. Sydney Morning Herald

Warming up with a wintry glass of barleywine. Washington Post

Incredible latte art by a NYC barista. Smith & Ratliff

A late-winter cold spell saves this season’s Czech ice wine crop. CBS

Want to give your sweetie something extra sweet this Valentine’s Day? Try this cake recipe. Bon Appetit

Friday, February 03, 2012

Drink(s) of the Week: Super Bowl Cocktails

We’re not placing wagers on this weekend’s Super Bowl, but we’re willing to bet that we could all use a good cocktail on game day. So for today’s Drinks of the Week we’ve got dueling drinks from Boston and New York—you can decide which of these comes out on top. Luckily, they’re both a cinch to make so you won’t miss any critical game time.

Patriot Punch
Boston bartender Bob McCoy shows his Patriots pride with this punch that combines white rum and citrus with a splash of spice. The recipe below serves one, so just multiply as needed to quench your entire Super Bowl crew. And so you don’t have to spend a minute of the game mixing drinks, make a big batch ahead of time and pour into a punch bowl over a large block of ice.

1 1/2 oz. white rum (McCoy suggests using one distilled in the New England area, and says a favorite is Bully Boy white rum)
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. cinnamon syrup (see below)
Mount in a mixing glass, add ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

For the cinnamon syrup, muddle 3 cinnamon sticks and combine in a small saucepan with 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to just under a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool, then strain through a double layer of cheesecloth into a clean glass bottle.

Bob McCoy, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Boston

Simm's Cup
Longtime Giants fan and Brooklyn bar owner Chris Buckley named his game-day drink after former Giants quarterback Phil Simms. “He was one of their best quarterbacks and led his team to two Super Bowl wins,” says Buckley. “Go G-men!”

1 1/2 oz. applejack
6 drops Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters Black Mission Fig bitters (or substitute Peychaud’s bitters for a different, yet equally delicious drink)
Lemon-lime soda
Ice cubes
Tools: barspoon
Glass: highball

In an ice-filled highball glass, add the applejack and bitters. Top with lemon-lime soda and stir gently to combine.

Chris Buckley, Hanson Dry, Brooklyn

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

A wine chiller doubles as a hibernation den for more than 200 slithering snakes. Chicago Tribune

Two East Coast mayors make a friendly football wager. CBS Pittsburgh

California’s ubiquitous white wine grape marks 100 years of growth in the States. Reuters

Touring the vineyards of South Africa. CNN

Imbibe contributor David Wondrich heads to New Orleans to chat about Cuba’s influence on the cocktail world. Nola.com