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, November 30, 2012

Drink of the Week: La Spinetta “Bricco Quaglia” Moscato d’Asti 2011

There’s perhaps no better time of year to bring out the bubbly than the holiday season, and this year we’ve turned our tastebuds toward the subtly sweet Moscato. We rounded up six stellar offerings in “Merry Moscato” from our current Holiday Issue, and today’s Drink of the Week—La Spinetta’s “Bricco Quaglia” 2011 Moscato—is another favorite. Produced in Italy’s famed Piedmont region by a renowned Moscato maestro, this low-alcohol, food-friendly fizzer is clean and bright with notes of fresh peaches and pears, and a kiss of orange blossom and honeysuckle sweetness on the finish. Pair it with festive brunch feasts, holiday get-togethers and the overall merriment of the season. And for more Moscatos we love, check out our current issue.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

A tasty solution to leftover T Day wine. Daily Gazette

Starbucks introduces Geisha coffee beans to a select number of PacNW cafés. Seattle Post Intelligencer

Why animal welfare groups are setting their sights on the world’s most expensive coffee.
 The Guardian

A proposed French tax increase has some beer drinkers reconsidering their suds. New York Times

Adding a festive fizz to the holiday season with Champagne-like beers. SF Gate

One popular coffee chain loses a trademark attempt. Chicago Tribune

Friday, November 23, 2012

Drink of the Week: New Belgium Shift

Possibly the only thing we love more than Thanksgiving itself is the day after, filled with leftovers, football and, of course, beer! And perfect for kicking back with round No. 2 of turkey and trimmings is today’s Drink of the Week—New Belgium’s Shift pale lager. Crisp and easy-drinking, but dynamic enough to impress beer geeks and picky house guests, this brew is super sessionable thanks to its 5% ABV, malty backbone and crisp American hop flavors. So fill up the plate, turn on the tube and crack open a cold one—the festivities are just getting started! Newbelgium.com for distribution info. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

This T Day, one writer suggests ditching vino in favor of something with little more froth. Fox News

A popular San Francisco coffee shop announces its dismissal of soy with a pretty amusing tweet. SF Scoop

Catch a glimpse of Julia Child’s kitchen in a new Smithsonian exhibit. ABC News

The glass was definitely half-full for one hip-hop mogul during his recent trip to Italy. Guardian

Thanksgiving procrastinators unite! Eric Asimov offers his last-minute imbibing advice for the holiday. New York Times

Monday, November 19, 2012

Calling All NYC Beer Lovers—There’s an App for That!

New York City’s beer scene is booming and now locals can seek out suds with the help of a new iPhone app brewed up by Imbibe contributing editor Joshua Bernstein. Released just last week, Craft Beer New York highlights more than 120 foam-friendly beer bars, shops and breweries across all five boroughs with detailed info, reviews, recommendations and an interactive map searchable by name, location or rating. Download it now in the iTunes store for $1.99 and get more streamlined thirst-slaking of New York City’s ever-growing craft beer scene.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Highlights from Imbibe's Facebook Session with David Wondrich

On Tuesday, cocktail writer and historian David Wondrich took over our Facebook Page to chat everything from the origin of Pisco to the next great cocktail destination. Missed the conversation? Not to worry. You can read all 141 comments over on our Facebook page and here are a few highlights.

Ryan Dorn kicked off the conversation with, "David, how did you get started?" Dave's response? "Ryan -- I liked to drink, some, I knew how to write, some, and I was very curious about the history about the whole thing. Fortunately, there weren't a lot of other writers who were at the same time."

Michael Cooper asked, "How far do you think this craft cocktail/ingredient trend will go? Isn't this sort of pricing itself out of feasibility?" Dave agreed and said, "I see a correction happening now, with simpler, cheaper drinks at many new cocktail bars."

After we wrapped, we asked Dave (offline) to share his favorite Thanksgiving punch recipe. Here's what he said:

"For Thanksgiving, I tend to favor simple drinks that can be made in advance and that don't try to overwhelm the food. A bowl of 18th-century "Punch Royal" fits the bill quite nicely. Here's how:

1) A couple of days before the big day, put a quart-sized bowl full of water in the freezer.

2) The night before, peel 3 lemons with a swivel-bladed peeler--aim for long spirals, if possible--and muddle them with 3/4 cup of sugar. Cover this and do not refrigerate; overnight, the sugar will extract the fragrant oil from the peels. Refrigerate the peeled lemons.

3) Thanksgiving morning, squeeze enough lemons to get 3/4 cup of strained juice. Stir the juice in with the sugar-lemon oil mix until the sugar has dissolved. 

4) Stir in 1 750-ml bottle of VSOP-grade cognac or armagnac (or, if that's beyond your budget, mellow old bourbon) and 1 1/2 cups of dry red wine. Refrigerate this mix. 

5) To serve, unmold your ice block (you might have to run hot water over the bottom of the bowl), put it in a gallon bowl and pour your punch base over it. Add 3 cups of cold water and stir. Taste, add more sugar if necessary (or a splash of orange liqueur) and grate 1/3 of a nutmeg over the top. ladle out into small wine glasses, about 3 oz at a time. 

This will serve 10 or 12 people handily. Quantities may be reduced or expanded proportionately."

For more tips on making holiday punch, check this story and our interview with David Wondrich.

Drink of the Week: Kentucky Pilgrim

The holiday season has officially arrived, and with the Thanksgiving table in sight, we’re awaiting the arrival of family and friends with today’s Drink of the Week—the Kentucky Pilgrim cocktail from Elixir in San Francisco. This seasonal sipper gets into the Turkey Day spirit with a mix of bourbon, citrus, cranberries and spice. Mix up a big batch, serve it either hot or cold, and gear up for what’s sure to be a great holiday season. Click here for the recipe.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

With beer sales in decline is the economy to blame? Reuters

The many faces of a Negroni. Details

Could global warming cause coffee crops to go extinct? Salon

Are people who drink coffee happier than those who don’t? Daily Meal

Have scientists discovered the secret to prolonging a brew’s pillow-capped head? NPR

Monday, November 12, 2012

What We’re Drinking Now: Fall/Winter Beer Releases

After spending the last few weeks deep in research for our next issue (we can’t say much yet, but it’s definitely one you won’t want to miss!), we returned to find our tasting table teeming with a fresh crop of seasonal beers. Needless to say, we immediately got cracking—here are the highlights: 

Bend, Oregon, 7% ABV
This winter release from Oregon up-and-comer 10 Barrel Brewing Co. offers piney hop aromas that evolve into flavors of toasted grains, graham crackers and a slight cocoa kick.

Cold Springs, Minnesota/San Francisco, 7.9%ABV
This wintry spiced ale combines a whole host of our favorite seasonal flavors—think nutmeg, cinnamon and clove—into the portable convenience of a can.

Bend, Oregon, 6.7% ABV
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this season, Jubelale is a holiday favorite for many with warming, wintry notes of sweet malts, dried fruits and a kiss of bitter hops on the finish.

Milton, Delaware, 5.2% ABV
Coffee and chicory make a natural pair and this easy-drinking stout ups the roasty-toasty factor with added notes of bittersweet chocolate, subtle smoke and a hint of dried fruit.

Fort Collins, Colorado, 10% ABV
From grapefruit and guava to almond and vanilla—Odell Brewing definitely went in a different direction with this cool-weather release, offering a welcome addition to winter’s traditional lineup of deep, dark beers. Utilizing the experimental mosaic hop, this barrel-aged brew is refreshing from start to finish, with notes that range from tropical fruit flavors to mellowed hops spice.

Escondito, California, 9.6% ABV
Love mint chocolate chip ice cream? Then you’ve got to try this recent release from the Stone Collaboration series. Just as the name promises, expect aromas of fresh-cut mint, followed by bittersweet cocoa flavors and a touch of blackstrap molasses on the finish.

Portland, Oregon, 7.6% ABV
Forget the milk and cookies and leave Santa a bottle of this stout instead. Oh-so smooth with rich and creamy dark chocolate flavors and a whisper of smoke, this velvety bottle is one we plan to revisit all season long.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Drink of the Week: Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais l’Ancien 2010

The stroke of midnight on the third Thursday of each November sends corks popping with celebrations around the globe toasting the latest release of France’s Beaujolais Nouveau wine. It’s longtime end-of-harvest tradition, but too often, these rushed-to-bottle reds leave something to be desired. Which is where wines like today’s Drink of the Week—the 2010 Beaujolais l’Ancien from Jean-Paul Brun—come in.  It’s also made in France’s Beaujolais region and with the same Gamay grape, but there’s nothing nouveau about this bottle. One of a growing number of vintners redefining the wines of the region, this estate organically produces this elegant, easy drinker for high-acid fruit flavors of tart cherries, an underlying layer of earthy mushroom and chalky minerality on the finish. It’s delicate, fresh and delicious. And for more Beaujolais we love, check out “Go, Go Gamay!” in our September/October 2012 issue. $17, astorwines.com

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Did coffee cups predict the outcome of the election? Voanews.com

A new Hollywood blockbuster gets in hot water with two bigtime beverage labels. The Journal Gazette

The brewing community loses one of its own. Nola.com

Arabica coffee beans continue their price decline. Wall Street Journal

Eric Asimov on the evolution of the sommelier. New York Times

This Bud’s … about to get a lot boozier? Ad Age

Monday, November 05, 2012

Win a Copy of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Since 2006, Deb Perelman has been building one of the most popular food blogs with her gorgeous photography and homey, no-frills recipes on the blog Smitten Kitchen. Now, Perelman can add cookbook author to her resumé with the launch of her first-ever Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. We chatted with Perelman in the Sept/Oct 2012 issue about her favorite flavors of the season, and today, we're excited to give away one copy of her new book. Trust us, it's as good as it looks!

Simply click here to email us with your favorite Smitten Kitchen recipe for your chance to win. All entries must be submitted by this Thursday (11/8) at 5 PM EST.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Drink of the Week: Beronia Elaboracion Rioja 2008

Like the Colorado kid tearfully lamenting the ongoing election coverage in the now-viral video, we’re ready for this election season to wrap up, and with our votes already cast here in Oregon (thank you, vote by mail!), tonight we plan to turn off the TV (and the radio and Internet), put on our PJs and crack open a bottle of today’s Drink of the Week—the 2008 Elaboracion Rioja from Beronia. More fleshy and fruit-forward than traditional, all dry-fruit-and-dust Riojas, this vibrant Tempranillo from the famed Gonzalez Byass sherry house (the family-owned company responsible for the beloved Tio Pepe fino, among others) offers up a decidedly modernist take to winemaking, fermenting the entire lot in highly toasted new-American oak barrique. Risky, for sure, but worth every drop. Expect flavors of bright cherry, fresh herbs and even some cocoa and spice—the perfect kind of bottle to hunker down with on a night like tonight.