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, January 30, 2013

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

A big-name coffee shop makes its move into one of the world’s largest consumer markets. Seattle Times

A Berkeley biologist pens a song to a yeast love scorned. NPR

Planning a summer getaway? Check out these beer-friendly hotels. Forbes

Could hops hold the key to brewing better medicine? Washington.edu

Love Cognac? Take an armchair tour of the region. Daily Press

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ryan Sweeney’s Top 5 Beers of the Moment

Photo: Matt Fink
As the co-owner of Imbibe’s 2013 Beer Bar of the Year, Little Bear in Los Angeles, Ryan Sweeney is the beer buddy everyone wishes they had. Little Bear’s extensive and ever-changing selection of Belgian and Belgian-inspired brews reads like a beer lover’s fantasy—recent draft selections have included local LA-area offerings like Angel City's Eureka Wit, Monkish’s Feminist and Russian River’s Damnation, just to name a few. So we thought we’d tap Sweeney for five brews that currently top his list—here are his picks.

Firestone Walker Pivo Pils. “I'm in a sessiony mode right now,” says Sweeney, “so whenever I spot this on tap I get excited. They took a while and got it dialed in perfectly, and now they have a beer that showcases exactly what they wanted to see in a Pilsner.”

Lagunitas Daytime. “This is one of the better pale ales I had last year,” says Sweeney. “It’s super citrusy and hoppy at just 4.65% ABV, and I’m hoping for more of it in 2013.”

Lost Abbey Saint's Devotion. “This is my go-to whenever I’m near San Diego,” says Sweeney. “I love Orval, and this is like a more bretted version—simply great.”

Noble Ale Works Naughty Sauce. “Brand new out of Anaheim, California, this might be a one-off, but based on the response the beer has been earning, I hope to see it go wide,” says Sweeney. “This ‘blonde stout’ is a totally bizarre mix of styles, but the result is amazing.”

Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged Bigfoot. “We just got a case in, and I couldn't be more excited to try it,” says Sweeney. “Bigfoot was the formative beer in my college days, and I can't wait to see how they developed this classic in the barrel.”

Friday, January 25, 2013

Drink of the Week: DOMA Coffee Roasting Company’s Chemistry of Love

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, so we discovered today’s Drink of the Week—the Chemistry of Love coffee from DOMA roasters—just in time. Grown organically by the Idido Mill co-op at some of the highest altitudes in Ethiopia’s Yirgacheffe region and roasted by eastern Idaho’s DOMA coffee company, this coffee is vibrant, juicy and fruit-forward (hello, blueberries!). Perfect for drip, French press or espresso, it’s a great coffee for any time of day.
$15.55/12 oz., domacoffee.com

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

5 Cocktails Everyone Should Know How to Make

Photo: Gabi Porter
Bartender Ivy Mix lives up to her last name. She’s one of New York City’s best bartenders (and a Speed Rack co-founder), and she’s mixed her fair share of classic cocktails. So we couldn’t think of a better person to tell use what she thinks are the top five cocktails everyone should know how to make—here are her picks. And head here for a fun Q&A with Mix, who with Speed Rack co-founder Lynnette Marrero was named Imbibe's 2013 Drinks Ambassador of the Year in the Imbibe 75 Issue.

1. Old Fashioned. “Sugar, booze and bitters. Once you get this basic formula, you can substitute whatever you'd like—try it with rum and brown sugar,” says Mix. “Or maybe gin or Pisco and honey? Learn and then expand.” Click here for the recipe.

2. Last Word. “The king (in my opinion) of the equal parts cocktails,” says Mix. “It's amazing and interesting, and you get to drink Chartreuse! And like the Old Fashioned, once you know it you can substitute things out—rye, tequila.” Click here for the recipe.

3. Manhattan. “Classic, delicious,” says Mix. “Play around with the proportions you like, whether its 2:1 3:1 4:1 1:1. It's all good, and all changes depending on the spirit, vermouth and bitters.” Click here for the recipe.

4. Sidecar. “Fancy and sophisticated, but easy to make and drink,” says Mix. Click here for the recipe.

5. Whiskey Sour. “Because fresh lemon and sugar and a little egg white makes this drink WAY better than maybe we remember from dive bars and sour mix,” says Mix. Click here for the recipe.

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Have archeologists been mistaking Viking breweries for bathhouses all these years? Io9.com

One Capitol bartender distills presidential drinking history into 44 cocktails. NPR

Guess which celebrity chef is about to get into the winemaking biz. Press Democrat

How one bartender resets after a long weekend behind the stick. The Liquid Muse

Ohio’s ice wine harvest kicks into high gear. News Net 5

Costa Rica coffee farmers square off against an unexpected pest. Nature

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The 2013 Zinfandel Festival

Get ready Zin lovers! The 2013 Zinfandel Festival is upon us, bringing more than 200 wineries under one roof from January 31-February 2. The three-day celebration is jam-packed with opportunities to mingle with top winemakers and learn about the versatility of Zinfandel, especially how well it pairs with food during the kick-off Epicuria Food & Zin Pairings event on Thursday, January 31. 

Tickets and a complete event schedule are available online


Friday, January 18, 2013

Drink of the Week: Green Flash Palate Wrecker

Scot Blair knows good beer. With four beloved SoCal beer bars to his cred, the longtime champion of San Diego’s craft beer scene was a natural fit as Beer Person of the Year in our inaugural Imbibe 75 issue. We recently checked in with Blair to see which brews are currently filling his glass, and today’s Drink of the Week—the Palate Wrecker from Green Flash Brewing—is one of his top picks. The perfect mid-winter palate pick-me-up, this double IPA offers a huge hop wallop (they use six pounds of hops per barrel) and flavors of citrus peel, pine and subtle caramel malt on the finish. “Palate Wrecker is arguably Chuck Silva’s most irresponsible beer,” says Blair, “and I mean that in the most affectionate way!” Released earlier this week, the Palate Wrecker is currently making its way onto shelves across the country but will only stay put until early spring. Greenflashbrew.com for distribution info.

And click here to check out our fun Q&A with Blair.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Is orange wine on its way out? Forbes

The debate to define craft beer continues. USA Today

Students are swapping caffeinated sodas for another buzz. NPR

Some law-breaking wine language finds its way onto the presidential inauguration menu. Fermentation

Is this what coffee gadgets of the future will look like? Daily Coffee News

Sure, you’ve heard of bacon-flavored beer, but what about beer-flavored bacon? Huffington Post

Monday, January 14, 2013

The 2013 San Antonio Cocktail Conference

The Alamo City is in for a treat. The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is back for a second round with an impressive lineup of seminars, tastings, competitions, cocktail parties and more. Hailed as Texas' first cocktail conference, SACC takes place January 17-20 and brings together top bartenders and cocktail aficionados while raising money for HeartGift San Antonio

Single event tickets and all-access passes are still available on the San Antonio Cocktail Conference website, but they're going fast. Here are a few of the events we've got our eye on:

Opening Night at the Majestic Theater on Thursday, January 17, from 7-11 PM
  • Kick off the 2nd Annual San Antonio Cocktail Conference with a spectacular night at the Majestic Theater. There will be bars throughout the three levels of this historic theater, serving a variety of specialty cocktails. Enjoy music throughout the evening and food on every level provided by the San Antonio Chef Coalition. Ticket includes admission to the event, all cocktails and appetizers.

Tales of Tito's at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel on Friday, January 18, from 11 AM-12:15 PM 
  • Join San Antonio native, Tito Beveridge as he tells the tale of Tito’s Handmade Vodka. In 1995, Beveridge built his own micro-distillery in Texas; since then, he’s won many awards, including double gold at the World Spirits Competition and the Chairman's Trophy for World's Best Vodka Tonic.
Mixology 101 Workshop at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel on Saturday, January 19, from 2:30-4 PM
  • Join Sly Cosmopoulos, Corporate Moxologist for Republic National Distributing, for an  intro to cocktail-making and flavor analysis. Learn about flavor identification as well as building the perfect cocktail. Bar tools will also be reviewed and put to the test.
Check out the complete schedule here

If you can't make it this year, be sure to follow the action on Twitter at #SACC2013.

Facebook Session with Alice Feiring

On Tuesday, our Wine Person of the Year Alice Feiring joined us for an Imbibe 75-inspired Facebook Session. Feiring brings a distinct perspective to the wine conversation, advocating for additive-free, unaltered natural wines. Missed the conversation? You can read all the comments on our Facebook page and check out a few highlights below: 

Kevin K. kicked off the conversation by saying, "I understand that you are a proponent of natural wine. Can you explain what natural wine is and how it differs from...unnatural wine?" Alice's answer: "Kevin, open up the hornets nest? Okay. It's the honest attempt to make wine as minimally as one can and put a decent glass in front of the drinker. Nothing added, nothing taken away. None or very little so2."

Sheri V. asked, "What are some of your favorite reds in the $15 price point? I like to call them my Tuesday wines." Alice said, "That under $15 is getting harder and harder to hit. It stinks. If you can, find a good deal on Eric Texier's Côtes du Rhône. There is some Pierre Frick (I think his Sylvaner) at under $15. And Christian Ducroux, from the Beaujolais. Oh! Duh. Domaine Deux Anes! From Corbieres and from St. Chinian -- Dom. Rimbert. Excellent!"

Mick O. asked, "What has been your most exciting wine moment of the past few years?" From Alice: "These kinds of questions are always so difficult for me, but I think I'm going back to Georgia. What strikes me is that they really let go of ego to make their wine, they try to remove themselves as much as they can. It is almost a religious experience. Very moving. Another was my visit to Alsace in June. Such independent-minded winemakers, working the uphill battle to find drinkers and doing some crazy stuff."

Thanks to everyone who joined us and be sure to tune in on February 5 at 1 PM PST for a chance to chat with our Bartender of the Year, Ryan Maybee!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Drink of the Week: Lust for Life Cocktail

There are a lot of things to love about today’s Drink of the Week, not the least of which is the fact that it comes from our Imbibe 75 Cocktail Bar of the Year, Pouring Ribbons. Blending smoky mezcal and aged sherry with almondy orgeat, lemon juice and a splash of pineapple juice, it’s complex in flavor but easy to make—the perfect combo. Click here for the recipe and here for a fun Q&A with Pouring Ribbons co-founder (and this recipe’s creator) Joaquín Simó.

And for more on Pouring Ribbons and the Imbibe 75, check out our current issue, on newsstands now.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

We’re Hiring!

We’ve got big things brewing for 2013, and to help with our plans, we’re looking for a creative, energetic editorial assistant to join our team. We need someone with at least 2 years of journalism experience, with a background in food/drink being a plus. You’ll be working as part of our editorial team to assist with print and digital content for our magazine, website and social media pages. This is a part-time position requiring about 20 hours per week. Here’s a rundown of the skills you need:

* Proven ability to meet deadlines, multitask and work in fast-paced environment
* Excellent collaboration/communication skills
* Impeccable attention to detail
* Strong proofreading and research skills
* Proficiency in AP Style guidelines
* Social media acumen, particularly with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Blogger

If you think you’re right for this position, email your cover letter, resumé and links to three published writing samples HERE. The deadline for resumé submissions is January 18. You must live in Portland. No phone calls or social media inquiries, please. We can't respond to every submission, but we'll be sure to get back to you if we're interested in your resumé.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Ever wanted to sleep in a beer barrel? Now’s your chance. PSFK.com

Guess how much this bottle of White House beer sold for. Politico

Sweet news for one liqueur, which was just swept up by a big-name brand. Multivu.com

Oenophile Tyler Colman predicts the wine trends for 2013. Wine-Searcher.com

How will the arrival of Starbucks to Vietnam affect the country’s current coffee culture? Fox News

Friday, January 04, 2013

Drink of the Week: Château Gaby Canon-Fronsac Bordeaux 2009

Our inaugural Imbibe 75 issue has launched, and today’s Drink of the Week— Château Gaby’s 2009 Canon-Fronsac Bordeaux—is a delicious example of why affordable Bordeaux made this year’s list. With rich, dark fruit flavors, subtle oak tannins and hint of minerality on the finish, this wine is made with mostly Merlot fruit (with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc rounding out the blend) grown on the limestone- and clay-rich hillside of the tiny Canon-Fronsac sub-appellation on Bordeaux’s Right Bank. It’s the perfect wine for hunkering down with on a cold winter’s night and at a price that’ll have you reaching for a refill.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Announcing the 2013 Imbibe 75!

This January marks a new annual issue we're very excited to be launching. Called The Imbibe 75, this special issue is dedicated to showcasing 75 people, places and flavors we think will help shape the way we all drink in the year ahead.

We combed the country for our top picks, looking at the people, places and flavors that started making waves in 2012 and seem to be poised to make more of an impact in 2013. It's a diverse list, highlighting everyone from coffee roasters to bartenders to wine writers, as well as an array of drinking spots and destinations around the country, from Nashville to Detroit to Sacramento.

And then there are flavors, including some that are set to take center stage and some that we think are ready for a renewed spotlight. And in what will be an annual tradition in this issue, we've called out some special categories of recognition, including Bartender of the Year, Wine Person of the Year, Beer Person of the Year, Coffee Person of the Year, Drink Ambassadors of the Year, Cocktail Bar of the Year, Beer Bar of the Year, Wine Bar of the Year and Coffee Shop of the Year. This year's picks are:

Bartender of the Year: Ryan Maybee, Kansas City, MO
Wine Person of the Year: Alice Feiring, New York City
Beer Person of the Year: Scot Blair, San Diego
Coffee Person of the Year: James Freeman, San Francisco
Drink Ambassadors of the Year: Ivy Mix & Lynnette Marrero, New York City
Cocktail Bar of the Year: Pouring Ribbons, New York City
Beer Bar of the Year: Little Bear: Los Angeles
Wine Bar of the Year: SE Wine Collective, Portland, OR
Coffee Shop of the Year: Sightglass, San Francisco

Head to our website for more recipes and stories related to this year's Imbibe 75. We'll also be hosting live chats on our Facebook page with our Bartender of the Year, Ryan Maybee, and Wine Person of the Year, Alice Feiring, so be sure to like our page so you can join the conversations. And over on Twitter, we'll be posting regularly about our people, places and flavors with the #Imbibe75 hashtag.

We're thrilled to share our inaugural Imbibe 75 picks and hope they will inspire you in your own drinking adventures this year!

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

The quick-fix coffee tool that can help better your brew. New York Times

What’s causing some wine experts to worry that France’s entire viticulture system may be in jeopardy? CNBC

Will a proposed beer merger create a monopoly of macobrews? Marketplace.org

Russia bans beer sales from its once-popular kiosks. Washington Post

A small cherry crop may mean less of Wisconsin’s famed fruit wine and beer. Journal Times