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.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Imbibe's Texas Issue!

We've gone to Texas, and our March/April issue is a celebration of everything we've found there. From small-batch whiskeys to cocktails, beer, wines and seriously good coffee, Imbibe's Texas Issue turns the spotlight onto the liquid revolution brewing in Texas and taps the creative drinkmakers behind it all. 

The Texas Issue includes features on the best Margaritas in Texas, Lone Star beers, and Texas wine, whiskey, cocktails and coffee. We've also got a fun Q&A with Austin Pitmaster Aaron Franklin, plus an imbiber’s road trip from Dallas to Austin to San Antonio to Houston and more. We're so excited to celebrate the amazing scope of talent happening across the Texas drinkscape, and we hope you have as much fun soaking up this issue.

The Texas Issue will be on newsstands from March 1 until April 30, and the issue is available for purchase at imbibemagazine.com/shop. If you're a subscriber, the issue should be arriving now!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more Texas fun.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Après-Ski Cocktail Classic

Hitting the slopes just got even more fun. On March 14, the Après Ski Cocktail Classic debuts in the white-capped mountains of Aspen, Colorado, bringing together celebrated brand ambassadors, bartenders, chefs and spirit aficionados for four snow-packed days at the Westin Snowmass Resort.

Festivities include mountain-top parties, a Grand Tasting Village and the first Great Après-ski Pub Crawl (with a little fondue and raclette thrown in). Spend the day soaking up seminars like Hot Toddies 101 and the Terroir of Coffee, or grab some early-morning fuel at the Wake Up Hydration Bar before hitting the slopes. Then return for a Fireside Chat where you'll be able to talk one-on-one with distillers and industry luminaries

Check out the talented line up of guest speakers here and don't forget to buy your tickets!

The Après Ski Cocktail Classic takes place March 14-17 in Aspen at the Westin Snowmass Resort. For more details, click here and be sure to fan them on Facebook for event updates.

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Think you have expensive tastes? Check out some of the more outrageously pricy drinks ever sold. The Drinks Business

Is one big-name brewer in hot water for diluting its beers? LA Times

Start your engines—a coffee-powered car just landed itself in the record books. Fox

Are beer mergers creating a beverage monopoly? New York Times

The New York Cork Report cracks open a mix of tasty gems. New York Cork Report

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Trio of Recipes for National Margarita Day

Photo: Jody Horton. Courtesy: La Condesa
We see a good number of lesser-known holidays in February (National Baked Alaska Day, Homemade Soup Day and Gumdrop Day), but of all the reasons to raise a glass this month, today's National Margarita Day gives thirsty imbibers the most cause to celebrate. Eager to do your part in toasting the occasion? These three recipes hit the spot whether it’s a national holiday or not.

Comprised of just three simple ingredients, there’s no need to buy Margarita mix ever again once you get down this classic formula of tequila, fresh lime juice and orange liqueur. Click here for the recipe.

Homemade serrano syrup adds a sweet heat to this peppery twist on the Margarita. Click here for the recipe.

Coincidentally enough, February is also National Grapefruit Month! Thankfully this batch of zesty ‘Ritas does double duty to cover both occasions. Click here for the recipe.

Drink of the Week: Life & Limb Rhizing Bines

They say two minds are often better than one. And when it’s the two masterminds behind some of the country’s best beers, you can bet the results will be off-the-charts delicious. Hence today’s Drink of the Week—the latest Life & Limb collaboration from Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head, Rhizing Bines. An imperial IPA (it clocks in at a deceptively drinkable 8% ABV) that fuses ingredients and techniques from both brewers (estate-grown malt from Sierra Nevada; continual hopping from Dogfish) this new, one-time release is at once malty, brisk and bitter with a lingering creamy carbonation. And while most collaborations end at bottling, this duo (partnering with Spiegelau) also set out to design a specific glass for their collaborative IPA. But does it make a difference? We put it to the test, sipping the beer out of a classic pint glass and the newly designed IPA-specific beer glass. The beer drank nicely from both glasses, but the IPA glass did amplify the hops in both aroma and taste, while the pint glass offered up a more malt-forward brew. Want a taste for yourself? The beer is currently hitting shelves across the country, and the IPA glass is now available via Dogfish.com

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Guess which celeb couple is about to break into the wine biz. Daily Mail

A handful of top baristas take their talents to TED. Sprudge

A living wine legend releases a sketchbook of favorite stories and recipes. Chicago Tribune

Makers Mark decides not to water down its bourbon after all. Huffington Post

The natural wine debate ignites in one of Italy’s most reputable publications. Do Bianchi

Thai Buddhists build a beer temple. Good

Mapping the monopoly of mega-sized beer companies. NPR

The wine industry mourns the loss of a Napa Valley great. Wine Spectator

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dinnertime Drinks—Imbibe 75ers on Their Evening Sips

In need of a little inspiration for your Tuesday-evening tipples? We checked in with a few of our Imbibe 75 personalities to see what they’ll be drinking with dinner tonight—here’s what they had to say.

This evening, natural wine advocate and Imbibe 75 Wine Person of the Year Alice Feiring scored a dinner invite that includes popping the corks on a few old, Italian gems, including Barolos from Rocche dei Manzoni. “Looking forward to the 1982 and 1985!” says The Feiring Line founder. 

“It’s raining out and cold (well, for San Diego),” says owner of some of San Diego’s top beer spots and our Beer Person of the Year, Scot Blair. “So spicy oxtail ramen is in order with an Anchor California Lager—perfecto.”

New York Distilling co-founder and Imbibe 75 person to watch Allen Katz can look forward to cracking open a cold can of Narragansett Porter after work this evening. “A cold porter is a soothing way to ease off the gas pedal and still have something with rich flavor,” he says.

And we got not one, but two votes for sherry this evening—Houston-based bartender (and soon-to-be bar owner) Alba Huerta plans to pour herself a glass of La Guita Manzanilla to go alongside a steaming bowl of mussels, while owner of Seattle’s Vessel, Jim Romdall will sip some amontillado. Dinner for Romdall is still TBD (depending on “what looks good at the butcher on my way home from work today,” he says), “but amontillado is a safe guess as it's usually the dinner drink of choice.”

As for us, we’re thinking a cocktail is in order—specifically one that showcases some of the featured flavors from our Imbibe 75 Issue, like the sultry pear and Armagnac Pret a Poire, the Aperol-flavored Veronica Rose sparkler, or the crème de cassis-brightened Sea of Cortez—or maybe all three! Click here, here and here for the recipes.

How about you—what’s on your drinks docket for this evening? Chime in on FB and let us know!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Drink of the Week: Carpenter’s Hand Cocktail

Photo by Wes Rowe
Recently we’ve taken a shine to Armagnac (so much so that we named it one of our flavors to watch in our Imbibe 75 issue). Dynamic and versatile (not to mention a relative bargain and the liquor store), more and more bartenders are reaching for this rustic French spirit, and today’s Drink of the Week—the Carpenter’s Hand cocktail from Bay Area barman Chris Lane—shows its sophisticated side, mixed with a dose of dry sherry and Drambuie.

2 oz. Armagnac
1/2 oz. amontillado sherry
1/2 oz. Drambuie
Tools: barspoon
Glass: double Old Fashioned
Garnish: orange peel

Combine all ingredients over 1 large ice cube in a double Old Fashioned glass, stir to combine and garnish.

Chris Lane, Lolinda, San Francisco

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

One bad harvest may force a number of Beaujolais vintners to close their cellars for good. Decanter

A historic Brunello property sells to the highest bidder. Wine Spectator

A big-name spirit gets watering down. QZ.com

Southern Indiana gets its first AVA. Indiana Public Media

Another fast food chain adds specialty coffee drinks to its menu. USA Today

Consumer Reports puts the chill on wine coolers. Los Angeles Times

Friday, February 08, 2013

Drink of the Week: Jacques Puffeney Pinot Noir Arbois Rouge 2010

We’re feeling a little funky today, so we can’t think of a more perfect Drink the Week—Jacques Puffeney’s Pinot Noir Arbois Rouge 2010. Over the past few years, the esoteric, yet approachable wines from eastern France’s Jura region have climbed the ladder from cult status to near regular recognition, and we can’t get enough. We’re so enamored, in fact, that we named the wines of the region to this year’s Imbibe 75. Puffeney is often referred to as the Pope of Arbois (Arbois is an appellation within the Jura), and this wooden vat-fermented Pinot Noir is rustic and woodsy, with tart fruit flavors, lively acidity and a bit of tannin on the finish, finding harmony in the space between freshness and funk.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Previewing Seattle Cocktail Week

Photo courtesy of Speed Rack
Mark your calendars! From February 8-12, you can score a sneak peek at Seattle Cocktail Week (happening later this year) via seminars, parties and one wild cocktail competition. Here are four events you won't want to miss:

1. Carnival at Vessel on Saturday, February 9. Cachaça cocktails! Brazilian music! Crazy costumes! Carnival heads to the recently reopened Vessel for one night only. Click here for more details.

2. Speed Rack on Sunday, February 10. It’s here! Our favorite traveling bartending competition where lady ‘tenders go shaker to shaker to help raise money for breast cancer awareness stops in Seattle for one night only. Click here for more info and to purchase tickets.

3. Japanese Whisky: Truly a Rare Treat on Monday, February 11. Japanese whisky is bigger and better than ever. And you can learn (and taste) why at this seminar led by one of the world’s leading Japanese whisky experts. Click here for tickets.

4. Mezcal: A Love Story on Tuesday, February 12. Seattle loves mezcal, and you should, too. Get a taste for yourself at this seminar and tasting led by a number industry luminaries and agave experts around the country. Click here for tickets.

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

A judge blocks the proposed merger of two big beer brands. CNN

Making a case for Muscadet. Jancisrobinson.com

The Super Bowl stats are in, and wine proved an aggressive player. Palate Press

One brewery turns to spent grain for power. Fox News

Eric Asimov on which wines to pair with your V Day chocolate—it’s not what you may think. New York Times

Friday, February 01, 2013

Drink of the Week: Widmer Columbia Common Spring Ale

Come Super Bowl Sunday, beer is practically as important as the game itself, and this year we’re placing our bets on today’s Drink of the Week—Widmer’s Columbia Common Spring Ale. The most recent release from Portland, Oregon brewing brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer, this beer’s low ABV (it clocks in at just 4.7%) and quadruple dose of hops drinks similarly to an India Session Ale (the up-and-coming beer style we highlight in our inaugural “Imbibe 75”), and it’s just the brew for pairing with game-day snacks. Widmerbrothers.com for distribution info.