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, August 30, 2013

Save the Date: San Diego Wine & Food Festival

It's not too early to start planning a sunny winter getaway! This November marks the third annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, which returns to the iconic laid back, coastal town on November 20—making it the perfect destination for the food and drink lover hungry for a sandy winter respite. As always, this event is set to host a fantastic range of food and drink from around the world with nearly 200 wines, beers and sprits on hand for sampling, as well as 70 of San Diego's best local restaurants and two days of cooking and wine tasting classes.

This year, Imbibe is excited to sponsor a special Pappy Van Winkle tasting and bartending seminar, which takes place on Thursday, November 21, from 2 - 4 PM. The rare tasting will include Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 20 year old, the #1 rated whiskey in the world with a 99 out of 100 rating from the World Spirits Championship, Pappy's 23 year old bourbon, the Van Winkle Family Reserve, as well as the Reserve Rye.

With a lineup that surely would have made ole' Pappy proud, the Van Winkle tasting will also include a hands-on bartending seminar with two of Southern California's most respected barkeeps, Nathan Stanton and Anthony Schmidt. Nationally recognized for their knowledge and expertise, these two gentlemen have been at the helm of several of the city's most progressive cocktail establishments including Craft & Commerce, Noble Experiment and El Dorado Cocktail Lounge. Each guest will have the rare opportunity to stand behind the bar while learning how to mix time-honored cocktails firsthand.

Just as the supply for Old Rip Van Winkle whiskeys are limited and small in number, this tasting event is confined to a select group of attendees.

Click here to purchase tickets and find more info about the festival. 

Be sure to also check out our story on San Diego's beer and cocktail scene. 

Drink of the Week: Maui Brewing Co. Mana Wheat

Our September/October Beer Issue has launched, and with Labor Day weekend starting, the timing couldn’t be better to crack open a cold one. For this issue’s cover story, we tasked contributing editor Joshua Bernstein with creating a veritable beer map of the United States. Bernstein crisscrossed the country pouring over pint after pint in order to determine which brews would make up “The United States of Beer,” and today’s Drink of the Week—the Mana Wheat from Maui Brewing Company—is an all-to apropos nod to the great Aloha State. Brewed with organic wheat, malted barley and local Maui Gold pineapples, it tastes like summer in a glass with notes of soft wheat, tangy pineapple and a pop of hops. Of course, we know there are many great brews that sum up each state, so we want to hear about your personal home-state favorites. Which local brew best represents where you live? Hashtag #USBeerMap on Facebook and Twitter and join the conversation!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Guess which state drinks the most beer—the answer may surprise you. Fox

Meet the brotherly duo behind Sonoma’s cultish Scribe Winery. Refinery29

McDreamy backs out of the coffee biz after taking over one big-name chain in January. Business Week

Is an “international” style of winemaking depleting vino individuality? Wine Curmudgeon

Oregon winemakers head to sunny SoCal for the upcoming Pinot in the City. Los Angeles Times

South Africa may be known for its wine, but locals are thirsty for beer. CNN

Friday, August 23, 2013

Drink of the Week: Elijah Craig 21-Year Single Barrel

Turning 21 is a milestone for many, and today’s Drink of the Week—the 21-year single barrel release from Elijah Craig—marks the occasion with style. Released following the sell-out success of the company’s 20-year single barrel, this rye-heavy bourbon was pulled from top spots in the rickhouse and bottled at 90-proof, resulting in a remarkably soft and nuanced sipping whiskey. Expect aromas of apple pie spice followed by a bouquet of savory herbs and notes of sweet caramel, vanilla and smoke on the finish. Released earlier this month, bottles are currently making their way to retailers around the country, though if its 20-year predecessor is any indication, it won’t hang around long. $140, heavenhill.com for distribution info

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

When it comes to winemaking, is wild yeast fermentation dead? The Feiring Line

Hangover-free beer—true or too good to be true? Salon

Could too much coffee kill you? NPR

House shopping? Some lenders will accept wine as collateral. NJ.com

Should laptop time at coffee shops be regulated? The Atlantic 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Imbibe’s Kickstarter Campaign Watch

Photo: Courtesy of Erik Shirai
Time for another look at what’s new in the world of drinks-related projects over on Kickstarter! Here are four campaigns that we’re keeping an eye on right now:

Documentary filmmaker Erik Shirai has nearly completed this impressive project, which tells the story of life at the family-owned and operated sake brewery, Tedorigawa. However, he and his crew still need to film a few additional scenes in Japan. With just over two weeks and another $40,000 to go, The Birth of Sake needs your help if it’s going to make it to the big screen. Click here for more info.

A recipe collection, history book and game all in one, this deck is fully useable for all your favorite card games, and every card is beautifully decorated with sketches of cocktail glasses, bars and other drinks-related embellishments. For a donation of just $12, you’ll get a deck of your very own, as soon as they’re fully funded. Click here for more info.

What could be more Portland than directly traded, small batch-roasted, bike-delivered coffee? Sure enough, Crank Coffee was an instant Portland hit. Business has exploded, doubling in just one month, and now they need a better, more efficient bike than the ultra-heavy Dutch bike they currently use. They have their sights on two new cargo bikes from Denmark, which will allow them to deliver more coffee faster. Click here for more info.

Home soda brewer Erica David has been making her fruity, probiotic soda in Boulder, Colorado, for years now, and she’s finally ready to go pro. A hit among friends and family around town, the sodas already have a local following. With a bold, cheery label and delicious recipes, all she needs now is your help. Click here for more info. 

Drink(s) of the Week: Cocktails for National Rum Day

Happy National Rum Day! From Mojito-ready white rums to complex barrel-aged sippers and subcategories like rhum agricole (which contributing editor Paul Clarke explores in this feature on Martinique), rum is as dynamic a spirit as it is diverse. For today’s Drink of the Week, we’re celebrating the occasion with a few of our favorite rum-based cocktails, so open a bottle and get shaking—rum cocktails await!

The bittersweet, Italian-born Negroni takes on a Caribbean twist with this Jamaican rum-spiked version of the venerable aperitif.

Love a Daiquiri? Try taking this honey-sweetened adaptation for a spin.

Created in Kuala Lumpur, this 1970s-era sipper combines robust blackstrap rum with Campari and a splash of tangy pineapple juice.

Pyrotechnics aside, this show-stopping sipper impresses with its bittersweet combo of rhum agricole, Campari and Italian vermouth.

This spicy-sweet combo of aged rum, pineapple juice and ginger syrup is summer perfection in a glass. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Coca-Cola adds an earthy label to its lineup. Food Republic

Getting to know one of Oregon’s fastest-rising wine guys. Oregon Live

Will a new wine device revolutionize inexpensive preservation? Bloomberg

Wine made from coconuts? The Malay Mail

Spent coffee gets a spirited boost, thanks to a handful of scientists who’ve devised a way to turn grounds into booze. Grist

When is a craft beer really a craft beer? Time

Friday, August 09, 2013

Drink of the Week: DIY Cherry Bounce

It’s no secret that we’re smitten with cherries. In our current issue we offer up three different cocktail recipes calling for one of our favorite summertime fruits, and even though the season is starting to slow, we’re not quite ready to say goodbye. Which is where today’s Drink of the Week comes in. Dating back to Martha Washington’s day, cherry bounce was a colonial favorite for infusing the plump, juicy ripeness of cherries into a spirit, with just the right amount of sugar—and it’s as easy to make as it sounds. Click here for the recipe and sip summer-ripened cherries long after the season has passed.  

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

A 45-page wine list is impressive, but a 45-page water list? You decide. Eater

Lusting over Food52’s new online retail shop. Provisions

House Spirits’ plans to open an airport storefront take off. Market Watch

Beer-pairing guidelines worth book marking. Craftbeer.com

When it comes to wine, what’s in a name? Wall Street Journal

Bartenders offer up their favorite small-batch spirits. Serious Eats

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

August Events to Watch Across the Country

Bartender Scott Tipton of The Kill Devil Club, a first-time finalist in the PopFest Bartending Competition.
Food and drink enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to this August. From a West Coast celebration of all things tiki to a Kansas City cocktail festival co-founded by Imbibe's Bartender of the Year, Ryan Maybee—there's no shortage of events to get you through the summer. Here's what's on our radar this month:

August 15-18 | San Diego, CA
Nothing says summer  like a  tiki drink packed high with crushed ice and fresh fruit. Tiki Oasis in San Diego promises a tiki celebration that would make Don the Beachcomber proud. This year's theme? Hawaii's influence on American music. The line-up includes seminars, art shows, tons of live music and no shortage of fun. 

August 21-25 | Sacramento, CA
Watch out San Francisco—Sacramento's drinks scene is on the rise! Much of this is thanks to Midtown Cocktail Week, now on to its sixth year and just a few weeks away. Co-founded in 2008 by Erick Castro, who recently opened San Diego's Polite Provisions, the festival has given rise to a new generation of Sacramento bars, such as The Red Rabbit and Pour House. Be sure to stop by the The Kabuki Show at Hook and Ladder Manufacturing Company and The Best Dam Show at Grange

August 21-25 | Kansas City, MO
Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival (PopFest) was co-founded by Imbibe 75 Bartender of the Year Ryan Maybee in 2012 with the goal of promoting the thriving cocktail talent, dining culture and music talent of the Kansas City area. PopFest has become a national draw, and this year's event is generating a ton of buzz. We have our eye on the PopFest Bartending Competition, which attracts bartenders from as far away as St. Louis, Denver, Chicago and Philadelphia. The seminar lineup is also impressive, with big-name industry vets like Paul Pacault, Steve Olson and Adam Seger taking the stage. Plus, any excuse to visit The Kill Devil Club marks for a worthwhile trip in our book.

August 21-25 | Asheville, NC
This year's Asheville Wine & Food Festival brings together chefs, winemakers, distillers and other tastemakers that make Asheville a culinary destination. Don't miss Elixir, an elaborate cocktail party and mixology competition on Thursday night; Sweet offers a decadent evening of desserts on Friday; and the Grand Tasting on Saturday offers a smorgasbord of food, wine, beer and spirits, plus cooking demos, the WNC Chefs Challenge finale, and a chance to meet cookbook authors, farmers, chefs, winemakers, brewers, and much more.

August 24 | Seattle, WA
Northwest Tequila Fest is the largest Tequila and Mezcal tasting event in the Pacific Northwest, celebrating agave spirits and Mexican culture. With more than 100 tequilas and mezcals to sample—plus cocktails—NW Tequila Fest is the perfect place to raise your tequila IQ while discovering new small producers. Even better, the event benefits the Benevolent Guild, a Puget Sound organization committed to assisting children, charities and support groups in the communities they serve. 

Friday, August 02, 2013

Drink of the Week: Maurin Red Vermouth

Our current go-to summer sipper? Vermouth. Just two weeks ago we wrote about a blanc-style import making its way stateside from Carpano, and today we’ve discovered another notable newbie—aka today’s Drink of the Week: a red vermouth from French distiller Maurin. Jewel-toned garnet in the glass, each sip is fresh and fruit-driven with flavors of ripe cherries and raspberries giving way to subtle spice—think cinnamon, cardamom and clove—on the finish. It stands in stark contrast to some of the almost amaro-like red vermouths on the market and couldn’t be more refreshing for summer. Sip it chilled with a twist of orange, or in a fruity cobbler, packed with sun-ripened berries and loads of crushed ice. Released just this past week, distribution will spread across the country (and with online retailers) in the coming weeks. Anchordistilling.com for details.