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, December 27, 2013

Drink of the Week: Brooklyn Brown Ale

With the holiday mayhem nearly behind us, we’re ready to relax, and today’s Drink of the Week—Brooklyn Brewery’s Brown Ale—offers easy-drinking post-holiday refreshment. Rich and enveloping, but with an approachable briskness, brown ales are a favorite seasonal sipper—so much so that we feature six favorites in our current November/December issue. First brewed as a seasonal specialty, Brooklyn’s version generated so much chatter that it was later added to the brewery’s year-round lineup. Combining six roasty malts with a firm hop bite, it’s a bottle we’ll be opening alongside a plate piled high with leftovers and a good football game. Brooklynbrewery.com for distribution info

And click here for more brown ales we love.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 25: Jeffrey Morgenthaler's Egg Nog

Photo: Jeffrey Morgenthaler
Merry Christmas! While the presents are being opened and the pie passed around, toast the day with Jeffrey Morgenthaler's tequila-and-sherry Egg Nog, an undisputed modern classic. We may or may not have sipped our way through a few rounds of this very cocktail at the Imbibe holiday lunch this year, so we can vouch for the Christmas-worthiness of the drink.

Jeffrey Morgenthaler's Egg Nog
12 large eggs
18 oz. granulated sugar
12 oz. anejo tequila
15 oz. Amontillado sherry
36 oz. whole milk
24 oz. heavy cream
3 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Tools: blender or stand mixer
Glass: punch
Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg

In a blender or stand mixer on low speed, beat eggs until smooth. Slowly add nutmeg, and sugar until incorporated and dissolved. Slowly add sherry, tequila, milk and cream. Refrigerate overnight and serve in small chilled cups. Dust with fresh nutmeg before serving.

Makes 1 gallon.

Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Clyde Common, Portland, OR

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 24: And to All a Good Night

Photo: Stuart Mullenberg
Although tonight at the Rob Roy, Anu Apte will be serving up her Chartreuse Blazer, we couldn't resist keeping with our own Imbibe tradition of sharing our favorite Christmas Eve cocktail. A warming mix of tequila, bourbon and two kinds of bitters make this digestif the perfect way to tuck yourself (and the other 21-and-overs) into bed on this Christmas Eve.

And to All a Good Night
1½ oz. bourbon
¾ oz. reposado tequila
¾ oz. Cherry Heering
2 dashes orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: cordial
Garnish: orange twist (optional)

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until cold. Strain into a glass and garnish.

Makes 2 servings.

Tim Stookey, Presidio Social Club, San Francisco

Staffers and Their Favorite Holiday Drinks Traditions

Holidays are all about tradition, and here at Imbibe HQ, we have a few favorite traditions of our own. From a coffee kick-off to celebratory sparklers, here’s how we’re toasting the holidays at home this year.

Photo: Stuart Mullenberg
Punch Bowls a Plenty!
“Every Christmas Eve, we gather with a bunch of friends, and my household is in charge of bringing a big batch of punch. Last year was a Fish House Punch, and before that was a Spiced Pear Punch from a past issue of Imbibe. I'm still trying to decide what this year's recipe will be—I might go for something warm, like the Wassail from our American Cocktail Book. Regardless, I'm pretty sure that just like always, there won't be a drop left in the punch bowl.” —Karen Foley, publisher

Bourbon Milk Punch … for Breakfast.
“I'm not sure how this holiday tradition developed in my house, but it's one I look forward to every year. After the kids have plunged through their presents and we're ready to settle into a late breakfast, a bourbon milk punch finds itself welcome at the table (alongside a cup of coffee--usually Stumptown Hairbender around here). A nice wheated bourbon like Larceny or Weller 12 year old isn't out of place in a milk punch on Christmas morning—the drink is soft and satisfying in a comfort-food kind of way, the nutmeg gives it a holiday touch (I sometimes add a dash of allspice liqueur, just to bolster the Ho Ho Ho nuances), and the milk adds enough richness to remind you that you're indulging, but the drink's not so heavy as to satiate you before the day's full festivities get under way.” —Paul Clarke, contributing editor

Lots of Strong Coffee…
“Come Christmas morning, strong, black coffee takes precedent above everything else—no presents, no sweet rolls, nothing, until all the grownups have a big steamy cuppa in hand. No one knows exactly how many pounds we go through in just those few hours, but I’m pretty sure it’s enough to keep the entire city of Portland caffeinated for a full week. Of course, everyone has their own favorite beans and brew methods, so we basically just set up a giant coffee bar where there’s always a fresh pot in circulation. Except for that one year, when my sister’s boyfriend emptied a coffee carafe and didn’t start a fresh one—hello, holiday scandal! Needless to say, he wasn’t invited back.” —Tracy Howard, senior editor

Cranberry Queens for All!
“For our annual Christmas morning brunch, we have 25 to 30 people over and serve Champagne with a bit of Clear Creek’s cranberry liqueur. Cheery, fizzy red flutes of deliciousness all around! Mom made rhubarb bitters a few years ago, so sometimes we also add a few dashes of those to the drink—mom calls the cocktail the Cranberry Queen (because she's a little cranberry obsessed and fancies herself the queen of all things Cranberry).” —Miranda Rake, editorial assistant

Photo: Polite Provisions
A Very Merry, Bourbon-Soaked Holiday.
“Ever since starting with Imbibe, for every special gathering with friends I’m asked to bring a recipe and ingredients for a special cocktail. Last year I made the Winter Julep, and for this past Thanksgiving I made the Maple-Cranberry Bourbon Smashed. This year we’re having a big Christmas dinner with a lot of friends, and I am probably going to stick with a bourbon-based drink … I am from the south, after all! Thinking of maybe the Pendergast from Ryan Maybee or the Brave Companion from Polite Provisions.”—Molly Henty, art director

Christmas Craftiness.
“Our home at the holidays is one of evolving traditions when it comes to imbibing thanks to my ambitious brother and his crafty fiancé. They love to experiment and always arrive with something new—mead, apple pie whiskey, blackberry cordial—it's all been delicious! I can't wait to taste what they bring this year!” —Sarah Thornton, production manager

A New Tradition Is Born.
“I’m really getting into sparkling wine cocktails these days. They’re super-festive and great aperitifs—and also kick things off on the lower-ABV scale of things, which is good for someone like me who thinks everything sounds delicious and wants to try it all. My fave right now is one I made up and named the Stirling, using things on hand at my house in Greenport, New York. I had some family over and wanted to make something nice before a big dinner. I had a bottle of New York’s Atsby “Armadillo Cake” Vermouth, some Nino Franco prosecco, and Fee Bros. orange bitters. The spice of the vermouth with the round, orchard-fruity flavors of the sparkler topped off with a festive balancing note of orange bitters was perfect. Greenport used to be called Stirling in the 18th century, and so, lo! A drink was born.” —Amy Zavatto, contributing editor

A Midwesterner’s Classic.
“Being from the Midwest, Brandy Old Fashioneds are a mainstay in any of my relatives’ homes morning, noon and night. I learned how to make them when I was seven, from my grandfather who was both a moonshiner and bartender. But my favorite of all holiday cocktails is the pre-mixed gallons of homemade Grasshopper my mom keeps stocked for unexpected guests or the occasional midnight pilferage—yum!!!” —Jen Boelts, account executive

Monday, December 23, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 23: Rudesheim Coffee

Photo: Imbibe
If your guests are in the mood for a show, this drink can be flamed. But if you'd rather skip the pyrotechnics, the drink will be just as delicious.

Rudesheim Coffee
2 oz. high-proof brandy, warmed
3 oz. hot coffee
3 sugar cubes
Tools: barspoon
Glass: mug
Garnish: whipped cream

Place 3 sugar cubes in the bottom of a heat-proof mug. Add the brandy and, if you like, very carefully light with a long match. Stir carefully to dissolve the sugar and allow the mixture to burn for about 30 seconds. Top with hot coffee, which should put the flame out if you chose to light it. Garnish with whipped cream.

Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Sunday, December 22, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 22: The Cusp of Capricorn

Photo: Imbibe
This cocktail is fit for a yuletide soirée of the finest sort! Scotch, cranberry juice, dry vermouth and cherry brandy mix and mingle, yielding a festive drink that's much more than the sum of its parts.

The Cusp of Capricorn

1 ½ oz. Scotch
¾ oz. cranberry juice
½ oz. dry vermouth
½ oz. cherry brandy
Tools: shaker, strainer, fine strainer
Glass: coupe

Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake and double strain into a chilled coupe.

Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Saturday, December 21, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 21: The Tempest

Photo: Imbibe
Today, a bittersweet highball to get you through the next few days of party-hopping, also known as eating and then eating again. With ginger syrup, Angostura bitters and Zwack (or Fernet-Branca), holiday over-indulgence is no match for this cocktail.

The Tempest
1½  oz. Zwack herbal liqueur (Fernet-Branca is a fine substitute)
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
½ oz. ginger syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
2 oz. club soda
Tools: shaker, strainer, barspoon
Glass: Collins
Garnish: orange wheel

Add all ingredients except the soda water to an ice-filled shaker and shake to combine. Strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice and top with soda water. Stir to combine. Put a straw through the orange wheel and garnish with the wheel resting on top of the drink.

Adapted by Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Friday, December 20, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 20: Hot Ponche de Frutas

Photo: Imbibe
In many Latin American countries, a mug of this punch in hand can mean only one thing: Navidad is right around the corner. Served piping hot, this rum punch is defined by the pieces of tropical and dried fruits that become spirit-soaked as they steep in the cup, a treat to gobble up after you've finished the cocktail.

Hot Ponche de Frutas
10 cups water
4 cups white rum
½ lb. dried figs
3 apples, cored and sliced
4 black teabags
½ cup diced pineapple pieces (fresh or canned in water)
½ cup diced mango (fresh or canned in water)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp clove
1 tsp allspice
½ cup brown sugar
Glass: punch

Combine all ingredients except for the rum in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Turn the heat to low and add the rum. Ladle into punch glasses.

Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Easy DIY Gifts for Procrastinating Imbibers

If you love making your own holiday gifts, but every year around this time you find yourself running out of time to be a DIYer, don’t worry—there’s still time left to get crafty, and in just a few hours! Here are a few of our favorite quick and easy DIY holiday gifts—and no one will even know that you left their gift to the last minute.

Photo: Stuart Mullenberg
Add a spirited splash of the tropics to holiday gifting with this spice-laden mix of aged rum, vanilla, black peppercorns, citrus and baking spices. Best of all? An overnight infusion is all it takes. And with these handy printer-ready bottle tags and recipe cards, the gift practically makes itself!

Photo: iStockphoto.com/Saturated
Not sure if the person on the receiving end drinks alcohol? Simple syrups are your answer since they can be used to flavor everything from sodas to teas to mixed drinks. Mix up a trio of complementary, seasonally infused flavors (think lemon, cardamom and rosemary), bottle them up and add a bow. And check out our Simple Syrup Cheat Sheet for 50 fail-safe syrup recipes ready for holiday gifting.

Photo: iStockphoto.com/semosoz 
Brighten up the holiday season with this peppy, citrus-packed cordial from cocktail consultant Todd Appel. It’s a cinch to make and will keep refrigerated for up to six months.

Tired of bringing wine to your holiday parties? Try a bottled cocktail. Follow these pro tips for pre-mixed, pre-packaged drinks in a jiffy.

Photo: Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen
A favorite holiday sweet treat here at Imbibe HQ, these melt-in-your-mouth caramels from Deb Perelman at the Smitten Kitchen are as addictively delicious as they are easy to make. So much so, that you should probably get enough ingredients for a second batch.

Drink of the Week: You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out

Photo: Stuart Mullenberg
Named after the indelible scene in the classic movie, A Christmas Story, today’s Drink of the Week offers a double dose of cinnamon, thanks to a spiced syrup and the cinnamon-forward Czech liqueur, Becherovka (check out our Nov/Dec issue for more Becherovka cocktail recipes).

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out
2 oz. aged rum
1/2 oz. Becherovka
1/2 oz. Bénédictine
1/4 oz. cinnamon syrup (recipe here, or use a bottled version, like B.G. Reynolds’)
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: rocks or cocktail
Garnish: orange twist

Combine all ingredients with ice and stir. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish.

Mathias Simonis of The Bon Vivants, for Distil in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Thursday, December 19, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 19: Holiday Wallbanger

Photo: Imbibe
Made with fresh orange juice (or use clementine juice if you have it) and cranberry juice (the best you can get, and unsweetened), this refreshing and festive riff on the classic Harvey Wallbanger delivers holiday cheer in droves.

Holiday Wallbanger
1 ½ oz. gin (Apte uses Aviation)
2 oz. orange juice
2 oz. cranberry juice
float of Galliano
Tools: barspoon
Glass: double Old Fashioned
Garnish: cinnamon stick

Add all ingredients except the Galliano to an ice-filled double Old Fashioned glass. Stir to combine. Pour the Galliano over the back of a barspoon to float. Garnish.

Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 18: Old Port Chai

With just one week until Christmas, Anu Apte is keeping things nice and straightforward today with a rum-bolstered chai. A bit creamy, a bit spicy and 100% comforting, tuck yourself in with one of these and have nothing but the sweetest dreams.

Old Port Chai
1 oz. dark rum
4 oz. chai mixture
Glass: teacup or mug

Warm the chai mixture in a small saucepan until warmed through. Pour the rum and chai mixture into a teacup and serve.

For the chai mixture: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 2 ¼ cups water, 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cardamom pods, 4 black teabags and 2 cups whole milk.

Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Insect-infused cocktail bitters? No thanks! Products of Design

How much would you tip of a $500 bottle of wine? Houston Chronicle

Bits of cocktail history as if they were news headlines. Alcademics

A new wine app lets you buy vino via a smartphone snapshot. Village Voice

Following along the continued wine-soaked trial of an alleged counterfeiter. Wine Spectator

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

An Imbiber’s Wish List of Holiday Splurges

So, you have everyone else checked off your holiday gift list this year, but what do you want? We’ve got a few ideas! From a bartender-ready blender to a home-barista’s caffeinated dream machine, we’ve rounded up a few favorite splurges that we wouldn’t mind seeing under the tree this year (hint, hint)!

Admit it—walk by the interactive Vitamix stand at Costco and you can’t help but stop and watch as the sales rep cracks, crushes, whirls and buzzes a blender full of ingredients. We’re sold. A home bartender’s best friend, the Vitamix can crush ice, purée ingredients for cocktails and whip up egg nog in a flash.

Are you the ultimate bean fiend? Then this espresso machine is for you. Compact and practical enough for home use, but with programmable bells and whistles for the budding barista in us all, this machine is just the thing to streamline your coffee routine.

Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch, we love Scotch—especially this rare vintage offering from Glen Garioch. One of the oldest operating distilleries in the Highlands, this single malt is soft and subtly smoky with notes of honey, dried fruit and spice. Match it with a hunk of aged white cheddar for a pairing you won’t forget.
$120, binnys.com

Kick-start your New Year’s resolutions with a bottled abundance of fresh fruit and veggie juices delivered direct to your door. The five-day subscription includes a mix of non-GMO, certified organic juices in flavorful-packed combos like Fiji apple, cucumber, kale and collards and coconut, almond, honey and vanilla.
$300, sujajuice.com

Suds-savvy homebrewers will love this grain share from Massachusetts-base Valley Malts, which includes a mix of organic base and specialty malts, as well as some experimental grains like chamomile crystal and apple wood-smoked spelt.

A $3,200 bar cart? Go for it! Modeled after Finish designer Alvar Aalto original prototype, this birch and rattan trolley will cart around all your imbibeables in style.
$3,250, allmodern.com

Featured in this year’s Holiday Issue, these crystal highballs are bedecked with detailed cutouts that put drinks on glorious display.

For the gift that truly keeps on giving, this curated wine club ships six bottles of wine each month for an entire year, including a mix of somm-approved red, white and bubbly.

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 17: Irish Coffee

Photo: Lara Ferroni
Nollaig shona duit! Happy Christmas! This classic Irish Coffee–your favorite coffee, kissed with a healthy pour of Irish whiskey—is a recipe for a Happy Christmas indeed. A few sips, and the stresses of the season are guaranteed to fade into nothing but a distant memory.

Irish Coffee

1 ½ oz. Irish whiskey
½ oz. Demerara syrup
5 oz. hot coffee
Glass: mug
Garnish: whipped cream

Combine all ingredients in a mug. Garnish and serve.

Day 12 is for the show off

Still looking for that holiday party wow factor? Well, here it is. For our final holiday giveaway, we've partnered up with the German Deli to offer up one Feuerzangenbowle set to our most adventurous Imbiber. The Feuerzangenbowle, or "fire-tongs punch," is a German holiday punch that dates back to the early 19th century. Key ingredients? Red wine, citrus, cinnamon and a rum or Batavia Arrack-soaked flaming loaf of sugar....You can read about the history of the Feuerzangenbowle in our November/December issue and before entering, we suggest you check this nifty video about using the Feuerzangenbowle kit.

You have until midnight PST to enter.

*Always be extremely careful when using flammable ingredients!

Monday, December 16, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 16: Beer Nog

At Rob Roy in Seattle, Anu Apte barrel-ages this cocktail, but it's just as good if you skip that process. A beer lover's egg nog, it's a cinch to make and a definite crowd-pleaser.

Beer Nog
4 whole eggs (pasteurized if you like)
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 dashes ground nutmeg
8 oz. porter
4 oz. Cognac
1 split vanilla bean
Tools: whisk, punch bowl
Glass: punch
Garnish: grated nutmeg

Whisk the eggs and combine with the remaining ingredients in a punch bowl. Add an ice ring or large ice and serve.

Serves 4

Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Day 11 is for the book worm

Today's giveaway is for the imbibing book worm. Wine, beer, cocktails? We've got you covered with these five excellent reads—Home Bar Basics, Hello, Wine, The Drunken Botanist, The Complete Beer Course and (shameless self promotion) The American Cocktail. 

You have until midnight PST to enter

PAMA's First Bar Star Series Event

Leo and Dale DeGroff
Recently, PAMA brought together the famed DeGroff family for an evening of holiday entertaining at the newly opened Apartment 13, where Leo DeGroff holds court behind the bar. This kicked off the first in a series of PAMA events aimed at honoring the next generation of bartenders, with Leo as the first honoree. With Dale Degroff as his father and personal mentor, Leo has a natural passion for the cocktail world. “Every time I walk into a bar it’s almost like walking into a classroom,” he says. “Tasting new combinations of things we’ve never even heard of.”

The evening capped off with a sampling of three holiday punches created by Dale and Leo. With the holiday season in full swing, entertaining is on everyone’s mind, and punch is the perfect way to keep things stress-free. Here's one of our favorite recipes from the night:

Caribe Punch 
17 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
2 bottles aged rum (750 ml. each)
15 oz. honey syrup (1:1 ratio of honey to water)
8 oz. fresh clementine juice
2 oz. fresh lime juice

Mix all ingredients in a punch bowl and add a large block of ice. Serves 25.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 15: Christmas Orange

A bit like the foil-wrapped chocolate oranges that Santa used to leave in your stocking every year, but all grown up.

Christmas Orange
1 ½ oz. reposado tequila
½ oz. Grand Marnier
¼ oz. crème de cacao
¾ oz. horchata (made from scratch, or purchased at Mexican shops or restaurants)
1 whole egg (pasteurized if you like)
Tools: shaker, strainer, fine strainer
Glass: rocks glass
Garnish: orange wheel

Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously and double strain into a rocks glass. Garnish.

Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Saturday, December 14, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 14: Chartreuse Blazer

Chilled to the bone from a day of playing in the snow? Pour yourself a Chartreuse Blazer. A classic toddy, a pour of Chartreuse elevates this version to heavenly heights.

Chartreuse Blazer
½ oz. green Chartreuse
1 oz. high-proof bourbon (Apte uses Old Grand-Dad 100)
½ oz. hot water
½ honey syrup (1:1)
Glass: mug
Garnish: lemon twist

Combine the bourbon and Chartreuse in the bottom of a mug. Top with hot water and honey syrup and garnish.

Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Friday, December 13, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 13: Old Grand-Dad's Furnace

Coming in from the cold to a hot spiked cider is one of the season's purest pleasures. Here, sweet apple cider and bourbon (high proof, if you've got it) are made just a bit more festive with the addition of clove, cinnamon and Demerara syrup.

Old Grand-Dad's Furnace

1 ½ oz. bourbon (Apte uses Old Grand-Dad 80-proof)
5 oz. hot apple cider
1/8 oz Demerara syrup
1 clove
1 cinnamon stick
Glass: mug or punch

Combine all ingredients except the bourbon in a small saucepan over low heat until warmed through.  Pour into a mug and add the bourbon.

Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Drink of the Week: Seasonal Coffee Blends

Looking for a little boost to get you through the holiday season? One of the many holiday coffee blends available right now should do the trick, and for today’s Drink of the Week, we rounded up a few of our favorites.

African peaberry from Kenya meets with beans from Mexico’s Chiapas for a rich and warming mug with a berry brightness on the finish. The letter-pressed bags are a work of art unto themselves.

This seasonal blend blends high-elevation beans from Costa Rica and Colombia. Bright cherry acidity is balanced by a kiss of candied brown sugar on the finish.

This is the seasonal sipper you’ll find on our dessert table this year, thanks to its dark, broody flavors of bitter chocolate, dried fruits and spice.
$17.95, batdorf.com

Want to feel evening better about your morning coffee? A dollar from each pound of this subtly sweet blend of Latin American and East African beans sold goes to Counter Culture’s coffee partners in Burundi who are working toward organic certification.


Day 10 is for Game Night

Beer lovers, this one is for you! This holiday season, we want to help take game night to the next level with these suds-centric games that are great for beer novices and nerds alike. Chronicle Books's Beer Nerd board game will dish out everything from blind taste tests to trivia questions, while Roll & Brew from Design with Benefits challenges you home brewers to create a recipe from the ingredients, weights and times displayed on the dice.

You have until midnight PST to enter!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 12: Hot Sipping Caramel

Indulgent doesn't begin to describe this rich winter sipper. Salty caramel plus a generous pour of calvados make for pure snow-day bliss. Whip up a batch for your next holiday party and let the merriment begin.

Hot Sipping Caramel
6 oz. calvados (or more to taste)
1 cup half and half
1 batch salted caramel sauce (see below)
Tools: saucepan, whisk, barspoon
Glass: mug
Garnish: whipped cream

Add the half and half and the salted caramel sauce to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the caramel is liquified and the half and half is mixed in. Divide calvados evenly between four mugs. Top with the warmed caramel mixture and stir to combine. Top with the whipped cream and serve.

For the salted caramel sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm ¾ cup heavy cream. In a separate pan, cook 2/3 of a cup granulated sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it melts and turns golden in color, about 9 minutes. Stir in the warmed cream, along with 1 tablespoon of butter and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt.  Caramel sauce will hold for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Serves 4

Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Day 9 Is for the Caffeine Fiend

Time to upgrade your brewing equipment? This Silverton Coffee/Tea dripper from Espresso Parts is sleek and yields topnotch brews. Coffee, tea, cold brew—this nifty countertop gadget tackles it all in hand-blown, dishwasher-safe and microwavable glass. 

You have until midnight PST to ENTER to win.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 11: Coffee Cocktail

The classic Coffee Cocktail is somewhat reminiscent of egg nog in its creaminess and depth. Rather poorly titled, the drink actually contains no coffee at all, as commented on by Jerry Thomas in 1887, when he published the recipe in his much-beloved Bartenders Guide, or How to Mix Drinks. He explains, "the name of this drink is a misnomer, as coffee and bitters are not to be found among its ingredients, but it looks like coffee when it has been properly concocted, and hence probably its name." Whatever you want to call it, one sip and you'll find that this cocktail is a classic for a reason.

Coffee Cocktail
1 oz. Cognac
2 oz. tawny Port
½ oz. simple syrup
1 whole egg (pasteurized if you like)
Tools: shaker tin, strainer, fine strainer
Glass: footed rocks
Garnish: grated nutmeg

Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously and double strain into a chilled footed rocks glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Adapted from Jerry Thomas' Bartenders Guide, or How to Mix Drinks, 1887

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

Trial is now underway for one alleged wine counterfeiter. Time

The nine beers Americans are no longer drinking. USA Today

Six bottles of Petrus go missing in Denver—cops are hot on the case. Denver Post

A suspect in Seattle is arrested accused with lifting $600k worth of vino from a local shop. My Northwest

A glimpse at Boise’s burgeoning bean scene. Boise Weekly

Day 8 Is for the Home Tenders

Rose Hip Grenadine, Hella Bitters, Owl's Brew, Tomr's Tonic, P&H Ginger Syrup...today, we're giving away some of our favorite mixers from our friends at Mouth.com

You until midnight PST to enter!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 10: Minty Hot Chocolate

There may be no cozier winter cocktail than peppermint-spiked hot cocoa. Creamy and warming, it calls for for candy canes, tree-trimming and Bing Crosby. The Rob Roy in Seattle spikes theirs with Branca Menta, which is simply a version of Fernet-Branca that has been enhanced with mint essential oils. If you don't have it on hand, though, bartender and owner Anu Apte suggests replacing it with equal parts brandy and crème de menthe.

Minty Hot Chocolate
6 oz. hot chocolate (see below, or use your favorite recipe)
1 ½ oz. Branca Menta (or equal parts brandy and crème de menthe)
Glass: mug 

Garnish: Whipped cream (optional)

Combine Branca Menta and hot chocolate in a mug. Stir and serve.

Rob Roy’s Hot Chocolate
5 ¾ cup water
¾ cup demerara sugar
2 vanilla beans, split
6 medjool dates
zest of 1 orange
½ cup strong coffee or espresso
salt to taste
13 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup cocoa powder (not Dutch)

Combine water, sugar, vanilla, dates and orange zest in a saucepot and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to make the drink, strain the mixture and bring the remaining liquid to a simmer.  Place the dark chocolate and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Pour one cup of the simmering liquid over the chocolate and cocoa and wait about one minute. Whisk vigorously until the chocolate and water mixture is homogenous and smooth. Continue to add the water in one-cup increments, whisking after each addition, until all of it is incorporated. Add the coffee and salt to taste. Strain the mixture.

Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Day 7 Is for the Host With the Most

Home bartenders are among our favorite friends. You know the type—the pal who, when the holidays roll around, always has corks popping and glasses clinking. So what do you gift the perfect party host? Our Senior Editor, Tracy Howard, has made the decision-making easy with her curated gift list on UncommonGoods, so for today's giveaway, you have the chance to win a $150 gift certificate to shop the site. 

You have until midnight PST to enter.

Monday, December 09, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 9: Alpine Afternoon

Unless your home bar is incredibly well-stocked, you may have to make a trip to the liquor store to make today's drink. But, once you have the ingredients on hand, you'll find yourself mixing this bracing, herbal and spicy cocktail all winter long.

1 oz. Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
1/2 oz. Becherovka
1/2 oz. Killepitsch
12 dashes Angostura bitters
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Glass: rocks
Garnish: orange zest

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish and serve.

Adapted from Sam Owens by Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Day 6 Is for Pinkies Up!

During the holiday season, who doesn't love curling up by a fire with a cup of tea in hand? For our sixth giveaway, David's Tea wants to make sure you keep tea time time this holiday by gifting you a pair of holiday-themed mugs, the Winter Collection and (our favorite) tea ornaments, so you can dress your tree with three festive tea-filled tree decorations.

Enter here! You have until midnight PST to enter.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 8: Truffled Tom and Jerry

Today's cocktail is a bit special, because it comes from our very own contributing editor, Paul Clarke! Not only will Anu be serving Paul's luxurious Truffled Tom and Jerry tonight at the Rob Roy in Seattle, Paul himself will be hosting a cocktail course there this afternoon from 1-2:30pm focusing on Holiday Drinks that Don't Suck. This rich and warming classic certainly falls into that category.

2 oz. Tom and Jerry batter
1 oz. aged rum
1 oz. brandy
1 oz. hot water
1 oz. milk, warmed
Glass: mug
Garnish: truffle salt or grated nutmeg

Dollop the Tom and Jerry batter in the bottom of a mug. Add the brandy, rum, hot water and warmed milk. Stir to combine, garnish if desired, and serve.

Tom and Jerry batter:

12 eggs, separated (pasteurized, if you like)
16 oz. sugar
2 oz. rum
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice

Beat the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar. Add the rum and spices and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks and gently fold them into the yolk mixture until combined.

Paul Clarke, cocktailchronicles.com 

Saturday, December 07, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 7: Holiday Grog

Holiday party season is upon us and today's cocktail is perfect for a crowd. Holiday Grog, with its double dose of rum and plenty of fresh lime juice, is as breezy to put together as it is to sip. Get a batch simmering on the stove, drop a ladle in, stack the punch glasses on the counter and let your thirsty guests do the rest!

22 1/2 oz. dark rum
22 1/2 oz. aged rum
20 oz. lime juice
15 oz. demerara syrup
60 oz. water
3 cinnamon sticks
Tools: crockpot (optional), ladle
Glass: punch or mug
Garnish: cinnamon stick

Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low to keep the mixture warm while serving or transfer to a crockpot on low. Ladle into warmed mugs or punch glasses and serve.

Anu Apte, Rob Roy, Seattle

Friday, December 06, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Cocktails, Day 6: Curbside Cider

For Day 6 of her cocktail Advent calendar, Anu Apte of the Rob Roy in Seattle serves a drink created by Jeff Grdinich who, as bartender at The Rose in Jackson, WY, knows a thing or two about cold weather imbibing. When the barometer drops, this herbal, invigorating take on hot apple cider is sure to warm you to the core.

1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey
3/4 oz. St. Germain
1/4 oz. Fernet-Branca
4 oz. apple cider
Glass: mug
Garnish: candied apple peel or dried apple wheel (optional)

Warm the cider on the stove top over medium heat until warmed through. Add the whiskey, St. Germain and Fernet. Garnish if desired and serve.

Jeff Grinich, The Rose, Jackson, WY

Drink of the Week: SerendipiTea The Big Sleep

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season we can forget to stop and relaxThat where today’s Drink of the Week comes in. A soothing mix of brahmi (a plant thought to help calm nerves), vanilla, honeybush, coconut and pomegranate peel, The Big Sleep tisane from SerendipiTea is soft and subtly sweet. Sip it on it’s own or, for a double dose of relaxation, mix it in your favorite hot toddy.

Day 5 is for the Dapper Drinker

Ready for a coupe upgrade? These silver-lined stunners from Cocktail Kingdom might be just the answer. And, you can see them in action by flipping to page 38 of our November/December issue. For Day 5 of Imbibe's 12 Days of Giveaways, enter to win a set of six Leopold Coupes with silver trim. 

Enter here! You have until midnight tonight.