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, February 28, 2014

Drink of the Week: It’s Not So Bad Aperol

There’s plenty to love about living in the Pacific Northwest—stellar beer, coffee, wine and cocktails, for starters. Which is why we’re so excited to debut our Pacific Northwest Issue! In this special issue we take a road trip along Interstate 5 from southern Oregon up to Vancouver, British Columbia (with numerous side trips along the way) while sampling the best of the region’s drinkscape. One of the highlights? A stop at Little Jumbo, the Victoria, B.C., cocktail spot managed by Shawn Soole with Nate Caudle at the reigns as head bartender. Today’s Drink of the Week—Caudle’s It’s Not So Bad Aperol cocktail—will do a perfect job of introducing you to the flavors of the region. Click here for the recipe.

And for a peek into our Pacific Northwest issue, click here.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Introducing Imbibe's Pacific Northwest Issue

The Pacific Northwest’s bibulous bounty lured me to the region in the late 1990s. During exploratory visits to Seattle and Portland, I punctuated my days with espressos pulled by seasoned baristas; relaxed in the afternoons at outdoor tables during “sun breaks” (a term I’d quickly come to appreciate in the notoriously soggy Northwest) with pints of emphatically hoppy IPAs from the legions of local brewers; and sipped glasses of Washington or Oregon wines with evening meals. These drinks hinted at a flavorful quality of life that I found irresistible, and I’ve called the Northwest home ever since.

I’m not alone. The region has increasingly become a magnet for drink enthusiasts—it’s even home to Imbibe. And over the past decade, the Northwest has experienced a boom of drinks innovation, from coffee roasting to cocktails. This is why we’re devoting an entire issue to the Northwest’s most memorable drinks. The heart of this issue is a road trip along Interstate 5, highlighting bartenders, baristas, distillers and brewers who are leaving indelible impressions on the region’s culinary character.

We’re also exploring beer and coffee pioneers and changes in the worlds of wine and craft distilling that are now unfolding across the region. We’re visiting Portland teamaker Steven Smith, sampling some of the Northwest’s lesser-known espresso blends, and introducing local IPAs to the shakers of Northwest bartenders. And we’re very excited to be introducing a new column by spirits and travel writer Wayne Curtis, who delves into the history of one of the Northwest’s most storied saloons.

We can’t promise that you’ll feel inspired to move to the Northwest, like I did, after sampling its liquid charms. But be prepared to stay a while—Pacific Northwest drinkmakers are good at making you feel right at home.

Paul Clarke, Executive Editor

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits Around the Web

Wait, it’s illegal to reuse plastic milk crates? Modern Farmer

Are disco-era cocktails taking their turn in the spotlight once again? Wall Street Journal

Care for a pat of butter with your cup of joe? Fox

How California’s drought is hitting local breweries. Think Progressive

Want a career in coffee? Stumptown

How time can evolve tastes. New York Times

Friday, February 21, 2014

Drink of the Week: Tall as a Tree and Twice as Shady

Photo: Anjali Pinto
Winter doldrums have you daydreaming of warmer climes? Get a taste of the tropics with today’s Drink of the Week—the Tall as a Tree and Twice as Shady cocktail from 2014 Imbibe 75er, Paul McGee. The guy behind Chicago’s Three Dots and a Dash, McGee has led the charge to revive the Windy City’s taste for tiki, and his original cocktails, like this fresh and fruity blended Scotch sipper, ride a wave of modernized tropical drinks.

Tall as a Tree and Twice as Shady
1 1/2 oz. blended Scotch whisky
1/2 oz. Batavia Arrack
3/4 oz. orgeat
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. pineapple juice
Tools: blender
Glass: tiki mug
Garnish: fresh pineapple leaves (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender with 1 cup of crushed ice and blend for 5 seconds. Pour into a tiki mug and fill with more crushed ice. Garnish.

Paul McGee, Three Dots and a Dash, Chicago

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

What will the future hold for Brazil’s coffee farming communities? SCAA

Certain wines and spirits are quickly becoming a target for thieves. Fox

What kind of coffee drink are you? Huffington Post

Did California just record its best wine harvest to-date? NPR

The price of coffee hits another high. Wall Street Journal

Friday, February 14, 2014

Drink of the Week: Trio Vintners Mourvèdre

This Valentine’s Day we’re loving Mourvèdre. A featured flavor in our 2014 Imbibe 75 Issue, the one-time blending grape popular in France and Spain has more recently made its solo debut in bottles from domestic vintners ranging from California’s Paso Robles to Walla Walla, Washington. Today’s Drink of the Week—the 2010 Mourvèdre from TrioVintners—is one of the bottles that has grape geeks talking. Greeting the palate with a burst of pink peppercorns up front, the spiciness mellows into flavors of fresh raspberries, crushed fresh herbs and a hint of baking spice on the finish. With food-friendly acidity, but enough heft to hold up to heartier fare, it’s a great bottle for uncorking anytime, Hallmark holiday, or not.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits from Around the Web

The guy behind our Imbibe 75 Cocktail Bar of the Year asks if you’re hiring the right people for your bar. Possessed by Spirits

A recent coffee prank has Los Angeles bean fiends talking. Los Angeles Times

Coffee as a college course? Sacramento Bee

For Canadian competitors in Sochi, the beer fridge is fully stocked. ABC

The White House catches some flack for its recent wine selections. Mediaite

Friday, February 07, 2014

Drink of the Week: Eva Péron Cocktail

Photo: Sheri Giblin

How do you take your Fernet-Branca? A few years ago the answer would have been simple—neat, on the rocks or with a ginger back. But recently, the Italian amaro has made its move to the cocktail glass. We toast the shift in this year’s Imbibe 75, and also with today’s Drink of the Week—the Eva Péron cocktail. Combining a full ounce of the bracingly bold bitter with sweet vermouth, ginger and citrus, it’s a dynamic, yet approachable entry to Fernet-focused sippers. Click here for the recipe.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Event Watch: Charleston Wine & Food Festival

It's no secret that we've been following Charleston's burgeoning wine, beer and cocktail scene. Last year, we featured Charleston, SC as one of our destinations to visit in the inaugural Imbibe 75 issue, and this year, we're excited to be participating in Charleston's biggest food and drink event, the BB&T Charleston Wine & Food Festival.

Now in its fifth year, this event has proven itself to be one of the premier culinary events in the country attracting talent such as Dale DeGroff, aka King Cocktail and Southern food expert John T. Edge.

We're pleased to be sponsoring two cocktail-centric events:

Jailhouse Shake Up Friday, March 7, 2014 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm
The Old City Jail, one of Charleston’s most unique spaces, was built in 1802 and served as the Charleston County Jail until 1939. The beautiful and spooky space is also rumored to be haunted, but we predict guests will be too busy eating, drinking and dancing to notice! Explore the Jail and its surrounding grounds while sampling cocktails from Charleston’s top mixologists made with Hendrick's Gin, Tullamore Dew, Sailor Jerry Rum and Reyka Vodka, along with small bites from star caterers and restaurants including Republic Reign and Cru Catering. 
Chefs include:
Featured bartenders include:

Iron Mixologist Competition
Saturday, March 8, 2014 from 1:30 - 2:45 pm
King Cocktail himself, Dale DeGroff, and the always effervescent Charlotte Voisey of William Grant & Sons USA join to host the third annual BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival Iron Mixologist Competition. With a back bar stocked full of the best William Grant & Sons has to offer, four of Charleston’s finest bartenders will battle through three rounds of cocktail combat in a series of challenges demanding creativity, speed, quick thinking and composure behind the bar. A top-shelf judging panel (including Imbibe's founder/publisher Karen Foley) along with an imaginative kitchen pantry will keep each contender on their toes as they compete for the ultimate title of Iron Mixologist Charleston. 
Hallie Arnold’s Swan Song: Reyka Vodka, guava juice, apple ginger shrub, fennel frond juice, and caraway Szechuan tincture.
Who are the four bartenders going head-to-head? Hallie Arnold, Gerry Kieran, Megan Deschaine and Sarah Martin are the final four. To find out more about the Iron Mixologist selection process, click here.

See you in Charleston! 

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Quick Sips: Tasty Bits From Around the Web

To decant or not to decant—that is the question. Houston Press

Guess which Bay Area coffee company just scored more than $25 million in investment capitol. Tech Crunch

Get to know the guy behind The Boston Shaker. Edible Boston

The FAA grounds one brewery’s plans to deliver beer to ice fishermen via drones. ABC

Will a new tax raise wine costs? New York Daily News