Imbibe Unfiltered

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.

Monday, December 22, 2014

25 Days of Holiday Drinks, Day 22: Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

Photo: Kimberly Hasselbrink
Cheery, wintry citrus is perfect in this fizzy punch, not only for its color but also for the tangy brightness it brings to the recipe. It’s wise (and easy) to double the recipe if you’re expecting a large crowd.

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
1 (750 ml.) bottle dry, chilled sparkling wine
½ navel orange, juiced
½ lemon, juiced
½ clementine or tangerine, juiced
4 oz. gin, chilled
½ cup pomegranate seeds
1 batch ginger syrup
Tools: punch bowl, ladle
Glass: punch
Garnish: Citrus slices such as navel oranges, tangerines, lemons, or limes

Carefully add a block of ice to a punch bowl. Add all ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine.

Serves 4.

Ginger Syrup
½ cup fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
½ cup cane sugar
½ cup water

Combine the ginger, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Strain out the ginger and discard. Store the syrup in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Food written and photographed by Kimberley Hasselbrink (Ten Speed Press, © 2014).

Sunday, December 21, 2014

25 Days of Holiday Drinks, Day 21: The Christmas Punk

Photo: Stuart Mullenberg
“My friends gave this one its name because they thought the garnish looked like a Mohawk,” says Kimberly Patton-Bragg, who was inspired to create this cocktail by her childhood memories of her mother simmering orange peels and cloves on the stove during the holidays. She calls this cocktail “Christmas in a glass—when Santa brought me my first Clash album.”

2 oz. Laird’s bonded applejack
1 oz. ginger liqueur
¾ oz. ruby port
3 dashes Fee Bros. whiskey barrel bitters
Tools: barspoon, mixing glass, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: orange peel and cloves

Stir all ingredients and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Express the orange peel’s oils into the drink, stud it with cloves and add it to the glass as a garnish.

Kimberly Patton-Bragg, New Orleans

Saturday, December 20, 2014

25 Days of Holiday Drinks, Day 20: Santa's Little Helper

Photo: courtesy of Fireside Lounge
Sometimes even Santa needs a little help, and this rum-spiked cocktail is sure to do the trick.

Santa’s Little Helper 
3 oz. cold milk
½ oz. aged rum (Roach uses Flor de Cana 4 year)
½ oz. rich demerara syrup (2:1)
1/8 oz. allspice dram

Combine ingredients in a cordial glass, stir and top with fresh grated nutmeg.

Chauncey Roach, Fireside Lounge, Portland, OR 

Friday, December 19, 2014

25 Days of Holiday Drinks, Day 19: Fairytale of New York

Photo: Lara Ferroni
One of the many festive recipe featured in Imbibe's Cocktails for the Holidays, this drink had our attention right away, with a name that calls to mind one of the sweetest Christmas songs we know. Oh, and the drink is pretty darn delicious, too. “The notes of spice, vanilla, and toffee from the whisky go nicely with the hint of orange, which pairs perfectly with the slight sweetness of the apple and pear syrup" says bartender Dave Mitton. “And that touch of cinnamon and walnut from the bitters brings it all together and makes a damn good Canadian version of an Old Fashioned.”

Fairytale of New York
1 piece of orange peel (about 1 by 2 inches)
3/4 oz. Winter Warmth Syrup (recipe follows)
2 dashes of Fee Brothers black walnut bitters
2 oz. Canadian whisky
Tools: mixing glass, muddler, barspoon, strainer
Glass: Old Fashioned

Place the orange peel in a mixing glass, pour in the syrup and bitters, and muddle. Pour in the whisky, add ice, and stir until to chill. Strain over 1 large ice cube in an Old Fashioned glass.

Winter Warmth Syrup
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup Demerara sugar
1/2 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 pear, peeled, cored, and diced
12 walnut halves
3 cinnamon sticks, broken up
6 whole cloves
1 whole nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves, and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Strain into a clean glass bottle, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 2 cups.

Dave Mitton, The Harbord Room, Toronto, Canada

Drink of the Week: White Light White Heat tea from the T Project

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we often forget to take time to relax, which is why we’re sipping on today’s Drink of the Week. As comforting a wintry tea as they come, the White Light White Heat from T Project fuses delicate white peony and maofeng tea with warming cinnamon bark, tangy dried cranberries and bright orange zest. Think of this as a welcome reminder to treat yourself to a little down time this holiday season. $24, 2.5 oz.,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

25 Days of Holiday Drinks, Day 18: Miel Picante Punch

Photo: Stuart Mullenberg
This warm party punch packs some added heat with a spicy jalapeño and rum honey. But chile-phobes shouldn’t fear: the heat of the spiced honey is not at all overwhelming.

Miel Picante Punch

6 oz. aged rum 

12 oz. apple cider

2 oz. fresh lemon juice

3 oz. jalapeño-rum honey

Tools: barspoon, punch bowl

Glass: mug

Garnish: freshly grated cinnamon and a lemon wedge

On a stovetop, heat all ingredients together until steaming. Ladle into mugs and garnish. 

To make the jalapeño-rum honey: Combine 1 1/2 cups of honey with one sliced and smashed jalapeño (seeds intact) and two ounces of aged rum. Stir and let sit overnight at room temperature. Remove the jalapeño chunks before using. Store in a dark, cool place for up to one month.

Makes approximately 6 servings.

Jane Danger, New York City

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

25 Days of Holiday Drinks, Day 17: Good Noggin'

Photo: Anthony Mair
This sophisticated take on egg nog gets a kick from a bit of smoky chipotle syrup as well as a good pour of créme de cacao.

Good Noggin’ 
1 ½ oz. dark rum
½ oz. créme de cacao
¾ oz. chipotle syrup
½ oz. heavy cream
1 fresh whole egg (pasteurized if you like)
Tools: shaker, strainer, fine strainer
Glass: sour or coupe
Garnish: chili powder

Combine all these ingredients in a shaker and dry shake (no ice). Add ice, shake again and strain into a glass. Garnish.

Chipotle Syrup
4 dried chipotle peppers
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Combine the water and the peppers in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain out the peppers. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Store in the fridge until use, up to 2 weeks.

Juyoung Kang, Las Vegas, NV

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Allegro Coffee Holiday Giveaway

Time for a caffeine-fueled holiday giveaway from Allegro Coffee Company. This Gesha gift set includes a 12-ounce bag (whole bean) of Allegro's limited-edition Panamá Esmeralda 1500 Gesha coffee—featured in our November/December issue—along with a glass coffee cup packaged in a wooden keepsake box. 

Enter to win by emailing us at by Friday, December 19, at 5 PM PST.