Imbibe Magazine

ImbibeIn case you haven’t picked up the news from Slashfood or one of the other blogs this has been floating around, there’s a new drinks mag that should be showing up on newsstands and in bookstores around the country in the next few days. Imbibe is a bi-monthly focusing on beverages across the board, and is published in Portland, Oregon. Here’s what the publisher has to say:

Imbibe is the magazine of liquid culture. It is a completely new way of looking at drinks—as a distinct culinary category, deserving in-depth exploration of history, ingredients, preparation, artistry and consumption. Imbibe will entertain and educate you about the far-reaching world of drinks, from wine and spirits to beer, coffee, tea and everything in between. This is a magazine that explores the impact drinks have on our lives—socially, politically, culturally and artistically—while highlighting the common thread people around the world share in the act of drinking. Imbibe serves up compelling travelogues, profiles and commentary, but it maintains a practical edge dedicated to helping you make informed buying decisions and enjoy drinks at home. Imbibe is your definitive and indispensable guide to all that’s fit to drink.

Although the magazine doesn’t officially debut until Monday, May 1, yesterday I found a newsstand in Pike Place Market that seems to have jumped the gun by a few days. Imbibe has a great layout–big, full-color photos printed on good-quality paper, with articles that range across the spectrum of everything liquid. Features in the debut issue include an article about Oaxaca, where writer Rivers Janssen tries everything from horchata to Mexican chocolate to agua de jamaica to single-village mezcal; a look at 12 hotel bars, ranging from Portland, Oregon, to Miami, New York and Houston, by senior editor Kate Darling; a story on organic wine, by Otis Rubottom; a story on the “third wave” of coffee, emphasizing the growing specialization of coffee (and including coverage and a photo of my favorite local coffeeshop, Victrola), by Richard Reynolds; and a story on monk-brewed beer (not surprisingly, much of it is Belgian), by Christian DeBenedetti.

Spirits- and cocktail-wise, there’s a lot in here, as well. Short department articles cover subjects such as a new tequila bearing the image of Frida Kahlo and a short profile of Wayne Roemhildt, a Minneapolis bartender. Short features (two- or three-pages long) include coverage of portable minibars; a look at Pegu Club, also by Kate Darling; and a story about bitters, by Katie Shimer.

There’s also a profile, replete with snazzy photos, of Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh, written by…well, that’d be me.

It’s about time that a drinks-oriented magazine–something that ranges beyond just wine–has its chance in the spotlight, and it seems like Imbibe is stepping up to the challenge. Starting next week, you should be able to pick up a copy at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Whole Foods and a number of other outlets. Or, to make it easier (and to help the magazine gain a footing early-on), you could just subscribe.

3 Responses to Imbibe Magazine

  1. [...] I have a feeling I could keep writing about imbibe, both the good and the bad, until I’ve written more than is contained in the magazine, and well more than you’d like to read in one post. So I’ll leave you with two points that Paul doesn’t mention in his post on imbibe. First, he was a contributor to the magazine, writing up an engaging article on Dr. Cocktail (well, he mentioned this, but not loudly enough). And secondly, I have never in my life seen so much variety of liquor in a home bar as the pictures of Ted Haigh’s cabinet(s) show. I thought I had a lot, but I’d be lucky if I had even one shelf’s worth compared to his insane collection. [...]

  2. Hey Paul,

    My wife grabbed me a copy at Borders last week, so it seems even they jumped the gun. Lucky me. The mag’s off to a promising start, and I enjoyed your article on Doc Cocktail (whom I keep envisioning as a comic-book character, a la doctors Fate, Strange, Octopus, and Doom).

    I’ll be subscribing soon. Best wishes to the publisher and editors; it seems to be hard to keep a new mag going these days.

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