Nothing against time-tested holiday traditions, but sometimes you’ve got to mix things up. I’m still sorting out what that’ll mean in my house this holiday season—maybe we’ll spice up the All-American Thanksgiving meal with touches from a different latitude, or skip the Christmas tree and stockings this year and instead head out for adventure. But even while we’re playing change-up with the ways we celebrate every year, there’ll still be time spent with friends and family, and good food, and good drink, which all make the season worthwhile.
In this issue we’re bringing you a little old and a little new, for whichever direction your holidays may be heading. Joshua Bernstein dives into the best of winter’s seasonal beers, while Wayne Curtis looks at the phenomenon of nostalgia-themed bars and our desire to drink in the past. Need something a little different? Jennifer Fiedler looks at how the once-favored Merlot grape may be slowly shedding its years of baggage. And though Cuba’s long been an off-limits mystery to Americans, that’s changing; I visited the Daiquiri’s homeland recently and report back. And if you’re struggling to come up with gift ideas that are a little different for those special someones on your list, check out this year’s holiday gift guides (web versions to come).
Back in January, one of our resolutions for 2016 was to better appreciate the bars that make our neighborhoods home. We’re culminating our Year of the Neighborhood Bar with a celebration of J.J. Foley’s, a South Boston staple, and we have a conversation with sociologist Ray Oldenburg, who coined the “Third Place” term to describe the places that bring communities together outside of home and work. We also introduce you to Doug Quinn, a bartender who makes guests at his midtown Manhattan bar feel right at home.
For now, prime your palate with these web extras, and pick up a print edition for even more.
- Havana by the Frame: More photos from our Cuba trip
- What American Bartenders Can Learn from Cuban Cocktail Culture
- Sommeliers share their picks for wines that should be on your radar this season
- A guide to our other favorite green teas from Japan
- Drink this: Floridita Daiquiri
- Eat this: Drunken Crab
Whether you stick to tradition this year or do things differently, we hope you wrap up 2016 with the people, places and flavors that mean the most to you. Happy holidays, from all of us at Imbibe.