This letter was originally sent via email as part of our bi-weekly Tasting Notes newsletter. Sign up for Tasting Notes today, and every other week you’ll receive a letter from our executive editor, Paul Clarke, along with links to our favorite recipes and compelling stories, right in your inbox.
With the 4th of July weekend now receding in our rearview mirror, the summer of 2020 is cruising ahead at full speed.
But this summer isn’t like others. For families across the country, vacation plans have been canceled or pared back. The long-haul flights to faraway destinations, and the days spent at beaches or amusement parks have all been replaced with long days in the backyard, and road trips that keep close to home. And while a picnic cooler filled with beer and soda is still a part of the summer plan, this year there are baggies of sanitizing wipes and fresh face masks packed along with the sunscreen.
But there’s still plenty of joy to be found this season. Switch up your morning routine by swapping your cold brew for a Vietnamese iced coffee. And maybe kick back on a sun-drenched afternoon with a classic summer cocktail (I’m enjoying a renewed relationship with an old favorite, La Florida Cocktail), and maybe fire up the blender for a Piña Colada (either the classic version, or this tequila-based variation) or a contemporary frozen drink like the Hemingway’s Downfall, with mint, absinthe, peach liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
Even as we find ways to brighten this challenging summer, there’s still important work to be done. For our July/August issue, we talked with Chef Edward Lee about his work with the LEE Initiative (Let’s Empower Employment), helping hospitality workers and their families during this time of COVID-related upheaval in the industry, with generous support from Maker’s Mark. And we recently caught up with Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, our Imbibe 75 Beer Person of the Year, to check in on her equity and inclusion consultancy, Craft Beer for All, and to learn more about her new virtual homebrewing club, FREEDOM (Fermenting Respect and Equity Every Day is Our Mission). We also check in with another alumnus from this year’s Imbibe 75, Samara Rivers; learn more about her ongoing work with the Black Bourbon Society and the launch of her newest project, Diversity Distilled.
Be sure to keep up with us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. If you’re not already a subscriber, this is a great time to start; right now you’ll receive a free digital guide to wine cocktails with your order. Click here to subscribe.
Most of us are staying close to home this summer, but that doesn’t mean we have to turn our backs on the world. Check out what Atlas Obscura is up to with their 50 States of Wonder project, offering glimpses into interesting sights from coast to coast. And beer drinkers hankering for a look at the brew’s history and culture should check out Berlin Typography’s post on the breweries that once populated the German capital.
It’s peak summer outside—get out there and enjoy it, but don’t forget to wear a mask. I’ll be back to share more with you in a couple of weeks.