Imbibe's Tasting Notes Newsletter, 08.05.20 - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Imbibe’s Tasting Notes Newsletter, 08.05.20

Green Giant CocktailThis 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.

I ran into a bartender friend on the street a few days ago. It was a pleasant sunny day, he was out walking his dog, and I was on one of the sanity strolls that have been a part of my daily routine since mid-March. We stood there on the sidewalk, raising our voices to be heard through our masks and from a distance—but despite this added effort, and without the familiar bartop between us, it still felt good to just chat aimlessly, the way we used to in bars.

Remember bars? Those places in which we used to spend hours, talking to bartenders and friends and complete strangers? Even in places where bars and restaurants have safely reopened—with outdoor seating, tables spread far apart, and masks and sanitizer in abundance—these places we love, and to which we naturally gravitate, are still facing tough times.

It’s great to see the takeout window busy, and guests walking away with bags filled with sandwiches and bottles and sometimes groceries—but for the most part, bars and restaurants are still just barely hanging on. They need our help to survive and keep our neighborhoods alive, and the bartenders and servers and dishwashers and line cooks all require dedicated attention and ongoing support from lawmakers and insurance companies. In large part, however, they’re still being denied this support, and that’s why business owners are increasingly forming organizations like Thirst Group, which advocate for the hospitality sector so that these establishments will have a better chance at hanging on in the long term.

For the rest of us, in the interim, we make do. Some nights, we stop for takeout fried chicken and cocktails in plastic containers from a local bar; on others, we try and reconstruct the experience at home. This week I’m planning to tackle a Tarragon Fix from ABV in San Francisco, and I’ll sip it while pretending that the burger I cooked is remotely as good as their aptly named The Burger (now available for takeout for those lucky enough to live nearby), and that I’m sitting at their bar with the murmur and music from the crowds on 16th Street coming through the open windows.

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August is here, and with it comes a taste for chilled Albariño and fresh seafood, and a desire to spend as much time as I can hanging out in proximity to water. I’ll check back in with you in a couple of weeks—until then, if you need me, you can find me down by the lake.

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