No. 103 May/June 2023 - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save
May/June 2023 cover

No. 103 May/June 2023

May/June 2023 cover

Not all that long ago, I might have titled this entry, “Confessions of a Tonic Hater.” For a broad stretch of my adult life, I didn’t see the point in the Gin & Tonic. I knew the problem wasn’t the gin—Gimlets were among my first favorite cocktails. But the tonic water that accompanied it was always a bit of a letdown, too sweet or too bitter or just too outright boring to appeal to me in any way.

But that was before the recent boom in premium-gauge tonic waters that have totally remade the category. As Nick Kokonas explores in this issue, tonic water and its base ingredient, cinchona (from which quinine is derived), have had a turbulent history covering centuries, but they also share a promising future.

Unlike tonic water, French wine (and French wine culture) has pretty much always been popular in the United States. Today, we’re witnessing a particular surge in interest in French wine and great places to drink it; Jennifer Fiedler delves into the trend in her story.

For generations, rum has been considered the spirit of leisure—the stuff you mix with fruit juice and garnish with a paper parasol while reclining poolside with a dab of sunscreen on your nose. But as Christine Sismondo details, rum also has a deeply problematic history, and some of today’s rum producers are addressing the issue head-on with an aim at reforming the category. And owing to the peculiar nature of politics these days, drag performers are being pushed into the spotlight. Josh Bernstein looks at how breweries are inviting these performers to step into a different kind of spotlight, as hosts for Drag Queen Bingo events and other kinds of everyone’s-welcome beer-drinking fun.

We’ve also got recipe ideas for cocktails using Italicus bergamot liqueur, a comparison of electric citrus juicers, a profile of Kentucky brewer and distiller Lisa Wicker, and Wayne Curtis’ consideration of sloe gin and the Futurity Cocktail. And if you’re a die-hard fan of vinyl records or CDs in the age of Spotify, then check out Brad Parsons’ look at what makes for a great bar jukebox.

Get your May/June 2023 issue here.

Recipes in the Issue

banana coconut sundae

Banana Coconut Sundae

Penelope Bass
Caribbean Parachute rum highball

Caribbean Parachute: A Rum Highball

spirit-free painkiller from The Mothership

The Mothership’s Spirit-Free Painkiller

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