No. 104 July/August 2023 - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save
JA23 cover

No. 104 July/August 2023

JA23 cover

All my life, I’ve been surrounded by gardeners. On summer days while I was growing up, my parents would take to the large plot near our house and spend hours on end spreading seeds, pulling weeds, positioning sprinklers and drip hoses, and swearing at the multitude of bugs, caterpillars, deer, rabbits, and birds that seemed to so greatly enjoy the fruits of their labor. It’s a pattern largely repeated (on a much smaller scale) by my wife, who can be found in the yard just after dawn most summer days, watering pots of herbs, admiring clusters of flowers, or plotting a counteroffensive against a slew of slugs that seem to be taking over a corner patch.

These days, my efforts at horticulture are largely confined to trying to coax my mint plants into producing a few more bright green leaves for an evening’s Southside or Whiskey Smash. But the drinks world has many bartenders, brewers, and distillers who are more green-thumbed than I, and as we settle into summer, it seems like a perfect time to recognize their contributions.

Beer, at its most basic, requires little more from the ground than barley and hops. But as Joshua Bernstein explores, today’s brewers are tapping the flavorful bounty of the garden (and sometimes working in partnership with community botanical gardens) to make beers perfect for the season.

Meanwhile, road trippers can drive past a seemingly limitless ocean of corn stalks each summer in parts of the country. Most of this corn is of a variety destined for livestock feed—or, in some cases, bourbon. Nat Harry delves into the story of how some of today’s distillers are exploring what heirloom corn varietals can do when used to make whiskies with a distinctive sense of character.

And cocktail hour is a natural beneficiary of a well-tended garden. Matthew Rowley takes us into his San Diego backyard to show the kinds of promise and potential his plants offer when it’s time to break out the cocktail shaker. Fresh tomatoes are perhaps the epitome of peak summer produce, and Laurel Miller shares several ways to use them in cocktails that venture beyond the Bloody Mary.

This issue also welcomes Betsy Andrews’ survey of the evolving world of Uruguay wine, Javier Cabral’s journey into the long-ignored world of Mexican coffee, and Robert Simonson’s introduction to New Jersey restaurateurs Francis Schott and Mark Pascal, who got a head start on the cocktail revolution. And it wouldn’t truly be summer if we didn’t have a collection of seasonal cocktail recipes to help you stay cool over the next few months. Check out our compilation of summer cocktails featuring clear spirits.

Get your July/August 2023 issue here.


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