No. 105 September/October 2023 - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save
September/October 2023

No. 105 September/October 2023

September/October 2023

It’s been 20 years now, give or take, that I’ve been exploring the cocktail landscape on professional terms. And one of the lessons I picked up along the way is that—even in a world awash in creative, great-tasting cocktails—it’s essential to sometimes hit the pause button on happy hour. I’m in good company here: Many drinkers are increasingly turning off the alcohol tap for an evening or a week at a time, while others are looking more long-term in adjusting their drinking habits.

But cocktails are delicious! Fortunately, many bartenders are turning their creative talents to bolstering the selection of alcohol-free cocktails, with results that can go toe-to-toe on the flavor front with many conventional cocktails. For this issue, we’re bringing you some of the essential strategies for making great cocktails at home, no booze needed.

Another big story from the past 20 years is the surge of interest in mezcal, which emerged seemingly out of nowhere and gradually became everyone’s favorite spirit. With its typically small-scale production, mezcal is largely distilled by families who’ve been making it for generations. For this issue, Noah Arenstein explores the stories of three of these families in Oaxaca as they find out what it means to pass the practice from one generation to another.

Oftentimes, people go to breweries and taprooms to do more than just drink beer—they’re looking for all kinds of fun and games. Josh Bernstein brings us the story of how some breweries are satisfying this demand, with volleyball and disc golf and roleplaying games all around. Asheville, North Carolina, is one of America’s great beer cities, and Kate Bernot shares how Highland Brewing founder Oscar Wong helped make it that way.

We’re also taking a look at Tempranillo as a great age-worthy wine grape, the role of verjus in a cocktail context, and the long history of the Millionaire Cocktail. And have you ever tipped fish sauce, garum, or other umami bombs into your cocktail shaker? Matt Rowley has, and he brings us that story.

Before you dig in, remember that Negroni Week is coming up fast, September 18-24. Head to to find out more about this year’s event and which bars and restaurants are participating—and to get in the right Negroni Week mindset, check out the recipe and history of predecessor cocktail the Milano-Torino.

Get your September/October 2023 issue here.


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