No. 88: November/December 2020 - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

No. 88: November/December 2020

Normally at this time of year, we’re coming at you full of holiday cheer—bearing gift ideas and party-perfect recipes for those chilly evenings when autumn leans into winter, and when friends and family gather together to celebrate the season.

We still have the gift ideas and, of course, holiday drinks . But this year, it doesn’t really feel right to dive into talking about trees and tinsel and ho ho ho. This past year has been challenging for everyone, in so many ways. The COVID-19 crisis has devastated our bars and restaurants, and wrecked lives and livelihoods as each day’s toll mounted. The wounds inflicted over the course of centuries of institutionalized racism were opened raw once again, forcing communities across the country to reckon with police violence and a legacy of discrimination. Hurricanes on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and wildfires that expelled a shroud of smoke from British Columbia to the Mojave Desert, demonstrated the folly of our refusal to confront the climate crisis.

And yet, the holidays are approaching. But before Thanksgiving and Christmas, prior to Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and preceding New Year’s Eve and the beginning of (a hopefully much better) 2021, there’s another date on the calendar: November 3. If you’re a subscriber, then you’re probably reading these words before that date. It’s a date to keep in mind—and more important, a date that requires action—in order to take all of 2020’s grueling lessons, and translate them into something positive.

We’re celebrating the holidays this year, of course—our traditions help keep us whole. But this year, make sure you celebrate November 3, too, by casting your vote. Because it’s only by recognizing Election Day’s significance and the power inherent in the act of voting that we can justify the indulgences of orchestrating a Thanksgiving feast, or counting down the days until Christmas.

We’ve filled the pages of this issue with stories about people who are changing the worlds of wine and coffee, and with looks at how beer drinkers are coming together digitally, holiday meditations from hospitality workers, and the much-needed comfort to be found in a cup of tea.

These paradigm-shifters and pioneers need our help to succeed, and to pull through these difficult days—as do the untold numbers of bartenders and servers, baristas and brewers, who’ve had their lives upended this year. If you can, please lend them a hand this season by donating to or volunteering with a hospitality-focused charitable organization, and by supporting bars, cafés, pubs, and restaurants that are open—and, of course, be sure to tip generously.

Here’s to capping this year off with a bit of hope and hospitality.

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