Drink.Think in Edible Manhattan

Talia Baiocci reads at Drink.Think. (Photo credit: Edible Manhattan)

Talia Baiocci reads at Drink.Think. (Photo credit: Edible Manhattan)

Our friends over at fab Edible Manhattan wrote a lovely piece about Drink.Think – read it here: A Cocktail Writer Walks Into A Bar. An excerpt:

The crowd in the back room at Jimmy’s No. 43 is standing room only, guests craning their necks and cupping their ears for a better listen. Judging from the turnout, you’d think this town has been parched for a more spirited spoken word—a place where people who write about drinks for a living can read aloud to their boozy muse….

…These people make their living from print, but when it comes to sharing stories, there’s one place that beats any magazine: bars. And Newman’s suspicion that her fellow writers had more than Top 10 Bourbon lists up their sleeves was correct. The original stories read aloud at Drink.Think range from humor to heartbreak, all through the slightly fuzzy lens of alcohol: tales of going on the wagon, discovering deep-rooted vines or booze-fueled college buddies who believe they can do anything. Loss, love and liquor, spilling forth from the page.

Thank you, Edible Manhattan and Drink.Think participant Amy Zavatto for this touching tribute. I’m raising a glass in your direction today.

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You’re invited to Drink.Think NYC– 12/3 at Jimmy’s No. 43!

photo credit: Jill Howe, for Drink.Think

photo credit: Jill Howe, for Drink.Think

Drink.Think is returning to New York! Come out to hear drink and food writers read from their work about beverages, enjoy drinks at the bar, and otherwise celebrate our favorite literary muse – booze!

Date & Time:  Tuesday, December 3, 2013.  The bar will be open starting at 6pm – the reading starts at 7pm.

Location:  Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 E. 7th St., New York, NY

Admission: FREE admission. Drinks and food will be available for purchase; books will be available for purchase and signing (hello, holiday gift list!).

Featured Readers:  Curated by wine and spirits writer Kara Newman, participants include:

Hope to see you there!

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Featured writer: Jason WIlson

Jason Wilson, spirits writer

This week’s featured writer is Jason Wilson, the wry and insightful author of Boozehound: On The Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits. His new project is a series of digital wine guides called Planet of the Grapes. Jason writes about wine for Philly.com and is formerly the spirits columnist for the Washington Post. His columns have won an award for Best Newspaper Food Column from the Association of Food Journalists three out of the past five years.

Like many cocktail people, he felt compelled to buy a stupid hat in New Orleans. He believes it is a stetson. Predictably, he looks terrible wearing it. Follow Jason Wilson on Twitter @boozecolumnist.

Come hear Jason read from his work at Jimmy’s 43 on Tuesday, December 3, and pick up a signed copy of Boozehound for your holiday gift list. (Maybe I should mention that the last time we had Boozehound for sale at a Drink.Think event, Jason’s reading was hilarious and we ran out of his books in record time? Nah, maybe not.)

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Featured writer: Alice Feiring

alice in angers

This week’s featured writer is inimitable wine writer Alice Feiring. 

I’m thrilled that she’ll be reading at Drink.Think again. Last time, we got a sneak peek of her then not-yet-published book Naked Wine. I can’t wait to see what she has on tap for us this time!

Writing professionally since 1988, Alice is the winner of both the James Beard and Louis Roederer Wine Writing Awards. In 2013 she was named Imbibe Magazine’s wine person of the year. Her blog, The Feiring Line has been named by Food & Wine and Forbes as one of the world’s top wine blogs. Finally, in 2012, she launched a paid-subscription newsletter The Feiring Line, the real wine newsletter. This is the only independent newsletter that focuses on wines that are organic, biodynamic and natural.

Her last book, Naked Wine, letting grapes do what comes naturally (DaCapo Press, 2011) chronicled personal adventures in the natural wine world and followed on the heels of her 2008 controversial volume, The Battle for Wine & Love or How I Saved the World From Parkerization.

Come sip some vino at Jimmy’s 43 on Tuesday, December 3, and listen to Alice read from her work.

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Featured writer: Robert Simonson


Mark your calendar – Tuesday, December 3 is the next Drink.Think reading event!

Once again, we’ve got a great line-up of writers slated to read from their work — and over the next few weeks, I’ll entice you with mini-biographies, starting this week with Robert Simonson.

The truth is, before Drink.Think, I didn’t know Robert very well. Of course, I’d seen his byline – including an engrossing personal narrative about brandy Old-Fashioneds in his native Wisconsin, published in Imbibe magazine. He agreed to read it at Drink.Think, and it turned out to be one of those pieces everyone remembers.

That was two years ago  – how time flies!

The official bio, circa today:  Robert Simonson writes about spirits and cocktails for the New York Times and other publications. His book, The Old Fashioned, will be published by Ten Speed Press in spring 2014.

Got that common thread there? The Old Fashioned. (P.S. I’ve seen some of the early photos for the book, and it’s going to be freaking beautiful. Go pre-order it now.) Perhaps, if we’re lucky, we’ll be treated to a sneak preview of Robert’s forthcoming book.

But you’ll have to be there to find out. Join us at Jimmy’s 43 on Tuesday, December 3.

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Drink.Think returns to New York on Dec. 3!

Drink.Think is heading back to New York!

Mark your calendar – the next Drink.Think event will be Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 E. 7th St., in New York’s East Village.

….If you’ve never attended this gathering of beverage writers before, here’s a look at recent Drink.Thinks in Chicago and San Francisco. We have a lot of fun, so come out and join us!

…If you’re a writer with something to say about wine, spirits, beer, coffee, or any other potable, email me (kara AT karanewman DOT com) and let’s talk. I’m already lining up writers, and have some open spots though they won’t last long.

Hope to see you there!

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Photos & cocktail recipe from Chicago Drink.Think

Thanks again to all those who came out April 23 for the Chicago launch of Drink.Think at Tavernita. We enjoyed some outstanding drinks and dazzling readings from some of the Chicago area’s top drink writers. Just take a look at the photos below (all taken by the talented Jill Howe).


A stellar group of writers shared their original work.


Despite blustery weather, a fun crowd came out for the evening. They were lively. Engaged. Thirsty. 🙂


And the drinks! Tavernita created two signature drinks for the evening. The “El Presidente” was the clear crowd favorite (it’s the drink on the left, below). Recipe below the photo.



Created by Scott Huth, Tavernita, for Drink.Think

A simple but flavorful variation on the classic El Presidente cocktail.

1 3/4 oz. Jacob’s Ghost White Whiskey

3/4 oz. Dolin Blanc vermouth

1/4 oz. Grand Marnier or Orange Curacao

1/2 to 3/4 barspoon pomegranate grenadine

large swath of orange peel, for garnish

Add all ingredients (except orange peel) to a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Express oil from orange peel over the top and garnish or discard.

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You’re invited to the Chicago launch of Drink.Think – 4/23 at Tavernita!

Drink.Think is coming to Chicago! Come out to hear drink and food writers read from their work about beverages, enjoy complimentary samples of Devil’s Cut whiskey and otherwise celebrate our favorite literary muse – booze!

Date & Time:  Tuesday, April 23, 2013.  The bar will be open starting at 6pm – the reading starts at 7pm.

Location:  Tavernita, 151 W. Erie St, Chicago, IL

Admission: FREE admission and complimentary pours of Devil’s Cut whiskey. Drink specials and other beverages will be available for purchase.

Featured Readers:  Curated by wine and spirits writer Kara Newman, participants include:

  • Jennifer Day, editor, Printer’s Row Journal, The Chicago Tribune’s Sunday book section
  • Cecelia Halbert, author, Up the Hill
  • Roger Kamholz, contributor to Serious Eats and Chicagoist
  • Sonja Kassebaum, Co-Founder, North Shore Distillery
  • David McCowan, contributor to Chicago Foodies
  • William Spain, writer, Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Penthouse
  • James Teitelbaum, author, Destination: Cocktails
  • Lauren Viera, writer/reporter for publications including Imbibe, Chicago Magazine, Time Out Chicago,  the Los Angeles Times, and many others
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Featured writer: Roger Kamholz

roger-portrait (1)

Hard to believe, but Drink.Think is just a few days away! I have just enough time to introduce one final awesome writer you’ll meet Tuesday night at the event:

Roger Kamholz has been covering the Chicago cocktail and spirits scene in words and pictures for the past three years — and has been consuming it for far longer.

A native New Yorker, Roger moved to Chicago more than seven years ago to study journalism, after writing art criticism for the Brooklyn Rail. He has since contributed to Chicagoist, Serious Eats, TimeOut Chicago, and Grub Street. He’s lectured on the history of mixology for Homeroom Chicago’s 101 Series and mixed cocktails to help raise money for charity. To kill time between drinking assignments, Roger works as managing editor at a boutique magazine publishing house and marketing firm.

Come out to Tavernita on Tuesday, April 23 to hear Roger read from his work – see you there!

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Meet the sponsor(s) – Devil’s Cut & Jacob’s Ghost

As you may already know, Drink.Think is a FREE event. That’s right, no cover charge, no 2-drink minimum (though we’d love it if you’d order drinks from the bar at Tavernita!) But to help defray some of the expenses associated with the event, I usually take on a carefully-selected sponsor or two for the event.

And I’d like to introduce you to our kind sponsors today.

Devils_CutFirst up is Devil’s Cut. This is a relatively new product, crafted to showcase particularly bold oak and vanilla notes. This bourbon plays off the name given to spirits as they evaporate from barrels (or soaks into the barrel itself) during the aging process – the so-called “Angel’s Share.”

By comparison, Devil’s Cut is created using a proprietary process that actually pulls the whiskey trapped inside the barrels’ wood after they’re emptied. That barrel-treated extract is then blended with 6 year old bourbon and bottled at 90 proof.  In my opinion, this robust whiskey lends itself particularly well to Manhattans fortified with sweet vermouth and plenty of extra cherries.

Jacob's GhostNext, I’d like to introduce you to Jacob’s Ghost. Another newcomer, this white whiskey is neither moonshine nor unaged whiskey — it’s actually an aged whiskey, rested for one year in white oak barrels. It has only the faintest tinge of color. One poetic type even described it to me as having a “Champagne” hue.

Instead of the sharp bite that many white dogs have, this one drinks more like aged whiskey:  it’s a more standard 40 proof, and has some of the light vanilla notes that oak aging provides. It should make for a versatile counterpart for cocktails — feel free to test that thesis at the event.

Come out to Drink.Think on Tuesday, April 23. We’ll be pouring samples courtesy of Knob Creek and Jacob’s Ghost!

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