Imbibe Magazine: A-holes or Luddites? Lets find out!

January 26, 2013

I have been a subscriber to Imbibe magazine for a couple of years (ever since my little brother turned me on to it). There are some great cocktail recipes in the magazine that have helped me enhance my close to expert-level cocktail making capabilities. Readers of noplasticshowers know that from time to time both mixology (bar reviews, general postings about booze) and actual live cocktail recipes come up on this blog. We expect that trend to continue.

Well, I had an idea for an article for Imbibe, so I sent them some email on January 9th. No response. Fearing the dreaded spam filter, I stripped the jpg’s and send a second query on January 12th. Then a tweet to @imbibe on the 15th (to see if anybody is reading email by asking on Twitter…well, you never know). On the 19th, I added people to the to: line, digitally signed the email, and added the pictures back. Still nothing.

Here’s what I sent:


I am a subscriber to your fine magazine and a cocktail enthusiast with many years of experience. Five years ago, my wife accidentally bought me the Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails book on a whim for Christmas. She created a monster. Her $40 investment has led to thousands of dollars in cocktail-related spending and a superb money-losing hobby! Being a smidgen OCD, I read the book cover to cover on xmas day and rushed out to the liquor store on the 26th to buy the first of many tranches of ingredients. Since then, I have constructed a bar in the living room (picture attached [put in below]), procured many a bottle of “unobtainium” (with an emphasis on Amer Picon, Finnish liqueurs, and fine Argentinian elixirs), and gotten to know many great mixologists in person (see http://noplasticshowers.com, my travel blog).

But where’s the hook, you ask? Well, 13 months ago I formed a new band with some fellow experienced musicians. Inspired by our cocktail-drenched practice room and our usual libation (the Liberal), we named ourselves The Bitter Liberals. The cover of our new CD (also attached [see below again]) features a poet enjoying a Liberal.

(As a quick aside, based on one of your recently-covered drinks “the Passage,” we may or may not have invented a beverage called “the Berryville Passage” which may or may not involve the use of local shine. You never heard this from us. There are a number of great cocktails we have come up with together all of which are recorded in my bar “book,” many of them more or less legal.)

So, if this story seems of interest to you, we would welcome a writer/photographer invasion. We think it’s a fun story that your readers might enjoy.

Merry new year!

Anyway, no response so far to any of these queries. My hope is that the Imbibe guys are Luddites who have a hard time with email and twitter. Or maybe they are pretentious a-holes? I sure hope not. Their magazine seems cool.

Just so you know, I would be satisfied with a “Sorry, no, but thanks for reading the mag.” email. (My bet is they think they get lots of email. Hah hah hah. They should be an alpha-geek like me. Bet I get more, and I answer mine.)

As a last resort, I am mailing them a copy of the email by snail to Portland. That will answer the question in the title of this post once and for all.

The bar at Coal Stove Sink.

The bar at Coal Stove Sink.

The CD cover for 13 by The Bitter Liberals

The CD cover for 13 by The Bitter Liberals

4 Responses to “Imbibe Magazine: A-holes or Luddites? Lets find out!”

  1. Sammy Says:

    Here’s hoping they’re simply in the back room practicing for http://whiskycompetition.com/blog/ and/or http://www.sfspiritscomp.com/deadlines_and_vitalInformation.html.

  2. A-holes. For sure.

  3. Alyssa Says:

    I know it has been several months, and so you likely have gotten a reply by now (or perhaps not). I just stumbled upon your blog while searching for something rather unrelated, and thought I might offer you some help/ advice/ possible explanations. I write freelance articles for magazines fairly regularly, and so may be able to offer some insight.
    Most magazines take around 3 months to respond to queries, which requires quite a bit of patience on the part of the writer. The fastest response time I have seen was 3 weeks. Some magazines take up to 6 months. This is not rudeness, it is standard businesses procedure.
    That being said, 3 emails, a tweet and a post-letter in under two weeks is likely to rub even the most levelheaded of editors the wrong way. Etiquette for submitting a suggestion generally dictates that after initiating contact, you leave it alone until you hear back from them.
    My only other thought is that it may have been a bit unclear to them what exactly you were proposing. Were you going to write this story yourself? Did you think they should write a story about you? Is it about the bar in your living room or your band? The direction of the inquiry may have been a bit unclear to someone who is likely quite used to getting very direct proposals.
    I am hoping that none of this came off as rude/condescending! I think your story sounds quite interesting, actually, and it is a shame you didn’t hear back from them right away– the magazine writing world is a tricky one, full of unwritten rules and expectations. If you would like to give them (or some other magazine!) another go and would like any help with formatting/fine tuning your proposal, I would be happy to help!

    • Having written literally hundreds of articles for trade magazines, I know what you’re talking about. All I expected from Imbibe was a simple reply. “Thanks for your email, we’re not interested,” would have taken about 30 seconds. I get LOTS of email because it turns out I am quite the famous geek. And I answer it all.

      I appreciate your thoughts. My guess is that the spirits world is just to full of itself. Oh well.

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