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FOOD + DRINK
Alquimie: Edition Two
From Chianti to clean water in the second edition of the quarterly food and drink publication
by David Graver
on 18 March 2014
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As a companion to their engaging website, which explores drinks of all kinds found around the world, Australia's Alquimie has released the second edition of their quarterly print publication. Like their equally impressive inaugural edition, the latest isn't a pedestrian booze magazine; although it gracefully peeps at the wines of chianti and ventures down whisky tastings and absinthe's history, it also searches for the cleanest water on earth, and includes coverage about coffee and even real milk. The publication also broaches drinks with artists and creators; in this instance, Australian painter David Bromley. The content is deep and rich, the design is exquisite and the voice aims to provide insight and perspective.

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Editor in Chief Joshua Elias explains to CH why a print edition is still relevant in the age of the internet—and it all pertains to quality and design. "We have entered the market at a time when up-to-date information is sourced from the internet, not the newspaper. In a fight to be quick, the quality of content through traditional media has waned. As such, consumers are currently in the process of re-evaluating what they expect from the printed form," he says. "We were resolute in our focus on a timeless publication with quality content that we wanted to read ourselves. For the plethora of lifestyle and food publications, we found nothing in the drinks category that met our expectations and aesthetic standards." Alquimie's continuously updated online content covers the more timely issues, incorporating new releases and recent events. As Elias notes, it "also allows us to interact with our subscribers about our upcoming Alquimie events and co-operative projects." The print edition is graphically stunning, but allows for long reads with the care and concern any discerning devotee would enjoy.

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Elias describes Alquimie's readership as coming from "a broad demographic; anywhere from young professionals to retirees." While the audience varies, "all of our consumers share an aesthetic sensibility and a discerning appetite for high quality content. Our readers are quite a passionate bunch and they enjoy food and wine culture." This was embodied in their first edition, but Elias feels this second is even better. "In terms of refinement, that is part of the necessary evolution of any product. If we aren't challenging ourselves to make a better Alquimie than the last, we shouldn't be doing it," he says.

The idea of accessibility motivated their inclusion of non-alcoholic drinks. "We consume coffee, tea, water and milk on a daily basis and they each have beautiful, culturally significant stories behind them," says Elias. "We believe that wine and spirits benefit from being viewed alongside other drinks. It helps to demystify them." Alquimie doesn't score and rate beverages, rather they offer context: "We want to share the drinks with our readers and we want to help them to make their own decisions."

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This new edition's value is easily discernible in both content and point of view. For example, in "The Story" section, the team pays a visit to Copenhagen coffee pioneer Klaus Thomsen as well as a historic Spanish Enoteca in the remote town of Viviero in Galicia, Spain. "The Study"—a more in-depth section—features a contribution from the University of Melbourne, as vineyards of the future are envisioned. "The Palate" section aims at pairing wagyu steak and red wine. Knowledge is uncovered and shared, greatness is explored and discovered. And it's all intelligently conveyed in a sharply designed print publication only two issues old.

Pre-order the second edition of Alquimie online for $18.

Images courtesy of Alquimie

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