Vinyl Loves Coffee?


While we haven’t had a cocktail recipe or update on a record in some time, there have been some new happenings in our household. It only felt right to share this, given that our name has always been Vinyl Loves Whiskey and these changes may leave you scratching your head about why you don’t see much whiskey on our Instagram feed these days. It would seem that one of us has decided to get sober. That’s right, no more whiskey for her – hence, lots of #coffeeandrecords posts these days. We’ve given it some thought and it doesn’t mean changing our name just yet. While we’ve always shared the love of both, right from the start I was the vinyl lover and he has been the whiskey afficionado. Given this, the name still fits, but you may see far less of the whiskey in future days. That doesn’t mean he won’t share a great cocktail recipe or favorite bottle at some point, that just means I won’t be partaking. It also leaves room for possible mocktails, coffee and tea ideas. As for the future of the name, only time will tell, but thanks for sticking with us despite our general lack of posting on the blog. Instagram, however, will never die!

For a little more insight to what drove me to make the decision to get sober, I’ve shared a post from my personal blog below.



March 20, 2018 – Why I Choose Sobriety

Today is one month. One month free from the shadow that covered my heart and blurred my mind. One month that I’ve been able to take on the world without the devil dancing at my side. One month that I’ve had the courage to stand on my own two feet.

I am sober.

When I started this blog, I dove in with intentions of talking through some of my history with an addict for a father. I wanted to share the stories of what it was like to grow up with an alcoholic and how that impacted me, but the entire time I had a nagging feeling about my own alcohol use. For a while, I thought it was perfectly normal to question the amount or frequency I was drinking, who wouldn’t examine their own behaviors when they’ve experienced life with someone with such a severe problem? But the voice inside that kept up the questioning grew much louder over time, until I could no longer ignore it.

Most of you reading this would have no idea that I have a problem with alcohol. It’s commonplace for every social event and activity with friends to involve drinking. We all do it, and I’m usually one of the least likely folks to be viewed as out of control. In fact, even when I’ve been outright drunk most people tell me that they had no idea. My having a problem with alcohol doesn’t mean I had to be blotto and stumbling or slurring every day. It doesn’t mean that I am the worn out old lady falling off of the bar stool or passed out on someone’s front lawn. What it does mean is that I cannot control my drinking. I was drinking every single day and have been doing so for what has probably been most of my adult life. The amounts in recent years were slowly increasing. What used to be one glass of wine or beer a day was turning into three or four, and sometimes with a martini or whiskey night cap just for good measure. The weekend amounts went well above this in many cases. I tried to moderate time and time again, setting rules for myself such as no drinking during the week, or no drinking when I’m alone. But none of that ever worked. Other than a brief 30-day dry challenge about three years ago that turned into something more like 20 days, I don’t think I ever made it more than two days without a drink.

I could say that therapy was a big eye-opener for me, but even there I went months denying that I was using anything as a coping mechanism. I didn’t want to see it – I couldn’t see it – but alcohol was my go-to for coping with just about anything. Childhood trauma, social anxiety, bad days at work, stubbing my toe, you name it and there was a reason to drink that followed right behind it. It’s been a way to numb out for far too long and I’ve grown far too tired of it. The only way for me to move forward was to draw a hard line in the sand. My sobriety is no longer just a short-term test, this is forever.

So, why am I putting this all out there for anyone to read? Because I am not ashamed. Sobriety is one of the most difficult things I’ve gone through. It isn’t easy for someone like me to just stop drinking and a common theme that I’ve picked up on from other folks in recovery is that there is a stigma or shame associated with this. It’s unfortunate that this remains the case, but it is true that while society pushes alcohol on you as the cure for everything that is going wrong with your day, that same society looks down on you if that cure should turn into a problem. I’m not saying that everyone is looking down on those in recovery, that certainly isn’t the case, but the reality is that it does happen often and that is why many people end up afraid to talk about it. I am not proud that I developed a problem, but I am proud of the changes I am making, and I don’t feel the need to hide it. I want people to know me, to see who I really am and who I am becoming. If I don’t share this tremendous shift in my life, then I may as well go back into the shadows that alcohol created for me.

I am still in the very early stages of my sobriety, and while one month is a huge accomplishment (those first couple of weeks were brutal), I have a long way to go. For what it’s worth, my sobriety doesn’t mean that anyone else needs to change their behaviors around me, I don’t expect others to stop drinking or tip toe around me because I choose not to. I’ll admit, it’s a very strange position for me to be in and I’m still figuring it all out, but I’m sure there are parallel concerns on the other side, too. The bottom line is this, don’t feel the need to treat me any differently. Don’t worry about how to act around the sober woman, I assure you, I will be just fine. If I do cut a night short sometimes, it might just be that cravings are setting in and I need to take care of myself, but in no way should you be offended or worry that you did anything wrong.

While staying sober generally sucks sometimes (eloquent, I know), I feel incredibly lucky to have found this path. There is no longer any doubt or question in my mind about what the right thing to do is because I am right here doing it. I am sober. I am living.


Whiskey Vinyl Vibe #11 – All Things Seattle

PJ 4

I can still clearly remember the first time I listened to the Pearl Jam “Ten” album – it was sitting in the stands at a Freshman basketball game, waiting to play the Junior Varsity game afterward (in my high school Freshman and JV teams played on the same nights, one right after the other). It was my friend Greg’s cassette tape, but he let me borrow it. So, I slapped it into my Walkman cranked the volume up a bit and pushed play.

That was my introduction to “grunge” or “90s alternative” and I was immediately smitten. I listened to the album front to back and back to front that night – in fact, I don’t think Greg got his cassette back for another couple of days as I devoured the unique vocals of Eddie Vedder mixed with the fuzzy guitar riffs, the dark lyrics sad, angry and full of mistrust – perfect for a teenage boy clumsily finding his way. It was unlike anything I had really ever heard before. I couldn’t get enough.

PJ 2

Pearl Jam was my gateway to Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots and to many more obscure bands like 7 Mary 3 or Dinosaur Jr. or The Crash Test Dummies (I still love Afternoons and Coffeespoons). I owe Eddie, Stone, Jeff and Dave an immense debt for that.

So, then, “Ten” will always hold a special place in my heart. Like a first love, you can never forget it and it forever changes you on a personal level.

Since Pearl Jam, and the grunge scene in general, is associated the most strongly with Seattle – I figured a coffee themed cocktail was appropriate. I just happened to have a recipe for one – The Revolver – the recipe is below. I hope you enjoy it and that it inspires you to give your favorite 90s alternative album a spin while you sip.

PJ 1

The Revolver:
1.5 oz of bourbon
0.5 oz of coffee liqueur
2-3 dashes of orange bitters
orange twist for garnish

PJ 3

Here’s mud in your eye!




Whiskey Vinyl Vibe #10

There is no question that we’ve been pretty terrible lately about keeping this blog updated, and while we certainly haven’t been missing any vinyl or whiskey opportunities during our absence (see our Instagram account for evidence), we are determined to pick up the pace here. This brings me to our latest Whiskey Vinyl Vibe, which also happens to include an album from my vinyl quest.

Over the past week, we found ourselves up in Michigan for a family wedding and time well spent visiting friends and family. Right in the middle of our Sunday of brewery and cocktail hopping in Grand Rapids, we found ourselves parked across the street from Vertigo Music, and of course I had to go in. This place was massive and had a very impressive selection of used vinyl, not to mention the folks working there were incredibly friendly. The friends we were with got to see me in true geek-out form, and I had to try hard to contain myself and keep the visit short so as not to bore everyone. As difficult as this was, I still managed to pick up a few great finds, one of which is Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Crush.

OMD 10

Crush is the 1985 selection from my vinyl quest list, and while I could’ve picked it up at just about any online record store pretty easily, it’s far more satisfying to find it during crate digging, especially at a locally owned shop. So why is Crush on my life list? I will admit, this is one of those albums that is on my list because of one song, and in this case it is So In Love. I didn’t come across OMD until a few years after the 1985 release, but I remember very clearly the first time I heard this song. I was in a car with a few friends, a couple of which were a bit older and as such, way cooler than I was during the oh-so-awkward early teen years. The driver popped in this cassette and played So In Love no less than three times during the drive up to Chicago, where we spent the afternoon in Grant Park picnicking and listening to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform. It’s one of those memories that really sticks with me – that song, the beautiful, clear day, the excitement of being in the city without any parents, the sense of feeling like I belonged.

Placing this album on the turntable for the first time last night and immediately hearing So In Love on side one/track one was almost as exciting as finding the album in the first place. The nostalgia never gets old. A special thank you to my husband for mixing up a cocktail with a name that felt very fitting as a reminder to the perfect day that I spent so long ago.


Well, given that her first OMD experience revolved around a day trip to Grant Park, this seemed an appropriate cocktail selection. This is a really great summer bourbon cocktail, the thyme gives it a wonderfully soft herbal note and helps round the drink out a bit. I strongly suggest you give it a try one of these warm summer evenings, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Cheers!

Sunday in the Park:

Instructions – In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1.5 oz Lillet Blanc, 1.5 oz of bourbon (I suggest something 90 proof+, to stand up to the juice and Lillet), 1 oz of fresh lemon juice, a couple dashes of Angostura bitters, and .25 oz of simple syrup. Add a whole thyme sprig, shake hard, and double-strain (using a fine mesh strainer) into a tall glass with fresh ice. Top it off with 1.5 oz of soda water and garnish with a new thyme sprig.

OMD 4 Good


I’ve Got a Fever, and the Only Prescription is Blood Orange (AKA Whiskey Vinyl Vibe #5)

Blood Orange Flip

Blood Orange Flip


This time of year, I love to use blood oranges in my cocktails. I love the citrus and sweetness, but with less acid as compared to regular oranges.

Tonight we did two cocktails, a pre-dinner and a post-dinner offering.


Bourbon Sunrise

4 oz of blood orange juice

2 oz of bourbon

1 tsp of maple syrup (or honey, or simple syrup, or….)

I like to use maple syrup in the winter, that flavor profile just seems to fit the season a little better than other sweeteners. Not to mention that maple and bourbon are a dynamite combination. This one is pretty easy. Put all the ingredients in a shaker full of ice. Shake well, and strain into a lowball/rocks glass with one large ice cube. Garnish with a blood orange wedge. You could go a little heavier on the bourbon, the sweetness of the juice and the maple syrup hide the spirit pretty well, and I like to taste my bourbon when I make cocktails.

Bourbon Sunrise

Bourbon Sunrise



Blood Orange Flip (Pictured at Top)

1 oz of blood orange juice

1.5 oz of rye whiskey (or bourbon)

.5 oz of simple syrup

3 dashes orange bitters

1/2 of an egg white from a large egg

Start by whisking the egg white in a small bowl for 10-15 seconds, or until it starts to froth. Then add all the ingredients to a shaker full of ice and shake very well. Double strain into a coupe or martini glass and garnish with a blood orange slice.

I used rye for this because I wanted the spice of the rye whiskey to offset the sweetness of the juice, as well as the creaminess of the egg white. They turned out great and drank far too easily.

Give one, or both, of these recipes a try now that blood oranges are in season and let me know what you think!



Tonight was all about the blood oranges…and my current obsession, disco. I cannot seem to get enough of it these days, it’s been my background music at the office all week, and Studio 54 has been in regular rotation on my morning and evening drives. Given the recent disco fever, tonight felt like a perfect time to give one of the latest additions in my collection a spin. While the blood oranges will be short lived, disco will never die.


Her Vinyl Quest

New Stack 2

Another package filled with vinyl arrived last night and I could hardly contain my excitement. Since starting this new collection just about 4 weeks ago, this may have been the longest stretch without bringing a new album into our home – 7 whole days. To be fair, the delivery was slightly delayed due to the inclement weather over the weekend, which really set my level of jonesing up on high. I am certain that I must be driving my husband crazy by now, but he just shakes his head and smiles a little – after reminding me how fast my collection is increasing.

In just about 4 weeks, I now have 47 albums, but is that fast? I supposed it might be, but I really have no comparison. For someone who didn’t stumble upon a collection left by a relative, I suppose I might have made some swift progress, but let me break it down just a bit. Of those 47 albums, 14 were new purchases, 2 were gifts, and the rest were either bin finds or pretty cheap purchases from a handful of online shops. All in all, I think I’m doing just fine, but stopping to consider this inspired me to move forward with some intent for building the collection, something besides the obvious of having as many awesome and varied records as possible.

After picking up on a similar idea while reading through various vinyl blogs, I’ve decided to make it my mission to purchase one record that carries some significance for each year of my life. Now, this doesn’t mean that this is all that I will purchase, that would just be madness, but it does give me some focus, and it definitely makes for a great challenge that is sure to spark some deep thinking and just plain fun. My rough plan is this:

  • Start with creating the list. Working year by year, I’ll need to spend some time determining the options. This could potentially mean that what I want on vinyl for a particular year may not be available, so some back up options might be necessary, but figuring out what to dig for is going to be half the fun – then comes the actual digging.
  • Soundtracks are okay if they are significant enough, but I plan to stay away from greatest hits selections. Given that they are basically compilations of works over various years, something about it seems like cheating in this case.
  • The entire album doesn’t necessarily need to be significant (that’s a pretty tall order), but there should at least be a solidly meaningful song included, or maybe it has more to do with the artist and the time than even just a song. I should be able to figure that out as I work through each year.
  • I’m still trying to determine how I feel about reissues. My thoughts are to  avoid any reissues, and that is certainly where I’ll start, but I’ll let the hunt determine where I officially land on this point. Some exceptions may be necessary, but we shall see.
  • There is no time limit on this quest of mine, but I start today. I cannot use any of the albums I’ve already purchased towards this challenge – which just knocked a few good ones out.

Obviously, if this interests you at all, you’ll be able to follow my journey right here on the blog. In fact, a new category is in order: Her Vinyl Quest. Let the fun begin!

– Her