Vinyl Loves Coffee?

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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.

-Her

 

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.

-Tracie

WVV #14: B-A-B-Y Baby

Two weeks ago we hit the theater to check out Baby Driver and I didn’t quite know what to expect. In fact, for being a bit of a movie buff, I hadn’t even heard of it until the hubby brought it up. I’ll tell you one thing, I had no clue how impressive this soundtrack would be and I ordered it on vinyl that same day. (What really did it for me, is one of my favorite Beck songs planted perfectly a short way into the film – Debra.) Now I’ll go ahead and tell you another thing – I didn’t fully appreciate how connected every note from every song was to each detail of the movie until we went back to see it a second time the very next weekend.

There are a number of excellent reviews and write ups about the film and the music behind it by writers that are far better versed than I could ever be, so I’ve listed a handful for you below. I recommend that you see the movie once, listen to the full album, read one or two of these reviews, and then go back and see it again – in that order.

If you read just one of these, don’t miss this article over at Den of Geek (stolen from a friend’s FB page):
Edgar Wright’s Musical Inspiration for the Baby Driver Soundtrack

Variety – A getaway driver who steers to the beat of his own playlist.

The Telegraph – An infectious car chase thriller.

Rolling Stone – The car chase musical you need.

Twice the movie called for twice the cocktails – I hope you enjoy his inspiration below!

-Her

Well, Baby Driver is – without doubt – a smash hit of this summer.

When I think of cocktails and summer in the South, I inevitably think of the venerable bourbon and Coke. The fact that this movie is set in Atlanta, GA, makes choosing that drink even more of a no-brainer. If you and I had a nickel for every bourbon and Coke that had been consumed in the South, we’d have more money than Baby has stashed beneath the floorboards of his apartment.

Add in the fact that I’ve been itching to give this fancied-up version I found in Garden & Gun a try. What other choice did we have than to make both versions of the drink to pair with this amazing soundtrack?

The Classic

Bourbon and Coke

Ingredients:

3 oz of bourbon (I like to use a slightly lower ABV everyday sipper like Maker’s or Woodford)
6 oz of Coca-Cola
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Lemon slice for garnish

Preparation:

Using the glassware of your choice, add ice, bourbon and bitters. Then top with Coke. I like to add the bitters an lemon garnish to pump the aromatics up a little bit and bring a bit of interest to this old stand-by.

The Newcomer

Bourbon and Coke – From Garden and Gun magazine

Ingredients:

For the Coke syrup:

¼ cup of Coca-Cola
¼ cup of sugar

For the Cocktail:

3 oz of bourbon (we used Michter’s)
½ oz of Coke syrup

Preparation:

Coke syrup –

Bring the Coke to simmer in a very small saucepan. Add in the sugar and stir until dissolved.

Cocktail –

Combine bourbon, syrup and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and then strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

I encourage you to give both versions a try and let us know which you prefer!

-Him

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Whiskey Vinyl Vibe #13 – Summertime

While mixing up a surprise cocktail in the kitchen last night, Trent asked me to pick out an album that made me feel like summer. When considering that we were kicking off a long holiday weekend with no real plans in sight, I didn’t hesitate at all when I pulled Bleachers – Strange Desire, from the shelf. Two summers ago, I came across this album like many people did, and I was completely blown away by the fun and upbeat 80s vibe of it. To quote Mat Smith over at Clash Music, “Jack Antonoff wanted to aim for the kind of emotionally stirring songs that would have appeared as the title track to a John Hughes movie” – and I’d say he did so perfectly.

This album was our entry into summer late last night, followed by the Terrible Thrills Vol. 2 album. In case you missed it on Record Store Day 2016, Terrible Thrills is the Bleachers – Strange Desire album covered entirely by some pretty incredible women including Sia, Charlie XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen and 80s fireball Susanna Hoffs. Besides the music opening the door to summer, Trent’s cocktail definitely topped off the summer holiday fervor. I am strongly considering setting all of this on repeat for the next three days.

-Her

 

Every year when the weather starts to warm, people naturally tend to want to stray away from whiskey cocktails for lighter base spirits.

Hopefully this recipe will help shed you of that notion and prove to friends and family that whiskey can be a summer drink, too. Cheers!

Elderflower Old Fashioned

2.5 oz of Bourbon
0.5 oz of elderflower liqueur (St. Germain is what we used)
2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
1 lemon twist for garnish

Directions:

Add all liquid ingredients to a cocktail pitcher filled with ice. Stir well. Strain into a rocks glass with ice and garnish with the lemon twist. Enjoy!

-Him

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Whiskey Vinyl Vibe #11 – All Things Seattle

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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.

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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!

 

Him

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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.

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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.

-Her

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

Him