One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to ring in 2012 and the Platinum Age of the Cocktail by pairing my favorite vinyl albums with the perfect cocktail. To start us off on the right track, here are my vinyl-and-cocktail pairings for the top-selling albums of all time.
Thriller by Michael Jackson
Pair it with an Amaretto Sour
When pairing a beverage to a dish, its wise to match the most dominant flavors. Thriller has sweet moments and more aggressive ones. It doesn’t get more sweet than Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson crooning out “The Girl is Mine”. Amaretto, with its sweet, sultry flavors pairs perfectly. “Beat It” with its tangy synth/guitar riffs cut the mellowness of the album, like the lemon juice added to an Amaretto Sour. Throw in a maraschino cherry to symbolize pop music’s bright, polished flavor, and there you have the Amaretto Sour. Let’s face it, Thriller isn’t on heavy rotation anymore, and the Amaretto Sour isn’t called for a lot either. But when the mood is right, no other album or drink will suffice.
Back in Black by AC/DC
Pair it with The Blue Blazer
Loosely speaking, rock and roll can be distilled down to three chords. The Blue Blazer explodes with pyrotechnics on the palette, and at its core are just three main ingredients. When I think of AC/DC, I think of whiskey, fire and a little heavy metal. The Blue Blazer is built in heavy metal mugs as the bartender combines boiling water and high proof whiskey, and then lights it on fire. Hells bells! Instead of shaking it all night long, the bartender tumbles the liquid inferno between the two metal mugs so a stream of fire pours back and forth. It’s a drink that shoots to thrill. Don’t take my word for it; you can have a drink on me.
The Blue Blazer (1862)
2 ounces Scotch Whisky
2 ounces Boiling Water
1 teaspoon Powdered Sugar
The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
Pair it with The Last Word
The members of Pink Floyd did not always mix well together, but when they did, the result was brilliant. Take ingredients like gin, chartreuse and maraschino liqueur. They all can dominate a drink, but when mixed together, the combination is even more powerful. Each liquor flows into each other to create a Lush landscape of flavor in the same way that The Dark Side of the Moon seamlessly integrates each song. Both the drink and the album are deep, complex and wildly admired. When the moon is dark, only one drink will do, and that is the Last Word.