The Snake Oil Cocktail Co. out of San Diego may have just giving me a reason to jump in the car for two hours (if I drive fast) and head south for a party. Their new series of events dubbed “Cocktail Pop” sounds like a winner. I love music. I love cocktails. I often consume one with the other, so their idea to build a party around the pairing and appreciation of said things sounds like, well, something The Snake Oil Cocktail Co needs to bring up here to Los Angeles.
The idea is to take the melodies, beats, and lyrics and interpret, compliment and contrast those elements through liquid means. Each event will celebrate a single album or artist and they’re kicking it off with Nirvana’s Nevermind. Which was, as pieces of music have the power to do, defined my youth in many ways.
Local DJ, Bobby Calabrese (whom I’ve nerded out with about music on more than one occasion—full disclosure I’ve know Bobby since the early Nineties) will be playing 12 mini sets, each derived from the twelve tracks on the album. Each mini set will be ten minutes long and will feature a Nirvana song followed by bands that have influenced Nirvana—bands like The Stooges, Pixies, Bad Brains, Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Young Marble Giants, The Slits, etc. What’s Bobby’s connection to Nirvana? “How could you have grown up in the ‘90s and not been connected to Nirvana. This was one of the first bands that was mine. My parents or brother didn't listen to them. Just me and my friends cruising around SD listening to Bleach and doing some heavy 8th grade petting to Nevermind.” True that and add to the fact that I know Bobby and I have a lot of the same musical influences (Andrew Weatherall, Gary Glitter, DJ Harvey, ‘70s Laurel Canyon Rock, the convergence of salsa/post-punk/hip-hop that happened in New York in the ‘80s) and it’s sounding more and more like road-trip time.
Libations will be served in a private room accessed through the service elevator in Searsucker’s kitchen. Here’s how the folks at Snake Oil have interpreted the album via cocktails.
1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Hendricks, Strawberry Jam, Strawberry Bitters
2. “In Bloom” Strawberry Bitters, Solerno, Sea Salt, Blood Orange
3. “Come As You Are” Blood Orange, Reyka, Gingko Biloba, Coffee
4. “Breed” Coffee, Maple Syrup, Fresh Lemon Juice, Sailor Jerry
5. “Lithium” Sailor Jerry, Frozen Absinthe, Sauvignon Blanc, Grapefruit
6. “Polly” Grapefruit Gel, Dehydrated Lime “Cracker,” Stoli (pearls)
7. “Territorial Pissings” Stoli “yellow spray,” Yellow Chartreuse, Lemon, Baby Bourbon
8. “Drain You” Baby Bourbon, Syringe, Green Apples, Maraschino
9. “Lounge Act” Maraschino, Chamomile, Tulamore Dew, Lemon
10. “Stay Away” Lemon(ade with Saffron), ROOT-Vanilla Bean, Ango
11. “On A Plain” Ango, Glenfiddich, Honey Comb, Orange foam, Orange Twist
12. “Something In The Way” Orange Twist, Balvenie Portwood, Uni Bitters
Tickets are available now. It's an exclusive event so pre-sale tickets ($45) might be a smart thing. In the unlikely event that there is spots left on the day of, they will be sold for $60.
BTW, round two of Cocktail Pop is “The Darkside of the Moon” and will happen in August.
Check Bobby Calabrese’s Viva Radio show here.