Mix the Perfect Cocktails for Your Favorite Albums With New Booze & Vinyl Book
With a second entry in their series, Philly-based siblings add 70 more albums (and 140 more cocktails) to your listening party lineup.
Self-described children of a “low-fi household,” the Darlingtons have specialized more in nostalgia than prognostication.
The local brother-and-sister authors Andre and Tenaya had already collaborated on two cocktail-focused books when they decided to write their third — 2018’s Booze & Vinyl — as a guide that paired classic records with inspired cocktail recipes. Then 2020 happened, and the pandemic made nerds and hobbyists of us all. Among the trends that emerged during lockdown: the continued resurgence of vinyl, and home mixology. Booze & Vinyl fit right in that sweet spot, with ready-made listening parties spanning genres and moods, and a primer for newfound record collectors.
Now they’re back with Booze & Vinyl, Vol. 2 (Running Press), which came out just in time for Record Store Day. The newest entry in the series adds 70 more albums (and 140 cocktails) for your listening and sipping pleasure in a gorgeously stylized book shot by Philly photographer Jason Varney. Both Vols. 1 and 2 were shot in Philly — the most recent edition set in the rooms at Wm. Mulherin’s. Even though the feel of each album’s spread is distinct, the singular setting stylistically ties the book together.
The selection in Vol. 2 is even more expansive than its predecessor — whether you’re into classic rock, rap, electronica, or pop. You’ll find Dr. Dre’s The Chronic directly following ABBA’s greatest hits collection Gold, Nina Simone alongside Stereolab, the infidelity of Beyonce’s Lemonade pages away from the infidelity of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.
“The cradle of vinyl can easily be white guy from the 70s,” explains Andre of the book’s diverse collection of time periods and genres. “We wanted to help people start their own collections,” Tenaya adds. Reflecting on the book-writing process, Andre says the siblings “fell back in love with favorite albums and liquors,” and they hope the book will also reignite readers’ old flames.
Alongside each album, you’ll find a little bit of history, party suggestions, and of course an A Side and B Side cocktail recipe thoughtfully crafted to connect to the artist or songs. “Some of the best moments in the book are when we were able to find out what the artists liked to drink,” Tenaya says. For example, Janis Joplin’s affinity for Southern Comfort was evident in the two cocktails accompanying her 1971 album Pearl. (The Darlingtons also recommend a tie-dye station in the backyard and accessorizing with a feather boa to really complete the vibes.) As for those who may have less-than-positive associations with the sweet liquor, Andre assures us, “any liquor can really shine in the right cocktail.” You’re in good hands.
Both Darlingtons have had careers in lifestyle and food writing, with Tenaya (also known as Madame Fromage) writing her first book in connection with Di Bruno Bros. The Booze & Vinyl series gave them another creative medium, and Andre has gone on to help Fishtown’s Milkcrate Cafe craft their beverage program. “Liquor bottles are like the keyboard we play with now,” he says.
Speaking of Philly connections, I noted as we sat in the W Philadelphia’s lounge sipping a “McNicks Spritzer” (Stevie Nicks liked post-show tequila, while Christine McVie favored wine spritzers, so the book combines them for Rumours), that aside from War on Drugs’ 2014 Lost in the Dream, the Booze & Vinyl books don’t have Philly music represented, and asked which local albums and artists they would pick (perhaps for Vol. 3?). After Tenaya selected Patti LaBelle, and Andre countered with Kurt Vile or David Bowie’s Young Americans, the writers settled on The Roots (imagining a cocktail with amaro, a liquer incorporating bitter roots).
When shopping for their own record collections, both siblings’ favorite Philly shop is South Street’s Repo Records, though picking just one is no easy feat, especially now that vinyl is more popular than it has been in decades. The Darlingtons see this resurgence as part of desire to “unplug” and have more personal and tactical experiences. “An album takes you on a journey and it takes you out of yourself more than scrolling through a playlist of songs you already like,” says Andre. “It’s the most immersive experience you can buy.”