Welcome to the June 2011 edition of the FVPB e-CSRU, where you can find updates about the Virginia Pep Band, VPB alums, trivia and stories, and more! Please email your comments and news to caitlin.vogus@ orangevest.org. [All email addresses in the eCSRU have an extra space added to reduce spam.]
You can still subscribe and unsubscribe yourself from the
FVPB email list. The FVPB email list is used to disseminate information
about the VPB, alumni, and upcoming events. Pass the word along to other
alums, and if you know someone who wants to receive these newsletters
and doesn't, please direct them to the site to subscribe!
Homecomings is October 14-16, and the Cavaliers will play Georgia Tech on Saturday, October 15. Please save the date and look for a future email from FVPB with more details about Pep Band alumni events for the weekend.
FVPB is planning an alumni event in the Northern Virginia area this summer. Keep an eye out for an email with more information and contact caitlin.vogus@ orangevest.org if you would like to help with the event.
Test your VPB knowledge with our trivia question. Please email answers to caitlin.vogus@ orangevest.org.
This edition’s trivia question is: Name all (or as many as you can) of the Pep Band’s “muppets” (With bonus points for their real names, too!)
The person with the most correct muppets wins!
The correct answer is: A candy cane and a turkey leg.
For sending in the correct answer first, our winner is Tom Sutton (SEAS ’78)! As a former show committee member of the band, Tom may have had a leg up in this competition. Tom also played trombone and fired the starter’s pistol to signal formation changes as a member of the band. Congratulations, Tom!
The band recently met to elect new members of the managing board. They are:
Director Rob Michaels (CLAS ’13): Mr. Michaels comes from the back woods of Western East Virginia. The University is a weird experience for him, as heat in the winter and no tractors on the roads are novel concepts. While doing his best to assimilate to modern culture, he takes refuge with the Pep Band while playing whatever percussion instrument happens to be necessary at the time. He has a plethora of useless talents, including but not limited to opening starburst with his tongue, being able to kick himself in the head, and playing Guitar Hero at professional levels.
Board Member Alyssa Miller (CLAS’ 12) is shy, but once she has finally opened up it is hard to get her to stop talking. She also prides herself on being a self-proclaimed nerd. She plays the clarinet in the Virginia Pep Band, but she can also play the saxophone and guitar.
Board member Kedrick Smith (CLAS ’13) is a mysterious member of the board who plays drums and is also in the Jazz band. Kendrick is carrying on the band’s recent link with UTS by training to become a University bus driver.
There’s nothing like a good Pep Band flame war. What’s your favorite Pep Band email list memory – the pep-band email thread that was most hilarious, got most out of control, or features the most inane discussion of baseball ever? (And for the record, IDGASAB)
Post your answer the in the FVPB Facebook group, and FVPB will publish our favorites in the next newsletter. (Please note in your story if you do not wish to have it published in the next newsletter.)
While you're there, check out the rest of the Facebook group, or our forums! They're a great way to learn about band events, alums, social events, and other VPB info in between newsletters!
Pep Band alums somehow manage to continue to trick people into marrying them, having children with them, and giving them jobs. Here's a brief smattering of alumni news. If you have news you'd like to have included in our next newsletter, please email caitlin.vogus@ orangevest.org.
An oft-told piece of advice for folks looking to stock their bar is “buy the ingredients necessary to make your favorite cocktail and build it up from there.”
That’s fine advice - but what if you want to build up the basics of the whole thing? Maybe you just got your wife pregnant (WHICH SEEMS TO BE HAPPENING ALL THE TIME NOWADAYS) and you’re not allowed to leave the house anymore, so you need to drink in silence in your basement, praying she doesn’t let the brat loose when you’re six fingers into the Scotch. Or perhaps you got a good tax refund and want to spend it on booze and not throw it away on house improvements or testicular implants for your neutered dog. Or you got a bonus at work, and you know that the only thing that helps you through the existential hell of cubicle land in a remote cookie cutter suburb of a large city is the sweet oblivion of booze.
After all, when you drink at home, you’re much less likely to get a DUI!
Well, then, I’m going to assume you live in Virginia, and most likely, will be shopping at Virginia ABC (and that the governor hasn’t fucked up the ABC system by the time you read this). (Honestly, for a state-run system, Virginia’s is not bad at all. The latest compromise floated before the media, privatizing the stores but not the distribution system, combines the worst parts of a private system and a state system.)
(But if you really want good booze, try DC or NYC.)
(But I digress.)
What you’ll need is an array of the basic liquors and the tools necessary to make the drinks. Let’s cover tools first.
A long spoon for stirring, a Boston shaker (tempered glass on one side, metal on the other, or metal on both sides - not one of those crappy three piece shakers), a strainer, a fine mesh strainer, a lemon and lime hand juicer, measuring jiggers (I suggest the two ounce Oxo measuring cups), and glasses. Those are the basics. You can find them in various stores (Bed Bath & Beyond typically has a decent selection), or online at Kegworks or Amazon.com.
Now look at your bar. What bottles do you already have? Hell, I still have bottles from college, I think. (I’m pretty certain that bottle of Irish Mist was with me at Morris Paul Court....) Liquor, for the most part, doesn’t go bad, though it will change a bit with contact to air.
I’d never suggest just throwing out liquor because it’s old unless you’re extremely strapped for room. Just stick it in the back. Who knows when you’ll want to use it for something random. And if it’s something fairly generic and/or useful, save it for a time when you’re making a batch of cocktails or a punch and you can hide it. Or give it to people you don’t like as much.
Now let’s look at the liquors. I’m going to suggest liquors in the $20-30 range for the “basics”, for the most part.
Vodka - Sure, people love to say vodka is supposed to be tasteless, etc. etc. etc. Well - it ain’t. If you’re considering at all drinking it straight, go for Tito’s. $20.95 a fifth, comes from Texas, and honestly, it’s quite tasty. I get a lot of free vodka and don’t drink hardly any of it, so I’d avoided buying Tito’s because, well, I don’t need more vodka. Then they sent me 1.75 liters of it (with one bottle signed by Tito), so I shared it with my mom. I was honestly surprised how much I liked it.
If you’re just going to mix with it, Sobieski - $13.95 a liter.
Gin - For a standard London dry, I’d suggest Bombay, Beefeater, or Tanqueray. The regular ones, not the Sapphire (which I think is just too soft, for the most part), though I do like the Tanq 10. Those will run you between $19.95 and $24.90.
Plymouth gin is a subtly different style than London dry. It’s just short of $30, but for drinks that specifically call for it, you’ll want it (try the pink gin - 3 ounces of Plymouth and 6 dashes of Angostura bitters, shaken). Hendricks is a Scottish gin at $36.90 a fifth, but it’s unlike most other gins - it’s a great gateway for people who say “oh, I don’t like gin.” (It’s how I got into gin!)
Bourbon - This is a huge one.
For straight mixing, Ancient Age is less than $10 and not bad at all. Buffalo Trace ($23.95) and Eagle Rare ($26.95) are very good for mixing and I’ll drink them straight, too. Bulleit bourbon ($25.95) has a high rye content which makes for an interesting contrast in a cocktail versus Maker’s Mark ($27.90).
Rye - Rye is huge right now. Old Overholt ($18.45) is a staple, but at 80 proof can be a bit weak in some drinks. Sazerac ($25.95) is better at 90, though if you can find Wild Turkey 101 Rye ($22.95) you should give it a shot. Myself, I tend to go into the city for Rittenhouse 100 Bottled in Bond, but I can’t find anything but the 21 year old ($155.35) in Virginia. Don’t get me wrong, the 21 year old is fantastic, but that’s pricey for what you get (it’s not even barrel strength) and you don’t to mix with it.
Applejack - Speaking of bottled in bond, “Captain Apple Jack” is a Virginia & North Carolina version of Laird’s Bottled in Bond applejack ($18.90). This is not a staple and you might not need it, but it’s a fun alternative to whiskeys.
Brandy - If you’re not drinking it straight, St. Remy VSOP is $13.45.
Tequila - Right now it can be hard to find affordable tequilas - and don’t get me started on my burgeoning mezcal habit. I like to recommend Jose Cuervo Tradicional to people ($24.90) - good price for a 100% agave tequila (don’t buy anything that ISN’T 100% agave). Patron is overrated shit. Try Milagro, Cabo Wato is surprisingly good for being from Sammy Hagar, or one of my favorites, Cazadores.
Rum - I left rum for last because it’s a hard one. The more you get into rum, the more you see so many varieties and possibilities. But I’ll try to keep it for a simple home bar.
I got an e-mail from a blogger advertising his site. In his bar section he said “Myer’s - nothing but that”. It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen written on the Internet. (NOTE: that is not true, but it is close.) It made me immediately dismiss the rest of his site as pure, uneducated bullshit that made me want to vomit with rage. It’s not just that Myer’s sucks (it sucks SO MUCH) but that there’s so much other stuff you need in rum!
I’m not Rumdood but here’s what I’d recommend:
Scotch - Like rum, or sipping bourbons, this is too complicated to get into here. For mixing, try Famous Grouse ($25.95) or if you can find it, Black Bottle.
Others - Aperol is $25.95 and can be considered a “gateway” Campari ($29.95). There’s no substitute for Cointreau ($39.90) when it’s called for, though Stirrings has a triple sec out now that’s like $12. Grand Marnier is also unique enough that you might want to consider it separately ($39.90 also). In Virginia, you’re a bit limited on absinthes, so I’d suggest the Lucid ($59.95).
Finally, you’ll need bitters. In Virginia, Angostura is carried in grocery stores and you’re more likely nowadays to find the orange variety with it. Peychaud’s is carried by ABC, and I seem to recall seeing Gary Regan’s Orange #6 bitters in ABC somewhere - I’d suggest those if you can find them, orange Ango otherwise.
Remember to stock up on fresh lemons and limes, make your own simple syrup, and you’re ready to go! Basically.
One last note before I sign off: a lot of the ingredients can be hard to decide on if you haven’t had them before. When you’re at a bar or restaurant, consider buying just a straight shot of it with a side of water or ice so you can sample it and see if a full bottle is worth it.
Or, if you live near the DC area, feel free to give me a call or e-mail (seanmike@ scofflawsden.com). I’m always willing to try to set up a tasting! (That goes double if your name is “EVAN MACBETH” since I seem to have lost track of what we were talking about with that...)
See you next time at the bar!
FVPB is still accepting your donations to keep the Pep Band going strong! FVPB provides monetary support so the VPB can keep doing all the activities that you read about in this newsletter! Donations can be made at http://www.donortownsquare.com/donate_redir.aspx?ai=569&qs=XLJQL or by sending your donation to: Friends of the Virginia Pep Band, Inc., P.O. Box 4524, Charlottesville, VA 22905-4524. As always, donations are tax deductible!
Viva la Pep Band!
Friends of the Virginia Pep Band
© Friends of
the Virginia Pep Band, Inc. All Rights Reserved.