Note about Spam:
FVPB apologizes for the volume of unsolicited email (spam) recently sent to our subscribers. Absolutely none of your email addresses were given out to spammers or anyone else. The Friends of the Virginia Pep Band respects both your privacy and your email. We will never share your addresses with anyone without your direct, explicit permission.
Spammers were able to take advantage of a bug in the email list management software we use to send mail out. These spammers used forged addressing to to dupe the automated list management account and cause it to loop back on itself. The result is that it repeatedly emailed all list subscribers instead of the list owner even though our mailing list was deactivated at the time.
FVPB has taken the following actions to prevent this issue from reoccurring:
Once again we apologize for the trouble this may have caused you. Listserv email will remain shutdown until further notice. Thank you for your continued support.
Thanks for taking a look at the first FVPB e-CSRU. This resource will certainly be evolving as we get the hang of it, and any comments and suggestions are much appreciated! Please e-mail your comments and/or your alumni news to caitlin.vogus@ orangevest.org.
Update your contact info with FVPB by e-mailing friends@ orangevest.org (remove extra space). While you're online, you might also like to visit our forum: forums.orangevest.org. The FVPB forum allow alums and current students to share news and swap stories on a variety of topics, including Pep Band History and Lore, Member News, Networking, and more.
Introducing FVPB's newest board members! They are: Nora Bungard (CLAS '09), Jay Converse (CLAS '80), Steve Rekant (CLAS '07), Caitlin Vogus (CLAS '07), and Heather Watson (CLAS '04).
FVPB would like to extend a HUGE thank you to our first president, Dave Black (CLAS '91), and a congratulations to our new president, Evan Macbeth (CLAS '97)! Dave did an amazing job leading FVPB through its first four years, acting as a strong Pep Band advocate to the University and helping the band set up wonderful new events with the Washington Nationals and Capitals. We are grateful that he has chosen to remain on the managing board. Thank you to Evan for stepping up to fill his shoes!
Additionally, we would like to extend our thanks to Abbe Macbeth (CLAS '01), Steve Mershon (CLAS '72), Renee Rasmussen (CLAS '00), and Erin Seney (CLAS '00) who have recently stepped down from the board. Thank you all for your contributions to FVPB!
The current FVPB Managing Board is comprised of:
The Pep Band managing board is comprised of four students who sacrifice countless hours to provide guidance and organization to the wacky chaos that is the band. They are:
Director Suzie Wright (CLAS '09): Suzie Wright, currently nicknamed “Homewrecker” (draw conclusions from that as you will), plays picc when not directing band shenanigans. Suzie initially became involved in the band during Homecomings, which she cites as her favorite time of year for the band. As director, she's encouraged innovative band events, including scrambling on Rugby Road and playing at Lighting of the Lawn. This spring, Suzie and current board member Tiff Fowler plan to reclaim ScavHunt glory in the name of the band, by winning the annual scavenger hunt competition which the band last triumphed in 2006.
Board member Tiffany Fowler (CLAS '09): Tiff is a trumpet player in the band and proud resident of the band house affectionately known as the Drunken Junction. Tiff is a double major in Drama with a concentration in Costume Design and Sociology, as well as a die hard ScavHunt participant.
Board member Ryan Tanner (SEAS '09): Ryan is an electrical engineering major whose favorite Pep Band event is hockey because of the heckling, marco polo games, and occasional chances to play his bass drum. Also known as Heart Throb 3.0, Ryan enjoys being on board for the chance to make a difference in the band, as well as the fame, fortune, and ladies. Ryan is also the merchandise chair for the band, so any request for priceless Pep Band relics should be directed his way at email@example.com.
Board member Kevin Binswanger (SEAS '08): Kevin, the sole 4th year on board, plays trumpet, and he plays it loudly. Kevin serves as the IM Sports chair and the Chin-iest Member of the Band. His favorite band event this year was the Liberty v. Virginia Men's Hockey Game, where the Band's heckling almost made the Liberty players and fans cry.
The Pep Band continues to keep up an active schedule playing at club sports, charity events, and other miscellaneous opportunities to amuse and entertain the student body. A few recent highlights include:
Additionally, the Pep Band still has a smorgasbord of old band paraphernalia available for sale. If you're interested in a shirt, frisbee, CD, shot glass etc. email Ryan Tanner at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out http://www.student.virginia.edu/~pepband/Merchandise/
Pep Band alums are as active as ever! Here's a brief smattering of Alumni News. If you have news you'd like to include in our next newsletter, please email it to caitlin.vogus@ orangevest.org.
See for your self at: http://www.donortownsquare.com/donate_redir.aspx?ai=569&qs=XLJQL .
Or send your donation to: Friends of the Virginia Pep Band, Inc., P.O. Box 4524, Charlottesville, VA 22905-4524. FVPB continues to use fundraising proceeds to help support grants requested by the Pep Band. Recent grants have included financial help for trips to play with other scramble bands and at professional sporting events in Washington, DC, as well as to purchase and maintain instruments. As always, donations are tax deductible!
[Ed. Note: For its first edition of the eCSRU, FVPB decided to resurrect an old CSRU favorite - Pep Banders telling other Pep Banders how to get sloshed! Although the exact origins of the feature are lost in a haze of alcohol and legend, "At the Bar" or "Under the Bar" as it was known was worked on by esteemed banders such as Peter Tait, Michael Fuchs, George Weilacher, Evan Macbeth, Bryan Smouther, and Nathan Flesher and included in copies of the CSRU to give Pep Banders a recipe for a famous or notorious Pep Band drink. In this edition, SeanMike and Marshall graciously agreed to share their version of the feature, which we are calling "From the Bar." Many thanks to them for taking it over for this issue, although maybe the next one will be a bit shorter!]
Starring SeanMike and TMFIII in the Scofflaw's Den (www.scofflawsden.com)
Episode one - Why does that martini taste funny?
Since you're the one that dragged me into the whole cocktail thing, kicking and screaming - I think - I get to be the one who starts? Or is it just because Evans wubs me?
Anyways, one of the things that cracked me up last night at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Brewer's Ball was the "martini" kit donated as a silent auction item. It included some cheap liqueurs and vodka. I had to laugh - because it's symptomatic of the on-going desire that so many people seem to have that any new kind of cocktail is named after the martini.
One of the other kits actually included gin and Cinzano dry vermouth (which I actually was surprised to see, as I haven't seen it around here). I still wonder, however, if whoever ended up with that "kit" knows that you need to keep vermouth refrigerated?
Yeah, I noticed the "martini" kit as well. If I remember correctly they also had a class titled something to the effect of "how to make the perfect martini." I had to laugh, because 1) for many people today, a martini is anything served in a "cocktail" glass (if you don't know, a cocktail glass is the long stemmed "V" shaped glass that all of these "martinis" are served in) and B) I know that Sean and I can out-mix just about any of the "professional" bartenders you are likely to find (and thanks to the internet and our own blog (www.scofflawsden.com) we can learn and share with anyone interested.
But you mentioned whether people would know how to properly store vermouth. I think that you're right (just this once) that many people out there simply do not have a good understanding of a quality cocktail. There are quite a lot of things that can make an "okay" drink to one that will have people crying with joy. Ingredients are probably the most important aspect of this.
I don't know Sean, do you think the Scofflaws who are reading the CSRU are interested in elevating their drinking (as all good pep banders should want to do?)
Well, I'd say not all professional bartenders - after all, there are some very good ones out there right now. But it does seem that the majority of them just throw stuff together. It all depends in what you want between, perhaps, a bartender - such as the great ones down at Ireland's Four Provinces down in Falls Church who mostly sling beer and whiskey - or a mixologist somewhere over like at PX in Alexandria.
There was an article in the Washington Post the other week that talked about the importance of fresh and good ingredients. I think more than anything else that's the trick to making good or even great drinks. Squeezing your own lemons and limes for juice, coupled with simple syrup - which if you've made Noel's mint juleps you already know how to make, just leave out the mint - and presto, you've got something about ten thousand times better than the stock "sweet & sour" mix you buy off the shelf in a grocery store.
Not to say all off the shelf stuff is bad. Going out of your way to find something like Q or even Stirrings tonic water, for instance, will make a huge difference over the Schweppe's you usually find at a grocery store.
By doing that, and by taking the time to be careful and measure your ingredients, you've got the big parts out of the way towards making damn good drinks rather than just a more expensive version of a Blue Mexican or whatever else you were drinking in college.
Of course, I haven't even touched on bitters...
And I'm really not going to get into the fact that when I picked up a brewpub brochure from last night the "featured martini" is an "Ice Cream Tini" made with coffee liqueur, vanilla vodka, Bailey's, and their oatmeal stout ice cream...
Now, don't be puttin' words in my mouth. *I'M A BIG DOODYHEAD.* I said "just about any" bartender. There are exceptions to this and you're correct, it depends on what you, as the imbiber, are in the mood for and, honestly, how much effort/money you're willing to put forth. Anyone can go to Applebee's (shudder) or their local dive/college/20-something-crowd bar and order beer, novelty shooters, or a banana-mango-bubblegum-mint-ice cream-vodka-frozen-thing-of-the-month. If that's what you're in the mood for, great. But the bartenders who work at these places usually have a set recipe card that they use for most drinks (which are also made with artificial flavors, chemicals, etc.), especially the "house specials" (see the banana crap thing above) or will simply pour a pint and move on. These are the bartenders who make up, I would guess, at least 75% of the people behind the stick (bar lingo, meaning bar) who are serving the public. The number of bartenders who can rightly be called mixologists is hard to find. As you mentioned, these are the professionals who are going to use the freshest ingredients, the best spirits and who will have innovative-creative libations that don't feel as if they came from a 7-11 slurpee machine. These types of places are usually hard to find (take PX in Old Town Alexandria - no sign, a rough estimate of an address and a jolly roger flag flying above the door to show they are open), tough to get a set in and cocktails are $10-15 a pop. But you get what you pay for and, as we both can attest, come away much more content than if we tried to get cocktails at many other places. [For more information about PX, read through our blog, www.scofflawsden.com.]
But, I think we're getting a little off topic here. I want to help our dear friends, banders and banned to have quality cocktails at home. The freshest ingredients are a must. But you mentioned bitters . . . oh my what a Pandora's Box. I think that everyone, at some time or another, has owned a bottle of Angostura bitters and either never opened them or tasted them straight, scrunched up their face and wondered why I would ever drink this. Folks, here is the best analogy I can come up with for bitters and let's go back to SAT days. Salt is to food as bitters are to _______________. If you answered cocktails, you get a gold star and have earned yourself one free drink from Sean.
While most people are familiar with Agnostura, nowadays you can find Peychaud's (a bitter from the early 1800's), and bitters based on several flavors including orange, peach, lemon, grapefruit, and mint. One of the best bitters on the market is from Fee Brother's who age bitters in used whiskey barrels to produce their Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters, natch.
Anyway, it is hard to explain exactly how bitters affect a drink. You only add a dash or two, which really doesn't seem like too much. I highly suggest that to see the importance that you find a drink that calls for bitters. Make one version with bitters and one version without. The difference will be amazing. Also keep in mind that some of the most classic of cocktails called for bitters. For example, the original recipe for a martini called for gin, sweet vermouth and orange bitters. An "Old Fashioned" cocktail was traditionally any spirit with sugar, water and bitters added to it. So you can have a whiskey old fashioned, bourbon old fashioned or a gin old fashioned. But making either of these drinks without the bitters gives you completely different drinks (which to my taste, aren't really cocktails at all.)
The S&M Man:
Now why would I do something like "put words in your mouth" just 'cause I'm editing this here piece?
I made a "real" martini for my mom once - she loved it. (And for those of you out there in Band-land, Iíll make one for yer mom, too, using something else than vermouth! Arrrrr!)
Our favorite of that night was to make a "dirty" martini - you know, where you add the olive brine to the martini? - but we used pickled asparagus brine (and garnished it with a stalk of it).
I guess that's the whole thing. It's all about experimenting, and it's all about what you like. If you like the froofroo-tini, hey, you know what, go for it.
The crux of the whole thing, again, though is to think through what you're trying, know what you're tasting, and as we've both said, try to use good ingredients. The hard part is knowing which ingredients to buy - after all, trying to buy up an entire bar, as any soche chair can tell you, is kind of expensive.
The trick that I learned from Drinkboy aka Robert Hess was to figure out one drink you like and buy for that. For instance, say you're into bourbon.
Obviously, bourbon and cokes are fairly straight forward. Have you tried a Manhattan? That's bourbon, sweet (red) vermouth, and bitters. Look up a recipe for it, buy the vermouth and bitters (if you're a bander, I'm going to assume you already have bourbon), and try one out.
Like it? Build out from there. How do other bourbons change the taste? What about the vermouth? Martini & Rossi or Galliano (or however you spell it) is usually the easiest/cheapest to find, but the Noilly Prat will reward your efforts. If you've tried both, you'll see why. You'll need Angostura bitters, but you can find those at most Virginia grocery stores, while Peychaud's are usually relegated to the ABC store. You can experiment with other kinds of bitters, even Carpano Antica vermouth, or using rye, for instance, instead of bourbon.
>From there, work in other drinks. Try making Old Fashioneds...maybe other bourbon drinks. Get some books. I highly suggest Gary Regan's The Joy of Mixology. Hit bars that make GOOD cocktails. If you're in DC, we can probably suggest some...
Mr. Clean...errr...I mean Marshall:
(Goddamn being at the mercy of *THE BRILLIANT, FUNNY, SEXY, AND SUCCULENT* SeanMike as an editor)
Experimentation and having fun are the keys to making good cocktails. Finding the best ingredients, using the freshest juices and even making things yourself (what I call "concoctioneering") will make cocktails much interesting and enjoyable.
SeanMike and Marshall
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon zest.
Martini (how SeanMike makes them):
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a blue cheese stuffed olive.
Sacreí Bleu Martini (courtesy of Darrel via Keith, people most of you donít know and probably donít care about but I wanted to properly attribute):
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a square of stinky blue cheese.
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a marinated cherry. You can marinate cherries in brandy, bourbon, or REAL (we recommend Luxardo) maraschino liqueur. If you do it with brandy or bourbon, we suggest a splash of Grand Marnier.
Shake with ice. Strain into a tumbler filled with ice.
Recipes from: Robert Hess aka Drinkboy: http://www.drinkboy.com/
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