Taste Notes - Defeater

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This will hopefully be the first of many columns I'll be doing, conveniently titled "Taste Notes." Every week or two for the foreseeable future - I will try to put out a cocktail based on one of our album picks on InTune. Since this is a bit of a test batch (hah,) we'll see how it goes, but I think it will be an interesting way to capture the essence of a record in a new way.

I started bartending almost a year ago now and despite my nerves at the beginning, I've found myself enjoying the work and have found myself looking more and more into cocktails and mixology with some legitimate interest. Last week, I had a late night - also drunken idea to think more about some records, and what they may be like as a fancy (or not so fancy) drink.

To kick things off:

Defeater - Defeater

Defeater's fifth album, Defeater was my choice for our most recent episode of InTune. You can listen to the episode here.

The Boston melodic hardcore band has been one of my favourites within the genre for several years now, and after a few silent years, I was interested to hear what they'd put out next.

If you don't know about Defeater, here's the low-down - the vocalist for the band, Derek Archambault has created an overarching story throughout all of the Defeater records. Each follows a different member of a down-trodden, struggling family in the Post-World War II era. For example, their first record, Travels follows the younger brother in this family, raised by an alcoholic and abusive father, veteran to the war. Eventually, after killing his father while protecting his mother and the album follows his attempts to survive. Their next album, Empty Days and Sleepless Nights, follows the older brother, sharing a very different story. With five records under their belt, there's a lot of story to chew on, and I'd recommend diving in yourself if this intrigues you at all.

With this new release, that story continues and is their most complex narrative to date. As the band has said in interviews, Defeater is the first album where they chose to follow multiple characters, inspecting how each one intersects with the others.

As I said on the episode, this is an excellent output by the band once again, highlighting strong storytelling and vocals from Derek himself as well as some stellar instrumental moments from the rest of the band, notably from their drummer Joe Longobardi on tracks like "Atheists In Foxholes" and "All Roads."

For this release, I did some research into some World War II Era drinks to fit with the theme of the records, as well as what I felt may fit into the sounds. After some digging I found what's called the MacArthur Punch, named after General Douglas MacArthur, a five-star general who served during World War II.

I took some liberties with the original recipe to fit what I had as well as what I felt fit the record a bit more (i.e less ice and a smoked orange to illustrate the more aggressive, fiery moments.)

Here's the drink as well as a full list of ingredients I used:

MacArthur Punch

1.5 oz. Straight Rye Whiskey (Lot No. 40)

1 oz. Dry Red Wine

.5 oz. Cherry Brandy

.5 oz. Cointreau

2 oz. Orange Juice

1 oz. Lime Juice

Garnish with smoked orange. Fill in a Collins glass.

Honestly, this is a bit too much of a punch-y drink for my liking but I was interested with the connection colour-wise to the album artwork. The combination of whiskey and wine seemed to fit with many of the themes Defeater uses throughout their records.

Tune in next week for another mystery concoction. Also expect some better photos next time around.

Aidan Liam Cloet

Published a year ago