Monday, April 22, 2024

A look at the Madonna-themed cocktails for Long Beach’s queerest vinyl listening session

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As we push toward celebrating Long Beach Food Scene: Last Call—a 10-day, 5-event celebration of our city’s rich bar culture and the people who make it happen—we will offer a series of features that highlight everything from our most stellar cocktail programs at restaurants to to the very events occurring (like this one, a partnership between Brian Addison, Good Luck Vinyl Club, The Social List, St. George Gin, and Nosotros)… All in order to lift a glass to a social and economic driver that rarely receives the love its deserves: our bar industry. For more information on Long Beach Last Call, click here.

Good Luck Vinyl Club is the city’s premiere vinyl listening space, typically taking place every third Thursday of the month at The Social List to do one thing: Pick a very specific artist’s very specific album, and listen to it front-to-back on what could be called the city’s best hi-fi system. And for Long Beach Last Call, they’ll be hosting a listening session of Madonna’s controversial and masterful “Erotica” from 1992.

And yes, your ticket includes a free cocktail.

But of course, that isn’t the only thing—it couldn’t be a celebration of vinyl and bar culture without a few cocktails, right? Which is why bar manager Erik Rios-Wentzky and local bar celeb and queer advocate Devon Jade have come up with a handful of beautiful, liquid odes to the Queen of Pop for attendees.

So what are these Madonna-inspired cocktails?

Inspired by the album’s title track, “Erotica,” along with “Where Life Begins” (Madonna’s in-your-face, lick-it-up song about cunninglingus), “Deeper and Deeper,” and “Secret Garden.”


Erotica: St George Basil Eau de Vie | Bruto Americano| Almond orgeat | Lemon | Pricky Pear | Activated charcoal


Deeper and Deeper (shot): St George Green Chile Vodka | Nosotros Tequila | Passionfruit | Mole bitters


Where Life Begins: Nosotros Mezcal | Banana liqour | Lime | Lychee | Strawberry | Chocolate walnut bitters


Secret Garden: St George Dry Rye Reposado Gin | Montenegro | Lemon | Matcha | Mole bitters | Absinthe spritz


Wait–you mention “Long Beach Last Call.” What is it?

After the success of my restaurant week last year during August, Long Beach Food Scene Week, bar owners and tenders rightfully asked: “What about a week for us?”

So I decided to oblige and present Long Beach Food Scene: Last Call, a ten-day long celebration of Long Beach’s amazing bar culture, it’s even more amazing workers, and the industry that often goes without recognition as one of our city’s largest economic and social drivers. 

Thanks to my collaborators—Scott Lennard of RNDC and Chris Lewis of Nosotros Tequila y Mezcal—we’ve created some 15 events across the ten-day span on Last Call. To say the least, we’ve worked our asses off and we hope you’ll come out and celebrate with us (that is, if we make it to Day 10 alive).

And this $15 party is a part of that (which includes a cocktail with your ticket).

But why Madonna’s “Erotica” for a Long Beach Last Call event? Because it’s queer AF

I know, I know: Les Gays are yelling at me, “Why not ‘Confessions on a Dancefloor’? Or ‘The Immaculate Collection’? Or ‘Like a Prayer’?”

One of the things I respect most about the Good Lucky Vinyl Club, especially when its comes to artists with vast discographies, is that it chooses challenging albums (like it’s choice of Marvin Gaye’s 1976 album “I Want You” over “What’s Going On?” and “Let’s Get It On”).

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Madonna’s “Erotica” is such an album and, during a time when sex was feared, the queer community was feared, and female autonomy was feared, she directly addressed these issues all the while creating an absolute mind-fuck of a media blitzstorm surrounding the album’s release in 1992.

I’ll be happily and nerdy discussing this at the event—so come with your library card, bitches.

Some Long Beach Last Call events are free—is this one? No, it is ticketed (but includes a free drink)

This listening session is not a free event and requires a ticket but is basically free: Your ticket scores you a free cocktail from one of the concoctions mentioned above.

This event takes place on Tuesday, Mar. 5, at The Social List, located at 2105 E. 4th St. A ticket is required and space is limited. Doors open at 6PM.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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