A Grungy Walk Through 1990s Seattle Music
Do you remember when you were in high school or middle school and the trendy things were from years earlier? When I was in middle school the 70s style was huge. Bell bottoms, chunky patterns, and weird muted colors. Paisley and olive green were the way to go with clothes. That was in the 90s. While we were striving to create our looks and culture. This menu is a throwback to that era, were grunge, flannel, and ripped jeans were coming onto our radar. Jnco jeans and oversized band tee shirts were on everyone you knew. Recently I’ve seen a surge in 90s theme makeup and clothing style. Even music is making a comeback. For me though it never left and I’m so happy to see it again. So this is a call back to that era. The music and style are very close to my heart and I wanted to drink about the fact that a lot of our readers weren’t even alive then. The 90s, where the dirtier you looked, and the grungier the music was the better.
My first throwback drink is named for one of the most quintessential bands of the 90s. There is no doubt that when you think of the decade that brought us grunge that Nirvana comes to mind and is probably the first on the list of music that we listened to back then. The song that I wanted to focus on was for the song breed. This cocktail is the dirtiest of the dirty.
The dirty mother
- In a bucket glass with ice
- 1 1⁄2-ounces brandy.
- 1 1⁄2-ounces coffee liqueur.
- 1⁄2-ounce milk.
Next up on this stroll down memory lane is Alice in Chains. This band was just what we needed in the 1990s, it was gritty and raw. The first album they recorded was the first album from Seattle’s Grunge movement to be certified gold. It was titled Facelift. Man in the box was one of the singles on this album, that all of us probably know a word or two of. This drink is named for the album title.
- In a tall glass with ice
- 1 ½-ounce amaretto
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Fill sweet and sour
Sometimes a band comes along and they have something that just grabs onto you and won’t let go. Pearl Jam was like that for me. While you couldn’t understand the majority of what Eddie Vedder was singing about, you could feel it. Their very first album was Ten, It dealt with some dark subject matter for the time. Suicide, depression, and murder were topics that we weren’t as comfortable talking about then, and the video that was released for the song Jeremy still hits me pretty hard.
- In a shot glass
- ¾-ounce Creme de Cacao
- Float Irish cream on top
- Drop 3 drops of grenadine through the middle
The next band in this flashback trip is Soundgarden. On March 8th, 1994 Superunknown was released for public consumption. And boy oh boy did we ever consume the hell out of this record. Superunknown has been certified five times Platinum in the United States and remains Soundgarden’s most successful album. The tracks on this recording are often interpreted to be dealing with substance abuse, suicide, and depression. With the release of the music video for Black Hole Sun, we saw what seemed like a funny, strange drive-through suburbia.
Black Hole Sun
- In a pounder fill ½ way with cold lemonade
- In a shot glass
- Kraken spiced rum
- Drop shot glass into pounder and drink quickly
In the fall of 1992, The Screaming Trees came onto the scene with a hit record and song on the soundtrack of a cult classic film that took place in Seattle. The movie was Singles and the song was Nearly Lost You. This band in my opinion did not get the notoriety or airplay that they deserved. We even had the joy a few times of having one of the members of The Screaming Trees come out to AFK and sing karaoke with us.
Nearly Lost You
- Tall Glass with no ice
- 2-ounces Jagermeister
- Fill with your favorite root beer
In Late July 1995, we were slapped in the face with playful lyrics and catchy as hell riffs from The Presidents Of The United States of America. With clever little one-word named songs and all of the innuendoes you could handle, this band was everywhere, you couldn’t listen to the radio for an hour without hearing two of their songs. The most memorable and probably longest-running of these little ditties was Peaches.
- In a large glass mug filled with ice
- 1 ½-ounce Gin
- 1-ounce Peach schnapps
- 2-ounces peach puree
- Fill with Sprite
With all of these bands coming from Seattle, there is bound to be overlap and collaborations. Side projects, and new supergroups popping up and coming from the ashes of previous endeavors.
One such project was Mad Season. This project only released one record in 1995. The band’s members included guitarist Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, lead singer Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, drummer Barrett Martin of Screaming Trees, and bassist John Baker Saunders. The one memorable single on this album was River of Deceit. With the sound that you were used to from Alice in Chains, Layne Staley’s voice made it hard to tell the difference between the two bands.
River of Deceit
- Tall glass with ice
- ½-ounce vodka
- ½-ounce rum
- ½-ounce tequila
- ½-ounce whiskey
- ½-ounce blue curacao
- Twist of lime
- Fill sprite
Temple of the Dog was released on April 16, 1991. This album was a collaboration of talented musicians from several Seattle grunge bands. Vocalist Chris Cornell of Soundgarden wanted to pay tribute to one of the many we have lost to overdose. Andrew Wood was the lead singer of the band Mother Love Bone. The lineup of Temple of the Dog included Stone Gossard on rhythm guitar, Jeff Ament on bass guitar both ex-members of Mother Love Bone and later Pearl Jam, Mike McCready Pearl Jam on lead guitar, and Matt Cameron Soundgarden and later Pearl Jam on drums. Eddie Vedder appeared as a guest to provide some lead and backing vocals. The single that was promoted on this release was called Hunger Strike which would make the album unforgettable.
- In a chilled beer glass
- Fill ¾ of the way with a dark chocolate stout beer
- 1-ounce cherry vodka
- 1-ounce coffee liqueur
- ½-ounce Irish cream
This menu takes me back. I remember what it was like for me, listening to these releases when they were new. Hearing the news of some of the deaths of these band members then and now feels like getting kicked square in the nostalgia. This era was gritty and hard for a lot of us, but the music doesn’t go away, and these drinks kind of solidify it for me. Enjoy this menu and maybe take a listen to the music that inspired them.