Booze

The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr.’s Cocktail Hour Playlist

“I just wanted to create a great drink. I had an epic night with friends in Italy, we were having Aperol Spritz; I was trying to recreate what that night felt like to me.”

In the early 2000’s, at a time when pop sensations like NSYNC and Britney were dominating the airwaves, The Strokes came through like a freight train, ushering in a new era of Velvet Underground-inspired indie rock that took over the culture, the likes of which had not been seen since Nirvana. It’s hard to imagine that their New York Dolls-like threads didn’t at least somewhat influence Hedi Slimane’s tenure at Dior Homme—an era heralded for having changed menswear as we know it, and single-handedly launching the dawn of skinny jeans and razor thin lapels. NME named the album The Greatest of the Decade. Spin named them Band of the Year in 2002. And in her book about the New York City music scene, Lizzy Goodman claimed them to be “as influential to their era as the Velvet Underground or the Ramones were to theirs.” Furthermore, she wrote, “Almost every artist interviewed for this book—from all over the world—said it was the Strokes that opened the door for them.” Two decades, five more albums, and a long hiatus later, their most recent effort, The New Abnormal, went on to earn Best Rock Album at the 2021 Grammys.

Lead guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. was the first of the band to go solo, with his well-received album, 2006’s Yours To Keep, and an LP and two more albums to follow. Known as the band’s most stylish member, he also collaborated on a quickly, sold-out line of suits with our very own Ilaria Urbinati, famously worn by Ryan Gosling in the film Crazy Stupid Love.

His latest endeavor has him dipping into the ever-growing world of seltzer with his Jetway wine seltzer. Partnering with winemaker Ben Parsons, the grapes are sourced from the McNary Vineyard in Washington State. The rock star credits his career as inspiration for the drink; something you can sip on whenever, wherever, and more importantly, that you can drink all day long without crashing. We asked him to create the mood with a perfect cocktail hour playlist that’s nearly an education in some of the all-time best artists—from Etta James and Philip Glass to Queen, The Pixies, and James Brown—along with a gin recipe to pair with his white wine seltzer, and a tequila recipe to pair with his rose wine seltzer—each aptly named after two of his biggest hits. 

Photo Courtesy of Getty

“I believe the [seltzer] genre is more than what it’s been made out to be. I believe it’ll one day be as big as beer.”

HARD TO EXPLAIN COCKTAIL

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Hendrick’s Gin
  • 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz Falernum liqueur
  • 3 oz JETWAY White Wine Seltzer
  • 6 mint leaves
  • Garnish: cucumber slice

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice, shake and double strain into a champagne flute. Top with 3 oz JETWAY white wine seltzer. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

Photo by Kayla Fernandez

THE PERFECT PLAYLIST

“I see the brand as something bigger than me—something that would be on an F1 car. I’m just the face because I created it, but the product can stand alone without me.”

“It’s a drink you can have all day. I think modern drinking is being able to consume more but with less alcohol—making it a lifestyle.”

RED LIGHT COCKTAIL

Ingredients

  • 5 oz Milagro Tequila Silver
  • 0.5 oz fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 oz homemade raspberry syrup (you can also purchase premium syrup online or at a liquor store)
  • 3 oz JETWAY Rose Seltzer
  • Garnish: grapefruit slice

Shake with ice and strain over a wine glass filled with ice. Top with 3 oz JETWAY Rose Seltzer. Garnish with grapefruit slice.

Photo Courtesy of Jetway

ROOTS

“I grew up with my parents’ Japanese friends, so yuzu and ginger were always around. The other flavors helped bring out the flavors the wine had naturally. The idea was to lower the alcohol but keep the flavors of the wine, so you could pour it into a glass and enjoy it like it was wine or crush it like it was a seltzer.” 

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