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by Jason Gubbels

June 5, 2014

Summer Cocktail Series, Pt. 1: Tequila

by Jason Gubbels  |  June 5, 2014

One of the supreme pleasures of warm weather season is taking time to enjoy libations under the sun's rays (or in the shade, if you prefer), an activity that's been celebrated in song ever since grape wine and honey mead first emerged from the haze of pre-history. And just as Greek lyrical poets once praised the taste (and aftereffects) of local wines in their verse, contemporary singers across all genres pay constant tribute to the transformative powers of strong drink, whether the occasion be getting the party started or nursing along a hangover.

In fact, musicians being the booze connoisseurs they are, there's no way a single playlist could do justice to the sprawling topic of alcohol in music. So we're launching a Summer Cocktail Series that will dive deep into the fermented and distilled depths of popular song, each playlist highlighting a specific spirit or libation variation, from brandy snifters and champagne flutes to beer cans and shot glasses.

We're starting with tequila because, well, popular music has a long-running love affair with the blue agave plant and its products. There's something musical about the word itself, the way it trips off the lips and bolsters a chorus, the way the pride of Guadalajara and Jalisco lends itself to both dive bar rotgut blanco and pricey añejo smoothness. A quick survey suggests that brand loyalties count when it comes to tequila. Country musicians really seem to dig Jose Cuervo, founded way back in 1795 -- consider Tracy Byrd's "Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo" or Shelly West's simple "Jose Cuervo." Meanwhile, hip-hop artists have thrown their enthusiasms behind a more recent addition to the fine-line tequila family, perennial club favorite Patrón, as evidenced in Chamillionaire's "I'm So Gone (Patron)," and "Patron Tequila" from the Paradiso Girls.

So enjoy our celebration of one of the few commercial products that could ever hope to unite Steely Dan (offering "Hey Nineteen" a little Cuervo Gold) and Joe Nichols (the hilarious "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off"). And don't forget to tip your bartender.

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