Stevie Wonder - ‘Hotter Than July’ + Julius Special
Ingredients: 2/3 ounce Jamaican dark rum, 1/3 ounce lime juice, 1/3 ounce Cointreau
Mixing Instructions: Pour ingrédients in cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake vigorously, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve.
Notes: When Andrew Winistorfer asked if we’d want to synch up this Stevie Wonder pairing with a post on his own blog, Vinyl In Alphabetical, I said yes, honestly not even caring what the album was. We love his blog/writing enough that questions like, “Do I own this album?” or “Do I have anything to say about this” or “Hey, I’m a white kid from Wyoming born three years after the release (1980) of an album written by a blind African American gentlemen to honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and highlight the still simmering racial tensions in America - is it ok for me to pair it with snazzy Jamaican cocktail and slap it on our Tumblr?” didn’t come up until after the deal was done.
Better that it happened that way I suppose, as otherwise it’s possible I would have gone my whole life thinking that Songs in the Key of Life was all I needed to check the Stevie box. Is Hotter Than July his best work, no. But, sometimes you need to listen to the “other” albums to even begin to understand the mind of an artist and the historical context within which he/she was working at the time. And sometimes you have to accept that fact that a good reggae track, “Master Blaster (Jammin’) provides all the excuse you need to buy some Jamaican dark rum and toast a legend.