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Whether you’re behind the screen or in front of the mic — it’s OK to drink on the job

Liquid Courage

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Drinking on a podcast is a necessary thing for a lot of people.

Years ago when EffinB Radio started, we drank a lot on the show. It feels appropriate to have a cocktail and keep it very conversational. But then it started getting — it can go too far. One time we lost an episode because I didn't save it I just closed my computer!

I produce around seven different shows now and every single time when people are in the studio for the first time they ask, "Do you have any wine?" I keep the studio stocked with something bubbly, something cold, even just a bottle of tequila — whatever is on my bar. I'm happy to offer them something if they need a little liquid courage because it's a weird format. Suddenly the mic is in your face. People don't do this in their life, probably ever. So it's kind of unexpected.

When you're a public speaker talking to groups or classes, you can kind of lose the crowd but the mic is such a physical thing that's right in front of you — there's no reaction gauge. Is this good? Is anyone liking this? There are no people smiling or yawning.

I was on Pocket Liquor [podcast with Jacye McConnell and Brandon Plyler] last night and when I got there they said 'Oh it's so good to have you back. We really miss having a third party.' They now do their show on their own but I started their show with them and produced the first five episodes.

And the other dynamic is, if you have multiple hosts and one wants to take it in different a direction they can ask the producer 'well whose idea is better?' so it kind of helps them gauge whether or not to keep going. So it's more than just pushing record. And they especially, well, it's in the name — there's so much liquor. I had to request a dump bucket yesterday cause guys, this is so much booze.

At my home stuido I think it's cool to always have something on hand — I like to have "craft services," even non-alcoholic stuff. I'll always have a bottle of cold sparkling to pop if someone is you know, having a Monday or just in general that's a pretty universal crowd pleaser you can always pour bubbles and they're like 'cool, I can do this.'

Right now, I'm producing shows all day. For a while it was a side hustle when I was doing restaurants, so it was pretty restricted to evenings when I was off or days before I went into work. EffinB Radio always recorded on Saturdays and now I'm just in my closet whenever I have time. Those Saturday mornings it would monopolize your whole day, you would get boozy, it was like a little brunch — without the food, like "I did put a raspberry in it and it's technically a salad."

With my equpiment, it really lends itself to be this traveling studio. When I'm not in my home studio where I have booze around, my guests/hosts have sort of adopted that. I always like to take the opportunity to have a nip of something, but it's not every time now.

As far as guests go, hospitality people always bring something, and wellness people, well, they'll just bring their own bottle of water or, they have a personal kombucha. I like food and bev guests, they usually bring something that's a wild card.

For instance, I think we were having a mezcal producer on and it was something we couldn't actually buy here and we couldn't find it so they ended up bringing it which was great and that made it really easy cause they want you to taste their product.

Last time when we did Pocket Liquor, we were talking about sherry because that's what I really like and I brought a bottle of Manzania and I don't even know how they did this — they had each picked out a bottle and we didn't duplicate any it was amazing. We had the whole range of sherry! I was like 'guys we accidentally orchestrated this really well.' People in the service industry just really get it. We had the whole rainbow of styles, it was really fun.

When I'm editing, often late at night, I'm all about an amaro spritz, a cynar and soda. It's easy and low proof so I'm not blacking out because it gets to be kind of monotonous, editing. You're listening over and over but it doesn't have to be totally mind numbing and cynar and soda especially in the summer is something I really love.

Now that I'm not in food and bev you don't get to try stuff and I really took that for granted, I always had an idea of what was cool and new, you get to taste stuff maybe before it's on a list and now it's not happening as much so I'll go to Monarch and Graft and say "I want to try this."

It's so cliche, but I'm very into natural wine, so I'll keep whatever bottle seems interesting — I'll have a weird small blend that I'll open when I'm doing a full day's edit and I'll just kind of sip on that because it's light and easy. The wine world changes so fast, so drinking this while editing, it's like research and therapy while I'm getting work done. And that's the coolest part about working from home, that that's not frowned upon while I'm sitting at my desk.

Sometimes my most productive hours are 11 p.m.-1 a.m., that's often when I get a burst of energy or creativity or idea, when I have the quiet of the night. I was on a night schedule since I was 17. I'm a low-powered robot in the morning, just getting through my basic functions. At night is when I do a lot of editing now, I prefer to burn that midnight oil, and that feels way more appropriate for having a cocktail. I'm just acheiving balance, little by little, all the time. 

Lindsay Collins is the host and creator of Effin B Radio. Her first job in restaurants was at the age of 15 and she has gone on to work in three Michelin star kitchens and dining rooms and spent four years as a server at FIG. In 2019, she launched a podcast production company called LMC Soundsystem and has recurring restaurant dreams about being 'in the weeds' to this very day.

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