By Ebony Baker
Take a second and allow me to transport you to a beautiful garden. The day is glorious, the sky is blue, the air is warm, and the breeze is caressing your skin. You feel at peace, at ease. The most angelic voice sings in the distance. You stop to realize that it's Minnie Riperton, and you have been led to stay in her garden. You sing along to the words “I'll take your hand and lead you from these bad times, I'll take your breath and give you mine, I'll take your hand and lead you where the truth lies, I'll take you with me now.” You dance, as you free yourself, using Minnie’s voice as your guide. Good music has a way of transporting us to another place, and so does drinking a good cocktail. When combined, music and cocktails have the power to create a narrative and a vibe, which is just what Deniseea Taylor aims to do with her work Cocktails by POP. Deniseea has built her business and brand on the combination of mixology and music, while also creating her cocktails through the lens of black history. We are so excited for the opportunity to have Deniseea (@Chickenandchampagne) share her cocktail expertise on our Instagram @FriendsNYC on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 6pm - join us! Happy Hour With Dee will be saved as a highlight so don't worry if you miss it.
Q. Tell us about yourself and where your joy for making cocktails originated from?
Q. I love the concept of pairing black history and music with a good cocktail. Tell us the first song and moment in black history that inspired you to make your first cocktail and start your business Cocktails by Pop?
A. ALLUM...(pronounced ah-luh-m meaning "all of them according to the African American Vernacular) The inspiration from my rich culture has always inspired me. It took some time to creatively reach this point where I am able to tell a historic story through the cocktails. The history and the music I listen to moves me. For example, there is no way I can listen to Minnie Riperton’s "Come to My Garden" and not think of a light floral cocktail for the summer. Or listen to Drake's first album and come up with an entire menu full of champagne (Papi) cocktails lol.
Q. What’s your favorite cocktail to make?
A. I love a daiquiri. I fell in love with daiquiris in New Orleans. Aged Rum, lime, simple syrup...it's a foolproof cocktail.
Q. Has there been a cocktail that’s hard to perfect?
A. In my opinion no. I respect the classics however if you put your spin on it there is no right or wrong way. It's liquid art so what I put in that glass is what is gon be...
Q. How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted you personally and your business?
A. Personally, it’s allowed me to slow down mentally and make sure I'm taking care of myself as well as I care for my business, my allies, and clients. I've had to sit with myself to make sure I'm not pouring from an empty glass. Business wise, we've been able to adapt to the new way of the world. Business has been amazing. I feel bad at times for saying that because the world is shambles. However if through my business I can spread light and show love from a distance then that's my way of adding to the much needed change!
Q. What are you hoping that Friend's viewers take away from watching you on live?
A. I hope they feel the love and hear my tone. The story I'm telling through cocktails is one we all need to hear. Through great libations, I hope to get strangers together to agree on something in order to learn from one another. If that something happens to be a bomb ass cocktail so be it.... let’s pour up and learn what we think we know.
I hope Friends’ viewers are ready for a treat because happy hour is in session! You can follow Deniseea on Instagram @Chickenandchampagne and check out her website https://www.cocktailsbypop.com/ ! Happy mixing, Friends!