A few years ago, I had the idea to start a YouTube cocktail recipe series, where I show you how to build drink recipes of my own making. It was going to be called "Libation Fixation". I don't mention it that much, but I used to make my living bartending my ass off for several of the most prestigious luxury events in Los Angeles: Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Emmys, Grammys, Independent Spirit Awards, Mel Gibson's daughter's wedding, Michael Bay's housewarming, random house parties in the hills... you name it. I loved it! Mixology taps into my creative impulses, and crafting tasty cocktails for clients, friends, and family to enjoy is my jam.
These days, I professionally bartend only occasionally, but I still enjoy concocting new recipes on the fly. Especially when I find myself at house party after house party with only two choices of liquor, three choices of mixer, and random fruit. So why not share my extemporaneous concoctions with the world?
It was December of 2015 when I first had this idea. It was December of 2017 when I finally felt like I could take action - I finally had some extra cash so I went and bought some bottles. I wrote a script and storyboarded my vision. It was October 2018 when I finally recorded the voiceover, and got some help filming it (thank you Aurelie!). And after all that procrastination and prep, the footage was unusable.
Here's the upside though: when IGTV became a Thing last summer, I decided to create a companion show called "The Juice Is Good" where I make a Libation Fixation drink recipe for a friend, have them try it on camera, and get their reaction. One week before the shoot of unusable footage, I did an on camera demo with the homegirl Jurni Rayne and her girlfriend, whom I first met when I MC'ed Blackoustic last March, in which she performed a set.
Our drink? Black. Cherry. Pop. The signature cocktail I created for Blackoustic.
You can view the first episode of "The Juice Is Good" in two parts (there's a 10 minute limit and my episode came to about 13 *shrug emoji*) below:
Now, here's the origin story of the Black Cherry Pop ;-)
I was thrilled when Vixen Noir asked me to be her Mastress of Ceremonies for the first-ever Blackoustic earlier this year. I was even more thrilled when I met with the venue’s host, and found she was totally on board with me creating a signature cocktail for the evening. Knowing that we were creating an atmosphere of powerful black queer woman sensuality, I just ran with it, and started with the word “black”.
The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice, so it’s only natural I turned to blackberries for the dominant flavor profile for this cocktail. But I didn’t want to leave it there - my gut told me that a tad bit of grenadine for a slight cherry taste would be a great addition, too. So then, for the liquor, a potato-based vodka to counterbalance all that sweetness. And soda, for fizz and lightness.
Not having all the ingredients immediately at hand, I had to test this to make sure it wouldn’t be totally gross and over-sweet in practice. So I went to happy hour at The Line hotel in Koreatown, instructed the bartender on the build, and took a sip.
Sweet victory. I just love success. And it was a total hit at Blackoustic.
Now: Black Cherry Pop is stirred, not shaken. To make one, you’ll need a mixing glass, spoon, and strainer; a muddler, a potato-based vodka, fresh blackberries, grenadine, soda, ice, and pitted bourbon soaked cherries as an optional garnish.
Here’s the build.
- Fill a rocks glass with ice.
- In your mixing glass, crush and muddle 6 to 8 blackberries, then add a full scoop of ice.
- You’ll pour in 1.5 oz of vodka. 1 shot glass = 1 ounce.
- Stir it up vigorously at least 10 times, then strain into the rocks glass.
- You’ll then fill the glass three quarters of the way with soda..
- Lastly, drizzle about a quarter ounce of grenadine into the glass
Garnish with those cherries, if you so choose. I’m partial to using bourbon-soaked cherries that I soaked in bourbon myself.
This drink is strong, refreshing, and it’s got flavor. Like me.
Remember, alcohol has been found to be carcinogenic, and it’s definitely poison, so imbibe your Black Cherry Pop with moderation.
Thanks so much for reading this far! And if you watched the first episode of "The Juice Is Good" on IGTV, you have my deepest appreciation. This is something that I want to keep growing and sharing, and if you're able to contribute to that, please consider leaving me a tip by donating to my Patreon below.
ONE LAST THING! If you try my recipe, leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it :-)
|I'm a one-woman circus and the world's most passionate Grace Jones stan. Everything about your planet confounds me, except cats. Book me: hritalent.com|