LP O’Brien is a highly decorated and award-winning mixologist. O’Brien’s expertise in the beverage industry was recently recognized on Netflix’s new television series, Drink Masters, where she emerged as the winner. Her dedication to education, innovation, and cultural integration through cocktail creations has also motivated her to establish her own beverage agency, LP Drinks Co.
O’Brien and her team are dedicated to providing the highest service and hospitality standards while teaching the skills necessary to craft delicious, layered drinks. But creativity is also the name of the game for the master mixologist, who finds inspiration in all sorts of things — like Black history.
In honor of Black History Month, O’Brien is sharing a couple of cocktail recipes that celebrate the legacy of Josephine Baker and the cultural movement of the Harlem Renaissance. See the flavorful recipes she has in mind to toast to our trailblazers and as always, drink responsibly!
The Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker was a Black American entertainer, singer, dancer, and actress. She became famous in the 1920s for her performances in Parisian nightclubs, where she often danced sans clothes, or in a skirt made of bananas. She was also an active member of the French Resistance during World War II and was the first Black woman to star in a major motion picture. Baker was essential in the civil rights movement and used her platform to advocate for racial equality. She died in 1975 at the age of 68. With her famous banana dance in mind, O’Brien came up with a concoction with flavors of gin, Banana de Bresil, prosecco and more.
See the below recipe, inspired by the Jazz Age and Baker.
- 1.5 oz Gin
- ¾ oz Lemon
- ½ oz Banana de Bresil
- Tbsp 2:1 Simple Syrup
- 1 dash Absinthe
- Shake and strain into a chilled coupe.
- Top with Prosecco
- Express the oils of a lemon (discard) and garnish with a manicured lemon peel.
- Pro Tip: Use an atomizer to spray your absinthe into your flute glass vs adding a single drop into your drink. It adds an aromatic element to your beverage.
The Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance was an artistic movement that emerged in the upper Manhattan neighborhood of New York City in the 1920s. It was a time of great cultural and intellectual activity characterized by a renewed interest in African-American art, literature, music, and academic life. The Harlem Renaissance was a significant period in the development of African-American culture and identity, as well as in the broader history of American life. It helped to elevate and celebrate the contributions of Black artists and writers and brought new attention to issues of racial identity, equality, and civil rights.
See the below recipe, inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and the artists of that era, with flavors of cognac, bitters and more.
- 2 oz Cognac
- 0.25 oz 2:1 Simple Syrup
- 0.50 oz Cold Filtered Water
- 2 dashes of Orange Bitters
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Stir in a Yarai mixing glass and strain into a chilled rocks glass. No ice.
- Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint to represent the cultural and artistic flowering that occurred during this time and a lime wedge.
- Pro Tip: Tap your mint sprig on the side of your glass to open up aromatics.