‘Grand Encounters’ Is Back With A New Cocktail And A Deep Dive Into The Curation Of Black Culture

A.J. Girard is using his background in art history to shine a bright light on Black art culture — from the streets to the galleries — through his showcases in Los Angeles and worldwide. Shannon Mustipher is an award-winning mixologist and author, whose work behind the bar has helped re-center the Black experience in cocktail history and the present-day bar scene. Girard and Mustipher sat down together in the latest episode of Grand Encounters to combine their backgrounds in curating Black culture, history, and art, both in the gallery and behind the bar, to make a unique Grand Marnier cocktail.

Sitting in front of the bar, Girard walks Mustipher through his work and how he uses his platform to create spaces for BIPOC artists to shine outside of the standard (and very gate-keepy) art world. Mustipher soaks it all in while slowly building a Grand Marnier cocktail that speaks to Girard’s vibe and his deeply important work in the art community.

Behind the bar, Mustipher serves Girard a neat pour of Grand Marnier Cuvee Louis-Alexandre to get things started and prime his palate with the perfect blend of fine VSOP cognac and orange liqueur. Then Mustipher picks up a jigger and gets to work building the cocktail.

Watch the episode above to learn about Mustipher’s cocktail choice, how it tastes, and how to make the drink while also learning about the impactful work that A.J. Girard is doing in the art space.