Hitting a cocktail bar and looking at a menu full of funky names, random mixes of ingredients (some you might not have even heard of), and hefty prices can be daunting — that can also be true even if you’re already fully into cocktail culture. However, a good bartender can provide you with a drink experience that is tailored for you. All you have to do is strike up a conversation.
In that spirit, we introduce UPROXX’s new series, Grand Encounters — where mixologist and author Shannon Mustipher sits down with creators from different walks of life to share stories and build them a bespoke cocktail featuring Grand Marnier and its blend of cognac and orange. In the premiere episode, Mustipher is joined by up-and-coming music star Otis Kane. Like any great bartender, Mustipher dives into what excites Kane, where he comes from, and where he’s going before creating a cocktail that fits his vibe.
While you might not get this same level of service at your local cocktail bar when it’s packed on a Friday night, it’s the sort of experience you’d expect from the greats when there’s time to dive into what makes the perfect cocktail for you. After hearing about Kane’s work behind the boards in music studios, his shift to behind the mic, and his Black, Jamaican, Mexican, and American heritage, Mustipher devises a “Flor de Jamaica” for Kane—a take on a hibiscus margarita.
The cocktail balances blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, hibiscus syrup, and “the star of the show?” Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, a unique blend of cognac and orange, which adds a layer of complexity to the cocktail. After a shake and a pour, Mustipher and Kane are enjoying a pink cocktail with a salted rim that looks as delicious as it sounds.
Watch the whole episode above to learn more about Otis Kane and how to make Shannon Mustipher’s Flor de Jamaica cocktail, now renamed “The Grand Otis Kane!”