Going 10 Rounds with Top Bartender Keyatta Mincey Parker
The talented Atlanta bartender tackles our speed round of questions.
What do you like to drink after a shift? “Something quick and crushable like a Gin & Tonic or a shot of Cynar depending on how long the shift was.”
What is the all-time best dive bar jukebox song? “The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize” always make me rap.”
After all these years bartending and creating drinks, do you still enjoy going out to bars? “Honestly, only if I know the bartender. Service is so important to me, but it is sometimes lacking. I want to feel special when I get the chance to go out.”
Name the first good drink you ever drank and where you had it. “I would have to say a 50/50 Martini and it was made by my former mentor Eric Simpkins during my first night of training on the bar. Everything changed after that drink.”
What book on cocktails or spirits is your go-to resource? “If I had to choose a book that I happen to have a copy of it would be A Proper Drink by Robert Simonson. I got it as a gift years ago from a former employer.”
What’s your favorite cocktail and food pairing? “I love a steak medium rare with a Manhattan—just perfect.”
What drink are you most proud of creating? “The drink I am most proud of creating is called Eve’s Pot Liquor. It’s a collard green and green apple cocktail made with gin, fernet and aloe liqueur. The garnish is a homemade collard green chip.”
Is there one person (dead or alive) you’d like to make a cocktail for? “I would love to make a cocktail for my dad, unfortunately he passed away a long time ago, but he was a Scotch and Cognac drinker. I would love to wow him with a drink and conversation.”
What’s your favorite shot-and-a-beer combination? “A porter or lager and Cynar. I love Cynar.”
What is the one tool that you always make sure to pack when you’re traveling for business? “My jigger. I feel like it the one tool that will make every cocktail perfect.”
How do you recharge after a long week of bartending? “I have a community garden that is a few blocks from my house. Weather permitting, I’m usually there, pruning and weeding. If there are things to pick, I pick them. However, I also do enjoy long walks with my husband. He always centers my crazy.”
Interview has been condensed and edited.