Sit down. It’s story time.
“Back in 2019, my business partner and I launched a consulting and education company,” says Cat Cannon. “We’ve been so fortunate to stay busy during the quarantine.”
Working in Pittsburg, PA, Cannon has focused on supporting her community of bartenders and brands, helping to gather resources and volunteering with the free industry meals programs while many things were shut down.
“When things started to reopen, we were doing virtual events and a lot of virtual classes for home bartending,” she says.
Her playlist is meant to tell a personal journey, although, unless you know her personally, you might not pick up on the specifics. “That story arch is pretty subtle and personal,” she says, “but it’s a true reflection of where I came from and where I’m going.”
That idea of focusing on where you came from, while remaining positive about where you’re going gives the name to her cocktail––The Sankofa. It’s a mix of Maker’s Mark, Chamomile-infused white Crème de Cacao, blanc vermouth, lemon juice, vanilla-infused Angostura bitters and an egg white.
“The name refers to a tattoo I have on my hand,” Cannon says. “Sankofa is from the two languages of Ghana, and it translates to ‘go back and get it.’ I wanted a playlist that lent well with the ingredients in the drink, but to that central idea of remembering where you’re from and where you’re headed,” she says.
You fall into this playlist with the initial track––Dog Problems by The Format.
The Format, if you’re not familiar, is an Indie rock band, with great vibes of a 1960s pop mixed with some alternative and a little punk.
“This track has a Showtune thing about it,” Cannon says. “My dad was a choral director and I think I appreciate music differently because of that.”
There’s some Sunshine, a track by Jonathan Edwards, next and Oh What a World by the very recognizable voice of Rufus Wainwright.
Lake Street Drive––a Southern rock band with an infectious alt-Jazz sound––comes in at Track 4 with Bobby Tanqueray.
For Cannon personally, listening to this playlist brings back memories and stirs up emotions. It’s understandable. That’s the power of the music we love, after all.
The choice of Chamomile in the drink was intentional. Sipping it, she’s taken back to the tea her mom would make when she was sad or sick as a kid. It’s a taste that’s comforting now as an adult in the midst of a pandemic, with the adult kick of Maker’s Mark added in.
You’ll notice the tempo on this playlist pick up, then crescendo and eventually ease you back down. There’s some Pink!, Supertramp and Fleetwood Mac in the middle. You slide into the finish of it with a little Praise You, by Fatboy Slim.
Title & Cocktail Photo by: Cody Baker