Channing Centeno’s pivot and playlist.
If you popped into Channing Centeno’s life during the pandemic, you might find him upside down. Literally.
“The pandemic gave me a chance to step back and make some serious strides with my health and fitness,” says the Brooklyn-based bartender and creator of a tiki consulting company.
“I’ve always wanted to get my yoga teacher certification, so I carved out the time to get certified. Pre-pandemic, I was working for two different companies for three-plus years, and then with everything that happened, I had to start back up from square one.”
It’s a pivot to be proud of, for sure, and while you could certainly do some yoga breathing and Warrior Pose to this soundtrack, it’s best to start by mixing up Centeno’s lively, exquisitely crushable Dragonball.
It’s a tropical highball, with a nice, warm flavor offering a base of Basil Hayden bourbon, Amontillado Sherry, a pineapple chili syrup, and lemon juice. It’s served with a refreshing topping of soda water.
This drink is really a testament to Centeno’s own arch in the industry. He’s opened and overseen so many illustrious beverage menus, but fun is always at the forefront. His tiki events feature a backdrop of ‘90s hip-hop tunes, great drinks and the overall appeal of not taking cocktails or one’s self too seriously.
For you, dear listeners, it’s now time to turn up those speakers and dive into a playlist that begins with Creep by TLC.
“Those trumpets right at the beginning of the song are so distinct,” he says, “and immediately set the tone for the rest of the playlist.”
Overall, this soundtrack is really uplifting. It will likely remind you of driving around with friends in high school or college, the words will come easily, and it’s both great for this 6ourbon 7ime unwind moment in your life, but also for hopefully upcoming, limited gatherings outside in the backyard this summer.
From Creep, we get that old-school nostalgia and high energy, moving into No Letting Go by Wayne Wonder.
“Gypsy Woman by Crystal Waters is the one track people would not expect,” he says. “Most of the music is made in that late ‘90s early 2000s era.”
Where The Party At off the Jagged Little Thrill album by Nelly and Hot Boyz by Missy Elliott both make an appearance (sending us right back to the Y2K era and to our living room dance floors), and it’s the Come On Home track that finishes this entire playlist so well. The Nigerian Lijadu Sisters came to prominence in their home country in the ‘60s and ‘70s and this 1979 track might just introduce you to them and give you a wonderful moment of travel in your own home.
“This isn’t a very Indie playlist,” he says. “And I’m not throwing anything obscure at you. I want everyone in the room to be familiar with the music, because it’s more fun when we can dance and sing together.”
Title and Cocktail Photo by Gabi Porter