Sitting down to chat with Keyatta Mincey Parker is a joy. Her energy is infectious and her playlist equally so. Her playlist is a fabulous, funky, danceable ride.
Add one of her signature cocktails into the mix?
You’ve got yourself a great evening ahead, indeed.
Parker has 18 years in the game of bartending, having worked for major hotel brands, as well as recognizable Atlanta watering holes, but the pandemic finds her most often outside in a bartender community garden that she started. She loves digging in the dirt, nurturing all manner of herbs, peppers, small vegetables, and flowers.
“I just kind of fell into gardening,” she says. “My grandmother was a gardener, and we would be out there as kids, snapping peas. It takes me right back when I’m gardening now. I think it’s great to get out of the house, put your phone down, and although I’m still young with the whole gardening thing, I’m learning.”
Novice would never be mentioned when considering her bartending skills, however, and they’ve been honed to a razor’s point over the two decades behind the stick.
For Keyatta, it’s always a good time to make something refreshing. She loves a sour, incorporating what she’s grown whenever possible––mixing botanicals and herbs with fresh, fresh citrus.
Her playlist is really refreshing, too. It starts you off with lowkey, but jam-able What’s the 411, by Mary J. Blige, evolving to include some Jade and Sugar Hill by AZ. We like the higher energy towards the end, where Outkast’s Player’s Ball comes on, and Rockets by Lion Babe, featuring Moe Moks, is a fantastic, soulful, chill wrap to it all. If you had to describe the start to finish feeling of this playlist, we liken it to a rollercoaster. You slide up that first hill, drop-down big and then finish feeling chill but in a mood to dance.
“On the zodiac, I’m a Cancer,” she says, laughing. “So, everything I do is based in emotion. When I’m headed into a work shift, I play music that will get me pumped up. Coming home, though, it’s chill. I love to put on some African or Calypso when I’m home, and I shift into another lane. Music, for me, sets a tone on how the day is going or will go. If I’m excited, you’ll hear that in the music I choose. If I’m sad, you’ll hear that too. Atlanta is a music town, and it’s really multi-cultural,” she offers. “What a great place to live if you love music, food and drinks, like I do.”
For this project, Parker made a play on the Smash, with Knob Creek Small Batch as a tied-in cocktail. It, like her personality, has big, bold flavors, the moments of citrus and sunshine, with the depth of great bourbon.
Title Photo and Cocktail Photo by Kimberly Howell