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Most Imaginative Bartender Canvas Project: Keyatta Mincey-Parker

October 29, 2020

Story: Punch Staff

art: Nick Hensley

Keyatta Mincey-Parker, national finalist in the 2020 Most Imaginative Bartender Competition, shares her tips on growing and caring for a bartender's garden.

You might say there’s something effortless about how Atlanta-based bartender Keyatta Mincey-Parker finds ideas for cocktails: They come to her in dreams. Literally.

Her somnolescent method of inspiration informs an approach that starts with imagining the drink visually, then working backward to figure out how to recreate the colors and feel of the fantasy cocktail. In the process of turning dream into reality, Mincey-Parker has developed a style of boldly colorful drinks, characterized by fresh, verdant ingredients and an eye-catching flamboyance. “I like to put out bright, vibrant drinks,” she says. “People drink with their eyes first.”

A collectively run garden in her neighborhood that she and her husband help tend is often a source for those lush ingredients. The garden also provides a way for Mincey-Parker to cultivate a sense of home and community in Atlanta.

Now, when she needs ingredients to match the bright hues of the drinks from her dreams, she often heads for her garden. Her latest project, A Sip of Paradise, is a bartenders’ community garden with the mission to provide a “healthy and safe space for members of the industry to recharge their creativity, minds and themselves.” It’s a place where she finds both peace and inspiration, growing as a creative person and as a neighbor who’s putting down new roots. “This summer we had basil, oregano, rosemary… All these things lead to my aesthetic of freshness,” she says. “It’s where I find myself when I need to think or get away.”

Keyatta Mincey-Parker on Growing a Bartender's Garden

About the Canvas Project

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin, in partnership with Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, is proud to present ‘The Canvas Project’, a content series featuring the creative passions of the 12 finalists in the 2020 Most Imaginative Bartender (MIB) Competition. From photography and videography, to home gardening tips and mindfulness tutorials, the webinars are designed to spark inspiration and discovery, and foster connection by sharing bartenders’ personal passions in times of hardship.

Last year’s iteration of MIB introduced the Canvas Challenge, a $25,000 grant awarded to a finalist to turn their creative vision into reality. This ambitious test further heightened the imagination component of the competition to a new level and served as a reinforcement of Bombay Sapphire’s belief in the innate creativity of bartenders, which often translates outside the glass as much as it does inside of it.

The episodes of ‘The Canvas Project’ are designed around the Canvas Challenge submissions of the 12 finalists, who hail from Portland to Atlanta, Toronto to Miami, giving viewers a peek inside the inner workings of the program.

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