Who doesn’t love a good cocktail or mocktail with one’s favorite dish and the Trap Kitchen duo Malachi “Spank” Jenkins and Roberto “News” Smith are on top of this assignment.
The childhood friends turned co-owners of Trap Kitchen LA are set to release “Trap Kitchen: The Art of Street Cocktails” on May 16, which includes innovative mixes that give a strong nod to social, urban and regional drinks adorn across the country.
“Before we got into Trap Kitchen and became cookbook authors, we weren’t mixin’ no fancy drinks or nothin’ like that. We were making drinks at parties in our cribs. But over time, we learned a thing or two, and now we got the experts like Brian Boykin and Maxwell Britten workin’ with us in the lab to perfect our street cocktail recipes,” says Smith.
The Perfect Trap Kitchen Pairing
To deliver the ultimate mixology creations, Jenkins and Smith teamed up with Britten, a New York-based hospitality entrepreneur and Boykin, a Diageo consultant, to create a comprehensive guide to street cocktails, aka “alcoholic beverages sold illegally on the street, in barbershops and bodegas.”
“Trap Kitchen III: The Art of Street Cocktails” is all about showin’ love to the street cocktail culture in NYC that’s been poppin’ off for a while but ain’t got the recognition it deserves elsewhere. During the pandemic, when bars had to shut down, street cocktails became even more important, and we wanted to pay tribute to the culture while also puttin’ our own spin on it,” says Smith.
Rum, bourbon, cognac, beer tequila, vodka and prosecco all serve as the base for the more than 50 cocktails that take up the pages of the book, making it easy to select recipes by simply picking the spirit of your choice.
Naturally, I went for the gin and couldn’t resist heading to Napa Valley with their concoction consisting of gin, dry moscato, fresh lemon juice and elderflower liqueur.
With four simple ingredients that include Ciroc Red Berry Vodka, lemonade pink juice, Sprite and fresh lemon juice, you’ll have the perfect cocktail, Lean Back, in your hand as you follow along with Fat Joe.
You may hear the song “Welcome to Jamrock” playing in your head or even on your speakers as you prepare this cocktail that brings together white rum, Giffard Caribbean Pineapple Liqueur, Monin ginger syrup and fresh lemon juice.
Cognac fans can get a little dessert in a jar with the Peach Cobbler cocktail that also adds Giffard Peche de Vigne Liqueur, fresh lemon juice and lemonade peach juice.
Oh You Fancy, Huh is sure to be a favorite, not just to get you dancing to Drake and T.I., but get you feeling good with a simple combination of bourbon, orange juice, triple sec and a dash of La Croix’s lemon sparkling water. Try the recipe for yourself.
Adding to my quick picks, Smith says, “If you’re tryna get turnt up, you gotta try the Gin & Juice. We made it as an homage to Snoop Dogg and his classic track, so you know it’s gonna be fire. And don’t sleep on the Mango Marathon, that’s our way of honorin’ Nipsey Hussle and his legacy. Plus, we got the Gummy Berry Juice and MWA to round out the selection, and each one has its own special flavor and vibe.”
The ingredients and creative mixes of the cocktail are just a part of the street cocktail culture. The other important part is the vessel from which you drink it, which can also be the best part.
Red solo cups, mason jars, empty clear honey beer bottles, tall milk bottles, NYC coffee cups and a clear plastic flask are not required but are suggested for the cocktails to get true street cred.
Released just in time for summer, Trap Kitchen’s tribute to street cocktails is sure to up your cocktail game, bring back old memories as well as help to create new ones.
Purchase “Trap Kitchen: The Art of Street Cocktails” online at our partner bookstore, the Food Temptress Cookbook Store.
The Food Temptress Cookbook Store is an online culinary bookstore featuring more than 80 cookbooks by Black authors. Cuisine Noir does not receive a commission from sales.