It goes without saying that Black bartenders and mixologists are on the rise in the adult beverages space, and we’re really excited to share details on a new cocktail kit that honors the history of that grand tradition. The talented Janelle Monáe and the Martell cognac house partnered together along with Cognac Educator ms. franky marshall for a new cocktail kit that’s only available for a limited time.
If you’ve visited our Spirit.Ed space in the past, we’ve previously featured Martell Blue Swift, which finishes the cognac in used Kentucky bourbon barrels for a twist on the classic spirit. As a cocktail base, it’s extremely solid, and we’ve used it to make a punchier version of a Sazerac and bold French Connection.
In the world of cognac, ms. franky marshall is one of the brightest minds on the subject. As part of Martell and Janelle Monáe’s “Soar Beyond the Expected” campaign, ms. franky crafted the delicious “Cocktail of the Future,” which was supported by a video, “The Unexpected Effect” with award-winning filmmaker Ewurakua Dawson-Amoah in the director’s chair.
“As a director and poet, my mission is to tell authentic stories of my community, and my partnership with Martell was another opportunity to pay tribute to the impact Black creatives have on society and one another,” said Ewurakua Dawson-Amoah in support of the campaign. “My hope is that ‘The Unexpected Effect’ will inspire people to follow their passion and reimagine their future.”
Martell is completely leaning in along with Monáe’s artistic vision and guidance as the campaign highlights how Black creativity looms high over various aspects of the cocktail and mixology culture.
“Throughout history, whether it’s been on the stage or behind the bar, Black creatives have laid the groundwork for culture, and this collaboration is a testament to that legacy,” said Janelle Monáe. “Afrofuturism is a principle that is redefining culture as we know it, awakening us to the world’s everchanging possibilities. Now, we have a new cocktail we can enjoy as we celebrate our work and create our future.”
The “Cocktail of the Future” kit looks both back into the roots of mixology with ms. franky’s deft concoction features freeze-dried fruits and balsamic vinegar. Some might balk at vinegar in their cocktails but trust us when we say that this ingredient brings everything together as some may have experienced with shrubs. In her words, ms. franky explains the inspiration for the cocktail.
“Janelle Monáe leads with her retro-futuristic [flair] and unapologetic individuality, and I think we’re alike in that way,” said ms. franky marshall. “The drink is an eclectic fusion of my Caribbean heritage and the stylish French influence that Martell brings to the bar. We hope that people enjoy the cocktail at home just as much as I did while creating it.”
Putting together the “Cocktail of the Future” was a fun experience for us, pairing Martell Blue Swift’s bold flavors, with sweet pineapple juice, pimento dram, balsamic vinegar, and blackberry liqueur. It was delicious as it sounds. Check out our best attempt at photography below.
Martell isn’t just offering lip service and has shown continued support for BIPOC communities and beyond with a $200,000 donation towards the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, which will be used to signal boost BIPOC women in the restaurant industry.
For those interested in trying out the kit, Cocktail Courier will feature the offering until April 4. You can learn all about the “Cocktail of the Future” kit by following this link. We should mention the kit includes a copy of The Ideal Bartender by Tom Bullock. Written in 1917, it is the first book on cocktails written by a Black person.
For more information on Martell, click here.