The Yes, Chef Cocktail

We named this cocktail after my memoir. It’s got a lot of flavor, and just a little hint of spice.

Honey syrup is simply equal parts honey and water brought to a boil and cooled. It will keep in a jar in the refrigerator for months.

  • 2 sprigs mint
  • ¾ ounce honey syrup (see headnote)
  • ¾ ounce Homemade Ginger Beer
  • ¾ ounce pineapple juice
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • 1 mint leaf

1. Rub the mint sprigs between your palms and drop them into an old-fashioned glass.

2. Add the honey syrup, ginger beer, pineapple juice, lime juice, and vodka to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake.

3. Pour the drink into the old-fashioned glass and garnish with the mint leaf.


  • Pour 2 quarts water into a large saucepan. Add 2 cups peeled and ground ginger (use the food processor), 4 cups light brown sugar, the juice of 2 limes, and 5 Thai bird chiles. Bring to a boil, then strain through a sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth.
  • Pour into bottles and refrigerate.
The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem