Karamo Brown On Mindful Mixology And The Art Of Self-Care

Food & Drink

Being one of reality TV’s first openly gay Black men, Karamo Brown, a pioneering media personality and mental health advocate, links empathy and understanding to building genuine connections. Known for his candid wisdom on Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” Brown’s journey has been replete with personal and societal challenges, leading to comprehensive growth and resilience.

Growing into Authenticity

I didn’t have the normal high school experience like everyone else. I didn’t get to just date or go to prom,” reflects Brown. Throughout his teenage years, pressures to fit in and societal norms spurred him to start drinking. When he ventured into the LGBTQ+ community during college, this pattern seemed only to intensify. “Our social life is surrounded by clubs,” Brown admits.

It wasn’t until his 30s that Brown realized there were other avenues to build connections beyond the club scene. He discovered diverse social activities like a gay hiking club, which provided a basis for meaningful engagement and connection. However, Brown confesses that he still enjoys an occasional good clubbing moment.

Reflecting on his experiences, Karamo sheds light on the cultural shift between his own journey and the experiences of LGBTQ youth today.

“I’m 40! I was watching MTV. I watched primarily like hip hop, hip hop it hills, if you want popping bottles, it was all I knew. Sometimes I hear kids today when I’m like, they hear a song from the early 2000s or the late 1900s. They’re like popping. They’re like, ‘Why were you popping bottles? And I’m like because that’s what you did, you pop bottles,” he notes.

Today, Brown is excited to see the rise of more conversations around mental health, culture, and activities that don’t center on alcohol and opportunities for lower ABV options.

Mindful Mixology

Brown sought balance and meaningful connections as he approached the notable milestone of turning 40. Engaging in mindful mixology became a crucial aspect of this journey.

“There’s pride now–when people come to my house, showing them that I know how to make a drink because it just makes me feel like a grown-ass man, which gives me confidence when I host a party. It’s not just about putting out liquor for everyone to grab; it’s about making a drink for y’all” This intentional approach mirrors where he is—everything is intentional. “If it’s not making sense to me, and I can’t be intentional about it, I’m not just gonna have half butt it.'”

“It’s so intimate—I realized at my parties that it was hard for everyone to get to know each other if we weren’t all close friends. And I realize now when I’m making drinks and like making a Karamo-tini or something. All of a sudden, everyone’s around my island, and everyone’s talking, and having fun because they’re learning.” The intentional creation of cocktails becomes a vehicle for connection, turning making drinks into a mindful experience that fosters a sense of community and shared enjoyment.

An Organic Partnership with Chambord

As a long-standing fan of Chambord, Brown has always been interested in connecting with the brand. The opportunity for a brand ambassadorship felt like a natural progression, given his liking for the brand and resonance with Chambord’s year-round support for the LGBTQ+ community.

“The current Karamo-Tini was inspired by what I already drink at home,” Brown reveals, making it evident that this partnership goes beyond a professional relationship. It is an extension of Brown’s journey, taste, and values. “It’s been a nice synergy of working with somebody who actually got me that I liked and then would support my community.”

Advocacy for Balance and Self-Care

As Chambord ambassador, Brown reaches beyond mixology—using his platform to advocate for balance and self-care. From a skincare routine—icing his face and using an acne face wash—to mindfulness about alcohol consumption and mental health, Brown emphasizes that self-care is essential to enjoying life responsibly.

“In essence, whether it’s about alcohol consumption or mental health, it all comes down to how you care for yourself while still enjoying life,” Brown shares. By partnering with Chambord—a brand that supports his message and community—Brown hopes to destigmatize conversations around self-care and responsible enjoyment.

Through Brown’s journey, he shows us that breaking boundaries is not just about breaking societal norms but also about breaking one’s limiting patterns. He brings insight into what it means to embrace personal growth while advocating for balance and mindfulness in all avenues of life. This process is surely just as refreshing as the cocktails he skillfully creates.

Karamo-Tini

Ingredients:

  1. 0.75 oz Chambord
  2. 1.5 oz Herradura Reposado
  3. 0.75 oz Pineapple Juice
  4. 0.75 oz Lime Juice
  5. 4 drops Simple Syrup

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker, combine Chambord, Herradura Reposado, pineapple juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well until chilled. Strain the mixture into a coupe glass.

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