Drink Masters is the latest food-based reality show on Netflix, and if you’re into cooking competition shows, this one might quickly become your newest obsession. Netflix Life had the opportunity to talk to season 1 winner Lauren “LP” Paylor O’Brien, an early standout in the show who ended up getting crowned the show’s first Drink Masters champion to become Ultimate Drink Master.
LP is a proud BIPOC advocate and talented mixologist with numerous accolades, but she is most passionate about helping remove barriers to entry for women and the BIPOC community. She is dedicated to creating inclusive spaces through her work with her consulting company LP Drinks Co. and Focus on Health, an organization specializing in no and low-ABV development.
While chatting with LP, she provided tips on making the perfect holiday cocktail and advice to those interested in mixology!
Interview with Drink Masters champion LP
Netflix Life: What was the first thing you did when you won?
LP: I actually went to Hawaii with my now-husband, where he proposed to me on vacation.
Netflix Life: That’s amazing. Congratulations! Regarding Focus on Health, How did you get involved in the no and low-alcohol space?
LP: We started Focus on Health at the peak of COVID in March 2020, and the idea was to create a health and wellness advocacy program that allowed us to be a conduit for the beverage industry to connect with health and wellness professionals.
Netflix Life: What are the best alcohol replacements for those looking for no and low drinks?
LP: I’m biased toward Seedlip and using it as an alternative-based spirit in beverages. I think the most important thing when trying to make non-alcoholic beverages at home is taking into consideration that because there is no alcohol, we have to compensate for the lack of texture. We can manipulate that by adding things like carbonation, rich syrup, egg whites, or aquafaba and utilizing that to our advantage when making cocktails.
Netflix Life: I was reading your AMA on Instagram, and you said sherry is one of your favorite spirits to work with. What’s one of your favorite cocktails to make using sherry?
LP: You can make anything with sherry. You can put an amontillado or amoroso in a daiquiri or a PX-styled sherry in an old fashioned. I love the versatility of sherry. It provides complex flavors, and it’s a good way to layer flavors.
Netflix Life: Do you have a favorite cocktail to make during the holiday season?
LP: I am a big fan of hot toddies and any warm cocktail, hot chocolate with a shot of booze in it, anything that brings me nostalgia. For a hot toddy at home, you can do two ounces of spirit, spiced honey syrup, hot water, and then accompany it with a citrus wheel or peel, and it would be just the right thing during the holidays.
Netflix Life: What are some tricks to spice up a hot chocolate?
LP: I’d say a mezcal- or agave-based spirit is a great thing to put in your hot chocolate. Additionally, I love using Mexican hot chocolate. I think the flavors in it are so beautiful and allow you to enjoy the experience more when adding agave-based spirits.
Netflix Life: Do you have any tips for those who might have watched the show and are now interested in mixology?
LP: I’d say learn the classic cocktails first. They’re a great way to deviate from and make your own spirits at home. I always start by replacing one ingredient. So, if it’s an old fashioned, maybe instead of simple syrup, I’ll use a spiced honey syrup, or instead of angostura bitters, I do a dash of orange bitters. Eventually, you’ll be in a place where you can find the things you like and the things you don’t.