Daniel Parker is the agency director for model and talent company The Matthew Agency, so it’s safe to say he knows style and great taste. In fact, we’ve profiled him for that very same taste in our Style Issue before, but this time, it’s in a glass. We talked with Parker about his Wednesday Cocktails, a weekly recipe he shares online.
How did Wednesday Cocktails start?
It’s another creative avenue for me. Wednesday has always been date night for my boyfriend and I. After we moved in together, we made Wednesday night an open invitation to our friends. It’s basically just a standing cocktail party — we never know who will show up. Some weeks, it’s just the two of us, and sometimes we have 15 people over. Millennials might be known for ruining things, but I’m bringing the cocktail party back.
Are these original recipes?
I would say they’re all original combinations. I usually stick to similar ratios and just change the flavors. Truthfully, my cocktails are usually based on whatever fruit is on sale at Meijer.
Do you have any drink preferences?
I will try absolutely anything. I’ve made a new cocktail every week for three years now. I have to get creative with the flavor combos. I’ve used red onion, dill pickle, black pepper. I try to keep the cocktails fruit- and herb-based. That way it’s easy to swap the liquor out with the sparkling water (for a non-alcoholic version).
How much planning do you put into it?
More than I’m willing to admit. I have to sample them before, so it’s usually a two- to three-day operation. Plus, I love entertaining and I’m super competitive, so I enjoy the process.
You even have some drinks inspired by social issues such as Grand Rapids Trans Week of Visibility and boycotting the NRA.
Yeah, I love a theme and I love being vocal. That’s my wheelhouse. I think it’s perfect for a cocktail party. It’s a built-in conversation starter.
Ever have any recipes that crashed and burned?
Oh yeah … only one made it to Wednesday Cocktails. It had radish in it and it was extremely polarizing. If I’m being honest, I think I was just too proud to admit it was bad.
Any cocktail tips for us?
Skip the sphere ice molds and just use a muffin tin. You get large ice, six at a time and the metal pan freezes fast. Also, always use fresh lime juice. That little plastic lime at the grocery store isn’t lime juice.
If you could have a cocktail with a celebrity, who would it be?
I feel Rihanna would be the most fun to drink with.
Follow the moonlighting home bartender on Instagram at itsdanielparker for the next installment in his weekly drink series.
PARSLEY / GRAPEFRUIT
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
2 oz. vodka
1 oz. simple syrup (I prefer 1 part sugar, 2 parts water.)
1/2 oz. parsley juice (You don’t need a juicer, just blend parsley with a little water, and strain.)
Simply shake over ice and strain. Garnish with an edible flower.