Delicious inspiration in NEOKC.
Kindred Spirits co-owner Chaya Pennington vacillated between calling her February cocktail Kindred or Taste of Freedom. The name of the bar at 1726 NE 23rd St. was inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s novel Kindred.
Pennington pointed us to Kindred Spirits’ vision statement to explain the connection between the book and the bar. She references the novel and its “afro-futuristic lens used to bind the past, present and future. The vision for Kindred Spirits was born out of a desire to pay homage and amplify the story of the African American experience in Oklahoma, and also to uniquely serve the NEOKC community in a way that enlightens not only the palate, but passionate hearts and creative minds.”
Pennington said the novel’s protagonist uses her ability to travel back and forth in time to understand the experience and ongoing impact of slavery on the African American community. “We saw some resonance between that project and what we’re doing with Kindred Spirits,” she said. “We want to use Kindred Spirits to tell positive stories about Black-owned businesses in Oklahoma City.”
That passion is also present in the vision of Kindred Spirits, where the aesthetic includes references to the Black experience “throughout time and space” with imagery and components that are meant to be both thought-provoking and aspirational.
The Kindred cocktail — Pennington went with the eponymous option — begins with Greenwood Whiskey, a Black-owned spirits company that launched the brand in Oklahoma at Kindred Spirits in 2022. The build includes Greenwood, Amaretto, Giffard Pineapple liqueur, lemon juice and lime juice, served up in a coupe glass. It’s a delicious and timely reason to visit Kindred and share the experience.