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Because it’s strange and beautiful and hot, people from everywhere converge on Florida and they bring their cuisine and their traditions with them. The Zest celebrates the intersection of food and communities in the Sunshine State.

T-Pain and Maxwell Britten want to mix you a drink

T-Pain’s latest project takes him out of the music studio and into the kitchen.

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Grammy winner and Tallahassee native T-Pain is known for his collaborations, like All I Do Is Win with DJ Khaled, Good Life with Kanye West and Low with his fellow Floridian Flo Rida.

But T-Pain’s latest project takes him out of the music studio and into the kitchen. It’s a book of cocktail recipes called… wait for it… Can I Mix You a Drink? 50 Cocktails from My Life and Career. The book comes out on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. The title is, of course, a play on T-Pain’s 2007 hit song Buy U a Drank. (In 2014, he recorded a stripped-down version of the song for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert.)

T-Pain’s collaborator on the book is New York City mixologist Maxwell Britten. The James Beard Award winner chatted with The Zest about working with T-Pain and how we all can bring a little star power to the cocktails we mix at home.

“I’ve always loved his music,” Britten says of 37-year-old T-Pain. “He and I are close to the same age, so I feel like he was really popularized early in my adulthood and late teens.”

Britten also has a musical background. He’s a former jazz drummer and former business partner of The Django, the legendary Roxy Hotel’s underground jazz and cocktail club.

“Music has always played a very big role in my life,” Britten says. “[The book project] was more than a natural fit for me.”

Britten and T-Pain wrote the book during the pandemic lockdown, collaborating over email and Zoom. Together they brainstormed ideas for the cocktails, all of which are named after T-Pain’s songs.

But Britten notes that you don’t need to be a wealthy celebrity to enjoy a good cocktail.

“We all share the same sense of need for celebration and enjoyment,” Britten says. “Those things don’t have to be a $2,000 glass of Cognac. A lot of the great drinks that are to be had are relatively inexpensive. Just with a little extra effort, you can be drinking just as well as anyone.”

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