“It’s much more than getting people drunk/high to me. Taste and experience are everything!“ Vanessa Carrasco
Meet Vanessa Carrasco from Maryvale, Arizona; she is a Mother, small business owner, Mixologist, aspiring bar owner and winner of the Battle of the Beverages. A young Latina making a name for herself in the AZ culinary community. She specializes in cooking, bartending and making her signature handcrafted frozen treats. Her Azucar Pops are made to order with fresh fruit and can be customized with Alcohol, THC, CBD or kid-friendly. Definitely, something the whole family can enjoy. Her love for cooking has been passed down by many generations of Latina women in her family but her true passion is bartending. She says, “It’s much more than getting people drunk/high to me. Taste and experience are everything!”
Her experience in the hospitality industry began when she worked at The Hilton. For the seven years she spent there, she observed her fellow coworkers and absorbed as much as she could from them. She also picked up her knowledge and experience working for a sushi bar and other local restaurants in the downtown Phoenix area. It wasn’t until she was a bartender at The Holiday Inn for cancer patients where she realized that being a bartender was more than making drinks, it was building a relationship with the customers and showing them new flavors. After years of experience, it was time to put it to the test by entering the Battle of the Beverages.
Battle of the Beverages took place on September 30th, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona and was broadcasted live on The Bud Show and CRW Network. Four judges, six competitors, and a private audience all gathered for a night of medicated infused mock-tails. Competitors were provided with a variety of ingredients including medication like RSO, CBD, Medicated infused honey, edibles, etc. The catch was they had to pick one secret ingredient from a box that they had to include in their drinks and were given thirty minutes to put their creativity to the test. Once the time was up, the judges and the audience were presented with a drink and given the opportunity to vote. Vanessa Carrasco was confident going into the competition because she’s had experiences in past jobs where she was limited on items and had to work with what she had.Not only was her drink flavorful, but the presentation was on point. She rimmed a martini glass with Hi Buddy infused Honey, added crumble into the mixture of canned pineapple, mango, Lechera, ice, then added her secret ingredient, a coconut Mexican candy and garnished it with a piece of raw cane sugar smeared with RSO. I asked what plans she had for her future and she shared that one day she would like to move to California and open a bar with really good drinks, food, and music. She also plans to continue making edibles in all delicious forms. Her inventiveness will get her far. Keep up with Vanessa Carrasco at @Nessahiest and put your order in over at @Azucarpops on Instagram.
“I am grateful for this opportunity. Thankful for Jose and Amanda for getting me into the competition. The Sponsors and competitors were so sweet and uplifting. That night I put my last ten dollars in gas to make it to the competition and I won! Thankfully got my support system, my friends and my family. My business Azucar Pops; I put so much love into those things. Each batch made very special and limited. I just hope this makes people want to support. It’s my passion. Lastly, I want to thank my son Joshua and my Nana who are my #1 fans they are always so happy and proud of me. They are my motivation.” Vanessa Carrasco
Sabrina Rebolledo is a mother and cannabis advocate. She currently focuses on the stigma surrounding mothers that consume cannabis. Sabrina wants to make all mothers feel welcome to make their own decisions and to ignore the social pressures that make a mother feel insecure. Foller her @WHOLETMEBEAMOM on Instagram.