"12 Cocktails of Christmas" Featuring Paige King Johnson
What's your favorite Christmas memory?
At the age of ten, I got my first guitar as a Christmas present from my Papa. I had no clue how to play or where to begin to start, but I was so so excited to get it as a gift! And it seems to have gotten me pretty far - here we are, 12 years later and I still carry one around almost everywhere I go!
What’s your idea of a good Christmas Dinner?
There HAS to be dessert! Sweet potato casserole, creamed corn & turkey are all pretty high on the list, but pie, cake, cookies, and anything else with way too much sugar in it is a MUST!
Do you have a favorite Christmas album?
I don’t ever find myself sitting down and listening to full Christmas albums. I tend to pick and choose my favorite Christmas songs. One of my favorite songs is “The Angels Cried” by Alan Jackson and Alison Krauss.
Do you have any favorite traditions for the holiday season?
Ever since I was a little girl, my dad and Papa and sister and myself would go out shopping on Christmas Eve before our Candlelight church service to do some last-minute shopping for each other and my mom (who was always so hard to shop for). My Papa passed away about 12 years ago, but my sister and dad and myself kept up the tradition. It’s always such a relaxing day and some of the best father-daughter bonding time we get all year!
What’s been your favorite album of 2019?
It’s hard to pick a favorite album (I’m a musician and listen to new music constantly), but I would say the most anticipated album for me was the new Miranda Lambert “Wildcard” record. Miranda is one of my biggest modern-day music inspirations and I always look forward to hearing what she has to say in each new piece of work!
What are your hopes for 2020? Any exciting plans?
My hopes for 2020 are that my music continues to reach new ears each day and that I can continue to connect to people through songwriting and live shows. Those are y two favorite things about this business, so as long as I keep writing new songs and playing in front of new people I will be happy. And with that, some exciting shows I have coming up in February 2020 are traveling down to Belize (yeah, like in Central America!!) to play a few days at the new Losers Bar! I’ve only ever traveled out of the country once in my life, but I’ve never been that far south. I’m so excited!
The holiday season brings the best parties and time together with friends and family. What is your signature cocktail recipe that you will be drinking/serving?
This is a hard one! I wouldn’t necessarily say these are my signature recipes, but they’re pretty dang good! I have two to share, depending on what kind of mood I and my taste buds are in. The first is a simple Apple Cider Mimosa that is just 1 part apple cider and 2 parts champagne mixed together with an apple slice to garnish. The other is a Winter Red Wine Sangria that is a mix of your fav red wine, orange juice, grapefruit, apple, cranberries, and a cinnamon stick. This cocktail takes a bit more time and effort to make, but it’s perfect for mixing a huge pitcher and sipping on it all night long! Especially if you love red wine as much as I do! :)
About Paige King Johnson: Born in a quiet North Carolina town just 22 miles south of Raleigh, as a young 9-year-old girl, Paige King Johnson spent her summers under the crepe myrtles imitating the styles of Loretta, Patsy, Waylon, and Merle. Having a grandpa as her biggest fan also meant receiving the gift of her first guitar – a baby Taylor – and enrolling in lessons. After her grandpa passed, the bright-eyed dreamer carried on his memory by taking her newfound discovery to local fairs, festivals, and any other stage she was allowed to stand on. As she grew older, Johnson added “opening act” to her resume, supporting chart topping artists like Scotty McCreery, Neal McCoy, Luke Pell, and James Otto. And with high school graduation came the realization that this was more than a hobby. The Angier native traded in horse pastures and back roads for the bright lights of Music City in 2015. Upon starting school at Belmont University for Music Business, Johnson honed in on the magic that had heavily influenced her as a child: the art of storytelling thru songwriting.
The famous Bluebird Café was just one of many writers’ circuits around Nashville that provided a safe space for Johnson to meet other writers, try out new tunes, and get feedback. In return, Johnson began captivating audiences with her down-home stage presence, cut straight to the bone stories and raw country voice, reminiscent of the classic country era. In the last four years, Johnson has traveled back and forth between Nashville and the Carolinas, playing shows like the North Carolina State Fair and running her dinner theater, Country on the Outskirts of Town, that she founded in high school. Johnson’s quarterly show provides an atmosphere for locals to enjoy Southern cooking, fellowship with friends, and the sounds of classic and current country music with some gospel thrown in. A three-time Carolina Music Awards Nominee for Best Country Female Artist, Johnson’s devoted homegrown fan base continues to expand farther than just her backyard.