Mariah Carey is a music industry legend. She’s one of the best-selling female artists of all time, with more than 200 million albums sold to date and 19 Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles (18 of which she wrote herself). As a singer, songwriter, and producer, Mariah has amassed multiple Grammys, American Music Awards, three Guinness World Record titles, and Billboard’s “Artist of the Decade” Award, to name a few. She has a five-octave vocal range, and in December 2020, her 1994 single “All I Want for Christmas Is You” set a Spotify record for most single-day streams: 17.223 million.
In addition to her musical accomplishments, Mariah is a mother of twins and a Congressional Award recipient. She has donated her time and energy toward several philanthropic causes, including Save the Music, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, World Hunger Relief, and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
She’s also an extremely savvy entrepreneur. In August, after almost two years of planning and product development, Mariah launched Black Irish, a line of Irish cream liqueur.
We recently spoke with Mariah about her new startup, her favorite beaches, and what truly makes her happy.
What’s your favorite beach destination?
I just love the ocean and any place that has access to the beach. In pre-pandemic times, I would usually do a show and then take a little vacay. I haven’t really taken any vacations recently because of COVID-19, but my favorite beach destination would have to be Capri; I love Capri. I also love the Bahamas and the Caribbean. We love St. Barts––all the fabulous places.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My children. They are a full-time job. They are everything to me, and I love them so much. Having my kids was a major, major moment in my life. As a songwriter, my songs are also like children to me, in their own way, because I write and produce them. I’m very proud of that. It took a long time for people to acknowledge that because most females don’t get acknowledged for the work they do behind the scenes. There’s this assumption that we’re divas who just show up and everyone else handles it all, but that isn’t the case for me. From the inception of a song to the completion to working in the studio, I love it all.
Why did you decide to launch an Irish cream brand?
Initially, it was about a holiday moment. Every year, I go on a sleigh ride with my family and friends. We have tiramisu and hot cocoa (which may or may not be spiked), and this tradition sparked that initial idea. We started really working on what eventually became Black Irish. I got involved in creating the flavor, working on everything from texture to the color to the bottle. My team and I realized that this liqueur isn’t just for the holidays––Black Irish is amazing over ice, mixed into a fabulous milkshake, served over ice cream, or poured into coffee. I felt like a lot of people were coming out with different types of hard liquor, but that’s not really my thing. I love a great sweet cream liqueur and thought Black Irish could be something unique, fun, and festive.
What is your secret to happiness?
Wow, I wish I had one. I think I’m pretty much like everybody else in that sometimes I’m happy, and sometimes I’m not quite as happy. But I’m an optimist. I try to remain an eternal optimist, so when things get discouraging or I’m not quite as happy, I just go to that place. Music has always been my saving grace, and that’s what I’m so thankful for. I always try to remember that it’s a gift that I’ve been given, and I can always lean on that gift.
We Belong Together Brew | Irish Coffee
Warm up with this spiked coffee drink named after Mariah’s award-winning 2005 hit.
6 oz prepared hot coffee
1 oz Irish whiskey
1 1/2 oz Black Irish Original
Whipped cream to top
Optional: Cocoa powder for dusting
Fill a glass mug or a footed glass mug with hot water and let stand 1-2 minutes to heat up glass; pour out.
Add coffee, Irish whiskey, and Black Irish Original, and stir.
Dollop whipped cream on top.
Dust cocoa powder over whipped cream, and serve.