The spirits industry is still overwhelmingly white for a number of reasons, one being America’s tendency to discriminate against minority- and women-owned small businesses by making it very challenging for them to get start-up loans and publicity. So how can we consciously get lit this holiday? By supporting Black-owned beer, wine, and spirits companies. Here are a few of our favorites below.
Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is inspired by the first known African-American master distiller, a man named Nathan “Nearest” Green. Given his legacy, his name should be as ubiquitous as Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and all the other folks who at that time, were able to become synonymous with the whiskey they distilled. While not directly related to his lineage, The Uncle Nearest brand is an all minority-led business aimed at keeping his name in the conversation
Black Momma Vodka was developed and created by Vanessa Braxton (sister-in-law of those Braxtons, yes). The 80-proof vodka is distilled and filtered five separate times through lava rock and feature different tea vodka flavors like chai, soursop, and peach. You can also find her vodkas, teas, and more at the Black Momma Tea & Cafe franchise
It makes sense that music and wine would go together, which is why this wine by the best selling R&B group of all time, Boyz II Men, makes so much sense. According to their website, they even play music to the grapes as they grow. Especially since when you’ve had enough wine with someone you care for, what better than to turn on “I’ll Make Love to You” and pour one the bands’ three wine varietals
The award-winning bespoke boutique, Harlem Haberdashery is listed as "One of the best places to shop in Harlem," and for good reason, the clothing store has welcomed such high profile clientele as Alicia Keys and other black music royalty. In addition to clothing, the luxury brand has a distillery and produces gin, vodka, and rum.
I am beyond excited to include this Haitian brand of liquor, because it’s holiday staple in the Lamour household. Cremas is a traditional coconut-based cream liqueur drink usually served during the Christmas season and New Year’s. Think of it as an island alternative to eggnog. A delicious concoction usually made in-house, I urge those unfamiliar with the recipe to buy a bottle and pop it open at the stroke of midnight this New Year’s Eve.
According to Drizly, there are only about 60 Black-owned breweries in the United States, which is why San Francisco Brewery Speakeasy Ales & Lagers deserves a shout out. Brewing small batches of beer in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood since 1997, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers is still the only Black-owned brewery in Northern California.
44 North is Black-owned, community oriented, and has produced some of our favorite berry-infused booze out there. The company partners closely with farms in Idaho, where its vodka (and now, liqueur) is produced. Their blending process involves meticulous mingling of cream and natural flavors, yielding an exceptional mouthfeel and overall on-the-rocks experience.