7 Black-Owned Liquor Brands To Try

Food & Drink

Black History Month gives us the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the culture of Black Americans, and what better way to do it than toasting with one of the rising spirits brands developed and created by folks who are proud of their traditions and achievements? Here are seven brands to look for when it’s time to stock up your home bar.

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey

Fawn Weaver, founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, was the first Black woman to lead a major American spirit company. Created to honor Nearest Green — the former enslaved Black man who mentored Jack Daniel — Uncle Nearest is now also the fastest-growing whiskey brand in U.S. history and the top selling Black-owned and founded spirit brand of all time.

The all-female team includes master blender Victoria Eady Butler, who is also the great-great granddaughter of Nearest Green and the first African American master blender for a major spirit brand. The brand now boasts seven different award-winning expressions, from light whiskies perfect for cocktails to small batch editions for sipping.

Sorel Liqueur

Jackie Summers left his career in corporate America after being diagnosed with a spinal tumor. Given a slim chance of survival, he decided to follow his dream of bringing Sorel Liqueur to market. In 2013, he perfected the old Caribbean recipe using hibiscus aand warming spices like cinnamon, Brazilian clove, Nigerian ginger, Indonesian cassia and nutmeg.

But in 2016, after an impressive debut, he had to cease production for several years. He was homeless at times but never gave up, and finally relaunched the brand in 2021. Now, multi-award winning Sorel Liqueur is available in 37 states, with plans to expand in all 48 of the continental U.S. by the end of 2024.

LS Cream Liqueur

In Haiti, Cremas are a staple in homes during family and holiday gatherings. Myriam Jean-Baptiste and Stevens Charles, Haitian Canadians who missed the traditions of the homeland, decided to launch their own cream liqueur using Stevens’ grandmother’s handwritten recipe. With the help of their families, the couple developed the creamy rum-infused cocktail with hints of coconut, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.

They named the spirit LS, the initials of Stevens’ grandmother, as an homage to her legacy. Think of LS as a tropically tinged cream similar to Amarula and Baileys, which you can sip on its own over ice or include in a cocktail.

Highway Vodka

The brainchild of Texas natives and childhood friends Ben Williams and Wendell Robbins, Highway Vodka is the only hemp-based spirit in the country with mainstream distribution. After years on Houston’s hospitality scene, the duo transitioned from food to booze after years of experimental distilling. Highway’s unique mash bill is comprised of just three key ingredients — a unique strain of hemp, Texas corn and locally-sourced water from an artesian aquifer.

The clean, clear spirit is perfect for any vodka cocktail, from fruit driven to espresso martinis and it makes a killer bloody mary.

Pin Drop Rum

Hailing from Harbour Island in the Bahamas, this ultra-premium small batch rum recently launched in select markets across the United States. Created by a group of friends led by Bahamian born Ithalia Johnson, Pin Drop embraces the rich history of the Bahamas, from its rich tropical taste with hints of caramel and ripe bananas to its distinctive bottle and logo.

Pin Drop Rum is on shelves now in specialty liquor stores and bottle shops in Florida, South Carolina and New York for $49.99 (750 ml bottle at 43% ABV), and is available direct to consumers in 32 states.

DuBlasé Whiskey

DuBlasé is an award-winning, premium whiskey brand headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida Founder and CEO, Darrin Eakins, was initially introduced to the development of sophisticated spirits by an uncle at a family tasting. Since then, he has built a whiskey brand that offers one of the go-to flavored whiskeys on the market.

DuBlasé offers two unique whiskey signature recipes. Made using all natural ingredients, both original DuBlase Whiskey and Straight Bourbon offer hints of vanilla and natural spices. Both are perfect for enjoying neat, as a cocktail or on the rocks. They are available in 32 states at Total Wine, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Sam’s Club and other retail locations.

Grown Folks

The first female-owned and black-owned brand for soul food-inspired hard seltzer and premium craft beverages, Grown Folks was founded in Los Angeles by Danica Dias, a food, beverage and hospitality veteran with over 20 years of expertise in the industry.

Dias grew up in a big Louisiana Creole family, and drew inspiration from her Creole heritage, Southern traditions, and strong female figures in her life to create a brand that reflects her Black identity. The idea to craft alcoholic beverages featuring her family’s traditional soul food flavors came to her in 2020 during COVID lockdown while cooking her late grandma’s handwritten peach cobbler recipe.

Grown Folks hard seltzers come in Peach Cobbler, Ambrosia and Key Lime flavors, crafted at 6% ABV with real fruit juice and fermented sugar, and the line also includes Front Porch, an American Light Lager, pale straw in color with subtle floral aromas and crafted at 4.5% ABV.

Grown Folks products are available now in selected retailers in California and launching in select Whole Foods, Sam’s Club and Total Wine stores this spring 2024.

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