The spirits industry has long been where Black and brown consumers and tastemakers alike have been dismissed, regardless of how much we invest in our favorite brands. And while that’s changing — social media is now flooded with dynamic booze influencers of color — there’s more work to be done. Thankfully, some of that work includes drinking.
While our cultures largely influence what we drink and how we imbibe, there are mixologists out there not just fighting to foster more diversity behind the scenes (and behind the bar) but also expose us to amazing spirits, expressions, and cocktails that we might not ordinarily try. And especially around New Year’s Eve, having a pleasurable and well-rounded drinking experience is a priority.
And so we tapped a few of our very favorite BIPOC mixologists to put us on: Alexis Brown is a Chicago-based spirits prodigy who founded Causing a Stir, an organization whose mission is to make the hospitality industry more inclusive. Similarly, Josh Davis, also in Chicago, founded Brown and Balanced, an event that celebrates Black bar and hospitality professionals. And Anthony Bates, a beloved lead bartender at The Polo Room in New York, is also always looking to encourage a more nuanced drinking experience for BIPOC consumers. Below, they’ve graced us with some of their favorite bottles to pop this New Year’s Eve.
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