Kick back and take a sip from these Black-owned liquor brands

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  • Published on August 2, 2022
  • Last Updated March 10, 2023
  • In Spotlight

The next time you join friends for happy hour or settle in for after-dinner drinks, consider some of these brands if you're interested in branching out beyond your tried-and-true.

You don’t have to be a media mogul to own a premium beverage brand. The market is flooded with new brands and partnerships offering everything from vodka, rum, gin to mixed-spirit beverages. Check out these entrepreneurs slaking the thirst of adults over 21 everywhere.

Halo 7 Rum

Ashley Jackson and JeNai Stanley developed this rum to honor the tradition and heritage of their own lineages from Jamaica and St. Croix. Meant to be a sipping rum, Halo 7 is a complex and full-bodied spirit that mimics the flavors and smoothness of an aged rum.

Matador Ultra-Premium Vodka

While most traditional vodkas are made from fermented grains such as corn, rice, rye, wheat and even potatoes, Matador is Louisiana’s first Black-owned sugarcane vodka company. The vodka has notes of vanilla, butterscotch, and caramel.

Ten To One

Marc Farell, inspired by the origin of the West Indies Federation, which consisted of 10 countries, wants to introduce the Caribbean’s history, heritage and culture into people’s understanding of rum. There are bourbon barrel-aged Barbadian, Dominican, Jamaican and Trinidadian rums, both dark and white, with no added color, flavoring or sugar.


Relying on deep roots and old-school distilling methods, Sorel was America’s first legal Black-owned post-Prohibition distillery. Owner Jackie Summers relaunched the brand in 2021 after a 10-year hiatus to industry acclaim. Made with hibiscus-blended cloves, cassia and ginger sourced from all over the diaspora, this premium liquor is a modern twist on the classic Red Drink.

Uncle Nearest Whiskey

This Tennessee whiskey producer owes its name to a former slave that taught Jack Daniel how to distill, Nathan “Nearest” Green. The spirits are being made by Victoria Eady Butler, the great-great-granddaughter of Uncle Nearest, and is the fastest-selling whiskey brand in the U.S.

This story was created by Detour, a journalism brand focused on the best stories in Black travel, in partnership with McClatchy’s The Charlotte Observer and Miami Herald. Detour’s approach to travel and storytelling seeks to tell previously under-reported or ignored narratives by shifting away from the customary routes framed in Eurocentrism. The detour team is made up of an A-list of award-winning journalists, writers, historians, photographers, illustrators and filmmakers.

This story was originally published August 02, 2022 9:00 AM.

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