Drink Up

15 Black-Owned Liquor & Wine Brands To Add To Your Bar Cart

You definitely know the founder of #11.

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Food and beverage are a central part of cultures all over the world. To try a new dish or cocktail is to appreciate the ingredients and values that matter to that community of people, which is why so many people have strong memories related to what they’ve consumed. During Black History Month, educating yourself on the lesser-known historical figures from the Black community that have made incredible advances in society and putting your money where your mouth is by donating to organizations that support Black communities are ways to celebrate the month. Another way to honor the values of the month is to support Black-owned businesses, and your bar cart is one easy way to start.

These 15 liquor and wine brands — plus one artisan mixer brand — are all Black-owned and have amazing founders' stories behind their portfolios. Whether you want to try a recipe that dates back to the Prohibition era or are a huge fan of all things Mary J. Blige (yes, she has a wine brand!) you’ll love any of the bottles you try from this list.


Black-Owned Whiskey & Bourbon Brands

You’ve likely heard of Jack Daniels whiskey, but have you ever heard of Uncle Nearest? The brand is named after master distiller Nathan “Nearest” Green, a formerly enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel how to distill in the 1800s. Although this history is lesser known, the Uncle Nearest whiskey brand launched in 2017, bringing his story to the forefront of the whiskey industry again.


Four-grain whiskeys are some of the most challenging to make, and this one uses corn, wheat, rye, and malted barley. Saint Liberty Mary’s is named after the iconic bootlegger Mary Curley who made moonshine out of the back of her hotel room and never paid any of the fines tied to her name.


Den of Thieves is a premium bourbon and this bottle is infused with natural vanilla and a touch of ginger flavors. Because of the added flavors, it can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or you can make it into a cocktail with ginger ale and lime, as suggested by the brand’s website.


This plain “hooch” is inspired by the beverage of the same name (essentially illicit, unaged whiskey) that was ultra popular during the Prohibition era. The recipe uses oats, wheat, and barley, just like Birdie Brown used to make, and is distilled in her homesteading state of Montana.


Black-Owned Vodka Brands

IslandJon is a family business that honors the flavors of the Caribbean. The father-son team innovates vodkas in flavors like guava and mango peach so you can create vibrant cocktails at home.


Chanel Turner, founder and CEO of FOU-DRÉ Vodka, previously told ReserveBar that her main goal with the brand was to create a vodka that people would want to enjoy neat or chilled, rather than mixed with a bunch of other ingredients. “When consumers come into contact with this product, the first thing isn't, ‘well, what can I mix it with?’ They taste it in its natural form and actually can appreciate it in its raw form and enjoy it that way,” she told the outlet.


HH Bespoke Spirits are inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and the lineup includes gin, rum, and vodka. The vodka is made with locally-grown corn and can be enjoyed alone or in a cocktail.


Miscellaneous Black-Owned Alcohol Brands

This rum is named after Olaudah Equiano, an enslaved man originally from Africa, who eventually escaped to the United Kingdom in hopes of a better quality of life. There, he traded rum on the side until he saved enough money to pay his way to freedom. Equiano rum combines the processes of African and Caribbean rum and honors Olaudah by giving 5% of company profits to ground-level freedom and equality projects annually.


Branson Cognac Royal V.S.O.P. was created by 50 Cent and is blended by 5th-generation cognac producer Raymond Ragnaud. This bottle boasts smooth notes of oak, vanilla, and spice with a bit of wood, herbs, and a slight burn.


This triple-distilled reposado tequila has been perfected by a family of farmers over the years. It’s made from 100% pure agave and is produced in Morelos, Mexico.


Black-Owned Wine Brands

You know Mary J. Blige as a singer, songwriter, and actress, but now get to know her as the founder of Sun Goddess wines. This sauvignon blanc has notes of passion fruit, banana, and melon and goes for around $17 at the store.


This 100% organic wine from the Rheinhessen region of Zellertal, Germany is made with the purest ingredients. This rosé has aromas of berries and a bit of spice but offers a crisp sip that can be paired with all of your favorite foods.


The McBride Sisters started their Black Girl Magic wine line in 2018, debuting the Riesling expression at ESSENCE Fest in New Orleans. Selling out in just one weekend, they realized how special this brand would be and have been adding to their portfolio ever since.


“A borderline-unhealthy amount of research and experimentation went into Prominence Gin,” the website states. Not only does Du Nord make an impressive gin made with the integral juniper ingredient top of mind, but the brand also created the Du Nord Foundation in 2020 to address racial inequalities and build economic justice in the Twin Cities.


Black-Owned Drink Mixers

If you prefer mixing your alcohol rather than enjoying it on the rocks, AVEC is a Black-owned company that makes uniquely-flavored sparkling drinks to add to your booze — or to enjoy alone, if you want. Flavors include grapefruit & pomelo, spiced mango & passion fruit, yuzu & lime, hibiscus & pomegranate, and more.