Celebrating Black voices in drinks

June 19th, or Juneteenth as it's known, is a recognised holiday in the US, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. With that in mind, we're focusing on some of the many talented Black voices and stories in the drinks world – past and present, home and away – that we feel people need to know more about.

Such as our two chosen products: Uncle Nearest and its 1884 Small Batch Whiskey from Tennessee and One True Maverick, a triple-distilled, premium vodka from south London. And our book choice, which sees us rewinding back to the past and delving into the first first cocktail book written by a Black bartender: The Ideal Bartender, first published in 1917 and written by Tom Bullock. As for black-owned bars we've gone more contemporary, heading to Sly Augustin's award-winning Trailer Happiness in Notting Hill.

Last but by no means least, our interviewee is Tamika Hall, author of Black Mixcellence, a book that celebrates the movers and shakers of Black bartending. Hear about the stories she was most inspired by, the bartenders whose recipes are featured and the importance of Juneteenth.

What we’re mixing:

V & Tease

Recipe kindly supplied by ms franky marshall

1.5oz (44ml) Dry Vermouth*

1.5oz (44ml) Bianco Vermouth*

2 oz (60ml) good quality dry Tonic Water


Using a jigger, add vermouths to an ice-filled Rocks glass. Measure and add tonic water.

Using the large end of a melon baller or teaspoon, add one scoop of lemon sorbet (such as Häagen-Dazs) to the glass.

Stir once. Garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig. 

Optional: Add 1 drop of chilli oil to the top of the sorbet.

*Franky's tip: Herbaceous vermouths work best for this recipe, especially for the Bianco.

For details of the people, products and places featured in this week’s episode, please find links to their websites below:

Colin Asare-Appiah

One True Maverick

Tamika Hall/Black Mixcellence

The Ideal Bartender by Tom Bullock

Trailer Happiness

Uncle Nearest

The Cocktail Lovers theme music is by Travis ‘T-Bone’ WatsonEdited by Christian Fox

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