New book serves as an ode to Black and Brown mixologists.
Colin Asare-Appiah and Tamika Hall’s new book Black Mixcellence: A Comprehensive Guide to Black Mixology released in late July as a response to the lack of recognition given to mixologists of color throughout history.
“Without digging deep into history, you would never know the story of Uncle Nearest, the Black man that taught Jack Daniels how to distill whiskey, or the Black bartender John Dabney, who made the mint julep a common household drink,” says author Hall. “Whether it was entrepreneurship, education, or a ‘famous first,’ Black Mixcellence aims to change the narrative, and give credit where it’s due.”
Black Mixcellence takes the reader on a deep dive into the significant history, inventions and monumental contributions of Black and Brown mixologists. Woven into the history are custom craft cocktails from over 20 mixologists who as a new generation are impacting mixology today.
“Historically, there are only a handful of cocktail books that strive to tell the cultural and historical stories of Black and Brown mixologists,” says Asare-Appiah, leader of brand advocacy at Bacardi USA. “The bartenders in our book all come from different backgrounds and forged their own pathways to create unique spaces to showcase their craft. These stories need to be told. We are not a monolith. Black Mixcellence is a pivotal book and provides a refreshing change in documenting cocktail culture for the times that we are in. There are many more stories to be told and my hope is that this book will be one of many that showcases the breadth of Black mixologists’ contributions to the hospitality industry.”
Get Asare-Appiah’s recipe for the High Tide (a fresh take on the mint julep) below.
Garnish: 4 mint sprigs
2 ounces Bacardi Superior rum
1 ounce Kleos Mastiha liqueur
2 ounces honeydew melon, sliced
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
Pinch of cracked black pepper
Gently muddle the mint in a cocktail tin. Add all other ingredients. Shake and strain over crushed ice, add garnish and serve.
Photo by Madelynne Boykin of Bites & Bevs LLC.