20 Black Mixologists You Need on Your Radar
If you’re hankering for something different without going to the bar, we suggest you take some cues from the professionals. Many of the world’s best bartenders and mixologists are sharing tips, recipes, and cocktail inspiration on Instagram, giving at-home drinkers a chance to peek behind the bar and sharpen their skills.
Every industry is waking up to the need for diversity, and the world of alcohol is no exception. Luckily, there are some incredible resources that showcase and celebrate the contributions of Black people to beer, wine, and cocktails. Check out Omolola Olateju’s Black Girls Drink or Julia Coney’s Black Wine Professionals for more on the superstars of the spirits world, and give your Insta feed new life by following these amazing Black mixologists, bartenders, and drink experts.
Some of these cocktail superstars work at one specific bar, while others host their own events, freelance at several venues, or work as brand ambassadors. All of these 20 mixologists are bringing necessary, long overdue innovation and improvement to the industry.
Barriere is respected in the industry for her innovative cocktail menus and bar consultancy. Her creative direction led popular Atlanta airport bar One Flew South to be named “Best Airport Bar in the World” at Tales of the Cocktail in 2014. She is also a member of the James Beard Advisory Board and the Atlanta chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier. (On Sunday, July 19, Barriere was in a car accident from which she is currently recovering at home. There is a GoFundMe fundraiser to help her as she recovers, which you can support here.)
Bates is the head mixologist at The Polo Bar, the classic Ralph Lauren restaurant in NYC. His Instagram feed features a range of colorful cocktails, like the Casanova, made with Pisco, muddled strawberries, lemon juice, and pineapple sage-infused Manuka honey.
Verette is the creator of Jade of all Jades, a food- and spirit-centric brand that hosts intimate dinner parties around the country. She now hosts a series on IGTV called "Cocktails en la Casa" where she features a new cocktail every Friday and highlights Black spirit and cordial companies.
For more of Verette's recipes, you can support her Patreon here.
Hunter is an award-winning mixologist and cocktail book author who teaches mixology workshops and offers craft cocktail consulting. Expect lots of delicious-looking inspiration on her feed.
Walton calls Bar Margot at the Four Seasons Atlanta her home, but you can also find her pouring it up on IG, where she hosts #ThandiTuesday, her weekly taco and mixology show. (That's right—a taco and mixology show!)
Her most recent episode featured pan-seared shrimp tostadas, paired with a whiskey cocktail.
Taneka Reaves and Johnny Caldwell
Reaves and Caldwell are beverage and hospitality bloggers who became co-authors of Holy Spirits! Charleston Culture through Cocktails. On their Instagram, they break down everything from Cognac age requirements to coffee-infused liqueurs and share some of their signature recipes (including for mocktails).
Saeed “Hawk” House
The West Hollywood-based mixologist, who is instantly recognizable for his hair, has a popular Instagram account where he shares video tutorials and cocktail recipes, including for this gorgeous “Bellacoso” mezcal cocktail with a chocolate-covered banana.
The Chicago-based bartender is bar manager at the intimate Black-owned 16th St. Bar. He is also the founder of Brown and Balanced, a traveling series of pop-up events created to celebrate African American bartenders.
Asare-Appiah is known online as "Cocktail Colin." He’s a longtime brand ambassador who currently works as the Bacardi trade director of culture and lifestyle.
Robinson has been a mixologist for over a decade and her business, JusTini Cocktails, is popular for weddings and corporate events for brands. Since the beginning of coronavirus shut-downs, she’s been offering cocktails to-go and hosting intimate private events.
Mustipher is a bartender and the author of Tiki, Modern Tropical Cocktails. She is most recently known as the Beverage Director for the sadly shuttered Gladys NYC.
Burrell, AKA the Rum Ambassador, is a London-based TV presenter and mixologist who shares cocktail recipes and historical information on his Instagram feed.
Taylor is a New Orleans-based craft spirit entrepreneur, mixologist, and self-described cocktail goddess who sells popular to-go cocktails in incredibly cool packaging. One of her popular sellers is the Soul Glo, an homage to Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America that involves lemon, blueberry, lavender and whiskey with an optional lavender sugar rim.
Brown is the founder of Causing a Stir, an organization dedicated to empowering underserved and underrepresented members of the hospitality industry. She was listed as one of Wine Enthusiast’s 40 under 40 for 2019 and is one of Drinks International’s Most Influential Figures.
Wilson created The Cocktail Snob to feature the best cocktails in NYC and inspire her followers to create happy hour at home.
Her intentions turned out to be prescient, and her Instagram account and e-books offer helpful recipes and tips for those seeking home-drinking inspiration (we can’t stop thinking about these coconut rum punch popsicles.)
Now is the perfect time to follow Clark, an online cocktail enthusiast who offers detailed tips and explainers, including a recent breakdown on bitters.
Currently the national brand ambassador for Hendrick’s Gin, Henderson posts regular gin-related content and mixology videos.
Holborough is a barman at the sophisticated 12 Cocktail Bar in Atlanta, and online he’s a content creator well worth the follow.