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Kwanzaa Cocktails of 2023 Featuring Black Owned Brands

Kwanzaa Cocktails of 2023 Featuring Black Owned Brands

So, you've heard about Kwanzaa, but you're not quite sure what it's all about? Want to support Black-owned brands, but not sure what to drink? Don't worry, you're not alone!

Here are the answers to any questions you may have about this unique holiday celebration, along with four delicious Kwanzaa cocktails featuring black-owned alcohol brands. Get ready to sip and celebrate!

kwanzaa candles and fruit

What is Kwanzaa, anyway?

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration that takes place from December 26th to January 1st. It was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies, as a way to honor African heritage and culture. It's a time for reflection, community, and coming together to celebrate the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa.

What are the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa?

The Seven Principles, or Nguzo Saba, are the core values of Kwanzaa. They are: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). Each day of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of these principles.

kwanzaa celebration with music and candles

Is Kwanzaa a religious holiday?

No, Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, but rather a cultural celebration that is open to people of all faiths, honoring African heritage.

And now for the fun part! These 4 cocktail recipes feature booze created by Black owned distilleries and companies, so you can celebrate in appropriate Kwanzaa style. 

4 Colorful Kwanzaa Cockails Featuring Black Owned Booze 

dirty shirley cocktail with cherry on the rim at a table with kwanzaa decor and a Black woman resting her chin on her hand

1. Plush Dirty Shirley 

Start Kwanzaa off with a bang- aka the Plush Dirty Shirley! Created with Plush Vodka, a Black owned brand founded by Malcolm Hale, the Dirty Shirley takes the tame Shirley Temple and dirties it up in the best way possible.



  • Add vodka to an ice filled glass.
  • Pour in the grenadine, stir, and top off with Sprite, making sure to leave room for the cherries.
  • Add the cherries and enjoy this sweet red Kwanzaa cocktail!

equiano rum daiquiri cocktail

2. Equiano Rum Daiquiri

Spice up your Kwanzaa festivities and celebrate Black owned businesses with an Equiano Rum Daiquiri! Equiano Rum is one of kind, created by co-founders Ian Burrel, Amanda Kakembo, Oli Bartlam, and Aaisha Dadral.


  • 2 oz Equiano Rum Light
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • .75 oz simple syrup
  • Citrus wheel, dried or fresh, for garnish 


  • Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake it up and pour into your cocktail glass
  • Garnish with a fresh or dried citrus wheel if desired, and enjoy!

Learn more about Equiano Rum and the history behind it here: Our Top 2 Craft Black-Owned Spirit Brand Picks Juneteenth 2023

boulevardier cocktail thoughts bourbon black owned businesses for kwanzaa

3. Thoughts Bourbon Boulevardir

Indulge in the smooth and soulful flavors of this Boulevardir, a cocktail enhanced by the incorporation of Hardy Hyppolite's Kreyol Spirits Thoughts Bourbon. 


  • 1.25 oz Thoughts Bourbon
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz Campari
  • Orange peel, for garnish


  • Add the bourbon, Campari, and vermouth to a shaker with ice. 
  • Shake up the ingredients and pour into an ice filled whiskey glass. 
  • Garnish with an orange peel twist, and enjoy your Kwanzaa celebration!
Learn more about Kreyol Spirits and Thoughts Bourbon here: Support Small Black Businesses- Where Do You Buy Your Liquor?

acquire taste cognac side car cocktail

4. Acquire Taste Sidecar Cocktail

Elevate your Kwanzaa celebration as you toast to discovery and the continuity of African heritage with this classic Sidecar Cocktail featuring Acquire Taste Cognac, a brand owned by Stephanie and Charles Mingo.  


  • 2 oz Acquire Taste Cognac VS
  • 1 oz Vitae Spirits Orange Liqueur
  • .75 oz lemon juice
  • Citrus wheel or twist for garnish 

charles mingo, founder of acquire taste cognac sipping cognac with a bottle of acquire taste cognac vsop in front of him


  • Combine all ingredients except the garnish in a shaker with ice. 
  • Shake well until thoroughly mixed and cold. 
  • Strain into a cocktail glass, add the citrus peel twist, and enjoy this classic!

Learn more about Acquire Taste Cognac here: Women's History Month: 5 Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs In Alcohol

There you have it, some FAQ about Kwanzaa and four delightful Kwanzaa cocktails featuring black-owned alcohol brands. Whether you're celebrating Kwanzaa or simply looking to try something new, these cocktails are sure to add a touch of flavor and fun to your festivities. Cheers to unity, self-determination, and a joyful holiday season!



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