Jackie Summers

Jackie Summers is an American microdistiller, writer and CEO. In 2011, he became the first Black person in the United States to be granted a license to make liquor.

Jackie Summers

Early lifeEdit

Summers is of Caribbean descent.[1][2] His grandparents immigrated to the United States from Barbados in the 1920s.[3] According to Summers, "when I was growing up, there was always a pitcher of sorrel, a type of hibiscus tea, in the kitchen. After the kids were in bed, the adults would put a splash of rum in it".[4]

CareerEdit

Summers worked in magazine publishing.[5] In 2010, after a cancer scare, he decided he wanted to pursue his "lifelong dream of day-drinking professionally".[6] He had been making for family and friends his version of a Caribbean liqueur, sorrel, which is typically homebrewed from roselle, a type of hibiscus.[1][7][2][5][6] The following year, he became the first Black person in the United States to be granted a license to make liquor.[1][2][7][8] He resigned from his corporate job and started the brand Jack from Brooklyn, a nickname of his, to make Sorel Liqueur.[1][7][2][5][6] The distillery is located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York City.[4]

Summers' sorrel liqueur is a "deep red" color and is made in small batches and besides hibiscus is also flavored with cloves, cassia, nutmeg and ginger.[9] As of 2015, it was the only brand of sorrel liqueur being marketed in the US[10] and was the brand's only product.[11] In 2015, the brand partnered with Mahalo Spirits Group to allow Sorel to be distributed nationwide.[11]

Summers has written for Edible Brooklyn, Esquire, Wine Enthusiast, and Plate.[2][12]

In April 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic, he and Daniella Veras launched a Virtual Happy Hour on Zoom that became popular.[5][13]

RecognitionEdit

In 2014 Brooklyn Magazine named him one of the 50 most influential people in Brooklyn food.[14] He was named to Drinks International's 2019 list of the 100 most influential people in the bar world.[5][12] In 2019 he won an American Food Journalists award for Best Food Essay for his piece for Plate magazine, "Rice Is at the Overlap for Poverty and Comfort".[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Mosley, Tonya (August 11, 2020). "People Of Color Break Barriers In White-Dominated, 'Impenetrable' Alcoholic Beverage Industry". www.wbur.org. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e Rense, Sarah (June 25, 2020). "I Was the Only Black Man Making Liquor in America. Not Much Has Changed—Except Me". Esquire. Archived from the original on August 22, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  3. ^ "Jack From Brooklyn: Sorel Caribbean Liqueur". Epicurious Videos. Archived from the original on September 13, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  4. ^ a b McAndrews, Cecily (May 4, 2014). "A Boozy Tour of Red Hook". courant.com. Archived from the original on September 13, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Caribbean Sunshine in a Brooklyn Bottle". Edible Brooklyn. December 5, 2012. Archived from the original on October 20, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "Jackie Summers – Founder, Blender". www.barnonedrinks.com. Archived from the original on May 8, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c Mosley, Tonya; Young, Robin (August 11, 2020). "Jazz Musician Maria Schneider; Diversity In Alcohol Industry". WBEZ Chicago. Archived from the original on September 13, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  8. ^ Lyons, Billy (August 10, 2019). "Lessons from Cocktail Festival Inclusion Training". Fortune. Archived from the original on August 13, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  9. ^ "Food Trends: Sorrel Is Having Its Moment". Tasting Table. June 1, 2012. Archived from the original on September 13, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2020.; Clarke, Paul (February 16, 2012). "New York Distilleries". Imbibe Magazine. Archived from the original on September 4, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  10. ^ "Here's the Local Spirit You Should Be Sipping This Spring". www.villagevoice.com. Archived from the original on September 13, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "City Scope: Brooklyn, New York –". Market Watch. Archived from the original on February 5, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Smith, Hamish. "Bar World 100". Drink International. p. 21. Archived from the original on April 12, 2020. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  13. ^ Shatkin, Elina (July 23, 2020). "Some Bars Are Bringing Happy Hour To You". LAist. Archived from the original on June 20, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2020.; "'You Don't Go to a Bar for the Alcohol': Seeking Community in Quarantine". Wine Enthusiast. May 21, 2020. Archived from the original on May 30, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  14. ^ "The 50 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Food". Brooklyn Magazine. September 10, 2014. Archived from the original on September 4, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  15. ^ "2019 AFJ Awards Finalists". Association of Food Journalists. Archived from the original on August 19, 2020. Retrieved September 2, 2020.

External linksEdit