As well as organizing thoughtful whiskey tours, Ramos also organizes tastings. A few months ago he showed up at Roshaunda Breedan with a box of some of his favorite bottles. Breedan, a college professor with research interests in black history and culture, had called Ramos to arrange a rye whiskey tasting for her and her partner. During the blind tasting, Breedan also received an unexpected history lesson. It was the first time she had heard of the influences of black Americans on the whiskey industry.
Growing up, Breedan was not a drinker. “In the Christian tradition, we don’t drink alcohol and we don’t talk about it,” she said, referring to her upbringing in the area known as the Bible Belt. “Learning that we have cultural roots in whisky…it’s a game-changer.”
It could no longer be a forbidden spirit proscribed by the church of his youth; whiskies, to Breedan, meant something else entirely after his tasting with the Black Bourbon Guy. She was “drinking to appreciate the process and the cultural history,” Breedan said. “It definitely elevated our view of whiskey and the art form.”
These days, the professor invites friends over, pulls out bottles and the tasting sheets Ramos had left him, and tells the story of how black Americans influenced the spirit.
“It’s a way of carrying on the tradition,” she said.
from BBC.com Table of the world “break the kitchen ceiling” by changing the way the world thinks about food, through the past, present and future.
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