People like to turn just about anything into a holiday, and if you need a reason to enjoy a Whiskey Sour or a Zombie, National Cocktail Day is the perfect occasion. It was founded in 2013 by Jace Shoemaker-Galloway, a freelance writer who, according to UPI, “made a career out of writing about various holidays and ended up creating a few of her own.”

Shoemaker-Galloway wrote, “National Cocktail Day not only celebrates the ginormous variety of cocktails, but also encourages folks to create their own concoction and share it with others.” Historically, the word “cocktail” started to appear in print in the early 1800s, and new ones are being developed all the time.

There are so many great bars, lounges and speakeasies in the US for cocktails, but we’ve highlighted some of the ones which are Black-owned here.

1. Amarachi


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This upscale establishment in Brooklyn is part restaurant, part bar and part nightclub.

It offers a flavorful fusion of African, Caribbean and American fare. It’s a great place to go with friends or colleagues.

Enjoy premium cocktails including Yardie Punch, Liberian Libation, and Lagos Island Punch.

There’s also a selection of beers and classic cocktails, like Margaritas.




2. Essence Bar and Restaurant

If you’re looking for an establishment that caters to the grown and sexy, check out Essence Bar and Restaurant between Atlantic and Troy Avenues in Brooklyn.

Grab some appetizers and main courses, and wash them down with an extensive menu of drinks.

Liquid Cocaine is made with Rumple Minze, Jägermeister and Goldschlager, and is sure to set the tone for your evening. There’s also Tequila Sunrise, a variety of martinis and classics like Sex on The Beach.

On some evenings, you’re likely to hear the Hip Hop, Caribbean music and R n B well before you arrive.



3. Harlem Hops


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The founders of this Harlem spot sought to create a space where people can kick back in a relaxed, but stylish environment. Towards the back, there’s a patio, where you can enjoy your food or drinks with a barrel as your table.

The Culture is out front and center, from the Black-majority staff to the music. Most of the drinks are craft beers which rotate every few days. But there are also cocktails like Fomo, Purple Haze, and Harlem Hops Rum Punch.




4. Suite Food Lounge


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In Atlanta, this enormous establishment is lit even during the day, thanks to the DJ doing their thing in the booth.

You’ll want to get up and dance while enjoying chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits and everything else on the brunch menu.

Take your pick of regular, strawberry and pomegranate mimosas. There are also two other brunch classics: the Bellini and the Bloody Mary.

The friendly bartenders know what they’re doing, so feel free to ask for recommendations.

5. Dukunoo

The name of this spot translates to “sweet thing,” according to the website. It stands alone as an upscale Caribbean restaurant in Miami. The motto is, “come fi di food, stay fi di vibes.”

Dukunoo was founded in 2019 by Rodrick Leighton and Shrusan Gray, who are both of Jamaican descent.

In addition to the delicious food, which offers something for all kinds of diets, enjoy some refreshing cocktails.

Kingston Lime, with its electric blue color and Agua de Jamaica taste great on a hot day. If you want something stronger, check out Yardie Fashioned, with Hennessy, sugar and grapefruit bitters.

6. The Delta


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This Chicago joint “is an ode to the food, beverage and culture of the Mississippi Delta region,” and cocktails are just one of its specialties.

There’s The Delta Old Fashioned, Sweet Tea Highball, Yazoo Daquiri and Black Manhattan among many others.

There’s a selection of beer and wine, as well as a delectable food menu.




7. Sobre Mesa

This Afro-Latino spot in Oakland has a tropical, elegant vibe, and tends to attract a young, sophisticated crowd.

Cocktails include Spice Me Down, One Way Flight and Naked and Shameless.

Drinks in the Highball family include El Tesoro Sparkling, Midnight Highball, Oasis Highball and Primavera Highball.

Sobre Mesa is celebrating Oakland Restaurant Week, which runs until March 27.

8. Po Boy Jim


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Located in Washington, D.C., this establishment is family-owned and has an exhaustive food menu.

There are three kinds of Margaritas available. The Po Boy Margarita consists of peaches, strawberries and Jose Cuervo tequila.

The Hennessy Margarita has Hennessy, cognac, peach schnapps, orange juice and fresh sour mix.

Finally, there’s the Moonshine Margarita with George Dickel white whiskey, Grand Marnier, fresh sour mix and orange juice. Whew!