Tastemaker Highlight: Quia Querisma
Quia has been a longtime Facebook friend and supporter of BBS. Not sure how we officially met, but she’s been an advocate our brand and has assisted in making some major connections for us and brand partners and sponsors. Quia is quite the tastemaker and connector!
Name: Quia Querisma
Occupation: Hairdresser and occasional bartender
Location: Dallas, TX
Favorite cocktail: Boulevardier
Favorite Bourbon: E.H. Taylor Small Batch
What's your bourbon story?
Ironically enough, my affinity for spirits did start with whiskey but not with bourbon. My first love was Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey. After I entered the bartending industry in 2014 and joined the United States Bartenders Guild the world of spirits unfolded before me. I had innumerable opportunities to sample and experiment with new whiskies. The well bourbon at my first "serious bartending job" was Four Roses yellow label so it has a place close to my heart. I'll always love the bourbon milk punch we used to make at that restaurant.
What was your first dram? Dewar's white label and I hated it!
How did you fall in love with whiskey?
With Dallas being such a hot market for spirits, we've been fortunate enough to have countless national and regional brand ambassadors visit to share their whisk(e)y stories. It was through education and interactive tastings that I developed a sincere appreciation for whiskey. I love all whiskies, but bourbon is my baby because it has to be made in America to bear that name.
Why did you join BBS?
Because I'm rooting for everybody Black, just like Issa Rae! Most of the time our friends who drink "undesirable" liquor is because no one ever introduced them to something better. BBS is a safe space for the curious to expand their palettes, discover some amazing whiskey, and hopefully spread the word to friends. Honestly, sometimes it's not even about what's the most expensive. It's about capturing a moment, an experience, a feeling... and also not waking up with a hangover. I joined BBS to further support and expand whiskey education and enjoyment among my people.
Why is diversity and inclusion important in the spirit industry?
The landscape of high profile figures in the spirits industry is overwhelming white and male. Because inclusion makes such a difference in how people--specifically people of color engage with a product, I felt like the creation of BBS made sense. When major brands have AFAM (African American) dollars to spend, they're pumping it into syrupy sweet variations of their flagship product. They don't think we want sophistication. News flash, there are a lot of us who seek out and appreciate an elevated experience/product. BBS represents a cross section of black whiskey drinkers who like their whiskey to taste like, well, whiskey. Not honey, apple, peach, or whatever else. With the rising profile of BBS, I hope to see liquor brands put more effort and care into reaching the AFAM market beyond flavored varieties.