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The Modern Bar Cart Podcast

Sep 15, 2022

In this wide-ranging conversation with Jackie Summers, creator of Sorel, some of the topics we discuss include:

  • How Jackie has led a life of continuous transformation on his way to creating Sorel: battling a spinal tumor, leaving a successful corporate career, and becoming America’s first black distiller since Prohibition.
  • The intriguing wellness and flavor properties of hibiscus, which has more vitamin C than most citrus fruit, but that can be problematic as a single-note flavor.
  • Why it took hundreds of test batches and experiments to perfect this product, which comes to us as the result of centuries of stolen bodies, stolen spices, and a resilient oral tradition that sings at the genetic level.
  • The difference between “Sorrel,” the drink and “Sorel” the brand, by way of some apt wisdom from Jackie’s childhood speech coach.
  • Along the way, we cover the terroir of North African Hibiscus, why liquor years are like dog years, what to drink with the philosopher who went toe-to-toe with Machiavelli, and much, much more.

This episode is brought to you by Near Country Provisions. If you live in the Mid-Atlantic and want to enjoy ethically raised (and delicious) meat from local farmers delivered to your door every month, then you need Near Country in your life.

Head over to and enter the code BARCART when you sign up for your subscription to receive 2 free pounds of bacon or ground beef in your first delivery.