During these unprecedented times, the hospitality industry needs leaders like never before. Josh Davis is an industry veteran with over 15 years of experience and he is also the founder of Brown And Balanced which started as an event at Portland Cocktail Week and Camp Runamok and has since built into a stand-alone entity.
The first season aired last fall, with a focus on different Black hospitality professionals. Brown and Balanced, presented by Campari America, was such a success and is back again for Season 2, continuing on Friday, November 19th with Cleveland’s Lindsey Stanard (she/her), a bartender and mixologist based in Cleveland, OH. Since the pandemic, Stanard has gravitated more towards a mobile program, while still keeping a foot in the door to the industry she is attempting to diversify and change.
At the core of Brown and Balanced is the mission to share talents and stories of Black and Brown food and beverage professionals and the projects they’re developing through digital content. As Davis describes it, “think In Living Color and Mad TV meets Charlamagne Tha God meets Black and Brown Bartenders. BOOM.”
When quarantine and lockdowns swept the nation, Brown and Balanced hosted a series of Happy Hours over on Instagram featuring bartenders, servers, and cocktail enthusiasts from all over the U.S. to share their stories and backgrounds. After taking time to rest and restore, Brown and Balanced is coming back to continue conversations.
Keep reading to get to know Lindsey Stanard and in support of Brown & Balanced, we ask that you please keep up with all of Campari America’s industry-focused events and education by following @CampariCommunity or signing up for the Campari mailing list HERE.
Brown + Balanced in Conversation with Lindsey Stanard
Name, City/State, most recent place of employment.
Lindsey Stanard; Cleveland, OH; LiNfusions
What are your pronouns?
If you weren’t a Bartender what would you be doing?
Working in nonprofits
How did you get started in the industry?
A complete whim! Someone told me I might like bartending, I saw an ad online for a barback and applied, the rest is history
Being a Black/Brown Bartender what are some of the issues you face?
I constantly face situations where people acknowledge my blackness, but don’t respect it. Stereotypical jokes fill the air of environments that tell me to just deal with it.
Being a Black/Brown Bartender what are some of the things you take pride in as being a part of this subculture inside of the hospitality industry?
That I have always made it a point to display my culture before anything. I’ve always found it to be super imperative to remain true to myself and my culture.
What do you feel the leaders can do better to provide equal opportunities and representation for Black, Indigenous and People of Color in the industry?
Hear us. I don’t care if you have known this guest, this bar owner, etc. for 20+ years. If I vocalize a situation where I feel like I wasn’t given the same opportunity as my white counterpart, hear me. Believe me. There cannot be change if the problems are not acknowledged.
If you could describe yourself as a cocktail what would it be and why?
Vieux Carre hands down. On paper, I’m strong and bold, but when you get to know me, I’m actually a little sweet :)
With the social climate in the world today, I feel like our industry is a microcosm of society. How do you see Black/Brown Bartenders using their platforms to enact change in what we see across the bartending community?
I see more unity with minority bartenders in this past year. A form of unity I was told didn’t exist with black bartenders. The unity I was used to seeing before was a level of respect when desired, but no support for any minority group but your own. I truly feel that it has pivoted and will be the beginning of positive growth and diversity in this industry.
2020 was a crazy year, with the shutdown affecting all of our businesses. What are some ways you have been able to shift and try to stay afloat?
My kids! I can’t say in this past year I have been successfully staying afloat, that would be a lie. With postpartum and unemployment, I had no idea how I was mentally functioning, let alone what my next move would be. But my children gave me the drive I needed to figure something out, while staying true to my passion. I started selling mixers out of my home and educating Black people on spirits you only gain knowledge of when you spend hundreds on bartending school. Or years in the industry.
If you could have drinks with 5 people dead, alive, or fictional who would you choose and what would you be drinking?
I want to sip cognac with Jay-Z. Sip wine with my grandmother and tell her we’re all of drinking age so she doesn’t need to hide it. I’ve been wanting to drink lemonade with Beyonce since 2015! We’d have to add some whiskey and tea with it, but whatever she wants! I want to pop bottles with my late friend Devin Bush. And last but not least, drink ANYTHING with Josh Davis and thank him for everything!
Being a Black/Brown Bartender and being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community what are some challenges that you have faced in the industry, and how have you overcome them?
I’ve always come off as “one of the guys” and most have equated this to my sexuality. I vibe with men more because of the common interest. Since becoming a Black female bartender in a predominantly cis white male industry, I’ve noticed my sexuality is “hot” for them to watch with others, and it has allowed them to feel comfortable degrading and sexualizing women in front of me.
What is the best advice a bar mentor of yours (official or unofficial mentor) has given you?
Joseph Frederickson, owner/operator of Society Lounge has created my slogan I’ve abided by in my three years of being in this field “You’re never ‘too good’ to grow”. I used to question the purpose of him sitting in on classes with us and taking notes just as much as me, if not more. Now I see this industry is forever changing, and we will always have new information to utilize. You can never truly “master” all spirits and mixology knowledge.
If you could go back to the beginning of your career what is some advice you would give yourself?
Stand up for yourself, regardless of who the offender is. You are passionate and you’re great at what you do because you are passionate. Not everyone will like that, but don’t let it break you.
Instant Vintage cocktail + preparation
- 2 oz Russell’s Reserve 10 yr
- 1 Egg White
- .75 oz Lemon
- .5 oz Demerara Simple
- .25 oz Apricot Ginger Shrub*
- .5 oz Campari
Garnish with edible flowers.
*Apricot Ginger Shrub:
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups chopped apricot
- 1 tbsp of chopped ginger
Add ACV and sugar to a pot. Cook until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients. Bring to just before boiling. Remove from heat. Cool, strain and store.
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