On Saturday the 18th of February over 30 people gathered in the Salesas neighborhood in Madrid to taste sake. Seems like the beginning of one of those "a man walked into a bar..." jokes, no? What in the world does sake have to do with a) brown women or b) Spain? Well, friends, everything!
At its core, LMDES is a diverse community of individuals who genuinely want to do dope things with dope people. When we say that we're re-defining the Black experience, that's exactly what we mean. There are no limits and no boxes. We do it all, and quite unapologetically too! Statements like "Black women don't..." or "Black people only..." are absolutely preposterous because newsflash: there's no one way to be Black, y'all! We're of the mindset that you cannot truly know you don't like something, within reason of course, unless you try it. And naturally, if you find out that you absolutely despise something, well now you have not just a reason, but also a story!
Although sake isn't something that's typically associated with Spain (or Black women) Madrid does have one of the first and only premier Sake bars in the country. Tucked away on a quiet and quaint street near Recoletos you'll find Shuwa Shuwa. Their talented and brilliant sommelier Mayu gave a multi-lingual tasting of 6 different sakes complete with fresh, melt-in-your-mouth sushi and an array of cheeses to enhance the sake tasting experience.
While Mayu was shedding some light on the history and social context of Japanese sake in not one, but three different languages, Shuwa Shuwa's amazing bartender was preparing three different sake-infused cocktails. With expertise and grace, he sliced lemons, crushed ice and poured like the pro he is. At Shuwa Shuwa, the expert bartender invents, and designs the creative drinks that they offer and the options change regularly. Word on the street is that currently, there's a peach jelly infused sake drink on the menu, but you didn't hear that from us!
After both groups had a chance to get their fill of sake, sushi, edamame, and cheese we announced giveaway winners! This is always such a rewarding experience for the LMDES team because we adore pouring back into the readers and supporters who give us so much joy, and also because it's an opportunity to introduce our audience to like-minded brands we love!
This time around we partnered with Dear Isabella, a boutique jewlery brand from the Dominican Republic but based out of Philadelphia. They specialize in delicate, and beautifully minimalistic hand-crafted pieces and only use the Larimar stone. Each stone is hand-selected to ensure the utmost quality and detail. The founder and owner named the brand after their daughter, Isabella. And what better way to pay homage than by fabricating hand-made precious and unforgettable statement pieces made from a gem only found on the island where her mother, and the founder of Dear Isabella, was born: The Dominican Republic! Go and support this company, guys, and thanks us later! (They also have Instagram!)
We didn't just stop there. Sienna and I have been living abroad for a combined 13 years and sometimes, we miss things that we simply cannot find (easily) in Spain. We're talking JIF peanut butter, strawberry Poptarts, Starbursts, and Aunt Jemima syrup. That's why when Anthony of Americrate reached out to us, we were hooked from the start!
Diets be damned, we were blinded by nostalgia and a deep yearning for... pancakes. Americrate contributed not one, but THREE different personally curated boxes. One of which was aimed at healthy, green living: the Greene Market box. You know, for when it's time to burn off the pancakes and syrup. The winners of these giveaways were ecstatic, and everyone left with full bellies, and phones filled with new contacts and photos for the 'Gram.
Thanks again to everyone who came out to vibe with us, to Anna, our spectacular photographer, to Shuwa Shuwa for being such wonderful and gracious hosts and to Dear Isabella and Americrate for collaborating.
Were you at Sake + Vibe? Tell us what you thought!
Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful husband. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.