Sephina Spirits is inspired by the legendary Josephine Baker — a performer, provocateur, civil rights activist, Allied spy during WWII, a decorated citizen of France, and the world’s first Black female superstar. Born into poverty in St. Louis in 1906, Josephine left the US to reinvent herself in Paris. She became an overnight sensation as a film and stage actress, a singer, and a humanitarian. Her risqué costumes, suggestive dances, and choice of lovers quickly earned her the name "The Black Venus," forever establishing her as one of the first Black superstars of the 20th century.
Ken Gilbert created Sephina Spirits as a passionate attempt at amping up his love of European dessert Wine with a brown Spirit to give it a little more warmth and "settle one’s soul." After a few very scientific attempts, he decided on a V.S.O.P. Cognac — chance would have it that this was also the right way to go. You see, it was the muse herself who found Mr. Gilbert through his discovery of the Josephine Baker cocktail. This luscious combination of French Cognac, Port Wine, fruit Liqueurs, and an egg created at the infamous Bar Florida in Havana was what helped confirm his decision to include Cognac into crafting the Sephina Drink.
Both the cocktail then and Sephina today celebrate Josephine’s unique and complex life as a performer who was the toast of Europe.
Dessert Wine is a Wine containing high levels of sugar and alcohol. This is done by either growing grapes with naturally high levels of sugar, by adding sugar before or after fermentation, or by spiking the Wine with a distilled Spirit, usually Brandy. In the latter case, it’s called fortified Wine. Originally, fortification was done to preserve the Wine, though the Spirit might also be used to enhance the drink's natural flavors. Some of the most famous examples of fortified Wine include Madeira, Marsala, Port, Sherry, and Vermouth. It’s a special sipping treat that can be made dry or sweet and enjoyed before or after a meal.
**Josephine Baker is a trademark licensed by Sagoo, Paris. SEPHINA and all logos associated therewith are trademarks of Hunting Ridge Road Holdings, LLC.