Minority Mental Health Awareness Month Perspective: The Zurena Approach to Cognitive Vitality through Beverage Self-Expression

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, where society aims to break down the stigma and promote understanding about mental health among multiple culturally diverse minority communities.

Zurena acknowledges the power of community and the positive impact it brings to our mental health. Zurena is a proud Black-Owned drink mixing business that produces all-natural, simple and versatile non-alcoholic Caribbean drink mixers for mocktails and cocktails. Our products can be found on Amazon and at retailers, restaurants, bars, states such as Texas, Maryland, Virginia, and the Caribbean and Canada. Our tagline is “Be you. Love you. Enjoy the Zurena life”, and this tagline is grounded on the belief that when we know who we are, are proud of our uniqueness, and are willing to express ourselves to the world, greater self-fulfillment results, as well as deeper connections to family, friends and community. 

We believe that the process of creatively expressing ourselves through beverage is a real, exciting and untapped path towards cognitive vitality. 

The Zurena Approach to Beverage Self-Expression 

Starting virtually during the Pandemic, and continuing via exciting in-person activations afterwards, Zurena hosted multiple events where individuals crowdsourced ideas from strangers to help create the perfect cocktail/mocktail beverage that expressed who they are. 

In one of the very first virtual sessions, CEO Nigel Smith was placed in a group of 4 individuals and was asked several questions to promote self-discovery and to help the other individuals get to know him better, including:

  1. What was your favorite nickname in life (answer – Trinidaddy)
  2. What do you think your name means (answer – Black)
  3. What is your favorite fruit (answer – mango)
  4. If you were a color, what color would you be (answer – blue)
  5. What was your most memorable vacation (answer – Trinidad Carnival 2014)

In this process of self-discovery, the other participants (mix of acquaintances and strangers) asked follow-up questions, got to know him better, and then provided recommendations for his perfect beverage. E.g., Carnival is hot and spicy so your drink should be spicy; and you “have” to include blueberries and blackberries; and the drink name should include your nickname Trinidaddy. 

The result was “Trinidaddy Oh” a mocktail made with 1 oz lemonade, 1 oz coconut water, 1 oz Zurena Ginger, 1 oz Zurena Tropical, ½ oz fresh blueberry juice, ½ oz fresh blackberry juice, scotch bonnet pepper, fresh-cut orange wedge, mangoes and pineapples. Nutritious and refreshing!

Through this process, Nigel discovered himself, expressed himself through beverage, and developed relationships with strangers who now know him a little better. Surveys conducted after these sessions revealed that participants felt closer to people they knew prior to the event, and that new relationships were formed. 

Zurena’s Message

There are so many ways to promote cognitive vitality. Some are obvious – sleep, stress management, physical exercise, learning, and fostering community. But we can also find innovative ways of fostering our cognitive vitality in our day-to-day routines, including beverage creation.  

Minority mental health awareness is critical and should not be time-bound to a month. We encourage you to visit our website (MyZurena.com) and social sites (@MyZurena) and be inspired by the many invented mocktails and cocktails by our growing Zurena community. 

#UpliftingSpiritsTM #UpliftingCommunitiesTM#summermocktails#summercocktails#beverage self-expression