The Diageo-backed incubator Pronghorn has added three Black-owned spirits brands to its portfolio.

The incubator – which invests in Black-owned and operated drinks businesses – has backed Rally Gin, New England Sweetwater Farm & Distillery and Acquired Taste Cognac.

Winchester-based New England Sweetwater Farm & Distillery creates “handcrafted spirits” and liquors. The business is run by sisters Alisa Lawrence and Nilaja Young.

Rally Gin was established by Black and woman-co-owned Decoy Beverage Co., which is based in Missouri.

Acquired Taste Cognac is a New York-based spirits company owned and operated by Mingo Imports.

“More and more women are creating brands that speak to what we are looking for in spirits, and Pronghorn is committed to supporting their innovation and leadership in the industry,” Pronghorn head of trade marketing Conley Fitzpatrick said.

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By GlobalData

Pronghorn has backed nine brands that have women in leadership positions, accounting for roughly 36% of its portfolio.

Over half of Pronghorn’s portfolio comprises Tequila and whiskey brands, with the most recent additions of Greenwood Whiskey, Red Hazel Whiskey, TCapri Tequila coming in March, as well as IslandJon Vodka.

In June, Diageo said it would back Pronghorn with a further $200m, based on the achievement of “key milestones” within the company’s ten-year plan.

One of Pronghorn’s goals is to place Black employees within 1,800 industry roles, so far it claims to have achieved 5% of this goal.

The investment company has also added Abisola Whiskey, Los Hermanos Tequila 1978 and Alexander James Whiskey to its portfolio, which stands at 23 companies. Pronghorn said it will reach 57 Black-owned spirits brands in the next decade, having only launched just over a year ago.

Pronghorn CEO Jomaree Pinkard was appointed to the top role and managing director of Pronghorn in January, after the incubator invested in Hella Cocktail Co., which Pinkard himself co-founded.