Think whisky is a man’s drink. That’s just Old Fashioned!

There was a time when women drinking whisky would have raised more than a few eyebrows.

These days, however, nearly a third of all whisky drinkers are women… and this trend is likely to continue according to Elizabeth Finn, Diageo category director of whiskies in Western Europe.

 

So when did it all change?

After a little research I realised women’s involvement in whisky is not a new phenomenon. In his 2013 book release, Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey, US writer Fred Minnick details how it was women, not men, who were responsible for changing the face of the Scotch industry and turning distilleries into thriving businesses.

Not only did women invent the first stills, but were heavily involved in managing and modernising distilleries to increase their production capacity.

Notable influential characters, Minnick said, included Elizabeth Cumming who owned the Cardow (Cardhu) distillery in Speyside in the late 19th century, and Bessie Williamson, who owned Laphroaig in Islay in the 20th century.

Today women are once again leading the charge on many whisky fronts, be it from a managerial, blending, brand, blogging or retail whisky perspective. The female whisky drinker is increasingly perceived as strong, resilient, powerful, intelligent, bold and dare I say provocative. Perhaps why Johnnie Walker recently used Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks to become the female ambassador for their brand.

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Another reason for whisky’s more female appeal is that until recently people haven’t seen it as a drink you can mix. The move towards cocktails has changed this and whisky is becoming an ever popular cocktail ingredient, and for good reason.

Here are our favourites

Whisky Sour

The trick to getting a sour just right is balancing the sugar and the lemon to achieve the perfect, lip-puckering result.

50ml scotch

20ml lemon juice

20ml sugar syrup

Fill a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice, add your ingredients and give it a good shake. Strain into a glass and garnish with a slice of lemon and a maraschino cherry.

To make a Boston Sour, add 1 egg white to the liquids in the shaker WITHOUT ice. Shake to emulsify. Add ice and shake again. Strain and serve.

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Blood & Sand

40ml Scotch

40ml Orange Juice

15ml Cherry Syrup

Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass

Clover Club Pink

Celtic Margarita

50ml scotch

20ml triple sec

20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass

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