Taking place in the private alcove in the North Street Brew Co, BAT (Bartenders Against Temperance) put on a fantastic event full of feminism, cocktail making, and story sharing. Being a collaboration with Feminsit Society, the Women in Bartending event featured a representative from the society who interjected between drinks with both personal anecdotes and also invitations for the audience members to share their stories. Some female members of the committee spoke about the difficulties faced as a woman bartender, and related how the world of bartending acts as a “microcosm of the business world” with women working a majority of the bartending jobs at hotels and restaurants, and a male majority at the “top”, working at “craft cocktail bars”. Overall, the class was extremely positive, and a learning experience on multiple levels.
I made my way around the room, stopping at each of the four stations which featured an instructor and all necessary ingredient and equipment. Each instructor gave a short history of the drink, and explained how it was connected to women and bartending.
Station One: The Cosmo – tangy, mellow, delicate
Popularized by Sex and the City, this drink caused a resurgance in cocktail culture in the 90s and is tradtionally viewed as a “feminine” drink because of its culture associations and colour.
Consists of: infused vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, cointreau
Station Two: Tongue and Groove – bold, full bodied, balanced
Created by Jillian Vose, renown bartender, this cocktail fights against the powerful association between women and cocktails as it is whisky based, a spirit that has long carried overt masculine connotations.
Consists of: Whisky, triple sec, earl gray and honey infused syrup,
Station Three: Clover Club – refreshing, light, crisp
A refreshing take on the cocktail repopularized by Julie Reiner at her bar The Clover Club, (named after the pre prohibition gentlemen’s club and namesake cocktail), this drink reimagines the product of a culture that holds men at the center.
Consists of: Raspberry syrup, lemon juice, gin, dry vermouth, club soda
Station Four: Pegu Club – tart, citrusy, spicy
Originally created for British soldiers serving in Berma, this cocktail saw a resurgence due to bartender Audrey Saunders, who’s NYC bar shares the same name. Her updating of the specs resulted in an unprecedented level of popularity of both the drink and her bar.
Consists of: gin, lime juice, orange bitters, angostura bitter, cointreau
Overall, BAT threw a fantastic event that tastefully integrated and discussed the issues that surround women in bartending, and within the broader context of cocktail and drinking culture. Being an absolute steal at £14 a ticket, the next event is sure to be unmissable.