Celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 by buying or drinking a woman-made spirit, such as these global brands that have women master blenders, distillers and more.
Though countless women contribute to the vibrant local, national and international distilling industry, for International Women’s Day each year we give a nod to some of the trailblazers in top production, management and ownership positions at distilleries.
For a fresh perspective on the hidden history of women in spirits and cocktail, we highly recommend the recently released book Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol by Mallory O’Meara.
Cellar master Cécile Roudaut introduces a brandy that balances quality with versatility
Cécile Roudaut loves her job. “Every day I learn new things and this brings me happiness,” says the master blender for St-Rémy. “I have the opportunity every day to taste very high-quality products. Each day I make something different. My role is to perpetuate tradition, but also to innovate.”
Roudaut was in Vancouver recently to launch St-Rémy Signature, the exciting new blended brandy she has created for Rémy-Cointreau. “I asked for a project: ‘Can I have a budget to buy some casks?’” she says. Of course, they said yes. “And the results were very pleasant.”
The classic—and sessionable—red wine punch from Bodega on Main
• 1 lemon • 1 orange • 1/2 apple • Handful blackberries • 1 bottle (750 mL) Spanish red wine • 1.5 oz Triple Sec or Grand Marnier • 1.5 oz brandy • 2 oz lemonade • 2 oz orange juice • 6 to 8 oz soda water or 7Up
This cocktail from Key Party is sweetly spicy and just sophisticated enough.
• 1.5 oz chai-spiced rye (see note) • 0.5 oz apricot brandy • 1 oz egg white • 2 oz lemon juice • Generous bar spoon of apricot preserve • 0.5 oz simple syrup (see note) • 2 dashes orange bitters (available at Gourmet Warehouse, Welks or Modern Bartender)
Originally a blender drink from Beachbum Berry, and traditionally served as a bowl for six with a gardenia garnish at Trader Vic’s, the Scorpion makes a terrific single-serving shaken drink, too. Just beware of its lethal sting.
• 2 oz light rum
• 1 oz brandy
• 1.5 oz orange juice
• 0.5 oz lemon juice
• 0.75 oz orgeat
They came, they sipped, they chose their favourites, ranging from a delicately herbal absinthe to a boldly spiced rye whisky.
Some 600 people descended on the Croatian Cultural Centre on April 6 for the sixth annual BC Distilled festival, highlighting the best of the province’s artisan spirits. Some 180 spirits from 39 distilleries were poured over two tastings, and at the end of it all, the audience voted for their favourites in 13 categories.
Mix up this rosé-based sangria recipe ahead of your next outdoor gathering.
• 3 cups dry rosé wine
• 0.5 cup brandy
• 0.5 cup Okanagan Spirits rhubarb liqueur
• 2 cups white cranberry juice
• 2 cups sliced strawberries
• 1 mango, peeled, pitted and cubed
• 2 cups soda water
In a large container such as a gallon-sized glass jar, combine all ingredients except soda water. Seal container and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight. Remove fruit, place in ice moulds or freezer bags and freeze.