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International Women’s Day: Why we’re talking women and drinks this week

It’s International Women’s Day! We’re celebrating with a week of features championing a host of the drinks industry’s leading lights, who all happen to be women. Wondering why we’re bothering?…

It’s International Women’s Day! We’re celebrating with a week of features championing a host of the drinks industry’s leading lights, who all happen to be women. Wondering why we’re bothering? Intrigued by the concept? What’s all this International Women’s Day (IWD) stuff got to do with booze anyway? Pour a drink and read on, my friend…

My name is Kristiane and I’m a whisky-drinking woman (and gin, Tequila… but let’s stay on track here). I’m also the editor here at Master of Malt. Just in case you’re residing under a rock or you’re still snowed in, cut off from civilisation (we shouldn’t joke, the Beast from the East took most of the UK out last week), today is International Women’s Day. It’s hashtags galore, Instagram inspo central, and there’s bandwagon jumping left, right and centre. In the very serious current climate of #TimesUp and #MeToo, and the centenary of the 1918 Suffrage Act in the UK, International Women’s Day 2018 was always going to be [rightfully] enormous. And ta-da! 8 March 2018 has heralded in the hugest International Women’s Day yet.

This is all well and good. But what’s IWD got to do with drinks? People of all genders appreciate delicious boozes, right? We’ve got equality down now. Next issue, please! But let’s wind it back a moment. As editor, I wanted to take a moment to explain why we chose to get behind IWD in the way we have. Grab that drink (flavour profile your prerogative, regardless of gender, obvs) and let’s get started.

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International Women’s Day with… Joanne Moore of G&J Distillers

Developing an esteemed and commercially successful gin is a dream for many. But creating four? Now that takes some serious skill. For the third instalment in our International Women’s Day…

Developing an esteemed and commercially successful gin is a dream for many. But creating four? Now that takes some serious skill. For the third instalment in our International Women’s Day series, we chat to Joanne Moore, master distiller at G&J Distillers and the creator of Opihr, Bloom, Thomas Dakin, and Berkeley Square.

G&J Distillers is the world’s oldest continuous gin distiller, and has been producing the sweet stuff since 1761. But that’s not to say the company is tied to tradition. Distilling is the sector of the spirits industry that arguably suffers the most from gender disparity, so Moore certainly bucked the trend when she was appointed as master distiller in 2006.

As well as overseeing production for all four of the gins she designed, along with Greenall’s (for which she is the guardian of the recipe), Moore’s role ranges from developing top secret new products to leading educational masterclasses. And when she’s not experimenting with obscure botanicals or sharing her wisdom, you’ll find her sipping on a French 75….

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International Women’s Day with… Hannah Lanfear of The Mixing Class

Hannah Lanfear is one woman with many, many hats. Founder and director of drinks consultancy The Mixing Class, WSET educator, bar consultant, brand ambassador, cocktail expert and die-hard Prince fan……

Hannah Lanfear is one woman with many, many hats. Founder and director of drinks consultancy The Mixing Class, WSET educator, bar consultant, brand ambassador, cocktail expert and die-hard Prince fan… she is the very definition of multi-talented. In the latest instalment of our International Women’s Day series, Lanfear sits down with us to talk spirits education, diversity and, of course, whisky…

In her two decades’ experience in the cocktail and spirits industry, Hannah Lanfear has left her mark on some of the most reputed bars in London including Milk & Honey, Bungalow 8, and Boisdale as an accomplished cocktail bartender and bar manager. She has also consulted on bar openings for establishments such as Nimb Copenhagen and GloGlo’s in Shoreditch, and has been a global brand ambassador for Jensen’s Gin.

Now, as a WSET educator and founder of The Mixing Class (TMC), she is promoting her unwavering belief in the importance of education, research and social responsibility, putting what she has learned through her experiences of bar culture across the globe into practice. We spoke to Lanfear to see what life is like as the director of a drinks consultancy, how her experience led her to where she is now, the state of diversity within the industry, and her thoughts on whisky today.

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International Women’s Day with… Joy Spence of Appleton Estate

To celebrate International Women’s Day, this week we’ll be championing a host of female spirits pioneers who are at the top of their respective fields. Today we take five with…

To celebrate International Women’s Day, this week we’ll be championing a host of female spirits pioneers who are at the top of their respective fields. Today we take five with Joy Spence of Appleton Estate, who, more than 20 years ago, became the world’s first female master blender.

Each year on 8 March, International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to reflect on progress made, catalyse meaningful change, and celebrate the women who have made strides towards gender parity.

But hold up. Why is International Women’s Day so important? Things are pretty equal, aren’t they? Firstly, no, and secondly, let me hit you with some stats. According to the World Economic Fund’s Global Gender Gap Report, it will take another 217 years to achieve gender parity.

Let that sink in. That’s 217 years before women and men are completely equal in terms of health, education, economy and politics. Mind-blowing. The same report reveals that Iceland, Norway, Finland, Rwanda and Sweden are the five best countries to live in if you’re a woman. The UK is 15th. The US? 49th.

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The Nightcap: 8 March

The weekend is almost here, and we wouldn’t want you to go into a wonderful Saturday without a whole heap of booze news – hence, The Nightcap! It has been…

The weekend is almost here, and we wouldn’t want you to go into a wonderful Saturday without a whole heap of booze news – hence, The Nightcap!

It has been a long ol’ week, despite being around the same number of hours as every other week for about… Well, since weeks were invented. Whoever did that should have made them shorter, because then you would get more editions of our weekly round-up of stories from the world of boozes. Maybe write a letter to the week inventor. See if they can get rid of a day or two somewhere. Thursday has always felt a bit extraneous.

Anyway, what’s been happening on the MoM Blog this week? Well, Kristy has been chatting to some of the amazing women who work here at MoM Towers in celebration of International Women’s Day (it’s today, by the way) – you can read all of those interviews right here. Annie once again did her best Mystic Meg impression and looked at the bars of the future that exist today. Henry watched whisky on the big screen, found out more about Israel’s Milk & Honey distillery and brewed up something tasty for Cocktail of the Week – the Espresso Martini. Adam greeted the new season with open arms and tasty garnishes as he looked at delicious spring spirits. We also did some more winning, this time at the UK eCommerce Awards.

Say hello to Diageo’s first women apprentice coopers

Diageo recruits first women apprentice coopers!

In case it had escaped your attention, today is International Women’s Day. And there was some exciting news from Diageo this week which makes a fitting top Nightcap post! The drinks group has recruited the world’s first female coopering apprentices at its Cambus Cooperage in Scotland. Angela Cochrane and Kirsty Olychick are part of a 16-strong team of apprentices at the Coopering School, where traditional coopering skills are taught over the four-year course. Both women are in their 30s, not just shattering the stereotype that coopering is exclusively a career for men, but also that apprenticeships are only open to school-leavers. “I’ve never been put off by gender stereotypes,” said Cochrane. “I don’t think that should stop anyone from doing what they want to do. And knowing you’re contributing to the growing whisky industry is an amazing feeling.” Olychick added: “Coming into a male-dominated workplace didn’t put me off at all, in fact I found it really empowering to be one of the first women to take up the craft and make my mark in history. It’s such an exciting prospect to think that I’ll be contributing to the next generation of Scotch.” We’re raising a dram to them both – while hoping that at some point soon stories like this won’t be newsworthy as there will be genuine equal representation across the spirits industry.

We should celebrate, with some Aperol of course!

Aperol sales soar by 28% as Campari Group reports ‘strong’ results

Financial results time! And Campari’s full-year stats make for interesting reading. Vibrantly-hued Aperol continued its global charge, with sales soaring by more than 28% over the year, while Campari saw sales climb by 5.1% (Negronis are still ON). Wild Turkey (+7%), Grand Marnier (+5.2%), Bulldog Gin (+7.2%), and the Jamaican rum portfolio (+8.3%, includes the likes of Appleton Estate and Wray & Nephew Overproof) all did very well. Not so good for Skyy vodka though, which saw 8.1% declines, blamed on weaknesses in the US, or Glen Grant, which saw sales fall by 5.7%. An agave price hike impacted profitability, although its Espolòn Tequila brand posted emphatic 26.1% gains. Overall, total group organic sales climbed by +5.3%, and CEO, Bob Kunze-Concewitz, is happy. “We remain confident in achieving a positive performance across the key underlying business indicators in 2019,” he said.

Meet Igor Boyadjian!

All change at the top: The Macallan names new MD

Single malt Scotch brand The Macallan is about to get a new managing director! Following news that Scott McCroskie, current MD, is off to lead parent company Edrington, Igor Boyadjian has been named as his successor. Boyadjian leads Asia Pacific & India at Edrington, and will take up his new post – and a spot on the Edrington executive team – from 1 April. He first joined Edrington in 2017 to lead the travel retail operations, but had partnered with the company for more than a decade before that as part of its Edrington-F.I.X. Middle East joint venture. “I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to help chart the next stage in the journey of The Macallan,” Boyadjian said. “Under Scott’s leadership, The Macallan has demonstrated a constant pursuit of excellence and dedication to creating the finest single malt Scotch whisky. It is both an honour and a privilege to work alongside a dedicated and talented group of people all over the world, whose mastery, creativity and pride for the brand have helped push the boundaries to make The Macallan what it is today.” Congrats, Igor!

These bourbon and rye whiskies were distilled before Prohibition.

Rare 1920s bourbon for sale in Kentucky

Lovers of good old time sippin’ whiskey should head to the Frazier Museum in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Thanks to a change in the state alcohol laws, the museum is now allowed to sell some of its collection of rare whiskeys. Known colloquially as “dusty bottles”, they are likely to get bourbon lovers salivating. The first releases of what will become a regular thing are pint bottles of Old Hickory Canadian Rye bottled in 1925, Old Jim Gore Bourbon, distilled 1912 and bottled in 1925, and John Poindexter Old Bourbon, distilled in 1916 and bottled in 1928. The last two were distilled by Wigglesworth Brothers of Harrison County, Kentucky. The bourbons are $2,000 a pop, with the rye a snip at $1,500. Andrew Treinen from the museum told us: “There was a guy waiting to buy one of all three when we opened the morning after the release. We have a small inventory of all brands still available and hopefully more on the way.” Readers will note that they were bottled during Prohibition. How was this even possible? Well, to get around the law forbidding the sale of alcohol, at the time they were sold for medicinal use only. We imagine that doctors were pretty popular people in 1920s America.

The value of rare Scotch whisky has increased by a staggering 600%.

Whisky now a better investment than art, cars or coins

If you’ve got some spare cash to invest, then you could do a lot worse than ploughing it into rare whisky, according to The Wealth Report 2019, released this week. Whisky currently tops the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index (KFLII) which tracks the value of assets including cars, art and rare coins. The whisky index, based on the auction values of 100 bottles of rare Scotch, has increased in value by 40% in the last 12 months. In the past ten years, prices have risen by nearly 600%! That’s a lot of moolah. Much of this growth is driven by the Asian market. “The stunning price growth of rare single malt whiskies shows that the appetite for new ‘alternative’ asset classes remains strong among high-net-worth investors,” said Andrew Shirley, editor of The Wealth Report and the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index. Andy Simpson, co-founder Rare Whisky 101 added: “While rare whisky remains a somewhat fledgling asset class compared to some other passion investments, the market for rare and vintage bottles has witnessed extraordinary growth over the past ten years.” We should point out, of course, that assets can go down in value as well as up. Nothing is guaranteed. However, the great thing about whisky is that if prices do collapse, at least you will have something to drown your sorrows with.

Even more Irish whiskey to come!

Ireland officially has another working distillery – welcome to the party, Clonakilty!

We all know Irish whiskey is booming, and now there’s another distillery to add to the must-visit list. On 5 March, the waterfront Clonakilty Distillery and Visitor Experience in West Cork opened its doors! In addition to its three-still stillhouse and whiskey and gin production, the site has a story room which tells the tale of Clonakilty town’s brewing and smuggling history, a gin school, a bistro, and a fancy gift shop. The distillery is open to the public from Tuesday through to Sunday, and tours can be booked on the distillery website. Clonakilty becomes Ireland’s 23rd operational distillery, and reckons it will attract as many as 35,000 visitors a year. Congrats, all!

Say hello to Tamdhu’s new 15 Year Old!

Raise a glass to Tamdhu’s new 15 Year Old

It wouldn’t be the Nightcap if there wasn’t news of delicious new whisky. Scotch single malt distillery Tamdhu has done the decent thing this week and launched a new limited edition 15-year-old annual release. Fans of the Speyside drop will be pleased to know it’s as sherry-tastic as ever, having been matured in American and European oloroso-seasoned casks for the full 15 years. Tamdhu 15 Year Old was bottled at 46% ABV without any chill-filtration or additional colouring, and is said to be a complex and rich dram that delivers notes of apple pastry, spiced currants, orange zest, juicy apricot, vibrant raspberry, almonds, malt biscuit, cream sherry and vanilla. The bespoke bottle sports Tamdhu’s new packaging, which tells the history of the distillery and highlights the significance of sherry casks in its maturation. “We’re extremely proud of our new Tamdhu 15 Year Old,” said Sandy McIntyre, Tamdhu distillery manager. “When you taste a dram of Tamdhu 15 Year Old, you can really taste the time and care that has gone into creating this incredible whisky. We hope Tamdhu drinkers around the world will savour it as much as we do.” You’ll be pleased to know that Tamdhu 15 Year Old is on its way to MoM Towers, so keep an eye out…

The Signature Range has arrived!

Glasgow Distillery Company to launch all kinds of new whisky!

The Glasgow Distillery Company, founded in 2014, has made the sort of announcement that makes us geek out in excitement here at MoM Towers. Glasgow’s first independent single malt whisky distillery since 1902 is poised to release not one but three new Scotch whiskies! Alongside the return of its 1770 Single Malt Scotch Whisky in the form a 2019 edition, meet peated and triple-distilled expressions, 1770 Peated and 1770 Triple Distilled. Most excitingly, these three together will form one awesome collective, like the Power Rangers, except this one is called the Signature Range. The first 1770 release sold out in 2018, so many will be delighted to welcome it back. Matured in first fill ex-bourbon casks, finished in virgin oak and non-chill filtered, the new 1770 Single Malt is available to pre-order now from the brand’s website. The first peated expression will follow in late 2019 and the triple-distilled bottling will appear in early 2020. “Innovation is very important to us, and the announcement of the 1770 Signature Range is no different,” said Liam Hughes, CEO and co-founder. “We’re proud to be one of a select few distilleries in Scotland to have three different styles of single malt as part of their core whisky offering.” Exciting stuff!

Congratulations to Hannah Lanfear!

Hannah Lanfear is the new Armagnac educator for the UK

The wonderful Hannah Lanfear (who we spoke to as part of last year’s International Woman’s Day series) now has another exciting role: she is the new Armagnac educator for the UK! Working closely with Amanda Garnham of the BNIA (Bureau National Interprofessionnel de l’Armagnac), Lanfear will present Armagnac masterclasses and training sessions over the next few months to take Armagnac to thrilling new brandy-based heights. The Mixing Class founder has a wealth of experience as a spirits educator for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) up her sleeve. She’s previously hosted WSET classes on Armagnac at Brooklyn Bar Convent in the US, and is an Armagnac judge at spirits competitions. There’s an ever-growing interest in the category, particularly within the bar community, and the versatile, complex brandy looks set for a bright future. “Since travelling to Gascony during distillation season I have completely fallen for this historic brandy,” said Lanfear. “Not only is it an immensely interesting spirit to study the production of, it has a wonderful depth of flavour and is utterly enigmatic in a cocktail. I am thrilled to be able to share the story of Armagnac in London.”

The London Classics

Bimber celebrates London with new drinks range!

Introducing The London Classics, a collection of spirits from Bimber Distillery featuring a London Vodka, a London Gin and a London Rum, all distilled, packaged and labelled by hand at the brand’s West London site. This means the London Classics are 100% made in London, which is very pleasing. The trio was created to offer an alternative to the standard house spirits found in the speed rail of many a bar, pub, restaurant and hotel. Bimber set itself the challenge of rallying against a perceived lack of creativity, individuality and value for money in these tipples. The plan was to create a new range based on character and flavour, housed in stylish, minimalist and convenient bottles that are easy to pour, while being affordable and fun. A lofty ambition, but seeing as we already stock the vodka, gin and rum, you can decide for yourself if these handcrafted, small-batch spirits live up to it.

The Winchester Collection Vintage 1967. The Glenlivet has wowed us.

The Glenlivet teams up with British designer for 50 year old(!) bottling

Today, just literally today, The Glenlivet unveiled The Winchester Collection Vintage 1967, a super-rare 50 year old limited-edition single malt whisky worth $25,000 (around £19,000), with a bottle and display case designed by award-winning British designer Bethan Gray. The whisky marries malts from a number of casks, the youngest of which was filled in December 1967. That’s right, the youngest. With whiskies this old, around 60-80% of the liquid has been lost to the angels’ share – what remains is like gold dust. Or liquid gold, perhaps. No wonder only 150 bottles have been released worldwide. Gray’s grandfather lived and worked in the Cairngorms, close to The Glenlivet, and the misty landscape around the valleys inspired the Dhow pattern that adorns the case. The glass bottle is hand-blown, while the ombré glass mirrors the ageing process of the whisky. The hand-stained maple case, decorated with mother-of-pearl, is made using solid copper overlays, reflecting The Glenlivet’s copper stills, crafted with a technique that was specially invented for this curved case – now try telling us that isn’t special! This is certainly a collector’s item, though beneath all of this is simply some truly outstanding whisky!

The launch of Rémy Martin’s cigar terrace at Dukes didn’t go entirely to plan… (It wasn’t us).

And finally… Rémy Martin smokes out Dukes Bar. Accidentally.

We try to make sure that there’s a Master of Malt representative at all the swankiest events, so naturally we sent someone to cover the opening of the Rémy Martin Cognac and Cigar Garden at Dukes London Mayfair. But while everyone was sipping Rémy XO and puffing on a Romeo Y Julieta, there was trouble brewing. Someone (not us, we hasten to add) had left the door to the terrace open. Consequently, the waft of fine cigar smoke was permeating the entire hotel, including the famous bar presided over by Alessandro Palazzi (winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the recent Class Bar Awards). He came striding through the hotel and told us firmly and politely to keep the door shut. Normally the most genial and relaxed of hosts, it’s the only time we have seen Palazzi looking the tiniest bit flappable. A newsworthy moment indeed. Everyone assumed the naughty schoolkid pose. Sorry, Alessandro!

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IWD 2019: Meet our campaign exec, Laura Carl!

With International Women’s Day fast approaching, we thought we’d celebrate some of our behind-the-scenes team here at MoM Towers. Today we chat with Laura Carl, our campaign executive, about #WhiskySanta,…

With International Women’s Day fast approaching, we thought we’d celebrate some of our behind-the-scenes team here at MoM Towers. Today we chat with Laura Carl, our campaign executive, about #WhiskySanta, diving, and the joy of bourbon.

Friday 8 March is International Women’s Day! Last year we marked the occasion by interviewing some of the drinks industry’s most exciting luminaries. For 2019, we thought we’d turn our attention to our very own office. Get set to meet more of Team MoM!

As well as getting to know some of the women who work here at Master of Malt, I hope a little behind-the-scenes peek will highlight some of the many varied careers the drinks industry offers. We met PR manager Mariella yesterday, today it’s the turn of campaign exec Laura Carl to talk us through life in the marketing team. She joined Master of Malt in June 2018, and works across all kinds of projects, from #WhiskySanta to our weekly emails. Enough from me, over to the woman herself…

Tell us about you and your role at Master of Malt.
I’m a campaign executive at Master of Malt, our team (big up Jake Mountain and Lois Jõe!) manage the marketing campaigns and all the challenges that go with running them. This includes everything from headline competitions and social media campaigns such as #WhiskySanta, to product selection for the website and managing day-to-day marketing requests.

Talk us through a typical day…
The best thing about this role is that every single day is different for me. We have on-going projects which require constant attention, such as the weekly product email, and then brand new campaigns or ideas which can be turned around in a couple of days. My role includes coming up with design ideas, putting together strategic planning for public holidays or events, analysing results, and acting as a communicator between the many wonderful teams and people we have here at MoM, who make it possible to get the job done.

Laura Carl International Women's Day

Laura spends much of her year liaising with #WhiskySanta while he’s on his holibobs

How did you get into marketing?
My career path seems pretty convoluted; I actually have a degree in marine biology – so obviously marketing was the clear career choice after graduation! I worked in sales for a PR company before running away for two years travelling. In that time, I had a range of roles; most notably I became a dive instructor in Thailand and Indonesia (yeah, I’m pretty cool), and then I moved over to Australia. Over there, I worked in a few bars and managed events for a small craft brewery in Brisbane (check out Aether Brewing with its amazing craft beer and even better people), where I gained a true passion for drinks. Upon my return, I knew I wanted to focus on marketing and I managed to find this amazing role which allowed me to use both the creative and analytical aspects of my personality (as well as my love for all things alcoholic!).  

What are the particular challenges your role?
Clear communication is always key. The easiest way I would explain my role is project management marketing. Making sure every aspect of the campaign is running smoothly and on-time can be a challenge, especially at busy times of the year such as Christmas.

What’s one of the most surprising things about your role?
The opportunity to be as creative as I want when it comes to new social campaigns is amazing; we really do have the freedom to run with what we believe will be effective. MoM has a wonderfully jovial ‘voice’ and working with that kind of marketing image for a company gives you the scope to have a lot of fun when it comes to new campaigns.

What makes the drinks industry such an interesting place to work?
I really am lucky to work in an industry which I’m truly passionate about. It’s constantly evolving, there is such a rich history involved in spirits and, best of all, there’s always something new to learn or try. Everyday people are pushing the boundaries in spirits production, cocktail making and drinks trends, which makes the whole industry innovative, exciting and endlessly interesting.

Tell us about a career highlight…
We recently attended the Gin Magazine Awards (where MoM snapped up Online Retailer of the Year!). We spent the evening sipping the world’s best gins and generally celebrating how awesome we are, which was pretty cool! Also, getting to attend the launch of the ‘A Miscellany of Inventions’ cocktail menu at GŎNG Bar at the top of The Shard was pretty frickin’ awesome. Can I have two? I’m putting two.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into drinks marketing?
You may not feel like you’re always on the right path but seize every opportunity that falls your way, no matter what your current role. You never know when the skills you pick up may come in useful.

Recommend a drink!
Bourbon is the love of my life, so it has to be an Old Fashioned.

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IWD 2019: Meet our PR manager, Mariella Salerno!

8 March marks International Women’s Day, so this week we’ve gone behind the scenes at MoM Towers to introduce you to some of our dream team. First up: PR manager,…

8 March marks International Women’s Day, so this week we’ve gone behind the scenes at MoM Towers to introduce you to some of our dream team. First up: PR manager, Mariella Salerno!

It’s always fun to have a peek at other people’s lives. I don’t know about you, but this extends to browsing property websites, Instagram, and very definitely drinks cabinets. In a similar vein, Take Your Friend To Work Day should absolutely be A Thing. And with International Women’s Day on Friday, it seemed like a good opportunity to have a nose into the lives and jobs of some of my colleagues here at Master of Malt! (Confused/annoyed by all things IWD? Have a read of this post from last year and then come back. We’ll still be here.)    

International Women’s Day is, at its heart, a celebration of women from all backgrounds in all walks of life. And there are a whole bunch of amazing people at MoM Towers who just happen to be women! From our marketing and service teams to digital, trade and beyond, the drinks industry is full of brilliant people in ace roles (beyond Master of Malt, just check out some of the women who we spoke to last year!)

Whether you’re looking for a bit of career inspo or just feeling nosy, this mini-series is for you. First up, we speak to Mariella Salerno, our PR manager who joined our marketing team at the end of last year, who chats Margaritas, sharing stories and celeb encounters. Over to Mariella!

Meet Mariella!

Tell us about you and your role at Master of Malt.
I am the PR Manager at Master of Malt, which means that I look after all external relations and publicity for the company. Historically, Master of Malt hasn’t really had a PR function, and this is the first year we’ve had an in-house team. This makes me so excited as I have the chance to steer our communications strategy in line with what the whole company is up to!

Talk us through a typical day…
The first thought of the morning is to check social media and see what our brilliant readers and customers are saying about us! People talk about all kinds of drinks and share our blog stories and videos. Then I grab a coffee and sit down in front of my laptop ready to spread MoM joy! The rest of the day I might be meeting with brands or events partners, or visiting venues for future events. Or catching up with journalists, or getting a press release ready to send out. The role is a mix of strategy and creativity, so each day is different.

How did you get into PR and communications?
I landed my first communication job as marketing assistant at sports network ESPN, and my boss at the time said he liked my eagerness to chat so much that he thought I would have plenty to say when the channel launched in the UK and Southern Europe. I then went to gain qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in PR Strategy Management and Psychology in Campaign Design, just to make sure I was doing things right!

What’s one of the most surprising things about your role?
You really do have endless opportunities to create stories that can inspire readers and audiences regardless of demographics, background or affiliations. As long as there is a shared passion, you are really free to create new stories that people can engage with.

Tell us about a career highlight…
Dame Vanessa Redgrave walked towards me, asked for my name and toasted to my hard work at the Moët British Independent Film Awards 2011. That was an incredible moment!

What makes the drinks industry such an interesting place to work?
I think the most interesting aspect for me is that the drinks industry really is free from clichés, strict rules and stereotypes – it attracts an enormous variety of people all with different backgrounds and from different walks of life. It means the drinks industry keeps evolving all the time – in doing so, it remains relevant and it’s so exciting to be involved in. In PR you’re always trying to connect with people, and because everyone is welcome, the possibilities really are endless!  

Recommend us a drink!
Simple – a classic Margarita. It never, ever, ever goes out of fashion!

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The Nightcap: 9 March

A bumper Nightcap lies ahead this week – Metallica swaps shredding for stills with a former Maker’s Mark whisky-maker, Coca-Cola makes its first foray into booze, and Ardbeg Day returns…

A bumper Nightcap lies ahead this week – Metallica swaps shredding for stills with a former Maker’s Mark whisky-maker, Coca-Cola makes its first foray into booze, and Ardbeg Day returns for 2018 sporting a tie-dye t-shirt…

But first! As you’ll be more than aware by now, we’ve been celebrating International Women’s Day all week via a series of interviews with female spirits pioneers who are at the top of their respective fields.

Joy Spence of Appleton Estate, Hannah Lanfear of The Mixing Class, Joanne Moore of G&J Distillers, Emma Walker of Johnnie Walker, and Anna Sebastian of Artesian divulged their paths through what is traditionally a male-dominated industry and shared tips for aspiring distillers, blenders, bartenders and educators everywhere.

If you’re sitting there wondering why the hell we decided to do this in the first place, our editor Kristiane spelled out why we’re celebrating women in booze beautifully here. And for those who are already allies – continue on to this week’s Nightcap. It’s a goodie.

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