Master of Malt Whisky Blog

Tag: International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day on 8 March! To celebrate, we are championing some of the drinks industry’s brightest lights, most talented creatives, and all-round inspiring types at the top of their game who just happen to be female. From distillers and blenders to bartenders and educators, across rum, whisky, gin and more, read on and join the celebrations.

International Women’s Day with… Anna Sebastian of Artesian

International Women's Day

From bartenders and floor staff to hosts and bar backs, women make up more than half of the team at London’s Artesian. To round off our International Women’s Day series, bar manager Anna Sebastian reflects back on her first favourite cocktail, delves into the intricacies of the upcoming menu, and reveals what inspired her jump from the Beaufort Bar…

Of Artesian’s 22 new staff members, 12 are female – an impressive ratio that represents the city’s diverse barscape. Tasked with heading up this creative bunch are Anna Sebastian, former manager of The Savoy’s Beaufort Bar – awarded Best International Hotel Bar at Tales of the Cocktail 2015 under her reign – and head bartender Remy Savage of Little Red Door in Paris. The duo collaborated on a preview menu when they took up their posts in November last year, to be followed by an official menu in the coming weeks called Artesian Moments.

If you’re unfamiliar, Artesian is no ordinary watering hole. Under the tenure of Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale, it secured the accolade of World’s Best Bar not once, but four years in a row. It’s known for its experimental, daring menus, magnificent theatrical serves and, above all, for never equating ‘luxury’ with ‘dull’. With imaginative sorts like Sebastian and Savage heading the ranks, who knows what the bar will go on to achieve in the coming years….


Categories : Cocktails
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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? 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.


Categories : Cocktails, Gin, News, Tequila, Whisky
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International Women’s Day with… Emma Walker of Johnnie Walker

International Women’s Day

Did you know almost half of Johnnie Walker’s 12-strong blending team are women? This International Women’s Day, blender Emma Walker explains her role in the world of whisky production, shares tips for breaking into the industry, and reveals what it’s like to work for a business that makes equality a priority…

If there’s one spirits firm leading the charge on female representation in the workplace, it’s Johnnie Walker owner, Diageo. The business has one of the highest ranked boardrooms in terms of gender parity among FTSE 100 companies; by April, 50% of its board will be women.

Presently, 40% of its global executive team are female, including the president of Diageo North America, the global chief marketing officer and chief financial officer. The firm recently backed advertising movement Free the Bid, and now its agencies and producers are required to put forward at least one female director for every project.

This progressive ethos extends to Johnnie Walker, which (as you’ll be more than aware) recently introduced a female version of its iconic Striding Man, called Jane Walker, who features on a special edition bottling of Black Label for Women’s History Month. The bottle shape is unchanged. Inside? The same liquid. Jane has adopted the same pose; wears the same walking stick and hat as the original icon. She is, quite literally, a female version of the Striding Man. For these reasons, Jane is a symbol of empowerment and equality.


Categories : Scotch Whisky
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International Women’s Day with… Joanne Moore of G&J Distillers

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….


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

International Women’s Day

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.


Categories : Cocktails, Gin, Liqueurs, News, Scotch Whisky
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International Women’s Day with… Joy Spence of Appleton Estate

International Women’s Day

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.


Categories : Rum
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