A toast to women’s empowerment

For centuries the spirits & cocktail industry has very much been dominated by men, however this past decade we have rightly seen an increasing empowerment of women. Bars and spirits have developed significantly with their skills, expertise, and perspective.
Women continue to push forward the beverage sector, making it to the front pages and supporting one another along the way. The bar for women’s empowerment and representation keeps rising as more and more women hold leadership and prominent roles in the business.
From spirits importers such as Anna Bonewitz from Exceptional Spirits to Gin distillers such as Marta Pinto, to bar entrepreneurs like Constança Cordeiro with Toca da Raposa and Uni, and several amazing barmaids such as Ana Camacho, Catarina Correia, Flavia Menezes, Helena Pereira and Tatiana Cardoso.
Large worldwide corporations are witnessing a larger female workforce, especially in executive roles, which is another sign of how far women have come. The fact that women hold 39% of leadership positions at Diageo, including 55% of the board of directors, demonstrates their skill and intelligence while also leading the path for women elsewhere.
Unfortunately, it has not always been the case. Society has frowned upon women drinking and being involved in the alcohol industry. However, even back in the day women were already carving the industry from the very word COCKTAIL itself!
According to legend, Betsy Flanagan first used the term “cocktail” in 1779. She created an innovative mixed drink that gained enormous popularity. One evening, she snuck into her neighbour’s chicken coop and served her mixed drinks with the chicken’s tail feather as a garnish. Being true or not she’s the greatest influence on the modern bar as we know it; the cocktail is a global phenomenon.
Ada Coleman was the first celebrity barmaid in history. She was a popular hostess for the hotel’s renowned and wealthy customers and a skilled mixologist. For Sir Charles Hawtrey, she created the “Hanky Panky” cocktail in answer to his request for a drink “with a bit of punch in it.” The Hanky Panky, which was first featured in The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930 and is now well-known all over the world, has its own place in the history of cocktails.
We recommend preparing a Hanky Panky in honour of International Women’s Day and honouring the women who have influenced spirits and cocktail culture.

Hanky Panky

45ml Italian vermouth
45ml Dry Gin
5ml Fernet-Branca

Add the gin, sweet vermouth and Fernet-Branca into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with an orange twist.

And now…Love and Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s day is a celebration, and celebrations call for amazing cocktails.
Your Valentine’s Day dinner arrangements should include a wonderful cocktail to set the scene for an amazing evening. The easiest and most romantic cocktails typically contain popular aphrodisiacs like red fruits and a small amount of chocolate. Have fun by adding garnishes to your cocktails that go with the occasion. You can decorate glasses with candy, strawberries dipped in chocolate, fruit cut into heart shapes and flowers. We’ll let you use your imagination on this one!

Kir Royale
A great and simple cocktail with only two ingredients is the Kir royale. It combines sparkling wine or Champagne with the delicious, blackcurrant-flavoured crème de cassis liqueur.

25ml Crème de Cassis
150ml Sparkling Wine or Champagne

Add to a chilled flute the Crème de cassis.
Gently pour the sparkling wine to fill the glass.
Garnish with your imagination!

Clover Club
Valentine’s Day is practically written all over the Clover club. Bright berry flavours combine beautifully with tart lemon juice, fragrant gin overtones, and the traditional egg white foam, which provides each sip with a creamy body and frothy texture.
This cocktail is ideal for a Valentine’s Day supper for two or really any other occasion that calls for a crimson cocktail.

60ml gin
25ml fresh lemon juice
20ml raspberry syrup (2:1) *
1 egg white


Add all the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake well.
Dry shake – Remove the ice and shake vigorously to emulsify the egg white.
Double strain into a chilled coupette.
Garnish with fresh raspberries

*To make the raspberry syrup add 150gr of raspberries to a 250ml water. Bring to a simmer to extract all the fruity flavours. When infused add in 500gr of white sugar and stir until dissolved. Strain the solids through a fine strainer and refrigerate.

Lucky 14th

Strawberry and basil are a mind-blowing combination. The fruity and sweet strawberry notes pair beautifully with the fresh and fragrant basil leaves. Add in a serving of white rum and citrus and you are making an incredible twist on the classic daiquiri.

60ml White Rum
30ml Lime Juice
20ml Sugar Syrup (2:1)
4 Strawberries
3 basil leaves

Add the strawberries cocktail shaker and thoroughly macerate them.
Add ice and the remaining ingredients and shake vigorously.
Strain into the desired glass through a fine strainer.
Finish by adding a beautiful, fragrant basil leaf as a garnish.