Above: Becky Paskin, Founder OurWhisky Foundation
In an industry that’s positively bursting with inspirational, dynamic, creative and downright fierce and fabulous females, we’re happy to say that it’s becoming even harder to name check everyone who inspires us. But we’ll give it a darned good go…
This is for the makers and cocktail shakers, the distillers and blenders, the communicators, the side hustlers, the trailblazers, the corporates, the independents, the influencers; for those who have made it and those who are breaking through, for the fighters, the dreamers, the mothers, the lovers, the friends, the sisters, the daughters, the carers, the big personalities and the quietly supportive, those who get shit done and make awesome happen. – whatever you do, however you identify, whatever your size, shape, hue, belief – women/womxn everywhere, keep on doing what you’re doing – you’re bloomin’ awesome.
But before we get to the roll call of the many (many) women who inspire us, can we take a moment to single out one? Becky Paskin. It’s no coincidence that the Mighty Ms P has chosen International Women’s Day to unleash her non-profit OurWhisky Foundation into the world. A big, bold and ambitious extension of OurWhisky, the platform she founded four years ago, the Foundation has been set up to support and empower professional women working in whisky.
This is serious stuff. On the menu there’s a plethora of much needed stuff including qualifications, internship schemes, mentorship programmes, seminars, workshops and an annual summit and awards ceremony. Needless to say, it’s taken a lot of planning, tons of support and a whole lot of determination. “This is such an exciting time to be a woman working in whisky, and it’s my ambition that the Foundation will be a positive driver in ensuring the current and next generation reach their potential and be celebrated as part of the wonderful world of whisky.” Go Becky!
The Foundation is now inviting women across the global industry to apply for its mentorship programme which takes in some pretty cool industry leaders with backgrounds spanning everything from distilling and blending to brand ownership and marketing. There might even be a Cocktail Lover amongst the line up which includes Louise McGuane, founder of JJ Corry, Simo Simpson, managing director of Milroy’s of Soho, Dawn Davies, head buyer at The Whisky Exchange, Nicola Riske, brand ambassador for The Macallan, Ryan Chetiyawardana, founder of Mr Lyan, and Tommie Tardie, owner of Fine and Rare New York.
Find out more and register at ourwhiskyfoundation.org
And now, in no particular order on International Women’s Day we’re raising a glass, sending big love and nuff respect to some of our favourite ladies in the world of drinks. Apologies in advance for anyone we left out.
Tune in to our Ladies In Drinks podcast special on Thursday 10th March, available via Acast of wherever you get your podcast
Julie Reiner (owner Clover Club, co-owner Leyanda); Audrey Saunders (bartending legend); Monica Berg (co-owner Tayer + Elementary); Lynn House (Portfolio Mixologist at Heaven Hill Brands); Maura Milia (Deputy Bar Manager, the Connaught); Claire Warner (co-founder Æcorn Drinks); Dr Anne Brock (Master Distiller, Bombay Sapphire); Dawn Davies MW (Head Drinks Buyer, The Whisky Exchange); Carina Soto Velasquez (co-founder Quixotic Projects); Elayne Duff (Founder & Creator Beverage Brand Ambassador Academy, Educator, consultant, speaker, brand strategist); Tess Øptimus (Bar owner/bartender Flying Dutchmen, consultant, author); Holly Graham (Editor, Drink Asia), Ms Franky Marshall (Spirits Educator); Hannah Lanfear (Director, The Mixing Class); Fawn Weaver (Founder, chief executive Uncle Nearest; Simona Bianco (Global Marketing Manager, Disaronno); Joy Spence (Master Blender, Appleton Estates); Anistatia Miller (Historian, curator and director Mixellany); Lorena Vásquez (Master Blender, Ron Zacapa); Andrea Montague (Head of Advocacy, Edrington UK; Lia Jones (Executive Director, Diversity in Wine and Spirits); Alexis Brown and Ariel Neal (Founders, Directors, Creating A Stir); Hanna Lee (President and founder, Hanna Lee Communications; co-host Hospitality Forward podcast); Hannah Sharman-Cox and Siobhan Payne (Directors London Cocktail Week/The Pinnacle Guide); Georgie Bell (Head of Advocacy, Incubation Brands, Bacardi); Metinee Kongsrivilai (Global Digital Brand Manager, Incubation Brands, Bacardi); Lynnette Marrero (bartender, consultant and co-founder of Speed Rack); Ivy Mix (head bartender and co-owner of Leyenda; co-founder of Speed Rack); Shervene Blackburn (Programme Manager, Grey Goose Vodka and Patrón Tequila at Bacardí); Jillian Vose (Beverage Director, The Dead Rabbit); Jenna Ba (Global Whisky of the World Ambassador, Diageo); Rosie Stimpson (co-founder Nightjar, Oriole and Swift); Bannie Kang (World Class 2019 Global Winner; co-owner Bar Mu, Taipei); Anna Sebastian (consultant); Karine Cullimore (Trade Ambassador, Bacardí Portfolio); Paola Mencarelli (Founder, Florence Cocktail Week); Millie Milliken (writer); Mia Johansson (co-owner Bar Swift); Lauren Mote (co-founder Bittered Sling, Nightcap Media and Women Celebrate), Louise McGuane (Founder J. J. Cory Irish Whiskey); Chelsie Bailey (Head Bartender, Satan’s Whiskers); Leslie Gracie (Master Distiller, Hendrick’s Gin), Camille Vidal (Founder, La Maison Wellness); Charlotte Voisey (Global Head of Ambassadors, William Grant & Sons); Miranda Dickson (Global Brand Director, Absolut Elyx); Zoe Burgess (Creative Director, Atelier PIP); Jaega Wise (Head Brewer, Wild Card Brewery); Thea Cummings, (Owner Dangerous Don mezcal and co-owner Doña); Tiffanie Barriere (The Drinking Coach); Vivienne Pei (Singapore Cocktail Bar Association); Ashtin Berry (sommelier and bartender, Radical Xchange); Chris Cabrera (LGBTQ+ Portfolio Ambassador, Bacardí); Claire Sprouse (Bartender/Owner Hunky Dory); Priyanka Blah (Publisher, The Dram Attic, Global Brand Strategist Hapusa Gin); Beckaly Franks (Owner/manager The Pontiac); Shannon Tebay (Head Bartender, the American Bar at the Savoy); Giulia Cuccurullo (Head bartender Artesian Bar); Henrietta Lovell (Founder, Rare Tea Company); Dr Emma Walker (Master Blender, Johnnie Walker); Alex Irving and Alex Chatwin (co-owners LX-PR); Alice Lascelles (writer/author); Denny Kallivoka and Eleni Nikoloulia (Difford’s Guide, Greece); Rachel Barrie (Master Blender and Senior Leader of Scotch Whisky, Brown-Forman); Jo Last (Malt Whisky Ambassador, Diageo); Pippa Guy (Tanqueray Gin UK Ambassador, Diageo); Kaitlin Wilkes Back (Global Advocacy Manager, Silent Pool Gin)