International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day are fantastic occasions to celebrate the inspiring women in our lives, but they are not enough. So, we’ve decided to celebrate the brilliant female entrepreneurs, distillers and blenders that make our favourite spirits for an entire month!
The eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted that all the banners across the site are pointing to either female made or owned brands, while those following our social will have already be double tapped to our daily producer spotlight.
Here, we've chosen to delve a little further into a few of our favourites and the specific expressions they have created that we love drinking most.
One of South Africa’s best known gin makers, Lorna Scott, began Inverroche Distillery back in 2007. Not only has she helped pioneer the use of native botanicals by using the abundant local fynbos and infusing them into her small batch gins, she’s also ensured that almost 15 years on from where she started, around 70% of their employees are indigenous women from the local area.
She's an inspiring distiller who creates a fantastically verdant range of gins. Our pick of the bunch is Inverroche Gin Amber, which has lots of fresh citrus, slight juniper, sweet toffee apples and delicate floral notes that intertwine to deliver a dry, woody finish.
The Nonino family one of the cornerstones of Italian Grappa. With too many sisters to capture in a single set of images above and an iconic matriarch at the helm, this female powerhouse have been distilling since 1897. They are a true distilling dynasty and a team who know how to combine careful time-honoured methods with daring innovation.
It's hard for us to pick a favourite in their range, but the one we'd always suggest as an expression to sear into your senses is Nonino Grappa Picolit Cru. It's considered “the Queen of Grappa” all over the world for its unique harmony and fine balance and when it was first released, its single varietal nature was a revolutionary moment for Grappa as a category. It's not overstating it to suggest that it's one of the key releases for Grappa in the past century.
We love a good highball. Not just a G&T, but Rum, Whisky, Tequila and more (Have you tried Suze and tonic? Delicious!). One of our favourites are Sekforde Mixers, the brainchild of Talula White who wanted to find the perfect partner for specific spirits. Her quest lead her to create Sekforde, whose range of mixers have natural botanicals that are designed to augment the spirit there are intended to be served with.
Their Whisky Mixer has become a permanent addition to the fridge for us during lockdown. It's a sparkling blend of Sicilian orange, rosemary and gentian bitters, that has been designed to pair with Whisky & Bourbon. It's brilliant and for those who like a long refreshing serve and find cola or ginger too overpowering for the flavours of your whisky, this will have you transfixed.
Dr Anne Brock is one of Gins most revered distillers and has the small task of running the 24/7 operation that is Bombay Sapphire's magnificent distillery at Laverstoke Mill. Not only does Anne manage the production of the most famous Gin in the world, her keen sense of layering botanicals and coaxing out subtle flavours has been key to developing their new expressions.
Take the Bombay Sapphire English Estate for example. It’s a such a treat and features mint, rosehip and hazelnut, delivering fresh aromas and positively bursts with flavour. Another would be vibrant Bombay Bramble where her fine tuning have allowed it to combine both the underlying gin with tart berry flavours.
Not all heroes wear capes and when it comes to re-establishing Sherry’s image away from being Nan’s drink, Alexa Davies, Beanie Geraedts-Espey and Polly Aylwin-Foster decided to rise to the challenge. In 2016 they launched Xeco to put a contemporary edge on Sherry.
Their Xeco Amontillado has a wonderfully nutty, aromatic character, while Xeco Fino Sherry has a uniquely dry and savoury quality that works brilliantly with all sorts of food - but the best by far is when on the coast and the sherry is very chilled while some piping hot fish and chips arrive wrapped in newspaper. Sherry doesn't help fight off the seagulls, mind.
The Aperitivo hour has become a mainstay during lockdown. Anyway to punctuate yet another day indoors is good, but when it also means making a fuss with some tasty food and drink, even better. Between classic cocktails like a Spritz or a Spagliato or just enjoying a glass or two, it’s key to opt for quality Prosecco if you want to transform that Apero' moment into an occasion.
One such way is with Della Vite. Made by the Delevingne sisters who bound by a collective love of fizz decided to begin their journey into becoming producers by teaming up with the highly respected Biasiotto family to make a Prosecco that is wildly delicious and sustainably produced.
A Caribbean pioneer, Maestra Ronera Jassil Villanueva is one of the youngest Master Blenders in the rum industry.
Out of 11 cousins, she was chosen as Brugal's next lead blender and is part of the new generation emerging within the category. With years of patient waiting needed for rum to mature, her innovations are only starting to come through but as they continue to age in their warehouses, leaving her to focus her attention on ensuring the consistent quality of the ionic Brugal 1888 Rum…