Toasting Ladies at the BarJuly 10, 2009
From tastings to seminars to the ubiquitous after-parties and the after-after parties and even the after-after-after parties, Tales of the Cocktail has provided an interesting insight into the beverage industry. Retro cocktails are back and bigger than ever, and a cocktail is only as delicious as the ingredients you use to make it. But those are things we already knew. One interesting revelation is the gender equality that exists within the cocktail culture. Most events have an audience that is equally represented, and the amount of women deeply ingrained in the industry, and more importantly, well-respected, has been a bit of an eye-opener.
It certainly isn’t something that is prevalent within other sector of the industry. While female stereotypes put women in the kitchen cooking, most chefs are men, especially when you look at the internationally known names who have built culinary empires that span across the globe. In the front of the house, most sommeliers are also men with only a few women having achieved Master Sommelier status, just more than 10 percent of the M.S. population. Yes, more women are getting into the industry and most likely meeting more acceptance than they have at any other time in the past, but it doesn’t change the fact that the wine industry and the Master Court is still very much a men’s club. Unfortunately for the sommeliers, they are missing out because keeping their circle so tight limits the growth of the business and general interest in their livelihood.
Being at Tales and seeing the influence women are having on the mixology scene is walking, pouring proof that the wine industry is missing out by not being more accessible to the fairer sex. Women are bringing different talents and palates to the table, and it makes sense because women are drinking just as many cocktails as men. OK, maybe not quite as many...
So is the influx of Y chromosomes the driving force behind the resurgence of the classic cocktail scene and the blossoming popularity of mixology? Not necessarily, but it certainly helps.