By Mary Rose DeMarco, Creative & Branding Director
Whiskey has a reputation as a man’s drink—the sort of thing Clint Eastwood would order at a frontier saloon or Frank Sinatra would sip on during a night on the town with the Rat Pack.
But—surprise, boys!—women are some of the most important drivers of today’s whiskey renaissance.
Back in the 1990s, only around 15% of whiskey drinkers in the United States were female. But by the early 2000s, that number had climbed to about 37%, according to Whiskey Women author Fred Minnick’s research.
“Women are absolutely the future of whiskey,’ Minnick told NPR.
To celebrate this female-driven future utopia, we’re highlighting five whiskey-loving women, past and present, who make us all proud to say “bottoms up!”
During a performance at Dublin’s 02 arena, Lady Gaga proudly dedicated a song to “my longtime boyfriend Jameson’ who was “always there for me” when she needed him. Spoiler alert: She was talking about the famous Irish whiskey. If the good Lady is ready for another bad romance, we suggest our own Ginger Spice Whiskey.
“You must have whiskey to give you energy” is one of The Iron Lady’s lesser-known quotations, but if you ask us it’s one of her best! Whiskey fortified and sustained Thatcher throughout her long reign as Britain’s first female Prime Minister. She was particularly fond of mixing her drinks with copious quantities of soda. Maybe she would have liked our Rye Whiskey blend, which goes perfectly with soda water.
“This whiskey got me feelin’ pretty,’ begins “Higher,” a song from Rihanna’s 2016 album Anti. That’s just the start! A cursory perusal of the Barbadian singer’s lyrics reveal myriad references to spirits on tracks like “Cheers (Drink to That).” Plus, she recently pulled a total #WomenWhoWhiskey move by sneaking a flask bracelet into Coachella.
Ava Gardner loved acting, appearing in more than 60 films over her long and glamorous career. Perhaps the only thing the Oscar-nominated actress adored more than the silver screen was the warm taste of whiskey. Gardner was such a fan that she famously stated she “wished to die” with a glass in hand… at the merry-old age of 150! Alas, she passed away at 67—but undoubtedly had a whiskey well within reach.
JLaw is the whiskey-loving celebrity of the people. Proof? What items does your average whiskey lover buy when shopping in disguise at a local grocery store? You guessed it! A bottle of Jim Beam and some Ruffles potato chips. (We have to assume that Cask & Crew was simply out of stock.) And how does your typical whiskey-loving everywoman celebrate the premiere of her newest Hollywood blockbuster? That’s right! By downing shots of bourbon on the red carpet.
And here’s the most important tell: how does a true whiskey lover prepare for a passionate scene with Chris Pratt? You already know the answer! A little whiskey to calm the ol’ nerves. If Jennifer Lawrence were any more like us, she would eat cake frosting with a spoon.
Any famous women who whiskey I’m missing? Or maybe it’s you. Leave a comment below and tell us about your whiskey crew.
And if you’re ready to take the plunge, consider joining groups like Women Who Whiskey or Whisky Chicks which can connect you with spirit sisters and help you learn more about whiskeys, bourbons, and cocktail culture. We recently sponsored and participated in a Whisky Chicks Strut event in Louisville, KY which was a blast!
It’s a crazy amazing time for whiskey, so as we like to say, take the time.
It’s officially spring, which means it’s time to turn off Netflix, migrate from the couch to the porch, and invite the crew over for some cocktail-infused conversation.
And while the margarita and mojito might seem to have the warm-weather cocktail market cornered, whiskey drinks—when done right—can actually be just as refreshing on a hot day.
The trick is matching the right whiskey to the right mixer. We’ve got you covered. Below are some of our favorite whiskey cocktails for sitting on the porch, hanging with your crew, refreshing cocktail in hand. Can you picture it?
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All Rise for Rye Whiskey!
By Mary Rose DeMarco, Director of Marketing Communications
The verdict is in. Rye whiskey is experiencing a bold comeback to which I say: Please don’t leave us again!
An American original with roots back to George Washington who distilled it in his native Virginia, rye enjoyed widespread popularity in the United States right up through the mid-20th century.
But in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, American liquor tastes turned to vodka, gin and the three-martini lunch. Brown spirits faded from the scene. In more recent days, wine and craft beers each saw their popularity rise as well when consumers sought out new and unique takes on traditional alcoholic drinks.
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Every holiday dish gets better when paired with one of these delicious whiskey concoctions.
Mulled wine, eggnog, maybe a dark beer—all holiday traditions. But when you’re preparing meals for parties and family gatherings this year, consider treating your guests to quality whiskey. Mixed drinks and cocktails can complement any dish, from the traditional holiday staples to more exotic fare. (Plus as edgier alternatives to classic libations, they’ll play very well on Instagram!)
Our team of experts has determined the perfect pairing for every heaping helping of holiday cuisine:
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Take the Time
By Ricky Tatar, original crew member
“Take the time” is our rallying cry at Cask & Crew. This “mantra” is something we reflect on in many different ways, but its origin comes from rule #1 of an unwritten whiskey rule book- Whiskey needs time with its barrel.
When distilled, whiskey enters a barrel clear. After a few months, it’s altered to a slight tinge of light brown. Fast forward to a few years in the barrel, that once clear whiskey is now a dark caramel, golden brown.
Before the whiskey goes in, whiskey barrels undergo a charring process at the barrel cooperage. By igniting the interior of the barrel for upwards of 30-60 seconds, the interior wood panels are charred and primed for flavor extraction. Charring the wood opens it up and makes the wood more porous. Plus, when the wood is broken down by heat, there are key chemical changes in the wood that would not be exposed without it. These chemical changes provide the whiskey flavor profiles like vanilla, toffee, and caramel.
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Crafting Cask & Crew Rye Whiskey: What a Ride!
By Joe Ragazzo, vice president, LiDestri Spirits
Our effort to craft an exceptional rye whiskey when we formulated Cask & Crew has been an exciting journey. And judging from the reception we’ve had to our creation—named for our eclectic “crew” and the hand-selected charred and raw casks we used we used to age the rye and whiskey respectively—it promises to get even better as we produce each new batch.
Right now, nothing can trump our joy with Cask & Crew’s track record. Batch 1 sold out to distributors in 45 days and won six major awards: three before we introduced it in January 2017 and three in its first 10 weeks on the market. Clearly, our singular blend of 51% fine three-year-old Canadian rye and 49% classic barrel aged American corn whiskey, available in a straight rye whiskey blend or two flavors (Walnut Toffee and Ginger Spice) has struck a cord.
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