As you know by now, I love fashion and craft beer. So naturally I couldn’t help but be excited about an upcoming project from another woman in what many consider to be a man’s industry.
Kayleigh Kulp, hailing from just outside of DC, is a freelance writer turned novelist with the upcoming release of Booze for Babes: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Drinking Spirits Right. I caught wind of her project way back in February and couldn’t wait for the chance to talk to her about what inspired her.
Kayleigh told me it all started after a trip to Tennessee, where bourbon and whiskey are king. After hearing about whiskey’s American history, she developed an entirely new way of thinking about her beverages. She has great affection for the complexity of whiskey, her favorite liquor, and she said it changed her tastes completely.
After the trip, she began a campaign to change the stereotypes of how we all perceive liquor and those who drink it. She said when one thinks of whiskey on the rocks, Manhattans, and gin and tonics, these beverages often are associated with men. It’s thought that ladies love their “frou-frou drinks” and wine while men like “real liquor” and beer. Kayleigh told me she just couldn’t understand why this could be.
“Think of what our grandmother’s drank. They had bridge night with Old Fashioneds and garden parties with a Gin Fizz. What happened between then and now?” she said.
2 things: miseducation and marketing ploys.
This is where Booze for Babes is born. We talked about the many scenarios where making an educated drink order speaks volumes about one’s character, but one particular example stood out to me.
Imagine accepting a new position at work and being invited to attend a happy/cocktail hour with your new bosses and coworkers. Walking up to the bar and ordering a higher shelf scotch or bourbon, or even a classic vodka martini gives the air of being educated, classy and confident — especially as a woman.
“Show the bartenders and those around you that you’re not a product of marketing ploys and schemes. Don’t be a stereotype. Be smart,” Kayleigh said.
So how does one make the switch? Just like craft beer, think about your palate and what you enjoy. Taking classic cocktails and adapting them using flavors you prefer is easy. For instance, try honey instead of simple syrup, flavored bitters and even fresh fruit.
Get out there and try a few new things while keeping in mind that this is your self-discovery. Groups like LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails) are a great resource for amazing drink recipes. Plus, with Booze for Babes in your hands you’ll be armed with a woman’s booze bible.
For more information, about Booze for Babes, check out Kayleigh’s kickstarter campaign which serves as a pre-order system before the book officially launches this fall.