Ever wondered that the bar world has it all wrong when it comes to gender, why less women bartenders & why most cocktails are supposed to be for women. Quite a paradox!
Cocktails are often generalised for women but as ironical the world has been for women, so is their existence in the bar world.
I have been hearing it a lot from men, “cocktails, uh, no! They are not for me. The least I can try or have tried is a Whiskey Sour.”
Let me start with the sexiest world of alcohol first. We all know about the division of spirits, history has it that the stronger drinks such as bourbon or scotch have been attributed to men, while sweet, fruity cocktails often get assigned to women, assuming women prefer cocktails that disguise the taste of alcohol, because, well, alcohol can be aggressive.
Every time a woman orders a spirit-forward drink, they get more attention and I have seen so many woman finding this empowering, including me. I guess because it’s more like challenging the stereotype that women have dainty palates or they can choose beyond the stereotypical drinks.
We have been trying to humanise drinks, I don’t know why, all they need to be is delicious.
Apart from the girly or manly drinks out there, we also have the generalised gender of ‘bartender’. By nature of its history, bartending is a male-dominated industry, the one in which women tend to work a little harder to earn the same credibility bestowed upon the males.
Being a Cocktail Blogger, I usually have these conversations with a lot of people about cocktails, bars and bartenders. And very often I hear a surprise element when I say there a lot of women bartenders in India, to which they ask ‘Where’!!!!
I met this famous author, Anamika Mishra who introduced me to Pavitra Bhandari, a female bartender working in Goa. I remember while telling me about her experience of seeing a female bartender, she said “I took her photos and videos because I thought it’s actually a very rare moment.”
But I would like to highlight that things are changing but slowly especially in India. There are renowned female bartenders such as Shatbhi Basu, Ami Shroff, Priya Kandelkar but the list is still smaller as compared to the one of the male bartenders.
Though we can definitely credit the internet as a primary reason for this shift. There is an abundance of information available on spirits, which is helping to generate interest among women and allow them to challenge stereotypes.
Every Wednesday, TheCocktailStory tries to highlight a story of a female bartender for people especially in India to know there exists many terrific female barstars out there, hoping to help in the shift.