The one event I knew I had to attend at Tales of the Cocktail, amid all the circus-like brand tastings and high-budget-circus-like brand parties, was the Dame Hall of Fame inductions. Tales was co-founded by Ann and Paul Tunnerman, and since the beginning, it seems there was a strong drive to celebrate the women in the cocktail biz. Which is absolutely appropriate, when you think about it. The craft cocktail scene is generally more meritocratic than the swinging-d*ck culture of, say, sports bars, or a push-up bra worshiping club scene. To be successful in craft, you need to be smart, fast, creative and hardworking; all gender neutral attributes.
The more women bartenders and brand reps I talk to, the more they are baffled by the idea that people would think their presence in their fields is anomalous. Frankly, as total badass and Big Bar director Cari Hah told me, “There are [a lot of] women in the industry.” I know this, the nerds know this, why don’t journalists seem to know this?