GET TO KNOW OUR DOUBLE DUTCH TRAILBLAZERS - INSPIRING WOMEN WHO ARE MIXING THINGS UP IN DRINKS!
Gone are the days when men held the monopoly across drinks.
Who run the world?!
In 2023, women are shining bright across hospitality – and we couldn’t be more excited to see it. While equality is far from won, we’re taking a moment to celebrate the extraordinary women who inspire us on a daily basis. From their incredible achievements to unfaltering motivation to push forward all things liquid, they’re killing it!
We believe that when women support women, it’s a SUPER powerful thing. Together we are unstoppable. Why just admire from afar when you can shout about someone special? We encourage everyone, everywhere to celebrate remarkable women. And we’re starting right now.
Everyone on this list is driving the drinks industry forward one sip at a time. Each woman has touched us in some way with their talent, determination, and for just being damn brilliant. So pour a drink and join us as we mark International Women’s Day with our Double Dutch Trailblazers!
Click on each inspiring woman below to read more about what makes them a Trailblazer!
Queen of sustainability and maestro of mixing things up, Stephanie never opts for the easy road – our kind of gal! Take Avallen. The carbon-negative Calvados brand she co-founded actually boosts the planet! Plus its paper bottle is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for small business. A woman at the vanguard of green who never fails to inspire us!
Nature positivity never tasted so great! Tina is so obsessed with making sustainable gin that she grows the botanicals for Warner’s Gin – the brand she co-founded – with her own green fingers. No mean feat when running a global gin brand. A biodiversity-obsessed entrepreneur making the planet better for all of us – we’ll drink to that, Tina!
Gone are the days of boring boxed wine. The woman to thank for that? Laura, who co- founded Laylo, the name behind the striking, painterly wine boxes that adorn tables across the land. Delicious booze? Yes please. Gorgeous box? Absolutely. Reducing CO2 by 90% compared to glass bottles? Sign us up, pronto.
What’s in your wine? If you’re not sure, Amanda wants to change that. She’s a fiercely impressive advocate for transparency – and wants to vanquish dodgy labelling and confusing additives for the good of us all. When she’s not fighting the fight, she’s building her Noughty low- and no-alcohol wine label.
Entrepreneur, podcaster, presenter – Ellie has a lot to say about joyful drinking. And, thanks to her wildly successful zero-alc Caleño brand, more of us know we don’t need actual ABV to have a good time. Plus, she’s a zealous supporter of other women in business. See you at the bar...
Joanne is a juniper marvel. In her 20+ years of distilling, she’s created some of the most distinct gins on the market, from BLOOM to Ophir. She’s got style. She’s got substance. And she’s got a real knack for flavour creation.
All hail Lucky Saint, the saviour of Dry January! Those who worship at the altar of delectable-yet-low-alc beer need to thank Emma. Managing director and brand growth guru, she’s taking 0.5% drinks to new heights, and shattering the perception that ‘sober = boring’ as she goes. She’s pursuing B Corp status for Lucky Saint, too!
Millie’s all about community. She brings people together through her work with OurWhisky and The Drinks Trust, and by taking us with her on her journeys to distilleries across the world. A bonafide spirits science geek, a captivating storyteller, and a woman who constantly shouts about other women’s achievements. A true girls’ girl!
Does Carmen ever sleep? Apparently not. By day, she runs B Corp-certified distillery, 58 and Co. Then she trains up the gin-loving masses through her weekly gin school. And just when we thought she was done, she pops up on prime-time TV with her cocktail segment on Saturday Kitchen!
Miranda is on a one-woman mission to tackle waste. The Hayman’s Gin co-founder invented a way to use the leftover grain spirit from gin distillation, and Respirited vodka was born. There’s 100% recycled glass, packaging, and she’s donating 1% of bottle sales to Keep Britain Tidy. Get it in the bin!
Founding a business wasn’t enough – with Club Soda, Laura has kicked off a global mindful drinking movement. The powerful collective spans education, the world’s first alcohol-free off-licence, and now a shop and tasting room. Her work literally revolutionises the way people drink. If that’s not trailblazing, we don’t know what is!
It isn’t easy being green. Annabel knows – she founded NcNean Distillery, the UK’s first to achieve carbon net-zero. She’s also pioneering. She’s created flavour by bringing brewing techniques into spirits, and uses her platform to push for gender equality. That’s a whole heap of impressiveness.
Recognise, support, empower. This is the mission of Becky’s non-profit OurWhisky Foundation. Women all around the world are furthering their careers in drinks thanks to her mentorship programme. She has a subscription business and is a writer, too. And in her spare time (ha!), she presents on ITV.
Award-winning bartender. Spirit mogul. Creative director. Is there anything Monica can’t do? From wowing guests at London’s Tayēr + Elementary, to serving as creative director at Campari Academy, she’s a force. And one for good. Her non-profit Back of House is a vital initiative helping women feel safer at work.
Hannah Sharman-Cox & Siobhan Payne, London Cocktail Week Founders
We know two heads are better than one. So do Hannah and Siobhan. As well as founding and running London Cocktail Week, they are pouring their efforts into The Pinnacle Guide. What Michelin stars are to restaurants is what Pinnacle pins will do for bars. Bring it on.
Crushing cliches is thirsty work. Jane would know. The Mothership Brewery founder has built an all-woman team crafting remarkable beers – with inclusivity is at the heart of it all. From limited-run, fund-raising editions to collections championing remarkable women, Jane’s work always has a message. Seasonal beers with a social conscience? We’re in.
We’ve got stars in our eyes just thinking about Angela! The Michelin-starred wonderchef has always been an inspiration – through Cafe Murano and Merchant’s Tavern she’s held her own in the male-dominated world of fine dining. Then she started The Dish podcast with Nick Grimshaw and we utterly fell for her charm all over again. Love. Her.
Chef extraordinaire Anna is a woman on a mission. With Myrtle, her Chelsea restaurant, she’s bringing the delights of Irish cuisine to a new audience. Now she’s the new judge on Masterchef: The Professionals! The internet agrees: she’s a breath of fresh air. Now to get her to cook for us...
Grace & Victoria Sheppard, Founders, Queens of Mayfair
Dorset-based sisters Grace and Victoria have brought a little bit of home with them to their wonderful Mayfair hospitality space, Queens of Mayfair. They’ve literally built their dream venue – artisanal produce, great coffee, sharing boards, incredible cocktails. We might just move in.
Former bartender Becky knows good drinks. So much so, she’s channelled her expertise into Ten Locks – the distribution part of Kingsland Drinks. She’s got amazing flavours. Incredible founders are on her books. And it’s all sustainability-focused, too! In short, she brings some of the coolest booze into the UK, and for that we are truly grateful.
The founder of London institution Swift isn’t just about opening new venues. While Mia might curate the most vibey of nights across three venues, she cares deeply for her team, too. We’re talking processes to make sure they get home safely, rotas planned months ahead, the utmost flexibility. This is how you run a hospitality business.
Married couple Rachel and Lindsay have crafted something incredible. A collection of 200 gins is no mean feat. Neither is opening a gin bar, filled to the brim with sass, opulence and irreverence. They’ve done all this and added in hotel rooms, too. When are we coming to stay? All aboard the gin train to Ilkley!
With The Railway, Hannah has done something remarkable. A Mexico outpost in a traditional pub in the heart of Hampshire? Yes please! She’s brought the concept of a community watering hole up-to-date, and it’s a flavour-forward idyll. The residents of Ringwood don’t know how good they’ve got it.
If there’s something Soho was lacking, it was old-school rock’n’roll. No longer. Step in Carrie, who co-founded hedonistic haunt Bar Thirteen in Chateau Denmark on Denmark St. It’s bold, opulent, and has a giant sculpted bar that we just need to dance on. A necessary addition to London’s cultural scene.
Hannah & Sadie Wilkins, Owners, Vineyards of Sherbourne
It’s no mean feat to snap up the award for the UK’s Best Indie Wine Shop. For married couple Hannah and Sadie, they nailed it while making a tremendous noise about inclusivity in the wine industry. They’re all about eradicating intimidation, while bringing us the most exciting wines. We’ll raise a glass to that.
Kelly Harrison, Head of Bars, New World Trading Co.
Self-proclaimed ‘cocktail shaker and mischief maker’ Kelly isn’t just a bar maverick bringing the good times. She’s also non-exec director of So Let’s Talk, an organisation providing mental, physical and financial health guidance to hospitality pros! Shattering negative stereotypes and crafting incredible serves? That’s right up our street.
Mariam is a force to be reckoned with at the forefront of the no- and low-alcohol movement. She’s a part-time management consultant, part-time pioneering bar owner. And she’s bringing lively nights to East London – without the booze! Maya’s Bar was London’s first dedicated no- and low-alc cocktail spot, and it’s a vibe.
A bold entrepreneur and silencer of sceptics, Olivia co-founded CBD oils and drinks brand Trip. And through it, she’s helping us bring calm to our everyday chaos, one sip at a time. Trip has become a darling of the drinks investment world, too – everyone wants a piece of Olivia’s CBD-infused biz.
Camille is a healthy hedonist. She’s not about preaching or reining in the fun. Instead, as a forerunner in the low- and no-alcohol movement, she’s about helping us remove, replace or reduce our consumption. Because, in her words, flavour doesn’t have to be boozy. Bring on the epic nights and early mornings.
The United Kingdom Bartenders Guild is an institution. But, until Claudia took the helm in 2021, it had never had a woman president in its 87-year history. When she’s not smashing that particular glass ceiling, she’s developing drinks for cruise ship firm Cunard. Next stop? World domination, we’re sure.
One of the country’s most respected bartenders, Pippa doesn’t just mix drinks, she’s penned one of our favourite books about them, too. Let’s Get Fizzical is guaranteed to add sparkle to your home bar! She was senior bartender when The American Bar at the Savory scooped World’s Best, and today she’s serving deliciousness as Tanqueray brand ambassador.
A liquid storyteller, Lucia is the force behind the beautiful menus at renowned London bar The Dorchester. She was the first woman to join the team long-term in 2014, and shattered the stereotypes even further when she was named head bartender in 2021. Dreamy stuff.
Diablesse was born from Cleo’s frustration – shared by us – that rum is such a male- dominated market. So she founded the first women-owned dedicated rum bar. And then launched her very own brand! A true rum evangelist, she’s changing the scene Daiquiri by Daiquiri.
Beth Mooney, Ops Support and Development Coach, Brunning and Price
Beth is the queen of pubs. At Brunning and Price, she doesn’t just keep the drinks flowing across more than 80 pubs. She coaches others through their hospitality careers, too! A stickler for quality and one of life’s real nurturers, she’s all about cracking drinks and the wellbeing of those serving them.
Maura is all about empowerment. After leading The Connaught Bar to triumph at 50 Best 2020, she’s adamant that she will bring other women up behind her. She’s loudly challenging
the structures and environments that make it difficult for women to succeed. And we’re cheering her on all the way.
An architect graduate with a flair for flavour, Giulia heads up the bar team at renowned London bar The Artesian. She’s obsessed with crafting menus as sustainable as they are stunning. And in 2020 when we were all making banana bread, she was crowned the winner of the 2020 Patrón Perfectionists Cocktail Competition!
Delicious cocktails made with gravity-defying flairtending tricks? Get a girl who can do both! Step forward Olya, who has clocked up over 5 million TikTok views. She’s forging a career showing off her genuinely astonishing skills with the shaker. An immediate must-follow.
Emma is the poster woman for self-belief. The co-creator of the now-iconic Mirror Margarita, she won so many fans it was named TimeOut’s best cocktail in London. But she didn’t stop there. Agave expert Emma bottled it, sent it far and wide, and has since scooped a listing at Sainsbury’s. A lesson in believing in the quality of your craft!
Hugely knowledgeable and well-respected, Andrea is the bartender’s best friend. Her work at the intersection of bar and brand builds both industry education and her spirits – some of the biggest names in booze. She’s also an intrepid fundraiser, taking on a bungee jump with colleagues for homelessness charity Shelter UK! We’ll admire from the ground...
Chelsie Bailey, Head Bartender, The American Bar at the Savoy
DOften considered the biggest job in bartending, Chelsie is forging a new path at the American Bar. She’s only the second woman to hold the head bartender role after Ada Coleman almost a century ago. Since taking the reins in 2022, she’s brought a strikingly fresh perspective – and the drinks are dazzling.
Cara Watson, Training Manager, London Cocktail Club
We all need a mentor. At London Cocktail Club, Cara is just that. She’s leading the next generation of top bartenders through the ranks. Under her watchful eye, tomorrow’s superstar mixologist and cocktail gurus are taking their first steps. She’s laying down a legacy for which all our taste buds are grateful.
If you had to name male-dominated industries, beer and finance would be up there. Hannah is smashing it in both. The Welsh brewer has recently doubled its revenue, and has become a Real Living Wage business. More expansion is planned – and Hannah is changing the face of the industry, one pint at a time.
We all know hospitality is a tough place to be right now. One woman fighting to make things better for us all is Kate. From vocally holding government and policymakers to account, to shouting about recruitment, energy bills and more to the press, she’s leading the pack.
If you’re launching a bar, there’s one woman you can trust to make it awesome: Anna Sebastian. One of the most sought-after hospitality consultants around, the former Artesian bar manager travels the world sprinkling her magic. She’s also shaking things up with Celebrate Her, a non-profit elevating women in hospitality.
Jo has the dream job. As an ambassador, she spreads the good whisky word far and wide. Yet she’s also a pivotal part of the World Class cocktail competition team. That’s not all – in the depths of the pandemic she co-founded The Booze Brain, a platform offering support and education for hospo pros. When does she stop?!
Calling Dr. Gin! Yes, that’s Anne, who holds a PhD in Chemistry and uses it to craft remarkable gins. She’s proof that women rock in STEM roles, and she’s undoubtedly making science cool. Oh, and she’s doing it to such a high standard that her gin is a global household name. A celeb distiller if there ever was one.
Cressida has a manta: taking bartending seriously, without taking herself too seriously. And she’s making a splash! From managing an LGBTQ+ venue in Soho, running the Old Street London Cocktail Club, and now at the iconic Sexy Fish, she’s a shining light on the bar scene. When she’s not wielding a shaker, she brings her brand of cool to motorcycling!
In the 1990s, former lawyer Sahar kicked off Coffee Republic, the UK pioneer in coffee chains. Fast forward to today, multiple brands and board positions later, she’s co-founded Buy Women Built! The campaign to get us all to buy more from women-owned brands is flying. A woman literally lifting others up with her!
Soho House, Sexy Fish, Nightjar, Aqua... Nikolett has excelled at all of them. She’s one of the brightest hospo minds in London, and now she’s transforming Ochre at the National Gallery! Under her watch there’s now a cocktail bar and DJ booth – not your average gallery restaurant. Where will her ideas take her next?
Thea Cumming and Lucia Massey, Doña and London Mezcal Week
This power duo are bringing Mezcal to the mainstream – and in style. Their music and Mezcal bar is bringing the agave spirit to a fresh audience, while London Mezcal Week goes from strength to strength. Thea somehow also finds the time to run Dangerous Don, while Lucia hosts numerous food and drinks-themed events.