Give Women What They Want. Not What You Think They Need.
By Francine Cohen
Booze for Babes: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Drinking Spirit Right, and its author Kayleigh Kulp, is ready to be your agent of change if you let it/her be.
This soon to be published tome that will quickly become a must read for the Skinny Girl/whipped cream vodka set is destined to turn things around for female drinkers everywhere; much as it did for Kulp. The author began as an uninformed imbiber who admits, “I really didn’t have any preferences. I was a victim of that marketing – I would drink bottled cocktails and all the flavored vodkas that are the weird candy flavors. It was because I didn’t know enough to care.” Now, like you, she knows plenty. And she cares!
This appreciation began on a DISCUS (Distilled Spirits Council of the United States – www.discus.org) trip to visit whiskey country for a travel story she had been assigned. There, her eyes were opened. It was the first time she’d ever experienced whiskey production and she notes, “There was such an impact being able to see how it was made and see all the products. This was a whole new world of exploration that I had already done with food and wine but never the brown spirits my husband had been drinking for example.”
She continues, “I came back home and discovered my favorite whiskeys and in talking to my girlfriends about this new passion and drinking whiskey while out with them they were asking, ‘why are you drinking whiskey?’ and so I wondered why do I and my girlfriends have this issue and my husband his friends don’t?”
Kulp began researching women’s roles in taverns and discovered how the confusion came about and how the gender roles ended up in our glasses.
It lead to a deeper look at the marketing that’s out there promoting spirits to women which she explains as, “The marketing assumed that we were really impressionable and that something different appealed to us than it did to men. Instead of promoting quality and all the flavor notes like they did to men, it was more ‘here’s a fireman with his shirt off and some kittens’ and ‘how to drink like a lady and men will like you’.”
Kulp’s book intends to change the messaging to have it say, “Hey there’s a whole world out there all about discovery and discovering tastes and preferences and it is affordable luxury and something you can enjoy if you already enjoy the finer things in life, like fine food and fine wine.”
In putting aside the pre-conceived notions still carried in much of our country that a woman enjoying a whiskey or whiskey cocktail is a little gruff, Booze for Babes aims to encourage women to explore a little more and branch out a bit. For the men and women who are working in the industry the book hopes to get the point across that, as Kulp says, “There’s no need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create more products for women. Spend that money on educating. We will spend money for the best product once we discover what those products are.”
If you want to join industry leaders like Lynnette Marrero (who wrote the book’s forward) Dushan Zaric, owner of New York City bars Employees Only (www.employeesonlynyc.com) and Macao Trading Company (www.macaonyc.com) and co-founder of the 86 Co. (www.the86co.com), Marcia Simmons, author of DIY Cocktails (www.diy-cocktails.com), Julie Reiner of the Clover Club (www.cloverclubny.com) and Flatiron Lounge (www.theflatironlounge.com) in New York City, Dave Stolte, author of Home Bar Basics (and Not So Basics) (www.homebarbasics.com), Adam Seger, a Chicago-based bartender extraordinaire and creator of hum (www.humspirits.com), plus female entrepreneurs and distillers like Rachel Barrie of Bowmore-Morrison (www.morrisonbowmore.co.uk), Allison Patel of Brenne Whisky (www.drinkbrenne.com), Hollis Bulleit of Bulleit Bourbon (www.bulleitbourbon.com), and Allison Evanow of Square One Organics (www.squareoneorganicspirits.com) and get behind changing the face of how spirit companies perceive and serve female drinkers the opportunity still exists to support the book’s Kickstarter campaign.
Check out Kulp’s site for information on contributing and purchasing the book. ttp://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1255785732/booze-for-babes-the-smart-womans-guide-to-drinking
Who said women don’t know Jack?