Women & Whiskey

Raise Your Spirits this Winter with One of These Local Favorites

Many will be entertaining for the holidays and spreading holiday cheer by sharing in a cocktail or two, including unique whiskey cocktails. There's a misconception that whiskey is a "man's drink" but that is quickly changing.

Women have always been involved in the whiskey distilling industry. What’s quickly changing is that they’re finally getting recognized for the contributions they’ve made through time…and, they’re reshaping what remains a male-dominated profession.

Distilling used to be considered “women’s work,” part of their duties around the hearth and home. In his book, "Whiskey Women," Fred Minnick writes that women in medieval Europe used their distilling acumen to make medicine, but were also persecuted when those same skills were denounced as black magic.

That tradition continued on the early American frontier. Catherine Spears Frye Carpenter, a widowed mother and distiller in early 19th-century Kentucky, was the first to record a recipe for sour-mash whiskey.

As modern, industrial distilling emerged after the Civil War, and as gender roles became more rigid, women played less of a role in whiskey production, though they left their stamp in other ways. In the 1950s, Margie Samuels designed the bottle and label for her husband’s new whiskey brand, Maker's Mark, and even developed its signature red-wax seal.

Today, women represent almost 30 percent of whiskey drinkers in the U.S. (up from 15 percent in the 1990s) and are responsible for up to 70 percent of alcohol purchasing decisions for the home.

“Women have embarked on a renewed journey of rediscovering the rich dimensions of whiskey over the past few years,” says Whiskey Sales Ambassador Rebecca Babb of St. Louis Distillery. “There has been an explosion of creativity in producing complex, flavorful spirits, attitudes have shifted, and the drinkability of whiskey continues to emerge; thus, the love affair with the many varieties of liquid gold is flourishing. Women have extremely refined palates and are finding they enjoy the flavor, the burn, and the lingering finish of whiskey when compared with other spirits.”

So during this holiday season, or when you need to raise your spirits this winter, whip up some of these unique whiskey concoctions that really put the spirit in this special season. Here are just a few samples of some of the whiskey cocktails you can find in this area, or make at home using these recipes:

From St. Louis Distillery in St. Charles

The New Fashion

2 oz Cardinal Sin PRIDE American Single Malt Whiskey

1/2 oz Big O Ginger Liqueur

3 dashes of Classic Bitters

Orange Slice & Cherry

From The Rack House Kitchen Wine Whiskey® in Cottleville

& Tompkins by The Rack House® on South Main St - St. Charles

Smoked Maple Old Fashioned

1 quarter slice orange

1 amarena cherry

1 teaspoon brown sugar 

2 dashes of Orange bitters


2 oz. Smoked Maple Knob Creek


From Novellus:  A Novel Dining Experience

North Main St.  - St Charles

Twilight (the black whiskey sour)


2 oz. Uncle Nearest 1884 (Black and Women Owned Distillery)

3/4 oz. lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 oz. activated charcoal simple syrup

1/2 oz. egg white

2 dashes of activated charcoal edible glitter


  1. Add bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white to a shaker and dry-shake for 30 seconds without ice.
  2. Add ice and shake again until well-chilled.
  3. Strain into a coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with Luxardo Cherry.

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