Being a woman in the spirits industry can be hard, there’s no Jill in Jim, Jack and Johnnie after all! But working in this male dominated world is getting easier, and there are some great women spearheading this revolution. This year, for International Woman’s Day, we wanted to give a shout out to some of the fabulous ladies helping make these changes. Here are our top three:
Jassil Villanueva Quintana –
One part alchemist, one part business woman, Jassil Villanueva Quintana is leading the way for young women to take over the spirits industry. Jassil Villanueva Quintana is a maestra ronera, Spanish for rum master. In the world of spirits, they play the alchemist responsible for coaxing the fermented liquid into a blended libation that is a pleasure to drink. Not only is Jassil a female in this male-dominated world, but at 28, she is also the youngest maestra ronera in the world. Hat’s off to that!
Lucia Montanelli –
Lucia Montanelli works at The Bar at The Dorchester and has done for over a year. She has participated in many competitions and has been recently crowned the UK Bartenders Guild (UKBG) National Champion, having wowed the judges with a cocktail called Orange Pekoe. She beat nine other bartenders who qualified in regional heats. With only 41% of today’s bartenders being women, Lucia is doing a great job in raising awareness for both the UK and female bartending scene.
Margie Samuels –
Margie was one half of the husband and wife team who set up Maker’s Mark in 1958 and the first woman in history to make it into the Bourbon Hall of Fame in Kentucky. Margie came up with the signature wax seal that has become so synonymous with Maker’s Mark. A true legend.