How often do you see a lady sidling up to a bar and ordering a whiskey or añejo tequila, neat?
If you haven’t, liquor companies that have dumbed down their marketing (hence the "smart" in the book title) and societal norms that have kept men the gatekeepers of all things boozy, stirred and brown are partly to blame. Despite craft cocktail and farm-to-table trends that have swept the country, many women across the United States don’t know their backside from a bourbon, scotch or rum, and are notorious for giving bartenders ill-informed drink criteria (“something fruity and not too strong, please”).
In Booze for Babes, I work to blow the lid off of the women-don’t-know-Jack Daniels-about-liquor stereotype by empowering lady tipplers how to drink better in a fun but non-pandering way while also celebrating lady bartenders, distillers and spirits experts. Lynnette Marrero, the co-founder of Speed Rack, a ladies-only bartending competition, and the NYC chapter of Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC), has written the foreword. There are also interviews with Dushan Zaric, owner of New York City bars Employees Only and Macau Trading Company, Marcia Simmons, author of DIY Cocktails, Julie Reiner of the Clover Club and Flatiron Lounge in New York City, Dave Stolte, author of Home Bar Basics (and Not So Basics), Adam Seger, a Chicago-based bartender extraordinaire and creator of hum, plus female entrepreneurs and distillers like Rachel Barrie of Bowmore-Morrison, Allison Patel of Brenne Whisky, Hollis Bulleit of Bulleit Bourbon, Allison Evanow of Square One Organics and Julie Reiner of the Clover Club and Flatiron Lounge.
In short, as I say in my video, I want women to belly up to the bar and own it. I want women to demand the best in their glasses. I also want servers to stop assuming that my husband is the one who ordered the Willett Pot Still Reserve, and that I ordered the ale. Enough already!
The book came about because I used to be the sort of girl who generally knew what I wanted in life but managed to lose my way at a bar. That is until a trip to the heart of bourbon country opened me up to the wide world of fine spirits. I came back more educated about booze, even preferring to #drinkitneat, and garnered newfound respect at the bar (just before my 'enlightenment,' I recall drinking Creamsicles - a pitiful concoction of whipped cream vodka and OJ). Realizing I was not alone, I wrote a feature for Bust magazine about women and whiskey, considered the "manliest" of spirits, which became the thesis for this book, which is now completely finished and has been professionally edited, designed, illustrated and indexed, with printing being the last step.
This is not just another recipe book. Readers can expect to learn:
Why every lady should know her liquor
A short history of ladies’ on-again, off-again relationship with the hard stuff
How to choose a quality gin, whiskey, rum, tequila, brandy, vodka or liqueur, and look like a badass doing it
How to appreciate a spirit neat
How to tell a marketing ploy on a label from the real deal
How to train your palate and hone your taste
How to mix business and booze
How to build a well-equipped home bar
How to entertain with spirits in a way that honors old-fashioned traditions and impresses guests
How to set up tastings for various spirit categories
Dozens of recipes for cocktails, bitters, vermouth, liqueurs, and more
The book will be available in paperback, as well as on Kindle, Nook, iBookstore, SmashWords, Kobo and Copia. It is 8.5 x 5.5 inches, approximately 319 pages. The print version has a four-color cover, and is black and white on the inside.
Booze for Babes was professionally edited by Lisa Butterworth, a senior editor for Bust magazine, designed by Lan Truong, also of Bust, and illustrated by Rebecca Pry, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design whose work has appeared in the New Yorker. I am a professional journalist by trade whose work has appeared in outlets like Private Clubs, Travel & Leisure, Travel Channel, Fox Business Network, The Daily Meal, The Latin Kitchen, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, AARP The Magazine, Wine & Spirits, and more.
My blog [www.boozeforbabes.com], which collects orders and serves as an educational resource, was professionally designed and built. I am also working with several celebrity chef-owned restaurants in Washington, D.C. on educational events and tastings for the public this fall and winter. Several spirits brands whose marketing aligns with my mission have expressed interest in partnering to promote the project as well.
The book will be distributed to specialty stores and select indie bookstores, as well as major book retailers via a distributor called Atlas Books, which will begin marketing the title in September once I meet the Kickstarter goal, which will pay for the first print run and some miscellaneous remaining design and indexing costs.
I'm totally stoked about this project and hope you'll back me. I think you'll love the book, either for yourself, or for the coolest lady in your life. Hey, men can learn a thing or two from it, too, especially those who want to pay homage to our forebroads behind the bar. Cheers!
Risks and challenges
There are few risks in completing the project, since conversion, a few design changes and printing are the last tasks at hand. Widespread distribution will remain a challenge since the distributor's ability to sell books is dependent on a variety of factors in the business, such as my diligence in marketing and promotion, and retailer budgets. But I am confident in my ability and commitment to spreading the word through strategic partnerships, and the ability to find a like-minded audience.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)