From discrimination to harassment, inflexible working hours, and a lack of visible role models, women face numerous challenges while pursuing a career in bartending. But a growing number of inspirational females are fighting their way to the very top of the international cocktail scene. And one thing that can be said for Instagram is that it’s a great place to discover some of these role models!
In honour of female bartenders this #InternationalWomensDay and to help #BreakTheBias within the drinks industry, we’d like to highlight some of the women making their mark in bars across the world.
So, without further ado, here are seven of the best female bartenders:
One of the most talented mixologists in the UK, Kat Stanley-Whyte specialises in Mexican drinks including all things agave. In fact, she’s such a dab hand with Tequila and Mezcal that she was named Ocho Tequila ‘Take Me To Mexico’ Global Champion in 2020 and Patrón Perfectionists UK Champion in 2021! Not to mention her title of SLTN Mixologist Of The Year in 2021.
After pouring her first drink at a backpacker nightclub in Melbourne, Kat continued to work behind the bar to pay her way through university. Fast forward to the current day and she’s opened her own live music venue in Edinburgh with her friend and fellow female bartender Siân Buchan.
Another woman of many talents, Monica Berg is a Norwegian bartender, entrepreneur and digital innovator. After opening Tayēr + Elementary, a combination of two venues in London’s Old Street neighbourhood, with her partner Alex Kratena in 2019, Monica launched her own liqueur brand, Muyu. She also co-founded P(our), a non-profit educational symposium for bartenders, baristas, sommeliers, brewers, winemakers, distillers, and drinks manufacturers to encourage collaboration and expand the horizons of the drinks industry. We think that’s a pretty impressive lineup of achievements and Monica is only just getting started!
Back of House, the online platform Monica originally created for her own bar staff, has become a global tool where employees from participating workplaces can anonymously escalate issues they are facing in the hospitality industry. The resource encourages more inclusive work environments and has been significant in the advancement of gender equality in the bar industry.
Hailing from Edinburgh, Cara Watson's presence on the global cocktail bar scene is unquestioned over the past decade, having worked on top-flight bars across the UK and all the way to Australia and New Zealand.
Inspired by flavour (and blue drinks!), Cara has bagged multiple reputable industry awards during her tenures as Head Bartender at Hawksmoor in London and GM at Hoot The Redeemer in Edinburgh. Cara now holds the pivotal role of Group Training Manager at the London Cocktail Club where she indulges her passion of training new bartenders and inspiring them to become future generational mixologists.
Hailing all the way from Australia, Trish Brew certainly has an appropriate name for someone in the drinks industry. Trish is one of the most inspiring storytellers, particularly when it comes to the history of gin. Spend a few minutes watching her talk passionately about juniper berries and we’re sure you’ll agree:
Trish’s many accolades include being named TimeOut’s 2018 Melbourne Bartender of the Year and 2018 Australian Bartender Bar Manager of the Year. She’s also the first-ever Australian Brand Ambassador for Fever-Tree, a brand that makes premium drink mixers.
Influencer, world-class female bartender, prominent hospitality consultant, author, serial entrepreneur, mindful mixologist, winner of more awards than we can mention…Tess holds a lot of titles and has even created her own cocktail equipment.
When she’s not globetrotting to some exciting drinks event or to deliver a mixology workshop, you’ll find her behind the helm of her two bars in Amsterdam, Flying Dutchmen Cocktails and Dutch Courage, which she co-owns with Timo Janse.
You won’t find Ada Coleman on Instagram but she was (and still is) one of the world’s most influential bartenders and the first female to have taken the helm as Head Bartender at The Savoy’s American Bar in London.
Once described as the “most famous barmaid” by the Daily Express, Ada doubtless faced enormous challenges as a woman in the drinks industry. Nevertheless, her talent and charisma led her to mix and create cocktails for the rich and famous. One such cocktail, The Hanky Panky, made a lasting impression and variations of which feature in a number of the world’s best cocktail books, including Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book.
Following in the footsteps of Ada Coleman (and at age 24!), Philippa “Pippa” Guy was the second-ever female to be appointed as Senior Bartender at The Savoy’s American Bar. Nowadays, you’ll find her travelling all over the UK as Tanqueray Gin’s UK Ambassador.
Pippa is a proficient cocktail creator, having authored her own book, Let’s Get Fizzical, featuring over 50 bubbly cocktail recipes including many of her own inventions. She’s also the co-creator of Coca-Cola’s Signature Mixers!