FIRST THOUGHT: Stars of the Bar
A girlfriend of mine was at some swanky bar where, in lieu of a cocktail menu, bartenders would ask you what you like and then concoct the perfect beverage. My girlfriend described her drink preferences, adding, “I don’t like vermouth.” “Oh,” the bartender replied. “I bet you do, but you haven’t had it in the right drink.” She reiterated her aversion but the bartender slipped the fortified wine in anyway. Immediately, she recognized the flavor, confirming her distaste for the stuff. Whenever she recounts this story, we commiserate about how these situations come up all the time. Guys think we don’t know what we like.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 60 Percent
“Mansplaining” is certainly annoying and still running rampant, even at our favorite neighborhood saloons. But one thing that certainly helps alleviate this maddening fact is having a lady mixologist. Something tells me a female bartender would’ve believed my friend about her vermouth aversion. Female bartenders are becoming more common. In fact, according to one cocktail-focused publication, these days, 60 percent of bartenders are women. I’ll raise a toast to that!
WOMEN TO WATCH: Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero, Co-founders of Speed Rack
Chances are you don’t usually notice the gender of your bartender. But like in many other industries that are dominated by dudes, bartending is a field in which female employees go through a lot of sour situations in the workplace. After all, we’ve all seen the drunken guy relentlessly trying to command the female bartender’s attention.
Mixologists Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero know this sexist scene all too well. They wanted to highlight lady bartenders and the serious talents they possess. So, in 2011, they co-founded Speed Rack, the first competition that features women in the cocktail biz.
Speed Rack contestants compete to create a handful of cocktails and are judged on speed, balance and accuracy. Ivy says inspiration for Speed Rack came from the re-emergence of speakeasy culture in New York and its reflection on the Prohibition era, a time period when drinks were made with a dash of mystique—but never by women. Speed Rack represents the fight back. Through Speed Rack, women compete for a good cause too, with 100 percent of proceeds going to breast-cancer education and research charities.
Ivy studied philosophy and fine arts in school before giving Speed Rack her all and opening up her very own New York hotspot called Leyenda. Food Republic even heralded Ivy as “one of the country’s best bartenders.”
Lynnette, on the other hand, earned her degree in psychology before garnering awards as a beverage consultant and mixologist. She travels and educates on marketing trends in this industry, in addition to making great-tasting drinks. Vogue even raved about Lynnette’s “concise menu of culinary cocktails” at a Peruvian New York restaurant known for developing the trend of Latin-inspired drinks, just one of Lynnette’s many specialties.
Together, Lynn and Ivy have cultivated a girls-only spirits club that mixes good old-fashioned friendship with support—or, as Ivy calls it, “girl-power notions.” By its fourth year, Speed Rack raised more than $300,000 for charity, which just goes to show that girls really do rule the world.
Ivy and Lynnette know how to remain cool under pressure, especially when it comes to headed competition. Read what they have to say about working in a fast-paced environment by clicking here or, if you’re listening via podcast, head over to OnTheDotWoman.com!
QUITE THE QUOTE
As famous inventor and apparent drinker Albert Einstein said:
“A bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.