Top Five Female Bartenders of all Time

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8th January 2024

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March is a month dedicated to the ladies of the world. With International Women’s Day falling on the 8th of March, we felt it was only right to celebrate some of the very best female bartenders that have graced our cocktails bars over the years. We know, boys are great too, but this blog is all about the girls!

Ada Coleman 1875 - 1966

A true icon of the bartending world, Ada was head bartender at the Savoy for twenty-three years! Receiving her important promotion behind the bar of one of the most famous hotels in the world in 1903, she is perhaps most well-known for the Hanky Panky, the cocktail she created for comedian Charles Hawtrey. She was no stranger to serving celebrities, mixing drinks with absolute professionalism for Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich and even the Prince of Wales.

Joy Perrine 1946 -2019

Even today, Bourbon is often seen as a ‘man’s drink’, so you can imagine the uproar caused by a female bartender specializing in bourbon cocktails back in the 1970s. She worked throughout Kentucky, where women had only just been allowed to start drinking in bars and so there was still a huge stigma attached to it. Considered to be a real trailblazer of her time, her name can now be found on the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of fame.

Audrey Saunders

This renowned mixologist trained under Dale DeGroff – universally recognized as the world’s best bartender. Now a shining star in her own right, she opened the famous Pegu Club in New York, where she was able to hone her craft and prove her credentials. A driving force in mixology, Audrey, and her bar, have won numerous awards over the years.

Monica Berg

The first woman to receive the Altos Bartenders’ Bartending Award in 2019, Monica was always born to mix cocktails. Bypassing legal drinking limits in her native Norway by moving to Greece at age 20, she already knew her way around a cocktail shaker by the time she returned to her country aged 21. She now co-owns her very own bar, Tayēr + Elementary, in London.

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Olya Sabanina

You’ll find Olya at various mixology competitions around the world, or creating content for her impressive Instagram profile where she has a following of 37.2k people hanging on her every cocktail. This Russian bartender has lots of personality and fantastic ideas for new cocktails, making her one of the most admired flair bartenders in the world today.

Female bartenders in the past have undoubtedly paved the way for women in the industry today, breaking down stereotypical barriers and proving that girls have more fun behind the bar. There is certainly much more to come from the more recent ladies on our list and we can’t wait to witness it!

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Bartender's top tip

Just like cooking, consider using seasonal ingredients to make your cocktails. Fresh summer fruits, herbs, and edible flowers can add a fresh twist to your drinks, while autumn and winter call for ingredients like apple cider, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Seasonal ingredients are not only at their peak of flavor but also can inspire you to create themed drinks that fit the time of year.

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