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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

A Toast to Women Bartenders!

Evening Lecture

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1L0025

We’ll never know whether a colonial-era tavern worker really added the impromptu garnish of a rooster feather to a libation she was serving up, thus making drinking (and gender) history. But it’s a sure bet that women have long had a hand in making the cocktail one of life’s most delightful potables.

Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC), an educational and charitable organization, celebrates the contributions of “the dames of the bar” by looking back to the recipes and traditions of this great American invention. LUPEC-DC offers a toast to the modern cocktail’s intrepid and inventive foremothers in a program featuring mixologists and LUPEC members Lynnette Marrero and Meaghan Dorman from the New York chapter and Misty Kalkofen and Kristen "Kitty" Amann from the Boston chapter.

They highlight trailblazers such as Ada Coleman, head bartender at the Savoy Hotel’s famed American Bar from 1903 to 1924, and Helen David, who opened Michigan’s now-legendary Brass Rail during the Depression. They also look at the social changes that Prohibition and World War II brought to female barkeeps, as well as the work of their modern-day counterparts. Members of LUPEC-DC mix up some dame-created cocktails. Cheers to the ladies!

Don't be fooled, these cocktails are more than just girly drinks. Ladies have been mixing and serving up these knock-you-down concoctions since before your grandpa started drinking whiskey for breakfast. Check out this awesome buzzfeed article we put together showcasing some of the recipes.

You must be 21 or older with valid ID to attend.


Other Connections

Get a taste of Jazz-Age London with Ada Coleman’s Hanky Panky cocktail, or try Lynette Marrero’s theme-and-variations take on the Pisco Sour.


S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Drive, SW
Metro: Smithsonian Mall Exit (Blue/Orange)