If you don’t know, now you know.

After my first post, I made an incredibly selfish and cowardly decision to take hiatus from this blog, as well as my passion and my drive, to give myself a big dose of what I thought was “self-care” and healing. I made the ill-advised executive decision, in conjunction to succumb to the patriarchal pressure and corporate greed that had hounded me for months. Long story short? It landed me in a phase of exhaustion, harassment, and ultimately, an attempt on my own life.

It’s not brave to say that. I’m not seeking attention or pity to admit that. Please do not send me kind words for I do not need seek them.  I’m simply trying to tell you all a cautionary tale that you must always stay true to your gut. We as women possess a magical talent- that is our gut feeling. It is so intuitive that it could almost be labelled a psychic super power. We as a gender need to darn right quit quashing that icky, gut wrenching feeling we get when we know something isn’t right. It isn’t that we’ve eaten to much cheese, it’s our enchanted ovaries telling us that we are entering the ‘danger zone’. That something is not right, and that this will drain our well-being spring until it is a dry and cracked. Then we have nothing left to give to the world.

That is where I was almost this time last year. I sacrificed everything and had given my all to being the best employee, friend, colleague, partner, family member that felt I could be. I fell out with so many people for speaking (what I thought was) my truth. Then I had a seemingly huge opportunity land at my feet to truly be me and take creative direction in a female empowered work environment. It pushed me to win some of the best accolades of my career to date. It also landed me in a dog eat dog, sabotage driven environment that tore apart my good nature and was wrapped up by my attempt on my own life. It went against everything I knew ‘girl code’ to be about. But I also truly heard in my brain that this was what was best for my life and family. I got intoxicated with the promise of what could be, as opposed to what truly was.

 

So, what Happened from there, pray tell? Just like a after scarring earthquake, I tried to rebuild. I literally buried my trauma and damage (just like a good girl would) and tried to build the foundation of a new life on that. But just like building on a fault line, the sales pitch of a new perfect life was short lived. 3 months and 3 days to be precise. My scars re-emerged, opened back up and all my new goals, hopes and dreams disappeared through into the scars that weren’t truly healed.

I not only ignored my enchanted ovaries, I also ignored my heart and continued to convince myself that the pay check at the end of each month was more than enough compensation for the physical and mental pain I was enduring. I felt like I was being tested. I felt like speaking up was a sign of failure.

 

It didn’t disappear in an instant- I saw it coming. I found that the negative reaction to my new role ruined me one by one. One friendship letting me down. One bar tending comradery connection after another not wanting a bar of me, or what I was selling. Every negative reaction after the next slowly tearing me apart, piece by piece.

FUCK! I was crowned Glendfiddich’s most experimental female bartender in Australia 2016! In 2016 I won SA’s best craft beer bar. The only cocktail competition where I haven’t been a finalist (where I entered) was Bacardi Legacy 2016. Which was fair enough. I was not in a mind frame to be creative enough to win.

Well: to the die-hard bullies and chauvinistic arse-wipes of not only our industry, but our state, this blog is officially a supersized, cargo-container filled FUCK YOU to all of your preconceived notions of women not only in general, but also in our industry. We rule the fucking world. Wake up, smell our single origin coffee, accept that everything we create is nectar of the gods, and get the fuck on board.

I’m an empath. A campaigner. I tune into other peoples feelings and I try to stand up for them. When a person tries to gaslight me and manipulate a situation against me, I fall apart. My head and my heart have a battle and I can no longer breathe my mind into clarity. If that is not a warning bell, well, then the pope is no longer catholic.

We won’t only be making your future babies (if we choose) but we will also be running the fucking world soon enough. The new world doesn’t take race, gender or sexuality spectrums into its decision makings, because at the end of the day, none of that shit should actually matter.

Why else do you think balls were so pathetically protected, but ovaries are smartly tucked away into our abdomens to save us. Not to mention, anyone that happens to sit in between our (many figurative) black and white spectrums, is a game changing hero that is a friend of mine.

To all my babes: Get on board and watch this space; we about to truly run the world. Contributions and options more then welcome. Lets start to conversation.

To finish my rant, kweens, please take advice from lioness’s:

  • Be frisky
  • Pounce on possibilities
  • Enjoy life
  • Always land on your feet
  • Stretch often; you deserve it
  • Delight in the simple joy of self care (read: a long nap)
  • Lastly, make every day “perfect” for you
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Introducing Our Newest Contributer: Saskia!

Hey there! I’ve been working in cafés for the last few years and gradually building up my immunity to caffeine. I love meeting new people, having a chat, travelling, and finding new brunch and coffee spots. My interest and experience in coffee has grown from some passionate and talented women, who I’m so thankful for being patient and supportive while I learn. I want this blog to be the same, for veterans and newcomers alike to discuss ideas and issues and feel comfortable.
Coffee and food has become such a large part of Australian culture, and is shaping Adelaide to become more vibrant among the suburbs as well as inner city. As an aggressively proud Adelaidean, I’m so excited to be able to meet some of the Adelaide women working in hospitality.
While I’m keen for this to be a positive and inclusive space, I want this blog to become a platform to discuss experiences of sexism in the industry from either work mates or customers, and how to combat this while maintaining workplace dynamics and customer experiences. I’m looking forward to meeting more of the hospo women out there, hearing your stories and backgrounds and hopefully learning a whole lot too!

Cocktail of the week: Negroni

In light of it being Negroni week this week, I thought that I would feature my recipie for a Negroni. 

According to lore, Count Camillo Negroni developed this drink in Florence, Italy in the year 1919. He asked the Bartender to strengthen his favourite cocktail, the Americano, by replacing soda water with gin. the bartender, by the name of FosconScarselli, garnished the drink with an orange and the Negroni was born!

Traditionally made with Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Gin, the Negroni is one delicious, well balanced cocktail for those of us serious about our stiff drinks. Here’s how I make a traditional Negroni:

Ingredients

Method:

  • Put rocks glass in a freezer
  • Fill a mixing glass 2/3 with ice cubes
  • Add gin, vermouth and Campari
  • Stir with a bar spoon until the mixing glass is frosted ( about 60-90 seconds)
  • Strain into the frozen rocks glass, over a large piece of ice.
  • Garnish by twisting out the oils in the peel over the glass, and rim the glass with the oils. 
  • Add the orange peel to the drink and enjoy!

As great as the classic Negroni is, I always love putting my own funky spin on classic cocktails. Without further adieu, here is my rumgroni:

Ingredients 

  • 30ml spiced rum (I spice my own, but recommend Cubaney spiced rum)
  • 30ml Applewood red okar (made in Gumeracha by Bitchen’ Babe, Laura Carter and her husband)
  • 30ml Maidenii sweet vermouth
  • 1 bar spoon of agave syrup
  • 6 dashes of aromatic bitters
  • An orange peel

Method

  • Put rocks glass in a freezer
  • Fill a mixing glass 2/3 with ice cubes
  • Add rum, vermouth, red okar, agave and bitters
  • Stir with a bar spoon until the mixing glass is frosted ( about 60-90 seconds)
  • Strain into the frozen rocks glass, over a large piece of ice.
  • Garnish by twisting out the oils in the peel over the glass, and rim the glass with the oils. 
  • Add the orange peel to the drink and enjoy!

The only problem about the rumgroni is that it’s way to easy to drink and therefore it goes down too quickly. I’ve even considered making it into a big pitcher, but that just wouldn’t be responsible.

Introducing the first ever Bitchen’ Boozy Babe, Nicole Morgan, Island2island beverages

I was lucky enough to meet Nicole many years ago, while I was at the Grand and she was at Marina Sunset bar. Over one summer, we started with shy waves, quiet hellos, then moved on to shared cigarette breaks and indulging in local gossip. A friendship soon formed and Nicole took me under her wing, mentoring me, supporting me, picking me up when I was down and celebrating every success with me.

We meet on a rainy Thursday afternoon at Proof. She does a quick tasting of some beautiful Island2island whiskeys with Joseph and Claudia, then we head upstairs, drink in hand to get into things. After about 10 minutes of general catch up chat, we have both forgotten that we’re here for Bitchen’ Boozy Babes.

It’s my first time interviewing someone, so I’m as nervous as a cornered mouse. I’m so glad I’m doing my first interview with such a good friend and trusted mentor. As I turn on the recorder, my mind goes blank and I struggle to get my questions out. Ever patient, I manage to get my questions out and she manages to answer, despite us both feeling like we are in a job interview.

Beginning her career with a 6 week Government Funded course, Nicole originally found her niche in suburban pubs. Sadly, pokies started to take over in the suburbs, killing the vibe of the loved local. It became increasingly more difficult to find work in the suburbs in a venue with no pokies. It was a blessing in disguise for Nicole as it pushed her into bar work in the CBD.

Nicole came up in the industry in the early 90’s, where she really couldn’t recount having any specific female figures to look up to. Although being the loving,strong and quiet energy that she is, she counts everyone she worked with at The Lion Arts Theatre, Cargo Club, Savvy Cocktail Lounge, Garage and Fumo Blu to name a few.

Renato Capoccia, owner of Cargo Club is Nicole’s biggest inspiration. It was Renato that gave Nicole her first management role, after 12 months at Cargo Club. She also names Grantley Souter, part owner of Fumo Blu as a huge inspiration to her, which is a testament to their decade plus friendship. She stresses that everyone you work with has something to teach you. “There’s always something to learn!” She says to me, grinning.

Continuously keeping an open mind is a big key to succeeding in the booze industry. Nicole has always recommended articles, books and techniques to me. Keep on reading, keep on attending tastings and tutorials and keep on asking questions. Travel around and see what’s happening in the industry in different cities and countries. Watch them, see what is working, what is new and interesting and bring it back to your bar. She maintains that the key to growing in this industry is by constantly expanding your knowledge bank and I couldn’t agree more.

Like me, she counts the highlight of her career to being a state finalist in the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge. The other big highlight for her was obviously then landing a role as state rep for Island2island beverages. Landing the role out of 200 candidates and bringing all her skills to a state role, is an amazing feat.


Now on the other side of the bar, she communicates about I2I products to bartenders and managers in a language that we understand. More than just selling to venues, Nicole dedicates much time of her new career to training and assisting venues on a bartender level. She gets to do small masterclasses with bar staff, as an overview across all different liquor or as a focus on a particular type of spirit. She also conducts some classes with consumers as well, such as “A journey of the dram” event that she hosted to 96 people in Port Lincholn recently.

Her passion for rum, bitters and all things booze is totally infectious. She will never stop inspiring me and pushing me to be my best. If you are lucky enough to meet Nicole, or even luckier to sit in on one of her training sessions, you will see what I mean.

In closing, Nicole, thank you for being one of my first female mentors. You’ve been an great educator, a shoulder to cry on and a Rum drinking buddy when our arms have been twisted. An extra thank you for being my Guinea Pig for this article.

Signature Cocktails: Island Fever


Anyone who knows me on a personal level knows how much I love a good rum old fashioned. It’s about as much as I love rum, and oranges, and chocolate, and coconut. 

When the Angostura global cocktail challenge came up last year, I wanted to create a cocktail that embodied all my favourite things and also paid homage to my island heritage (not to mention Angostura’s).

To honour my first Bitchen’Boozy Babe, Nicole Morgan of Island2island beverages, here is my Angostura 2015 global cocktail challenge entry, Island Fever:

Build, in a stemless wineglass:

4 orange segments

2 dashes angostura orange bitters

5 dashes angostura aromatic bitters

1 barspoon coconut sugar

Muddle, then add:

60 ml 1824 Angostura Rum

Stir

Top with Ice

Stir again

Garnish with flames orange zest & choc orange wheel.
Enjoy babes!

What we’re all about and who is behind the words.

Last night, I sat down at one of my regular watering holes, armed with my favourite industry magazine in hand, ready to unwind from my shift and be inspired. Except I wasn’t inspired. I was mad.

I was mad that all I was seeing was bearded bro’s, broing out in their bro ways about bro tending and bearding. Don’t get me wrong, I love bearded bro’s (heck, I’m madly in love with the one I’m marrying)! What I don’t love though, is knowing there are so many awe inspiring babes, doing just as great non bearded things, but somehow they aren’t being represented in industry publications. I thought to myself “Someone should do something about this!”

Then I realised “Hey! I’m someone. I will do something about this”! So, drunk off of my two beers, I pulled out my iPad and created this blog. Being technologically challenged, it took me about 4 hours to nut out how to do this. This morning, I posted on the Facebook about what I wanted to do. Within one hour, I was overwhelmed with 100% positive response rate and very emotional about the messages I was receiving.

Unsurprisingly, I had a lot of people saying to me that it’s about time. I hope this is a positive space for women in the hospitality and booze industry to not only celebrate each other, but be motivated and inspired by one another to rise to the top of our industry.

One day, if I ever get sponsored I’d like to do an industry awards night for Bitchen’ Babes only. That may be quiet a way off though!

So a little about me. Shucks, where do I begin? I’m in my late 20’s, Adelaide born and bred. When I was 10 I moved to Brisbane. I grew up wanting to be a fashion designer, but after working for the literal devil and having a total life melt down, I came back to Adelaide, tail between my legs in 2010.

Living with my rock/ 2nd Mum/ Aunty in the hills, I was inspired by my cousin/soul sister to apply at the Hahndorf inn hotel, where I was hired based on my confidence and sunny disposition. Working with a family orientated team, in such a busy yet positive place, really grew my love of hospitality.

From there, I moved the the Stamford Grand Hotel where I found many mentors and friends. I learned my love of cocktails, rum and wine during my time there (as well as my love of wine tours).

Since then, I moved to small bar Hains & Co., where I was the only female South Australian finalist in the Angostura Cocktail Competition. This has so far been the highlight of my career.

I now still sling drinks behind the bar, while I work on my own brand of bitters and mixers, study a bachelor of Viticulture & Wine Science, plan a wedding, keep my hat in the cocktail competition ring and now run this blog.

I’ve been described as kind, crazy, fiery, friendly, introverted, clumsy and clueless. I like to think that I’m a total bad ass booze nerd who also really likes hanging out at home with her cat and fiancé. I want to change the world in anyway I can. I champion equality and believe in being the change I want to see in the world.

I have many mentors and heroes. Throughout this blog I will introduce you to many of them and hopefully find many more.
Lastly, I just want to thank each and every one of you for your time, support and participation. Let’s break the proverbial glass ceiling!