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Innovative Alcohol Brands with Female Founders & Master Distillers

Women have always been present in the history of distilling and the growth of the spirits industry. In fact, the process of distillation itself is credited to early alchemist Mary The Jewess, who described early versions of the process in the first century.

From Madame Clicquot, the Grand Dame of Champagne, to modern entrepreneurs like Karen Hoskins, founder of Montanya Rum, women have been leading innovations in alcohol in the modern age.

Celebrating Women In Distilling With Bloom Gin

Founded by Joanne Moore, one of the first female Master Distillers, BLOOM gin is a floral-led sip inspired by those who claim they don’t like gin. Even the most ardent juniper-hater will fall in love with the carefully curated flavours found within BLOOM and its creative flavoured editions.

In the spirit of BLOOM, we take a tour of innovative female leaders in wines and spirits.

Lesley Gracie – Master Distiller, Hendrick’s Gin

In her attempts to capture the essence of a summer afternoon in an English country garden, Lesley Grace created one of the most popular gins on the planet.

Grace’s recipe for Hendrick’s is defined by its core botanicals of rose and cucumber – this blend of floral and vegetal notes proved a hit, and it is Grace’s creativity which drives Hendrick’s critically acclaimed limited releases.

Working from Hendrick’s famous Gin Palace, growing botanicals from two temperature-controlled greenhouses, Lesley Gracie is the alchemist behind innovations such as Hendrick’s Lunar -made with night-blooming florals and the new sea-breeze inspired Neptunia.

Karen Hoskins, Owner, Montanya Rum

After discovering aged rum on holiday in India, Karen Hoskins decided to create her own, taking advantage of the high altitudes of Colorado Rockies for an intense maturation process.

From small beginnings grew an acclaimed global rum brand, headed up by Karen. The company recently released Montanya’s Valentia Edition, aged in barrels provided by a female-owned wine and whisky distilleries.

Joy Spence, Master Blender, Appleton Rum

Joy joined the legendary Jamaican rum company as Chief Chemist in 1981, graduating to Master Blender in 1997, the first to achieve the title across the industry.

In her 25 years of overseeing Appleton Estate, she has ensured the quality of every drop by personally selecting every barrel. Her strong science background gives her a precise and technical approach to the art of rum.

Cherie Spriggs, Head Winemaker, Nyetimber

Nyetimber has grown a reputation as one of the finest sparkling wine producers in the world, thanks to the efforts of head winemaker Cherie Spriggs.

Since 2007, the grapes and vineyards used to create Nyetimber’s unique English sparkling wines are each hand-selected by Spriggs and her husband, fellow winemaker Brad Greatrix.

The couple supervise harvesting times, adjusting for adverse conditions (not a rarity in sunny England), and crafting finessed grape blends which now hold a worldwide reputation to compete with traditional producers in France and Italy.

Ellie Bradshaw, Founder, Wild Life Botanicals

Ellie Bradshaw’s lightbulb moment came when trying to find sparkling sips with a low ABV and feeling uninspired by the available selection.

Bradshaw, founder of Cornish Sea Salt, decided to tackle the problem herself by creating Wild Life Botanicals, a low ABV sparkling wine filled with flavour.

Leading a team of experts in both winemaking and food science, Ellie’s creation is completely unique in the industry – a low ABV social sip for conscious drinkers. Wild Life Botanicals is also dosed with a blend of vitamins and essential nutrients, another innovative aspect of this ground-breaking product.

Sam Unger, Creator, Ms. Better’s Bitters

With a background in art and food, Sam Unger applied her creativity combined the two with the creation of Ms. Better’s Bitters, a range of beautifully flavoured cocktail bitters inspiring bartenders across the globe.

From a blank slate, Unger pulled from her knowledge of scent and food pairings to create one-of-a-kind products such as sour Sumac Kiwi Bitters, aromatic Smoke & Oak Bitters, and Mt. Fuji White Peach Bitters.

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