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Women and Whiskey: Then And Now



Whiskey----it’s not just for the good old boys anymore. Was it ever really restricted, though? Whiskey makers are now clamoring to market to a very strong and vocal subsect of our society known for their grace, beauty, and refinement. More than ever, it has become socially acceptable for women to enjoy all that whiskey has to offer, and there is no longer a need to imbibe in secret or to hide an indulgence for fear of looking wayward and unsavory. With the pervading attitude of acceptance in all kinds of social situations, we can thank those who have prevailed before and paved the way to making our enjoyment of this fine beverage not only legal, but widely embraced and accepted as well.

Whiskey And Women: A Long History

Throughout history, strong and daring women have always been a part of the creation and consumption of spirits, dating back to ancient Sumeria, when women took part in fermentation ceremonies that generated all kinds of beverages to refresh and enjoy. Egyptians, Peruvians, Dutch--all of these women were credited with being brewmasters, crafting their original recipes that they proudly passed from generation to generation. A woman by the name of Maria Hebraea, first written about in the fourth century, was credited with creating one of the first distilling apparatuses, known as the alembic still. To this day, it is still widely used in Europe for making brandy and whiskey. It made its way over to parts of the Appalachian mountains, where it was used to make moonshine.

Medieval Mischief

Involvement with distillation and consumption of alcoholic beverages by women continued well into medieval times, but trouble was a’brewing. Something changed in the minds of medieval men, and soon women were stripped of their rights to study math and science. Reading was discouraged, and many were not even allowed to be in the presence of alcoholic beverages. Most texts from this time period do not even mention women of significance, making it a truly dark time for women.

Nevertheless, strong and defiant women persisted, turning their tinctures into “medicines” that could be used and sold by apothecaries. Entering this line of work for women was dangerous; any indication that a woman had been involved in the making of a “witches brew” was cause for prosecution and, at times, far worse.

Changing Times

In the 1700’s, men who were looking for companions placed ads for wives who could “churn butter, darn socks, and distill spirits.” Distillation and distribution of alcohol became very popular in the colonies, and with every upside to societal affairs, there was also an unsavory side to alcohol consumption and the social culture surrounding it. Prostitution and liquor sales went hand in hand at this time, with women netting almost $2 million in annual sales.

When Things Got Out Of Hand…..A Little Temperance Was In Order

Women fulfilled all roles during the Temperance movement in the 20’s and 30’s. Some women lobbied against the evils of alcohol and all its associated activities with consumption. Just as there were conservatives were speaking out against its creation and distribution, there were women that saw opportunities for financial gain, and they participated fully in the Prohibition period by continuing to distill and run bootleg all across the country. A woman by the name of Gertrude Lythgoe was one of the most infamous players in distillation during this time. She managed to evade the heavy arm of the law by fleeing to the Bahamas and starting her own wholesale whiskey company. Those crafty women!

Modern Times, Modern Women!

Today, almost 40 percent of all whiskey consumed in the United States is done by women. The stereotype that “whiskey is a man’s drink” is quickly being replaced by a more progressive line of thinking that men and women alike deserve to enjoy the taste of a fine glass of amber from time to time.

Palmetto Distillery---Superior Whiskey For Men And Women Alike

No matter who you are, you deserve to have the experience of savoring a fine glass of whiskey. Palmetto Distillery has a rich history of spirit production dating back several generations. Many women have had a hand in creating its traditions, some of which are carried on to this day. Its roots are embedded deeply in Southern traditions of quality and excellence, and they craft some of the finest spirits around. Savor superior flavor like you have never known before; pick up your premier whiskey and moonshine today by visiting www.palmettodistillery.com. The premier flavors of the South are calling you; answer today!