How did the Cosmopolitan become an iconic cocktail on the TV show Sex and the City? Did you know an illegal shipment of Champagne revolutionized the entire industry? Which women are responsible for America’s increase in scotch and bourbon consumption after Prohibition?
In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Mallory O’Meara, the author of the just-published Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol.
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- How did the Cosmopolitan become the signature drink of Sex and the City?
- Which next-level Cosmo should you try for your next cocktail?
- What’s the connection between Carrie Bradshaw and the oversized wine glasses we now see everywhere on TV?
- What’s the strong female history behind the drinks we now think of as categorically masculine?
- How did Bessie Williamson and Margie Samuels revolutionize the scotch, whiskey and bourbon markets in America after Prohibition?
- What role did Veuve Clicquot’s kitchen play in transforming the way Champagne is made?
- How did Veuve Clicquot and Louise Pommery completely change the Champagne market?
- Which drink does Mallory prefer while writing?
- Why is a daiquiri Mallory’s favourite cocktail?
- What are Mallory’s least favourite drinks?
- How did Mallory first get into wine?
- What impact does Mallory hope Girly Drinks will have?
- How has book and author culture adapted to Covid?
- What’s the last great book Mallory read?
- Whose interesting story got left on the cutting room floor?
- My Tips for Navigating Wine During the Holiday Season
- How should you think about which wines to pair with Christmas dinner?
- Which wines will make great additions to your cocktail party?
- How can you pick the right wines for every gifting occasion?
- I loved the story behind how the Cosmopolitan became an iconic cocktail on the TV show Sex and the City, especially since I loved that show when it first came out and am now gobbling up every episode of the new reboot. There are so many parallels in other industries: you may not be able to afford the multi-thousand dollar Versace outfit on the runway, but maybe you can buy the perfume. The Cosmo was and is an aspirational drink for many women and some men and non-binaries too.
- Veuve Clicquot is a classic kick-ass woman’s story, from getting through the Napoleonic blockades to selling her jewelry to fund the business.
- I loved hearing about swash-buckling women responsible for America’s increase in scotch and bourbon consumption after Prohibition.
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Women wanted to be like Carrie, they wanted to feel literally cosmopolitan. - Mallory O'Meara Click to tweet
Today we think of scotch and whiskey as such masculine drinks… but almost all of them started out as women’s drinks. - Mallory O'Meara Click to tweet
Veuve Clicquot revolutionized and internationalized the Champagne market. - Mallory O'Meara Click to tweet
At a time when women weren’t in business at all, Veuve Clicquot built one of the best luxury brands the world has known. - Natalie MacLean Click to tweet
Women were so influential in the way that all kinds of alcohol were served, made and drank. I want women to feel comfortable and like they have a right to be in this culture. - Mallory O'Meara Click to tweet
About Mallory O’Meara
Mallory is an award-winning and best-selling author and historian. She lives with her two cats in the mountains near Los Angeles, where she is at work on her next nonfiction book. Bourbon is her drink of choice.
Her first book, The Lady From The Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick, is a Los Angeles Times bestseller. It won the 2019 SCIBA Award for Biography, the Rondo 2019 Book of the Year and was nominated for the Hugo and Locus awards.
Her second book, Girly Drinks: A Feminist History of Women and Alcohol, was just released.
Every week, Mallory hosts the literary podcast Reading Glasses alongside filmmaker and writer Brea Grant. The show is hosted by Maximum Fun and focuses on book culture and reader life.
- Connect with Mallory O’Meara
- Mallory O’Meara’s Book | Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol
- Mallory O’Meara’s Book | The Lady From The Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick
- Mallory O’Meara’s Podcast | Reading Glasses
- Unreserved Wine Talk | Episode 37: From Champagne to Napa Valley: Wine Stories with Tilar Mazzeo
- Mary Roach’s Book | Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law
- Kathy Buckworth’s Website
- Kathy Buckworth’s Podcast | Go-To Grandma
- My Books:
- Unreserved Wine Talk | Episode 158:
- My new class The 5 Wine & Food Pairing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Dinner And How To Fix Them Forever
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Natalie MacLean 0:00
The signature drink of sex of the city was the Cosmopolitan. How
Mallory O’Meara 0:02
did that happen? Up until that point, besides Julia Child drinking wine, there weren’t many women drinking on TV. Carrie Bradshaw orders a Cosmo. Here was this very feminine drank. It’s in a martini glass, but it’s pink. A lot of girls couldn’t afford loo batons or a Coach purse. But women could afford to order a Cosmo. So women wanted to be like Carrie, they wanted to feel literally cosmopolitan. And all of a sudden the drink swept the nation like wildfire. It really became the first cocktail that women were influenced from the media to order and people still drink it today.
Natalie MacLean 0:49
Do you have a thirst to learn about wine, the love stories about wonderfully obsessive people, hauntingly beautiful places and amusingly awkward social situations. Oh, that’s the blend here on the unreserved wine talk podcast. I’m your host, Natalie Maclean. And each week, I share with you unfiltered conversations with celebrities in the wine world, as well as confessions from my own tipsy journey as I write my third book on this subject. I’m so glad you’re here. Now pass me that bottle please. And let’s get started. Welcome to Episode 159. How did the cosmopolitan become an iconic cocktail on the TV show Sex in the City? Did you know that an illegal shipment of champagne revolutionise the entire industry, which women were responsible for America’s increase in both scotch and bourbon consumption after Prohibition? You’ll hear those stories and more in part two of our chat with Mallory O’Meara, author of the wonderful just published book girly drinks, a world history of women and alcohol. If you missed the first part last week, no worries, you can still listen to this one now. But then go back and take a listen afterwards as it was lots of fun. Now on a personal note, before we dive into the show, as I mentioned last week, several publishers are interested in publishing my new wine memoir, yay. I am still in discussions with the editors to decide which house to go with. And that’s fun. Even the publishers though, who said no have given me a lot of great insight into the books potential and positioning when it comes out. It’s also opened my eyes to just how different tastes are when it comes to reading. I’m going to share some of the nice nose from the UK where my audience isn’t as big as it is in Canada in the US. This is sort of like reading mean tweets except they’re not mean. In publishing these days, you really need to have what they call a platform, which is a built in audience that you bring with you and who will preorder the book as soon as it’s available. Hint Hint, if you’re listening right now, please buy it for friends and family and help spread the word. They’re really looking for that. So one UK publisher said to my agent, quote, I’ve been completely absorbed by Natalie story, but I can’t see us finding a way to make it work in our market and quote, another said, it’s a Pacey read and the wine interludes are really inventive, but I worry, we might struggle with this commercially here. And a third said, it’s a great moving reading. I really enjoyed it. Natalie has definitely been through a great deal, but she tells her story with wit and honesty, it’s a fabried. But in the end, I’m afraid I don’t think we could make it quite big enough here in the UK and quote, so I almost wish these publishers would write the back book cover blurbs. I’ll share some more terribly kind rejections with you next week. But you can see how important it is for publishers to know that you have almost an army of loyal fans who will support the book before publishers will even consider taking a flyer on it. There’s just so much competition for attention these days with social media and streaming TV and life generally. If you’re interested in being a beta reader and getting a sneak peek at this manuscript, please email me at Natalie at Natalie Maclean calm. I’d also love to hear from you if you’ve discovered a fabulous new wine we should know about a tip that would help us enjoy wine more, or a question for me. Anything at all, as long as it’s wine related and you keep it clean? Send me your sips tips and questions to Natalie and Natalie Maclean calm. I’ll give you a shout out in the next episode unless you prefer to remain anonymous. I also have a bonus for you at the end of this episode. I’m sharing my favourite wines for the holidays. In a chat with Kathy Duckworth on her podcast, go to grandma. I’ll share more details with you later in this podcast, as well as a clip of our chat to get you all set for the holidays. in the shownotes, you’ll find a full transcript of my conversation both with Mallory and Kathy. Links to Mallory’s new book, her podcast and website. Links to Kathy’s podcast and website. How you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class. And where you can find the live streaming the video version of this conversation on Facebook and Youtube every Wednesday at 7pm. That’s all in the show notes at Natalie maclean.com forward slash 159. Okay, on with the show.
Natalie MacLean 5:35
Now moving on to the cosmopolitan because I’m very excited the reboot of Sex in the City is launching in December. I watched that many years ago. But the signature drink of sex of the city was the Cosmopolitan. How did that happen?
Mallory O’Meara 5:47
Yeah, the cosmopolitan is a really cool chapter in women’s drinking history. Because up until that point, besides Julia Child drinking wine, there weren’t many women drinking on TV. There weren’t many as we would think of them today, drinks influencers, you know, women really weren’t sure what to order because it shows you what’s the men drinking scotch men drinking martinis, so men were like, Oh, well, those are man drinks. That’s what I’m going to drink. And women didn’t really have that kind of cultural guidance. All of a sudden, I think it was Season Two early on in the season. Carrie Bradshaw orders a Cosmo. Here was this very feminine drink. It’s in a martini glass, but it’s pink. And in that show, they have all these purses and shoes. And there’s a lot of things that women wanted to buy after seeing one of the four girls wearing them or having them but a lot of the stuff that’s featured on the show is not accessible or affordable to a modern audience. A lot of girls couldn’t afford Lu batons or a Coach purse. But women could afford to order a Cosmo. So women wanted to be like Carrie, they wanted to feel literally cosmopolitan. They wanted to feel fancy. And all of a sudden, the drink swept the nation like wildfire. I mean, men were ordering it too. But it really became the first cocktail that women were influenced from the media to order and many people still drink it today. Right? It hasn’t gone out of style. No, it’s a good cocktail. Has it evolved? Are there any modern twist that you find interesting on the Cosmo? Yeah, actually another woman that I feature in the book in the 2000s chapter is Julie Reiner. She is a bartender and a really important person in the cocktail world. She created the flat on your lounge, which was really the first mass appeal cocktail bar in New York City. She really was one of the forerunners of the craft cocktail movement. But she created a really cool twist on the Cosmo, the blood orange Cosmo, so instead of using cranberry, she uses blood orange juice, look online, or they have the recipe for it on my website. But it’s a really, really cool, fun twist on a classic drink. Must look beautiful, like a sunset or something. Yeah, yes. It’s
Natalie MacLean 7:55
a gorgeous drink. Awesome. And yet today now we see a lot of women drinking, it seems to be all the legal shows or maybe those are just the ones I’m watching but like it scandal and The Good Wife and so many I’ve got these oversized glasses of wine. What do you think is flip the switch there? Did it start with Carrie and then?
Mallory O’Meara 8:14
I think it did. I mean, well, it really did start with Julia Child in the 1960s. She was one of the very, very first to sort of normalise women drinking. Again, drinking just not to be drunk, not anything, just having a glass of wine while you’re cooking. Just sort of very normal, non problematic drinking, but I would say certainly Carrie Bradshaw is sort of immortalised in drinking history. Because it became just kind of a normal thing for all those for Sex in the City girls, they would go get drinks after work. They will really help normalise it. So I think all those shows succession in Mad Men, any women drinking at a TV show, I think owes a little bit to Carrie Bradshaw. Absolutely. So yeah, I think of Mad Men in their scotch, I guess or whiskey on the rocks or whatever they’re drinking. But there’s even a female aspect to those manly man drinks. What we think of is male drinks. What about scotch and bourbon whiskey? Oh, I mean, there was so much women’s history and those types of alcohols. You know, today we think of them as such masculine drinks. And they’re really imbued with this idea of masculinity being a man, but almost all of them started out as women’s drinks. Even post prohibition. The most popular drink with women in the 1940s was a old fashioned women were really, really important to Bourbon to the creation of Scotch to the creation of whiskey in Ireland during the famine. It was women who were moonshining who were distilling whiskey to just get extra calories because they needed it in Scotch history. The woman who convinced America post prohibition to start drinking scotch again was a woman named Bessie Williamson. And it was not someone who looked like Nick Offerman it was not someone with a beard. It was not someone smoking a cigar. It was a Scottish woman wearing a lot of wool and Tweed. Having Catseye glasses that came over from Scotland and travelled to all sorts of bars and in liquor stores to convince people to drink single malt scotch, and will she targeting women or just everybody, everybody she was actually tasked by the Scotch Association from Scotland. She was the first and only so far female general manager of the Freud distillery. And she was giving all these interviews and doing all this great stuff over at Laphroaig and the Scotch association was so enamoured with her passion and her excitement for Scotch that they wanted her to be their ambassador to the United States. So she came over during a time when people weren’t drinking single malt scotches. They were drinking blends. People weren’t shelling out for expensive fancy scotches, and she convinced people that customers, people going to the bar drinkers everywhere would want to buy something a little more high quality, and we’re ready for a very smoky PD. What we would think of today is a masculine scotch, but it was this little woman from Scotland, who was its forerunner. I could just imagine her the way you just give me a few details, the cat eyes of the world. She was fantastic. So and then there was somebody Margie Samuels. She also had an association with I guess, bourbon. Yes. So a very well known bourbon today. She was sort of the person who put it on the map back in the 1960s. Every single bottle of whiskey on the shelf looked the same, you know, there was no embellishments. There was no gimmicks. There was no fancy, you know, today when you go to a liquor store, all the labels looks like works of art. There’s a lot of colour, there’s a lot of difference in the shapes of the bottles. Not so back then. So her and her husband had wanted to create a bourbon her husband Bill, his family had been historically distilleries, so they collaborated on this really cool type of bourbon that they wanted to make, but she wanted her bottle to stand out. So she hauled her deep fryer from the kitchen down into the basement and spent months doing experiments. She was very inspired by cognac bottles, and wanted to do something cool and experimenting with different colours of wax and different types of wax. And finally, she came out and pulled something out of her basement and realised that Alright, Bill, this is what our bottle is gonna look like. And that was Maker’s Mark. That very distinctive red dripping wax was all from March, and it became an instant sensation because it stood out so much on the shelf. And she completely revolutionised the bourbon and whiskey marketing world. That was amazing. And she did it in her deep fryer. Yes, she put a bunch of wax in there and did a bunch of experiments. Again, so much of drinking history happens in kitchens, which is why it was amazing to me that this women’s history was left out. Yes, absolutely. No touch on wkly Go. We have talked to Taylor Mazzeo, who wrote the Yeah, she wrote
Natalie MacLean 12:43
this incredible biography that great. It was great. It’s so good. I love the story of Barb Nicole Clico. And you talk about happening in the kitchen. She’s the one who used her kitchen table kitchen
Mallory O’Meara 12:54
table, yes, to do what. So back then one of the biggest obstacles to producing champagne quickly, this was in the 1800s with all the residue that was in the wine and they had all these different methods, you know, flicking the top off and trying to pour some of the debris out. But none of them were quick. And the quicker it was the worse the champagne was, if you wanted a champagne that was very clear, didn’t have that cloudy debris, it took a really long time. And she figured out again hauling her kitchen table down to the basement. She had all these slanted holes drilled in the table and she stored the wine upside down on its neck so that all the debris collected at the top of the bottle so that when you pop the cork out all the debris shot out and then you could pop the top back on. And it was perfect. It was such a revolution. She was starting to make her very, very popular champagne very quickly and her competitors could not for the life of them figure out how she was doing it. It was such a strange new thing and her workers were so loyal to her that for a decade. No one ever shared the secret of how she was doing it and it drove the other people in the champagne industry crazy. Mo et which is another big her biggest competitor at the time was pulling his hair out trying to figure out how she did it but it was just her in her kitchen table. I love that I
Natalie MacLean 14:10
love it. And the whole technique of Remy was your riddling to get the spent he sells down into the neck of the bottle is fundamental, as you say to having a clear champagne which became very marketable and then she was one of the first to get through the Napoleonic blockades, wasn’t she?
Mallory O’Meara 14:27
Yes, what she really did was she revolutionised an internationalised, the champagne market. What happened was during the Russian occupation of France during those Napoleonic wars, a lot of them were in the Champagne region of France, even at her BB Nicole’s estate and instead of pillaging the place, they ended up buying bottles from all these winemakers and they fell in love with champagne, which during that time period, they didn’t think of it as champagne like we do today. They just thought it was sparkling wine, you know from the Champagne region of France, but they fell in love with it when they went back to Russia after wars were over, they carried that taste with them. So she had sent this illegal, I will say, shipment of champagne over to Russia to capitalise on it. And because she was the only person who tried to get through that blockade, as soon as the ship landed with all this incredible, very clear, delicious champagne, it went like gangbusters, she sold the entire shipment. I think the Tsar of Russia at the time said he would drink no other wine. So it wasn’t just that the Russians had developed a reputation for loving the champagne was her champagne in particular that had gotten this like special love in the hearts of Russia, and started to spread to other countries. And soon she really became an international celebrity.
Natalie MacLean 15:40
And of course, back then, the influencers of the day, were the people of the court. So as soon as they start drinking it, everybody wants to, but she also I’ve been just reading bits and pieces of her history over time. I’m not sure if it was when the Germans were invading France, because of course, Krantz is at the crossroads, especially champagne. They were taking the bottles, and she said, Let them take them. There’ll be back like the first sampling campaigns. Okay, no, no charge for the first fit. Yes, she
Mallory O’Meara 16:09
was very, very confident in her champagne. And it was that confidence in herself and her product and the wine she made that really is a hallmark of all the special things that she did in her career. Yeah, especially as a young woman, I think she was 28 and had an eight year old daughter Clementine. So she was widowed. She’s exactly the means widow. So yes, that was remarkable to at a time when women weren’t in business at all. She built one of the best luxury brands the world is known. She sold her jewellery to help pay for it in the beginning. I mean, she really didn’t self powered woman, such an incredible story. That is amazing. And then there’s one other woman you mentioned who changed the style of champagne. Yes, Louise Palmer. The cool thing about her is that even back then, and today, still, we think of less sweet wines as more of a masculine wine when she was the person who invented dry champagne. Because back then everyone wanted very, very sweet champagne. There was no market for it. And it was more difficult to make a drier champagne because you needed to have perfectly ripe grapes, you needed more time to aged. So everyone thought, you know, why bother with it? Why would we spend more time and more money on something that the people don’t want? And she thought, no, I really want to try this. I want to make this special champagne. So what she did is she told this vineyard, okay, I will buy your entire stock, I will guarantee you that you will sell all of your grapes. But you have to pick them exactly the time that I say that you will. And they did and she got her grapes and she got her wine and she created the very first mass marketed dry champagne. It became a hit. People were very excited about it. It was very delicious. And all of a sudden, we had a totally new style of champagne. Yeah, that’s awesome. I think the British were really keen for it. Yes. And I think I’m not sure if this is accurate. But I think that’s why the French called dry champagne Brut, as in the English have a brutal sense of taste a savage sense of taste. Yeah, they like the dry stuff. The French were very grumpy because was actually a British person who had figured out how to make champagne how to make sparkling wine in the first place, which I don’t think the French will ever forgive the British for. Now. They want their dumb pair and y’all story. Yes, great thing, but was trying to get the bubbles out of the wine. It’s such a common misconception. People think that he invented champagne, but like you said, he was tasked by his fellow monks to get these terrible bubbles out of their wine, racking it. I mean, you’ve had so many wonderful women and stories. Was there anyone you were intrigued by? But you had to leave out just for the sake of not having a, you know, 1000 page book. There were a few female bootleggers that I had to leave out just because the prohibition Chapter is the longest chapter in the book, it could have been an entire book. There’s so many incredible women in that time period. You know, when you look at most history books of the time period, or have cocktails or drinking history, they really only talk about women in regards to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which was sort of this group of women who were gung ho about getting rid of alcohol. But the truth is, most women were on the other side, very pro alcohol and really wanted to get repeal in there. So there was all sorts of amazing drinkers, bartenders, speakeasy, hostesses, lawyers, politicians, all sorts of cool women that I got to write about, and of course, Cleo Lythgoe, who was the bootlegger who would guide you through that chapter. So there was a couple other bootleggers that I had to leave out a little bit. There was birdie Brown, who was a black female bootlegger in Minnesota, I believe in just a few others. But these bootleggers, you know, we think of them as like these sexy, gun toting tough ladies, but most of them were just women in their kitchens trying to feed their kids trying to provide for their community. It was so much less dangerous and more of a domestic activity and there were countless cool women bootlegging during that time period. When prohibition first started, male enforcement agents were not allowed to search women because it was considered improper. They didn’t want to touch women, the women were still wearing skirts down to their ankles at that point, so women took full advantage of that. And with smuggled gallons and gallons of things in baby carriages under their skirts in their jackets. Eventually, the enforcement agencies caught on and I started to hire female enforcement agents to be able to search them but women really took advantage of it for a few years. I love that. I love that. So the quote often attributed to Hemingway But Miss attributed is write drunk, edit sober. Do you drink anything? When you write? Yes, I’m a big bourbon person. If I’m writing past 5pm, which happens frequently. I like a little bit of Buffalo Trace specifically is my favourite bourbon, just to get me in the mindset. I have a writer friend, she always burns a certain candle when she writes or some people put on a certain playlist. So having you know my drink all my little things all of a sudden my brains and i Yes, it’s time to write. I’m in the writing mode now.
Mallory O’Meara 20:51
It’s great. Get my favourite cocktail. Yes, even though bourbons my favourite type of alcohol. A daiquiri is my favourite cocktail. And what’s in a daiquiri, just for those who don’t know, it’s just rum, simple syrup and lime. And I love a simple cocktail. It’s so delicious. I love a really, really good rum. So a daiquiri on a hot summer day is just perfect for me. That sounds good. Do you have a least favourite cocktail or drink? Yeah, I have a few. I’m not big on a lot of really bitter things. So I don’t like fernet. And I don’t like Campari. And I don’t like vermouth, which is very weird for a cocktail person. So I’m not a big Negroni fan. I’m not a big Manhattan fan, which, again, not liking vermouth really takes a lot of cocktails off of the plate for me, but it just doesn’t do it for me. You know, your sensitivity to bitterness. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it. But women tend to be super tasters. They have more tastebuds. So maybe you are one, maybe that sensitivity to bitter that’s coming through in your drink choices. So it’d be it for sure. It just gets a little too strong for me. Yeah, even though I love drinking straight bourbon. I don’t like Campari. Sure. What about wine got any favourite wines? There’s one wine that I have been drinking a lot of lately called cabin five. It’s a Zinfandel and it’s very jammy. It’s so delicious. My family is not a wine family. I never saw anybody drinking wine growing up, except maybe some table wine on a holiday. Because you’re Irish ancestry, right? Yes. Beer and whiskey. Yes. Not a wine people. So I never really grew up thinking about pairing wines with foods. And it wasn’t until I really started researching for girly drinks, that I thought, Oh, wow, I should really try to get into wine. So I signed up for one of those wine delivery, monthly subscription boxes, and I really went to town. I like most wines, but a dark red is definitely my favourite. And this cabin five is just been my favourite right now. Wow. And what would you pair with it? If anything, it goes really well with barbecue sauce. Or we had it the other night with like some pulled tofu and barbecue sauce, which was really, really good. It’s great for like a weeknight meal, not a dessert wine or anything, but it’s a great thing to have with like a hearty barbecue meal during the week. And is there any childhood favourite food that you had that would pair well with that wine? Probably not. Again, growing up in an Irish household. It was a lot of like boiled fruit. Yes. So the Scottish, you know the drill. So like I was a big fan of breakfast foods when I was a kid eggs on toast and stuff. So maybe a breakfast out. But I grew up in New England too. So not a lot of good food there. My dad moved to California a few years ago that I started getting into the world of food and good wines. I still consider myself a novice there.
Unknown Speaker 23:39
Sure, sure no world a pleasure a way to what do you hope changes as a result of your
Mallory O’Meara 23:46
book. For men reading it, I want their eyes to be sort of open to how much history is left out and how important women are to the world of drinking, drinking culture, brewing wine, all of it. And for women, I really want them to know that they have a place here. They’ve always belonged in this culture. I think a lot of women are very intimidated by drinking culture by bar culture by wine, cocktails, all of that. And you know, we’re in this great place in the world right now where we’re trying to get more women everywhere, more women directing movies, more women writing more women making wine. And that’s amazing. And I’m behind it 5,000%. But I also want women to know that it’s not a new thing. You know, they’ve always belonged here. They’ve always had a place here. In fact, you know, most types of alcohol, they were intrinsic to its creation to its popularisation. They were so influential in the way that all kinds of alcohol were served, were made were drank, I really want women to feel comfortable and feel like they have a right to be in this culture.
Natalie MacLean 24:45
Absolutely. Just think this is the perfect book for that. So you were researching with the challenges of COVID. You’ve launched your book and although things are starting to open up, there aren’t a lot of author events. So how have you been promoting the book? What things have you done to pick it.
Mallory O’Meara 25:00
Yeah, I didn’t get to do an in person launch, which was very fun. But I have done a lot of virtual events. A couple of weeks ago, I got to do a great event with the women over at freelance spirits in Oregon, up in the Pacific Northwest, which was very fun getting to talk to virtually female distilleries and distillery owners. That has been just a blast. That’s great. And have you noticed anything else that authors are doing? I’m
Natalie MacLean 25:24
just interested in book culture, how it’s adapting to COVID? Is anybody doing anything interesting to launch books these days, or promote them?
Mallory O’Meara 25:32
A lot of authors now work with bookstores to do virtual events. They’ll do sort of live events on Instagram or Facebook. Everyone’s trying to figure out something new and exciting to do. It’s hard to keep virtual events exciting because we’re all so used to doing it for work. So being in conversation is great. That’s really, really helpful. People are doing panels with multiple authors. We’re all just trying to adapt, as you said, trying to pivot to a brand new world via Absolutely. Alright, just some quick questions to finish off. You’ve told some wonderful stories. What’s the last great book you read a nonfiction book called fuzz by Mary Roach, she’s my favourite science writer. And it’s a book all about the times when nature and wildlife and animals have crossed paths with the law. And it is very, very funny and very, very interesting and very, very fun. That sounds good. Sounds like a microhistory right there. If you could share a drink with any person living or dead, who would it be? What would you be drinking? Certainly, it would be Bessie Williamson from this book, who’s my favourite woman I featured in this book. I’d love to have some scotch with her and Scotland and get to talk to her all about her time as a distillery manager and all the fun story she must have about working good scotch.
Natalie MacLean 26:45
Oh, I’d love that. If you could put up a billboard in downtown Los Angeles. What would it say?
Unknown Speaker 26:51
Buy girly drinks. It would definitely be a big girly drinks billboard for sure. That’s great.
Mallory O’Meara 26:59
Not to get too down either. What drink would you like served at your funeral a long time from now. Oh, probably a big big punch. I love making a punch. Especially a whiskey punch. For holidays for just this past Thanksgiving. I made a cranberry brandy punch. punches to me are so much fun. And they’re so about community and drinking together. And I would love just a big fun punch. boozy punch served there.
Unknown Speaker 27:25
Yeah, that’s very communal. Alright, as we wrap up here, is there anything we haven’t covered? You want to mention?
Mallory O’Meara 27:32
We went pretty far into the book. Yeah, we talked a little bit about bars and stuff. And I also want to mention one of my other favourite women in the book sunny sun during the tiki chapter for the 1950s A lot of people don’t realise that the tiki which has been such a huge drinking phenomenon since the 1950s really was all popularised by a woman named Sonny Sund. And it’s so cool that this trend, this sort of almost subculture of the drinking world started because this woman wanted to create a bar that was appealing to female drinkers. So she really thought a lot about the fresh flowers, the soft Tiki music, the ambience of a tiki bar, the experience of women drinkers, and her story is just so much fun to me. Oh, wow,
Natalie MacLean 28:16
I cannot wait to dive into this. So where can we find you online and your book. The book
Mallory O’Meara 28:21
is everywhere. The print edition and the e book edition have photos which are really, really fun. And you can get them at your local bookstore on the internet everywhere. The audio book is also available. I narrate it myself, so that you can get that you know, audible libro FM everywhere you get audiobooks, and you can find me, Mallory O’Meara dot com, there is a drinks pairing list on my website for the book, there’s a playlist for all the women drinking songs I listened to while I was writing it, love it. And there’s some book recommendations as well on their recipe books and books like that biography about our pal, Barb Nicole. So all kinds of fun extras up there. If you are interested in the book or have already finished it. That is great. Oh, Mallory. I hope this book does well. It deserves the stories deserve to be told. I can’t wait to help spread that message. But thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today. wonderful stories. I just love it. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. This has been so much fun. I love talking about these women. Absolutely. All right. Cheers. And we must meet for a drink sometime in person. Absolutely.
Natalie MacLean 29:24
All right. Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my chat with Mallory. Here are my takeaways. I love the story behind how the cosmopolitan became an iconic cocktail on the TV show Sex in the City especially because I love that show when it first came out and I’m now gobbling up every episode of The New reboot. There are just so many parallels with other industries too. Like you might not be able to afford the multi $1,000 Versace outfit on the Paris runway, but you might be able to buy the perfume Cosmo was and is an aspirational drink for many women and some men and non binary to live Clico is a classic kick ass woman’s story from getting through the Napoleonic blockades to selling her jewellery to fund the business. Gotta love her bootstrapping approach. And three, I loved hearing about the swashbuckling women responsible for America’s increase in both scotch and bourbon consumption after Prohibition. Alright, so as promised, before we wrap up, I’m going to share my favourite holiday wines with you including those to pair with turkey dinner, serve at a cocktail party or give someone has a gift. I’m chatting about these wines with Kathy Duckworth, who is the host of the go to Grandma podcast, covering topics of interest to grandparents from tech and travel to food and fitness. And she also has guest experts and interviews with notable grandparents. So while in far from being a grandparent, I love Kathy’s energy and warmth. We had such fun talking about wine. You can catch her on the radio at 7:40am or 96.7 FM, as well as online at Zoomer radio, Apple podcasts, Spotify, Amazon music and all the other places where you listen to podcasts. Alright, here’s the clip of our chat
Unknown Speaker 31:22
Natalie Maclean offers popular online wine and food pairing courses at Natalie maclean.com. She’s the host of unreserved wine talk selected as one of the best drinks podcast by the New York Times. Both of her books red, white and drunk all over a wine soaked journey from grape to glass, and unquenchable. A tipsy quest for the world’s best bargain wines were selected as an Amazon best books of the year. She’s the wine expert on CTV is the social CTV News and global televisions morning show. Natalie was named the world’s best drinks journalist at the World Food Media Awards, and has won for James Beard Foundation journalism awards. Good morning, Natalie Maclean 730 In the morning, what a great time to talk about wine.
Natalie MacLean 32:06
Absolutely. It’s never too early the breakfast of champions gathering I
Unknown Speaker 32:10
am with you. I am with you on this. And we’re obviously heading into a season where we are going to be tasting a lot of new wine samplings and wine sharing some wines. So I’m going to walk through a few holiday scenarios that maybe you can help me out with. Great. Okay, so first of all, wine at the big event at Christmas dinner. Typically, we might be having turkey or ham. Does that matter? What types of wines would you suggest for Christmas dinner?
Natalie MacLean 32:33
Alright, so if you’re serving the Big Bird, Turkey tends to be a bit of a drier meat than say roast chicken or other poultry. So you want to moisten the bird. And so I suggest mouthwatering juicy wines. So you might start with a bubbly anyway as I toasted the beginning of the meal, but that’s also going to work well with Turkey. So specifically, I’d recommend Peller, a steak Hubei icewine. It’s a sparkling Rosae from Niagara or grey monk Odyssey Rosae, sparkling from BC So kind of in our backyard to start with, and also all Canadian wineries essentially now shipped directly to your home. So you’re supporting a local business, whether it’s, you know, across the country, and getting a nice festive bubbly for your dinner. I’d also suggest a few other wines, maybe a Riesling from Germany like relax recently. I love the name of that. It’s something we all need around the holidays. Yeah, exactly. The crema Pinot Noir from California. And then if you want visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, go back to Niagara for rife or Riverview ice wine.
Unknown Speaker 33:34
Wow, those are and you’re right about ordering and having it delivered to door. I’m in Mississauga. So from Niagara, it’s not so far and I’ve had many delivered to my front door many
Mallory O’Meara 33:44
days. So great thing to support during the holidays because it is literally our highest value add grass roots industry support so many jobs and spin off industries when you buy Canadian wine and then
Unknown Speaker 33:55
we get to drink it. Exactly and feel good about it. It’s a win win. So speaking about feeling good about it. I am going to have a very tiny cocktail party. I’ve got air purifiers, everyone has to be vaccinated etc. But I am having a cocktail party. So what types of wines can I incorporate into like cocktails or just serving as you know aperitifs at that type of situation?
Natalie MacLean 34:15
Sure. So, cocktail parties. It’s always great to have some bubbly so the two I mentioned already would work or try maybe a Prosecco from Italy. That’s a sparkling wine Lamarca is a great one. They have like a regular and a Rosae. It’s less than $15. So it’s great value. Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio, something mouthwatering, not too heavy on the oak alcohol, or Ladybug. Rosae from Niagara is beautiful. If you’re serving little MIDI hors d’oeuvres, then I would get maybe more full bodied but still smooth read like Wakefield Shiraz from Australia. Essentially you’re looking for wines that aren’t too heavy, because people are going to be sipping throughout and that will go with whatever nibbles you’re serving, whether it’s cheap Are other types of orders.
Unknown Speaker 35:01
That’s a great point. We think about the foods we’re gonna need a bigger meals and what type of wine we would serve, but I haven’t given as much thought to the appetiser side of that as well.
Unknown Speaker 35:09
Exactly. So you don’t want anything that’s going to clobber your delicate little Patay or whatever you’re serving. So nothing too big and bulking.
Unknown Speaker 35:17
Right, exactly. So maybe I’m getting invited out to a cocktail party or I have people on my list that I know would appreciate a good wine. What are some of the top wines you’re suggesting for this year? Maybe start with sort of, well, I know that person but I don’t want to spend a tonne all the way up to what is a really nice wine that I could give to a special friend with.
Mallory O’Meara 35:34
Exactly. So when you want to pour like Santa but save like Scrooge. I gotcha.
Natalie MacLean 35:40
So gift wines. I do think bubbly is kind of the universal wine of celebration. And the Lamarck I mentioned is less than $15. But if you want to scale up and go fancy, Veuve Clicquot champagne from France is a beautiful bottle. For this time of year. It depends again, on your budget and to whom you are giving it but I find sparkling wine kind of is great when you don’t know a person’s taste celebratory factor and then I would go with beyond that switch it or wines. So Pinot Noir or Riesling appeals to many palates. Again, if you don’t know their taste, some of the ones that I’ve already mentioned, maybe one from 30 bench in Niagara, and what makes a gift wine special if you can, if you’re visiting the wineries get the winemaker to sign the bottle or get a case and get them all signs so that when you grab this gift, yes, yeah, it’s got a little extra touch. Another thing you might pick up on is give them a bottle based on their origin story. So maybe the couple met in California or their first apartment was there or they got married there or whatever. So conundrum is a red and white blend from California is wonderful. And then you don’t have to debate the wine anymore. You’re no longer in that conundrum. But I’m biassed of course Kathy but I believe wine is the ultimate gift no matter what you choose. I
Mallory O’Meara 37:02
think so you can relax about it because one size fits all on like sweaters are fine. doubles are fine. It’s easy to read gift. Give me very sneaky about that. And it doesn’t add to your clutter because you’re going to consume the gift.
Unknown Speaker 37:16
I love all of that. Thank you so much for being on this morning Natalie and cheers.
Natalie MacLean 37:21
It’s my pleasure, Kathy Have a great holiday season you to take care. Bye bye. In the shownotes you’ll find a full transcript of my conversation with both Mallory and Kathy links to Mallory’s new book, her podcast and website as well as to Kathy’s podcast and website. How you can join me in our free online wine and food pairing class and where you can find the live stream of the video version of this conversation on Facebook and Youtube every Wednesday at 7pm. That’s all in the show notes at Natalie Maclean comm forward slash 159. So email me if you have a tip or a question or want to be a beta reader of my new book at Natalie and Natalie maclean.com. You won’t want to miss next week when we chat with Beth Liston, our rebel winemaker from California who’s just launched a new wine called Long Shot. In the meantime, if you missed episode 37 go back and take a listen. A chat about Lukey go in depth with the author of a fabulous book on her TLR Mazzeo. I’ll share a short clip with you now to whet your appetite.
Unknown Speaker 38:31
And some girlfriends and I agree that with Coco is our favourite champagne and so we used to get together and drink a bottle of wine of any if they have our husband drive us home. We were talking one day and I remember that Vogon French’s widow. And it really started with a question where I said, Well, Was there really a widow Clicquot and ended up doing research and found this amazing story about a woman not only became history’s first international business woman, but who invented a process which I know we talked about a little bit called Renoir that is still used in the wine industry today. And it was really the thing that moved champagne from being a luxury product that was so expensive that only the kings and queens of France could afford it to a luxury product that those of us who are lucky have a weekend can take a sip of.
Natalie MacLean 39:23
If you liked this episode, please tell one friend about it this week, someone you know who might be interested in the wines and other drinks we discussed. Thanks. Thank you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your glass this week. Perhaps a little bourbon or scotch that pairs well with holiday toasting. And you’re reading Mallory’s new book
Unknown Speaker 39:51
you don’t want to miss one juicy episode of this podcast, especially the secret full body bonus episodes that I don’t announce on social media. Yeah, so subscribe for free now at Natalie Maclean comm forward slash subscribe, maybe here next week cheers