Famous Women and Their Cocktails – A Celebration of Women’s History Month

Famous Women and Their Cocktails - A Celebration of Women’s History Month

In the spirit of the season, we want to highlight a few cocktails named after famous women, along with the preferred beverages of several famous ladies. Though Women’s History Month in March has come to an end, we raise our glass to women year round.

Cocktails Named After Famous Women

Did you know there’s an excellent lineup of drinks named after the women who inspired them? Skip the Arnold Palmer and the Charlie Chaplin, and try one of our recommendations:

The Ginger Rogers

You’ve probably heard the now-classic phrase “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backward and in high heels.” Fred got a lot of credit for their timeless dance numbers and on-screen charm, but I don’t hear anyone ordering the “Fred” at their local bar. Classy, fun, and with a touch of sparkle, the Ginger Rogers cocktail is a perfect embodiment of its lovely namesake. She was arguably one of the finest dancers of all time, and this classic order can get anyone’s toes tapping.

8-10 mint leaves
1⁄2 oz ginger syrup
1 1/2 oz london dry gin 1⁄2 oz of lime juice (1 lime) Ginger ale
Garnish: lime wedge

  1. Add the mint leaves and the ginger syrup in a Collins glass.
  2. Fill the glass with ice. Pour the gin and lime juice into the glass.
  3. Top with ginger ale and stir, garnish with lime wedge.

The Shirley Temple

You may think of Shirley Temple as the cute, dimpled little girl in the black and white films. She played everyone from “Heidi” to “Curly Top” and “The Little Colonel.” But if you’d met her during the 1970s through 1990s, you would have addressed her as “Ambassador Black”. A respected diplomat who was named Ambassador to both Ghana and Czechoslovakia (during its historic period of 1989-1992), Ambassador Shirley Temple Black was, by many accounts, fiercely intelligent and determined, while also kind and empathetic. The cocktail named after her is a classic mocktail, and admittedly sweet, but can be adjusted to suit your tastes. Sounds like a very diplomatic recipe, indeed.

8 oz lemon-lime soda
1 oz. grenadine
1 maraschino cherry (or two!)

  1. Fill a tall glass with ice.
  2. Pour the grenadine into the glass.
  3. Top it with your soda, add the cherries, and stir.

Famous Women’s Favorite Cocktails

In the spirit (ahem) of Women’s History Month, we also give a nod to famous women who famously loved their cocktail of choice. Who knows why we love what we do, but each of these women has made their mark on history, and the drinks they chose are a fascinating glimpse into their personalities and preferences.

The Dubonnet

We all know what James Bond did for the martini, but did you know that two generations of royal British women have raised the profile of one particular cocktail? Both Queen Elizabeth II and her mother, Queen Elizabeth I, or “The Queen Mother” shared the same favorite tipple – that’s almost 100 years of favored status. Not bad for a French aperitif! Dubonnet is a surprisingly versatile spirit that’s made from lightly spiced and herbal wine. With a flavor profile similar to a sweet sherry, it’s often likened to Campari. Dubonnet was even given a Royal Warrant in 2021, and you’ll see it partnered with gin in the recipe below, a classic combination.

2 oz Dubonnet 1 oz gin

Lemon slice Ice

  1. Pour the gin first, followed by the Dubonnet.
  2. Top with the lemon slice and 2-3 ice cubes.

Oprah’s Legends Lemon Drop

If we’re looking for a cocktail that gives a nod to Women’s History, there’s an argument to be made that this tart martini gets extra points. Why? It was created for many women, including the 25 leaders in art, civil rights, and entertainment that Oprah chose to honor at her 2006 Legends Ball. The list included Maya Angelou, Aretha Franklin, and Rosa Parks. It also happens to be a delicious drink.

Juice of 3 lemons
2 Tbsp sugar
1.5 oz (1 shot) vodka 3 mint leaves

1. Prep your martini glass. To make a sugar-rimmed martini glass, dip the rim in water, then into a saucer or small plate filled with sugar. Twist the glass to coat the rim.

2. Mix lemon juice, sugar, and vodka in a shaker filled with ice. 3. Shake well and pour into the martini glass.
4. Garnish with mint leaves.

Let’s Raise a Glass to the Women We Know

In celebration of Women’s History Month, let’s remember it’s not only famous women who’ve made their mark on cocktails. You probably have your own sipping stories, whether it’s your grandmother’s martini preference (vodka, Martini & Rossi extra dry vermouth, and lots of ice), your mom’s frozen margarita recipe, or your best friend’s wine that is always in your fridge.

We know of a beloved neighborhood woman who offered everyone “a shot and a beer.” The shot was often Crown Royal, proudly pulled from its purple velvet bag. The beer was cold and

simple – usually a crisp lager, and perfect for a summer afternoon when the heat was starting to fade, people were getting home from work, and everyone sat outside to chat and trade greetings. The shot was a sign of hospitality, the generous sharing of one’s finer spirits, while the beer was an invitation to stay awhile. We recommend offering this combo to your next guest or friend who pops by — it’s a low-fuss way to serve up a drink suited to many tastes.

So no matter what fills your glass this month, let’s raise it to all the women we’ve admired and known, and to all the drinks we can use to toast them.