Women Who Whiskey

Women who enjoy whiskey will have plenty of opportunities to do so at several events throughout the state.

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I saw a web ad for a Little Falls supermarket plugging five “Mother’s Day Wine Gifts,” while its Father’s Day page listed eight spirits, four wines and a beer. Nationally, figures suggest women are 32 percent of beer drinkers and 37 percent of whiskey drinkers. So why the disconnect?

To counter assumptions, Jennifer Lampert, co-owner of Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten in Asbury Park, reaches out to women with whiskey-pairing dinners (with whiskey-infused desserts) that showcase the skills of her female bartenders. Lampert, a whiskey lover for 25 years, will hold her fourth such dinner on May 10.

“I’m proud to help lead the charge introducing other women to the incredible, vast world of whiskey,” she says, citing what she call a “huge need” for more female-centric events.

Women themselves may be a bit shy.

Peter Grasso, who cofounded the Monmouth Whisky Club 18 months ago, has attracted 35 members, but just one female. Grasso asks members to bring women to club events, but so far only wives have turned out, and no new women have signed up. The international Women Who Whiskey club and the national Women & Whiskies campaign have no Garden State chapters or events.

Beer gets more response. Beer for Babes, the statewide club I founded in 2010, works to educate women about craft beer and held a beer-and-whiskey dinner (with cigars!) a few years ago. The South Jersey chapter of the national Girls Pint Out organization hosts social events and brewing collaborations.

Passion Vines, a Somers Point liquor store, runs tastings. For Mother’s Day, it will pair flights of wine, beer and whiskey with cheeses and chocolates that go well with them. “There will be something for everybody, celebrating the diversity of moms!” promises owner Michael Bray.

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