Behind The Bar – Ada Coleman: The Queen Of Cocktails

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Today bartending and mixology has enough game-changing women candidates, but it wasn’t always like that. Which is why you need to hear about Ada Coleman, one of the very first popular female bartenders in the world. She was the head bartender at the Savoy Hotel in London for twenty-three years, one of only two women to have held that position. She’s also the inventor of cocktails that we love to date. So here are 6 things you must know about Ada Coleman.

She was a barmaid: She lost her father at a very young age, which made her take up a job at a hotel. Soon enough, she was bartending and was called a barmaid. A barmaid was basically a girl from a middle-class background, but have to earn an extra income. This wasn’t exactly a very dignified profession.

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Her first drink was a Manhattan: She applied to be bartender when she was 24 and she barely made the cut because no candidate over 25 was welcome as a female bartender back then. The first cocktail she fixed was a Manhattan.

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She was trained by an amateur: Although she went on to become one kickass bartender and set standards for the rest of the professionals, she was taught how to make her first cocktail by Fisher, the Claridge’s Wine Butler. Greatness starts at roots.

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She was a huge success: She’s arguably the first and only female head bartender at the Savoy, and was quite a success amongst fans. Her legend went on to thrill people in 20th and 21st century.

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She had the most coveted set of clients ever: She was known for being so nice and full of energy and her clientele did justice to her skillset. Her regulars included Mark Twain, Marlene Dietrich, Charlie Chaplin, Diamond Jim and the Prince of Wales. That’s honestly the most affluent set of people of that era.

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Her exquisite Hanky Panky: Ada loved experimenting with cocktails and for her favourite client Charles Hawtrey, a comedian, she spent hours in inventing the famous Hanky Panky, a combination of gin, vermouth and Fernet Branca. This unique drink is still served in the American Bar at the Savoy. There’s a reason why she was called the Queen of Cocktails.

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