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Women & Whiskey: A Fine Pairing

Washington DC Dining DC

“I was once the Creamsicle martini drinking girl; now, I understand that spirits are one of the finer things in life,” Kayleigh Kulp shared with attendees at an event called Whiskey & Women at Roofers Union. Kayleigh is the author of Booze for BabesThe Smart Woman’s Guide to Drinking Spirits Right. She was joined by chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley and Becky Harris, the chief distiller at Virginia’s Catoctin Creek Distilling Co.


After a welcome cocktail, Becky guided guests on a tasting of three Catoctin Creek spirits paired with bites from Marjorie, including a pulled pork sandwich. Kayleigh explained the difference between rye, bourbon, and scotch, and offered tips for tasting and appreciating brown booze:

  • To fully appreciate the aromatic notes in a whiskey, dab a few drops on the back of your hand and give it a sniff. The alcohol evaporates, leaving behind a perfume of sorts.
  • Keep cocktails simple; never put more than five things in a glass. Fine spirits should be savored, so make sure you can still taste the liquor.
  • Don’t serve sweet cordials with desserts; dare instead to serve a well-crafted, aged spirit. It cuts through richness much like a Cabernet paired with a juicy steak.

The reason for Kayleigh’s book? She writes, “Women have come a long way in solidifying our place in the workforce, honing our tastes in gourmet food and wine, and overall kicking butt in life. But there is still work to be done when it comes to being completely comfortable drinking a scotch neat or a bourbon and branch the way men have for decades.”