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Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol

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“At last, the feminist history of booze we’ve been waiting for!” —Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist From Los Angeles Times bestselling author Mallory O’Meara comes a lively and engrossing feminist history of women drinking through the ages Strawberry daiquiris. Skinny martinis. Vodka sodas with lime. These are the cocktails that come in sleek-stemmed glasses, b “At last, the feminist history of booze we’ve been waiting for!” —Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist From Los Angeles Times bestselling author Mallory O’Meara comes a lively and engrossing feminist history of women drinking through the ages Strawberry daiquiris. Skinny martinis. Vodka sodas with lime. These are the cocktails that come in sleek-stemmed glasses, bright colors and fruity flavors—these are the Girly Drinks. From the earliest days of civilization, alcohol has been at the center of social rituals and cultures worldwide. But when exactly did drinking become a gendered act? And why have bars long been considered “places for men” when, without women, they might not even exist? With whip-smart insight and boundless curiosity, Girly Drinks unveils an entire untold history of the female distillers, drinkers and brewers who have played a vital role in the creation and consumption of alcohol, from ancient Sumerian beer goddess Ninkasi to iconic 1920s bartender Ada Coleman. Filling a crucial gap in culinary history, O’Meara dismantles the long-standing patriarchal traditions at the heart of these very drinking cultures, in the hope that readers everywhere can look to each celebrated woman in this book—and proudly have what she’s having.


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“At last, the feminist history of booze we’ve been waiting for!” —Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist From Los Angeles Times bestselling author Mallory O’Meara comes a lively and engrossing feminist history of women drinking through the ages Strawberry daiquiris. Skinny martinis. Vodka sodas with lime. These are the cocktails that come in sleek-stemmed glasses, b “At last, the feminist history of booze we’ve been waiting for!” —Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist From Los Angeles Times bestselling author Mallory O’Meara comes a lively and engrossing feminist history of women drinking through the ages Strawberry daiquiris. Skinny martinis. Vodka sodas with lime. These are the cocktails that come in sleek-stemmed glasses, bright colors and fruity flavors—these are the Girly Drinks. From the earliest days of civilization, alcohol has been at the center of social rituals and cultures worldwide. But when exactly did drinking become a gendered act? And why have bars long been considered “places for men” when, without women, they might not even exist? With whip-smart insight and boundless curiosity, Girly Drinks unveils an entire untold history of the female distillers, drinkers and brewers who have played a vital role in the creation and consumption of alcohol, from ancient Sumerian beer goddess Ninkasi to iconic 1920s bartender Ada Coleman. Filling a crucial gap in culinary history, O’Meara dismantles the long-standing patriarchal traditions at the heart of these very drinking cultures, in the hope that readers everywhere can look to each celebrated woman in this book—and proudly have what she’s having.

30 review for Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    I am not sure what I expected from this book, probably a look at how and what alcohol women have consumed over the years. Even though it is subtitled "A World History of Women and Alcohol" I guess I wasn't expecting it to be as in depth and fascinating as it turned out to be. This is so much a history of the contributions of various women to the development and business of alcohol rather than trends, although some of those are included as well. The author starts with "The Dawn of Time" and the d I am not sure what I expected from this book, probably a look at how and what alcohol women have consumed over the years. Even though it is subtitled "A World History of Women and Alcohol" I guess I wasn't expecting it to be as in depth and fascinating as it turned out to be. This is so much a history of the contributions of various women to the development and business of alcohol rather than trends, although some of those are included as well. The author starts with "The Dawn of Time" and the discovery of alcohol, and progresses forward through time and various women including (among others) Cleopatra, Catherine the Great's contribution to the empire of vodka, Lucha Reyes in the 30s and 40s with tequila, and Julie Reiner in the 2000s, ending in the present time with Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela's studies and brewing science. The author does also touch on the progression of female drinking trends and some of the triumphs and drawbacks of these trends. This is a fascinating book overall and almost read like a book of short stories. I barely put it down until I was finished because it is approachable, yet taught me a great deal about many women I had either never heard of before or had no idea their contributions in the history of alcohol. I highly recommend this intriguing book, it reminds me why I should pick up non-fiction a bit more often, because I'm always surprised at what I learn. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest I was lucky enough to score an advance copy of GIRLY DRINKS, which made me super excited because, as you probably know if you follow me on social media, I really like booze. The alcohol industry has not exactly historically been the most friendly to women, though. When people think booze, it's often in the context of a bunch of dudes just hanging out, or within the context of a cautionary tale about how drinking leads to rape (for women) Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest I was lucky enough to score an advance copy of GIRLY DRINKS, which made me super excited because, as you probably know if you follow me on social media, I really like booze. The alcohol industry has not exactly historically been the most friendly to women, though. When people think booze, it's often in the context of a bunch of dudes just hanging out, or within the context of a cautionary tale about how drinking leads to rape (for women). So I was really excited to see this feminist history about alcohol of all kinds, going from prehistoric times to the present day of clubby cocktails and female sommeliers. Reading GIRLY DRINKS took me a while, though, and I'm sorry to say that's because parts of it were so tedious. The first couple chapters were fantastic, but then in later chapters, the author started jumping around. So she might start talking about the creation of gin in Europe, which would make sense because the title of the chapter would say something about gin, but then she would jump to rice wine in Vietnam or corn beer in Mexico, which made it kind of feel like this was filler because she didn't have enough material to flesh out her chapters. The best chapters were, unsurprisingly, the ones that felt the most fleshed out because of their abundance of material. I loved the chapters about Cleopatra and what douches the ancient Romans and Greeks were, and the brewing culture in nunneries and what an unexpected pioneer Hildegard was. Then there was a lot of slog, which didn't really pick up until the chapter about tiki bars, which I found fascinating because I love tiki drinks, despite their shady origins. I also really liked the chapter about the 90s and 2000s, about lesbian bars and the changing social landscape of drinking for women as date-rape drugs became more commonly used (and how sexist it is to tell women to be careful instead of telling men to STOP. RAPING). I also loved how Sex and the City and Bridget Jones both helped popularize different kinds of drinks for career women who just wanted to unwind and feel sexy, and how that kind of paved the way for wine moms. Sorry, I mean #winemoms. Overall, I think this was an interesting read. There were parts about it that I loved but I also skimmed a lot of the chapters that I was less interested in. If you enjoy drinking but hate how it feels like a "man's world" so much of the time and would like a fresh take on the history of alcohol, I think you might like this. But you should know that it reads like a textbook and is less about pop-culture than it is like a historical docuseries. I think if you go into it with that mindset you'll be more prepared than I am. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! 2.5 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Olive Fellows (abookolive)

    Interesting information, but way too casually presented.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Denver Public Library

    Much like O'Meara did in her earlier The Lady from the Black Lagoon, Girly Drinks dishes the dirt, points out the facts, and gives history a dusting up to give women their due in the culture, creation and serving of alcohol. Readers will feel like the luckiest person at the bar with O'Meara sitting next to them, noting that our early ancestors needed alcohol calories, that bridal showers are rooted in "bride ale" and how Tatsu'uma Kiyo's building of the largest sake empire in Japan could be comp Much like O'Meara did in her earlier The Lady from the Black Lagoon, Girly Drinks dishes the dirt, points out the facts, and gives history a dusting up to give women their due in the culture, creation and serving of alcohol. Readers will feel like the luckiest person at the bar with O'Meara sitting next to them, noting that our early ancestors needed alcohol calories, that bridal showers are rooted in "bride ale" and how Tatsu'uma Kiyo's building of the largest sake empire in Japan could be compared to Game of Thrones! The author brings readers right into the 2010 and 20's with Skinnygirl Margaritas, women's whiskey clubs and female brewmasters, demonstrating that progress can, and is, being made. A delightful and informative read that will have you reaching for the shaker and spoon.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    Mallory O'Meara writes a brief history of women involved in the business of alcohol, not necessarily women drinking alcohol. She does discuss a bit of that, i.e., the title, "Girly Drinks" and how that phrase came about, but the concentration is on the business end. When she, O'Meara talks business, that can mean everything from distilling, brewing, blending, bottling, and selling. Most of the women she mentions begin with chemistry degrees to understand the process of 'making' alcoholic beverage Mallory O'Meara writes a brief history of women involved in the business of alcohol, not necessarily women drinking alcohol. She does discuss a bit of that, i.e., the title, "Girly Drinks" and how that phrase came about, but the concentration is on the business end. When she, O'Meara talks business, that can mean everything from distilling, brewing, blending, bottling, and selling. Most of the women she mentions begin with chemistry degrees to understand the process of 'making' alcoholic beverages. Science is the foundation in this business unless you were born into it and learned everything while watching the process on your father's knee. And yes, father is the correct parent because it has been a male dominated industry for a very long time. Wine and vineyards were probably the first to accept women into their fold before liquor distillers and beer brewers. Rum accepted a woman first, then gradually other spirits starred to open their doors as well. It wasn't until the 2000s that women made some progress, but the numbers are gradually growing. Girly drinks were originally cocktails with more soda, fruit juice and/or sugar than alcohol; and probably pink. Wine coolers weren't too bad but they were made with cheap wine and bubbly sodas until tax on wine went up and they couldn't be made cheaply anymore. That led to cheap alcohol and soda pop plus coloring. 'Alcopops,' which got sweeter and more colorful, and accused of marketing to teens. They went bye-bye too. The 'Cosmo' famous drink by Carrie Bradshaw on 'Sex and the City' was probably the only girly drink that wasn't terrible. But the Cosmo too outlived it's trendy life. The book is fairy interesting, but remember, it's more history than anything else. Just know what to expect and you'll be fine. Very readable and not scientific. I'd rate it a solid three stars. Thank you to Netgalley and Hanover Square Press

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emily Correia

    This book has a lot of promise. The author has a really fun girlfriendy tone while telling the story, so you very quickly feel connected to her. I highly recommend reading the footnotes for more places where she shows her voice. One word of caution though for people coming to this book looking for just wit, there is a lot of non-fiction almost textbooky information. I really wanted this to be a fun book with information about different spirits or cocktails and their origin stories that I could p This book has a lot of promise. The author has a really fun girlfriendy tone while telling the story, so you very quickly feel connected to her. I highly recommend reading the footnotes for more places where she shows her voice. One word of caution though for people coming to this book looking for just wit, there is a lot of non-fiction almost textbooky information. I really wanted this to be a fun book with information about different spirits or cocktails and their origin stories that I could put on my bar, but this isn’t that kind of book. She does a great job showing the role women play in the world. Though in some places the book does drag a bit. I found myself unfortunately skimming sections because my eyes were glazing over a bit with the tremendous level of detail shared and the number of anecdotes in each chapter. The biggest fault I found was in some chapters she jumped around the world without warning and then returns to the main focus of the chapter. It can be a touch confusing trying to figure out how the smaller stories relate into the main topic. Unfortunately, I needed to put the book down so many times to let my brain rest from all of the jumping and absorb the significant amount of information presented that by the end of the book I was just so ready for it to be over that I almost DNF’ed this one after I was almost 3/4 of the way through it. The promise of Carrie Bradshaw and the cosmo kept me reading until the end though. If I were in the alcohol industry, this would be a really interesting book, it reminded me a lot of Moneyball for baseball. If you’re looking for a fun book about how women influenced drinking culture and the process of creating alcohol, this isn’t the book for you. But if you want a deep knowledge on the history of women’s role in the alcohol industry, you’ll love this.

  7. 4 out of 5

    =^.^= Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: June 9, 2021 Publication date: October 19, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave ( #fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. Plus it is hot as all heck and nothing is more appealing than sitting in front of a fan with a kindle.! I requested and receiv Date reviewed/posted: June 9, 2021 Publication date: October 19, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave ( #fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. Plus it is hot as all heck and nothing is more appealing than sitting in front of a fan with a kindle.! I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. From Los Angeles Times' bestselling author Mallory O’Meara comes a lively and engrossing feminist history of women drinking through the ages Strawberry daiquiris. Skinny martinis. Vodka sodas with lime. These are the cocktails that come in sleek-stemmed glasses, bright colours and fruity flavours—these are the Girly Drinks. From the earliest days of civilization, alcohol has been at the center of social rituals and cultures worldwide. But when exactly did drinking become a gendered act? And why have bars long been considered “places for men” when, without women, they might not even exist? With whip-smart insight and boundless curiosity, Girly Drinks unveils an entire untold history of the female distillers, drinkers and brewers who have played a vital role in the creation and consumption of alcohol, from ancient Sumerian beer goddess Ninkasi to iconic 1920s bartender Ada Coleman. Filling a crucial gap in culinary history, O’Meara dismantles the long-standing patriarchal traditions at the heart of these very drinking cultures, in the hope that readers everywhere can look to each celebrated woman in this book—and proudly have what she’s having. Summer and/or book club means cocktails in this house - not that we drink that much - but COVID19 has made me drink a lot more, for sure!!! I hate that bars call any drink in a martini gas a martini ... it is a cocktail, people unless it is vodka/gin + vermouth. I liked reading the history of cocktails as I laugh at Julia on Murdoch Mysteries only drinking sherry ... the only other people I know who drink sherry is my mother's bridge club! I would love to drink my way through this book - and given how hot it is outside, I just may do that TODAY. A totally enjoyable and drinkable book that teaches a bit and might inspire you to make pink squirrels...lol. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🍹🍸🥃🥤🍷

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Girly Drinks was an entertaining and informative look at the history of women making, serving, and consuming alcohol. I had no clue that women had played such a huge role in the field of brewing. O'Meara's writing is conversational, which made Girly Drinks an approachable read. I learned a lot and look forward to telling people about Hildegard of Bingen the next time someone tells me hoppy beers are for men. Girly Drinks was an entertaining and informative look at the history of women making, serving, and consuming alcohol. I had no clue that women had played such a huge role in the field of brewing. O'Meara's writing is conversational, which made Girly Drinks an approachable read. I learned a lot and look forward to telling people about Hildegard of Bingen the next time someone tells me hoppy beers are for men.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I loved it. Wicked informative, super quirky. Made me wanna have a drink because of historical significances :p. Thank you Mallory for an ARC of this (though I know you'll never see me thanking you <3) I loved it. Wicked informative, super quirky. Made me wanna have a drink because of historical significances :p. Thank you Mallory for an ARC of this (though I know you'll never see me thanking you <3)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Devann

    A really interesting and surprisingly in-depth look at the history of women making and drinking alcohol with a ton of new information I didn't know. If I have one mild 'complaint' it's that the flow of the chapters was a bit weird to me since she had one woman from each time period that she would kind of follow throughout the chapter but also jump around to talk about other women in other places. I'm assuming it's probably sectioned off better in the print version but I listened to the audio [wh A really interesting and surprisingly in-depth look at the history of women making and drinking alcohol with a ton of new information I didn't know. If I have one mild 'complaint' it's that the flow of the chapters was a bit weird to me since she had one woman from each time period that she would kind of follow throughout the chapter but also jump around to talk about other women in other places. I'm assuming it's probably sectioned off better in the print version but I listened to the audio [which I would definitely recommend since O'Meara reads it herself] and I would often feel like I was getting whiplash as it would switch to what was essentially an entirely different topic 'mid story'. Would definitely recommend to anyone who is interested in women's history or alcohol. I personally don't really know a lot about alcohol or drink very much but I think she did a good job of explaining everything in terms that anyone can understand.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Teghan

    There is a reason history projects should be done by people trained on how to do it, and this book is a prime example as to why. While interesting subject material, the text lacks professionalism and is more focused on providing "cool" asides rather than demonstrating a handle on the topics and skillsets required to do this topic properly. This reads like an extra-long Wikipedia article, lacking depth and context, a result of the author being neither academic nor journalist. This is not a histor There is a reason history projects should be done by people trained on how to do it, and this book is a prime example as to why. While interesting subject material, the text lacks professionalism and is more focused on providing "cool" asides rather than demonstrating a handle on the topics and skillsets required to do this topic properly. This reads like an extra-long Wikipedia article, lacking depth and context, a result of the author being neither academic nor journalist. This is not a history of women and alcohol, it is a collection of stories of historical women (who were all cool, to be fair) presented amongst the barest of context for the time they lived in, all circling around O'Meara's thesis that "patriarchy didn't let them drink" but spending actually no time whatsoever to explore what that thesis means and how it might be complicated when you're looking at women's experiences from Mesopotamia, China, Indigenous North America, etc. The author also lacks competency in knowing the history of these periods to do them justice - you can't just read one book on the role of women in Ancient Greece and think you can write a book on it (the brevity of her bibliography is proof of this). It is because of this, that there are actually errors in the book. I am not an expert on a vast number of the periods/places she mentions in this book and so I cannot comment on their accuracy, however, the areas that I am an expert on are full of half-accurate statements from everything from The Modern Girl through to the Indian Act (Canada). These half-accurate issues are a byproduct of the author's lack of expertise, a lack of a good editor, and shows why context is absolutely essential for understanding the past. You cannot simply make a glib footnote about something and move on. I love popular history and I really wanted to like this book - research should be accessible and fun to read, especially in history. But this is not what I want; poorly researched and poorly written semi-accurate works. 1.5 stars because many of the figures she highlights are interesting and hopefully it spurs someone who picks up this book to research more and become interested in history and I liked her overall vibe of "all drinks are girly drinks". (review copy provided for free from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Savannah

    Why are drinks gendered? And why the heck have all these awesome women been filtered out of our history? Girly Drinks by Mallory O’Meara is one of the most approachable nonfiction books I’ve read. Mallory takes us through the history of alcohol and all of the women that, honestly, are the reason we have the alcohol we do today! I immensely enjoyed her writing and felt like a friend was telling me a cool story throughout the entire book. I was constantly texting my friends cool facts about drinki Why are drinks gendered? And why the heck have all these awesome women been filtered out of our history? Girly Drinks by Mallory O’Meara is one of the most approachable nonfiction books I’ve read. Mallory takes us through the history of alcohol and all of the women that, honestly, are the reason we have the alcohol we do today! I immensely enjoyed her writing and felt like a friend was telling me a cool story throughout the entire book. I was constantly texting my friends cool facts about drinking history (did you know early saké had the consistency of oatmeal?) as I read. If you like alcohol and feminist history, I think this is a must read! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joann Im

    Thought-provoking, humorous and informative, Mallory O'Meara deliciously concocts an extensive world history of feminism and alcohol. The author uncovers and tells the untold stories of female brewers, distillers and drinkers that played an important role in the creation and consumption of alcohol throughout the ages. This is my second book by the author and the one thing I love is her writing style. Her sharp sense of wit and lighthearted conversational tone is captivating and provides a sense Thought-provoking, humorous and informative, Mallory O'Meara deliciously concocts an extensive world history of feminism and alcohol. The author uncovers and tells the untold stories of female brewers, distillers and drinkers that played an important role in the creation and consumption of alcohol throughout the ages. This is my second book by the author and the one thing I love is her writing style. Her sharp sense of wit and lighthearted conversational tone is captivating and provides a sense of connection with the author. It truly felt like O'Meara and I were having a conversation over drinks on all the fascinating tidbits on the history of empowering female profiles that made an impact in the alcohol industry. The portrait of 15 women illuminates how they discovered and championed against the longstanding patriarchal tradition. I am glad this untold history is finally being told and these women should be celebrated and credited for their great contributions. Cheers to O'Meara for the riveting historical context on the queens of Girly Drinks! Thank you to NetGalley and Hanover Square Press for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lacy Zusammen

    I picked this as an audiobook to have on in the background while I worked around the house expecting it to be mostly background noise and not something I paid close attention to. Except it was so interesting and not at all what I was expecting and I couldn't help but be riveted! I do drink, but not much and didn't think it was something that I would find so fascinating. I absolutely loved the fact that she focused on women from all over the world and gave their history. Highly recommend. I picked this as an audiobook to have on in the background while I worked around the house expecting it to be mostly background noise and not something I paid close attention to. Except it was so interesting and not at all what I was expecting and I couldn't help but be riveted! I do drink, but not much and didn't think it was something that I would find so fascinating. I absolutely loved the fact that she focused on women from all over the world and gave their history. Highly recommend.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa | Lady_Logomancer

    Part fun, part serious, part history, part feminism and all kick ass! I would expect nothing less from someone as talented as Mallory O'Meara. The passion and attention to detail poured into this book is evident in every page. I highly recommend to anyone who imbibes. I promise you will learn something you didn't know about alcohol and the role women played in bringing it into every day social life. Part fun, part serious, part history, part feminism and all kick ass! I would expect nothing less from someone as talented as Mallory O'Meara. The passion and attention to detail poured into this book is evident in every page. I highly recommend to anyone who imbibes. I promise you will learn something you didn't know about alcohol and the role women played in bringing it into every day social life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barbra Treston

    Everyone needs to read this book

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sam Rice

    I loved this book! I'm not much of a drinker, but I am a big fan of the Reading Glasses Podcast so of course I had to listen to this on audio. I love the passion that Mallory O'Meara brings to the subject, and I learned a ton! Her friendly and welcoming tone, combined with the sprinkled in tidbits for the novice drinker, means that you don't even need to be interested in alcohol to enjoy this book, but if you are I think you'd still enjoy it immensely. I loved this book! I'm not much of a drinker, but I am a big fan of the Reading Glasses Podcast so of course I had to listen to this on audio. I love the passion that Mallory O'Meara brings to the subject, and I learned a ton! Her friendly and welcoming tone, combined with the sprinkled in tidbits for the novice drinker, means that you don't even need to be interested in alcohol to enjoy this book, but if you are I think you'd still enjoy it immensely.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    3.5 stars. I loved learning about the history of women and alcohol and I thought it was very interesting. But the book itself dragged on and rambled a lot. The chapters jumped around a lot making it hard to follow if you didn’t remember all the names the first time. I feel like I would’ve enjoyed it more as a long essay or podcast episode.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I heard about this book on the Reading Glasses podcast, plus I was a big fan of the author's first book, Lady from the Black Lagoon. I was worried that she wouldn't be able to capture the magic of the first book, but her new one had all of the elements I loved about the first and was more compelling because alcohol has a much more important role in my life than horror movies. This book is what it promises- a record of alcohol across the ages and women's relationship to its production and consump I heard about this book on the Reading Glasses podcast, plus I was a big fan of the author's first book, Lady from the Black Lagoon. I was worried that she wouldn't be able to capture the magic of the first book, but her new one had all of the elements I loved about the first and was more compelling because alcohol has a much more important role in my life than horror movies. This book is what it promises- a record of alcohol across the ages and women's relationship to its production and consumption. What I thoroughly enjoyed, however, was the author's voice throughout that was both highly opinionated and outrageously funny. I wasn't too far into the book before I got my first big belly laugh ("alcohol itself is colorless and highly volatile, much like an alcohol fueled frat party") and there were many to follow after that. Plus, the overall picture she painted piece by piece was a revelation, best captured in her own words: women are usually given all the responsibility but none of the power. That line was specifically about women being responsible for policing men's alcohol consumption while also being expected to serve them alcohol while also ALSO being expected to not partake themselves, but it's true for so many aspects of life. More than the theme, though, there were tons of fun facts like a good nonfiction book should have. I feel, at the end, more educated and enlightened about the world I live in. I never thought to think about women's role in alcohol before, so this book balanced the aspects of being interesting, informative, and entertaining that most nonfiction books struggle to achieve.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Therese Thompson

    Well, that was my kind of history lesson! Sharpwitted humor and ample servings of history (that were not taught in any of my classes, what the heck!?!) of women supporting themselves through alcohol. Supporting means so many things here: from the day to day survival of feeding herself and her family (sometimes literally with the calorie count); to the economics of a community; to a woman’s right to be on an equal footing with men, whether in business or socially; to asserting the equal right to Well, that was my kind of history lesson! Sharpwitted humor and ample servings of history (that were not taught in any of my classes, what the heck!?!) of women supporting themselves through alcohol. Supporting means so many things here: from the day to day survival of feeding herself and her family (sometimes literally with the calorie count); to the economics of a community; to a woman’s right to be on an equal footing with men, whether in business or socially; to asserting the equal right to take pleasure in the intoxicating pleasure of a good drink (or drinks!) alone or with like-minded women. This is a witty social study through the worldwide human timeline of the importance of women to the development of alcohol in societies across our planet. Full credit is given to the rightful female creative chemists, social activists, entrepreneurs, business women, and mixology geniuses that have produced delicious libations and fought for right of every woman to enjoy any kind of drink she darn well pleases. You’re going to be intoxicatingly enthralled by Mallory O’Meara’s work and have so many fascinating facts to share the next time you’re tipping a few with friends. So, let’s raise a glass to Ms. O’Meara and giving women their historical due when it comes to alcohol!! .. ..

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tad

    A well researched and thorough look at a world history of women and drinking. Turns out, just like everything else in our society, so much of women and drinking has been ruined by misogyny. And O'Meara makes that point very clear. Like her previous book, she analyzes all the ways in which women drinking has been colored by misogyny, racism and general sexism. I liked O'Meara's previous book but actually enjoyed this one slightly more. I don't drink anymore but I enjoyed learning more about the h A well researched and thorough look at a world history of women and drinking. Turns out, just like everything else in our society, so much of women and drinking has been ruined by misogyny. And O'Meara makes that point very clear. Like her previous book, she analyzes all the ways in which women drinking has been colored by misogyny, racism and general sexism. I liked O'Meara's previous book but actually enjoyed this one slightly more. I don't drink anymore but I enjoyed learning more about the history behind certain drinks and how many of them were invented by women. I appreciated how O'Meara even brought in historical figures like Cleopatra and Catherine the Great and how they related to drinking culture. This is a fascinating and incredibly interesting look at a subject I knew nothing about. Would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about drinking culture, feminist history or the ways in which sexism permeates so many different aspects of people's lives.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jon Allanson

    This was an excellent read that I truly enjoyed. An incredibly well researched and well written exploration of the role of women in the development of drinking and drinking culture throughout history. The author, who's previous work I also deeply enjoyed, chooses a nber of specific individuals to focus the tale telling, and uses their stories to guide the discussion as the book works it's way from prehistory to now. Incisive comments on the societal and cultural oppression that has tried to keep This was an excellent read that I truly enjoyed. An incredibly well researched and well written exploration of the role of women in the development of drinking and drinking culture throughout history. The author, who's previous work I also deeply enjoyed, chooses a nber of specific individuals to focus the tale telling, and uses their stories to guide the discussion as the book works it's way from prehistory to now. Incisive comments on the societal and cultural oppression that has tried to keep women out of important roles in the rise of drinks and drinking, and how women succeeded in those spaces nonetheless. Told in an engaging way that made it a much more enjoyable read than the average history book. If you are interested at all in the how's and why's behind why we drink like we do, or are interested in hearing tales of women succeeding despite the deck being stacked against them, give this book a try. Recommended.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Steidley

    This is a hard review to make. I absolutely love Mallory O’Meara. Her last book, Lady From the Black Lagoon, is one of my favorite books. I was really anticipating and looking forward to this one. Sadly, I’m disappointed. I appreciate all the effort that she made in her research for this. However, it felt like a slow wade through molasses. It was tough to get through. It was completely disorganized and out of sequence. She flip-flopped between years in each chapter, even though the title alludes This is a hard review to make. I absolutely love Mallory O’Meara. Her last book, Lady From the Black Lagoon, is one of my favorite books. I was really anticipating and looking forward to this one. Sadly, I’m disappointed. I appreciate all the effort that she made in her research for this. However, it felt like a slow wade through molasses. It was tough to get through. It was completely disorganized and out of sequence. She flip-flopped between years in each chapter, even though the title alludes to it being a certain time frame. There wasn’t any cohesion. Her voice was also left out of this book. In her last, part of the love as the journey with her. This was just a recitation of what she has learned herself. It felt tedious and a little boring. Lastly, the spelling and editing errors- this is a hard one for me to get over. Not sure what happened, but every time I came across one, I couldn’t help but cringe. Like I said, appreciate the context. But I definitely wanted more

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joe Robles

    Such a great book and much needed. Much of history is left untold because people assume we've already told it. I learned so much from this book. It's a great book for what an old professor of mine used to call "cocktail party facts" (pun intended). I was literally at a Friendsgiving party last Sunday when the Prohibition came up and the Women's Christian Temperance Union came up. I had just finished the chapter about this and shared how WOMEN fought for repeal. And WON! Certain groups bemoan his Such a great book and much needed. Much of history is left untold because people assume we've already told it. I learned so much from this book. It's a great book for what an old professor of mine used to call "cocktail party facts" (pun intended). I was literally at a Friendsgiving party last Sunday when the Prohibition came up and the Women's Christian Temperance Union came up. I had just finished the chapter about this and shared how WOMEN fought for repeal. And WON! Certain groups bemoan history with a perspective, but when all of history has been told by (mostly) white men, having someone seek out the women's perspective actually tells the more complete story. The book is very much in Mallory's voice, but that simply makes it more accessible. If you love History, Booze, Women, or all three, grab this book and a cocktail and enjoy!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Schoen

    This is a review of an ARC from NetGalley. Just what it says on the box: a history of the women who made alcohol and who drank alcohol throughout history. Loads of interesting nuggets written in a breezy style that keeps you skimming along easily. The perfect pairing with a beach towel and a nice cocktail. One quibble - the book is arranged chronologically, with each chapter covering a particular time period. Within those chapters O'Meara covers several topics, but skips around between stories, s This is a review of an ARC from NetGalley. Just what it says on the box: a history of the women who made alcohol and who drank alcohol throughout history. Loads of interesting nuggets written in a breezy style that keeps you skimming along easily. The perfect pairing with a beach towel and a nice cocktail. One quibble - the book is arranged chronologically, with each chapter covering a particular time period. Within those chapters O'Meara covers several topics, but skips around between stories, so you're reading about the widow Cliquot in France, then hopping over to Africa to read about beer makers, then back to France, and so forth. Maybe in the finished book there will be some visual clues to break everything up? But it was a bit confusing in the digital copy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    What a treat! O'Meara has detailed the involvement of women with alcohol (producing it, drinking it) from ancient times to today and she's done so using both facts and anecdotes. Each chapter covers a different time period and, although things do, as others have noted, jump around the world, I didn't find that distracting but rather that it gave global perspective. There are all sorts of fun facts in here but there's also a good sense of humor. I'm a fan of O'Meara's style, which is both straigh What a treat! O'Meara has detailed the involvement of women with alcohol (producing it, drinking it) from ancient times to today and she's done so using both facts and anecdotes. Each chapter covers a different time period and, although things do, as others have noted, jump around the world, I didn't find that distracting but rather that it gave global perspective. There are all sorts of fun facts in here but there's also a good sense of humor. I'm a fan of O'Meara's style, which is both straightforward an sly. Thanks to edelweiss for the ARC. One that's easily readable as a book of short essays- one a night or so.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emily Stensloff

    as before, O'Meara is an excellent narrator for her own book. i loved her recitation of this one just as much as Lady from the Black Lagoon. each chapter has a specified era that it is covering, but within that chapter the timelines are kind of all over the place. i think if i hadn't been listening to it, it would have been kind of confusing. overall, though, this was so fun and i greatly enjoyed it. as a pseudo-wine mom and definite spirits aunt, i loved how broad this was too -- covering both as before, O'Meara is an excellent narrator for her own book. i loved her recitation of this one just as much as Lady from the Black Lagoon. each chapter has a specified era that it is covering, but within that chapter the timelines are kind of all over the place. i think if i hadn't been listening to it, it would have been kind of confusing. overall, though, this was so fun and i greatly enjoyed it. as a pseudo-wine mom and definite spirits aunt, i loved how broad this was too -- covering both western and eastern practices, drinks, and conventions and covering all sorts of different types of alcohols. definitely would recommend, particularly the audio.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    I could hear this read in O’Meara’s voice in my head; it’s conversational to the extreme with predictable-yet-cathartic snark re: sexism. The style is almost too casual for my personal taste in the genre (I much prefer it in her Reading Glasses podcast), but overall a very accessible and interesting work on the neglected history of women in booze, and not just in the Western world. O’Meara really makes an effort to note the contributions of women throughout history and across the globe. And it I I could hear this read in O’Meara’s voice in my head; it’s conversational to the extreme with predictable-yet-cathartic snark re: sexism. The style is almost too casual for my personal taste in the genre (I much prefer it in her Reading Glasses podcast), but overall a very accessible and interesting work on the neglected history of women in booze, and not just in the Western world. O’Meara really makes an effort to note the contributions of women throughout history and across the globe. And it IS a history, not a recipe book, but I did come out of it with a shiny new list of women-owned/created/founded/authored alcohols, brands, and cocktail recipe books to try!

  29. 4 out of 5

    dobbs the dog

    Received from NetGalley, thanks! I probably shouldn’t have requested this from NetGalley, as I have not been in to reading NF at all in the past year... What I did read of this one was really good, and interesting, just not quite enough to keep my interest right now. I think that if you have an interest in feminist history, this would be right up your alley, or if you want a feminist history of drinking, this would definitely be your book. Just not the right book for me right now. My started revie Received from NetGalley, thanks! I probably shouldn’t have requested this from NetGalley, as I have not been in to reading NF at all in the past year... What I did read of this one was really good, and interesting, just not quite enough to keep my interest right now. I think that if you have an interest in feminist history, this would be right up your alley, or if you want a feminist history of drinking, this would definitely be your book. Just not the right book for me right now. My started review is obviously only based on the portion of the book I read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    Thoroughly researched and fun! My only critiques are that I didn’t love some of the structural choices - each chapter focused on a specific woman but also a time period, and it would hop in and out of her story then randomly “and over in this other totally unrelated place”. It felt a little disjointed in the moment. I would also have loved a bit more analysis. But overall, it told a great story of female success (and oppression) and increased my appreciation for being able to have a cocktail mad Thoroughly researched and fun! My only critiques are that I didn’t love some of the structural choices - each chapter focused on a specific woman but also a time period, and it would hop in and out of her story then randomly “and over in this other totally unrelated place”. It felt a little disjointed in the moment. I would also have loved a bit more analysis. But overall, it told a great story of female success (and oppression) and increased my appreciation for being able to have a cocktail made by a badass female bartender. (Rounding up from 4 stars in support of the author!)

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