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Book Cover for: Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol, Mallory O'Meara

Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol

Mallory O'Meara

Critic Reviews


Based on 4 reviews on

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Winner:James Beard Foundation Book Award -Beverage witout Recipes (2022)
*A Finalist for the Spirited Award for Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History or Spirits*
*A Guardian Best History and Politics Book of 2022*

"At last, the feminist history of booze we've been waiting for!" --Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist

The James Beard Award-winning 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.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Hanover Square Press
  • Publish Date: Oct 19th, 2021
  • Pages: 384
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.24in - 6.34in - 1.19in - 1.11lb
  • EAN: 9781335282408
  • Categories: WomenBeverages - Alcoholic- GeneralHistory

About the Author

O'Meara, Mallory: - Mallory O'Meara is an author, screenwriter and a producer for the independent film company Dark Dunes Productions. Whether it is for the screen or the page, she seeks creative projects imbued with horror and monsters. A New England native, she now lives in Los Angeles.

Critics’ reviews

Praise for this book

"An insightful, entertaining feminist history of women and alcohol through the ages." -USA Today

"[A] thorough, and thoroughly entertaining, history... Elegantly woven into each cheeky chapter is rigorous historical context... O'Meara glides easily from the 17th-century pulquerias of Mexico to the feminine "fern bars" of the 1970s, making sure to not to forget the queen of girly drinks: the Cosmopolitan. Provoking both thought and laughter, this serves as bracing refreshment from a master textual mixologist." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Fun facts abound in O'Meara's volume... A unique, entertaining resource to bolster culinary and women's studies collections." -Library Journal

"Feminist and very funny... O'Meara deftly blends in equal measures of social history, gossip, and solid research, and adds enjoyable footnotes... women have discovered, invented, advanced, championed, and celebrated alcohol. Ladies? This calls for a drink." -Booklist

"This is a book that should be on any beverage alcohol enthusiast's shelf." -American Whiskey Magazine

"An exhaustively detailed yet breezy history set against the arc of overall women's rights around the globe." -Kansas City Star

"[In Girly Drinks] Mallory O'Meara... returns to the realm of historically overlooked women who did extremely cool sh*t with a feminist history of drinking through the ages." -Lit Hub

"This book feels like having cocktails with some of the most fascinating-and dangerous-women in history. Cheers!"--The Guardian

"At last, the feminist history of booze we've been waiting for! After centuries of being excluded, ignored, or treated as accessories, Mallory O'Meara has put women at the center of a global history of alcohol. From winemakers and distillers to activists, leaders, and change-makers, Girly Drinks takes us on a whirlwind tour of the role women have played in what we drink, and how, when, and why we drink it."
--AMY STEWART, author of The Drunken Botanist

"Girly Drinks is anything but--a raw shot of boozy history that stings as well as it soothes!"

"With this lively book Mallory O'Meara has provided a real service, giving us not only a long-overdue new perspective on a great many familiar issues, but also raising all kinds of other issues that are unfamiliar and shouldn't be."
--DAVID WONDRICH, author of Imbibe

"Cheers to Mallory O'Meara and her serious yet seriously entertaining treatise on the history of gendered drinks. Girly Drinks will introduce you to queens and nuns, bootleggers and bartenders, telling their stories and proving the point that all drinks are girly drinks."
--JEANETTE HURT, author of Wisconsin Cocktails and Drink Like a Woman

"As if being a woman today isn't enough cause for a drink, Mallory O'Meara has compiled an addicting history of women and the alcohol that fills their glasses. This book left me positively inebriated (not sorry) with excitement about the underrated cultural footprint women have made in the world of alcohol, from the goddesses who let it flow freely at parties, to the women who stomp grapes with their feet, to every successful female reclaiming and owning their rightful space at the bar. Cheers, ladies, this one's for you!"
-BRITTANY GIBBONS, New York Times bestselling author of The Clothes Make the Girl (Look Fat)?

Praise for The Lady from the Black Lagoon

"If you loved Hidden Figures, you'll love this much-overdue biography of Disney's first female animator, and Hollywood's only woman (still) to design a monster for a major motion picture." --Town and Country

"There's never a dull moment in this beautiful, heartfelt tribute to a pioneering special-effects designer and animator and passionate call for change in the industry that forgot her." --Booklist (starred review)

"Engaging and compelling.... A fierce and often very funny guide to the distaff side of geekdom." --Los Angeles Times

"O'Meara's chatty, impassioned book, The Lady from the Black Lagoon, lifts Milicent Patrick out of the mire of obscurity. O'Meara is a dogged researcher and a fierce partisan...Patrick's story [has] resonances for today, when women in Hollywood still find themselves in the company of monsters." --Maureen Corrigan, NPR "Fresh Air"

"Captivating and exhaustively researched...This is a fascinating slice of Hollywood history with a feminist slant, correcting a sexist wrong from decades ago and restoring Patrick to her rightful place of esteem." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Fascinating...This is a book that O'Meara was born to write, and she seamlessly meshes her own life story with that of her heroine in a way similar to how Julie Powell paid tribute to Julia Child in Julie and Julia...Even if you're not a fan of horror films, The Lady from the Black Lagoon is a riveting, sincere Hollywood saga that will quickly win your heart." --BookPage (starred review)

"Like the creature, The Lady From the Black Lagoon is a hybrid -- part biography, part memoir, part detective story and part #MeToo pushback against the film industry's deep-rooted patriarchal tendencies, highlighted in revelations of sexually predatory behavior by male actors, directors and moguls." --The Washington Post

"An incisive criticism of the erasure of women in Hollywood through the lens of the life and legacy of Milicent Patrick." --Bustle

"O'Meara achieves her goal. Thanks to her persistent efforts, The Lady from the Black Lagoon pulls Milicent Patrick and her considerable accomplishments out of the murky swamp of overlooked history and back into the light." --New York Times Book Review