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The Future (and Present, Actually) Is Female

Ten of the most innovative cocktail people, all of whom happen to be women. 


Jessica Maria

(1 of 10)


Megan Daniel

(2 of 10)

Jessi Lorraine

(3 of 10)

Jennifer Colliau

(4 of 10)

Kimberly Rossalle

(5 of 10)

Alicia Walters

(6 of 10)

Karri Kiyuna

(7 of 10)

Mary Palac

(8 of 10)

Keli Rivers

(9 of 10)

Nicki Beyries

(10 of 10)


Read more about the future of cocktails.

Women: givers of life, safeguards of civilization, masters of operations management. Perhaps you’ve noticed this already, but women happen to run some of the most important bar programs in the Bay Area. Here, a small selection of the women who call the shots, develop the recipes, source the ingredients, and stir the cocktails that we’re currently dying to drink.

1. Jessica Maria is the co-owner, with her husband, of Albany’s Hotsy Totsy Club, a former dive they transformed into a discerning gin bar that now straddles neighborhood watering hole and cocktail destination.

2. The bar manager of Whitechapel since just after its opening two years ago, Megan Daniel is also the driving force behind a brilliant cocktail menu that includes creations like the Beyond Circumstance, with gin, fino sherry, floral liqueur, and aperitif wine.

3. The bar manager at Absinthe since 2015, Jessi Lorraine has transformed the cocktail menu so that now nearly half the drinks feature the namesake spirit.

4. The owner of cocktail syrup company Small Hand Foods and the beverage director at the Interval at the Long Now Foundation, Jennifer Colliau will be opening her own bar, Here’s How, in Oakland later this year.

5. Kimberly Rosselle left Trick Dog after nearly five years (for the last two, she served as bar manager) to take over as the general manager of Bon Voyage! this year. Alicia Walton worked at friendly neighborhood cocktail bars in several neighborhoods (the Mission, North Beach, SoMa, Hayes Valley) before opening the Sea Star in Dogpatch, where she is a co-owner. She also consults on the menu for nearby Stem and for Foundry & Lux in South San Francisco.

6. Karri Kiyuna hired and oversees a staff of four other female bartenders (plus one male for good measure) at the Mission’s martini-and-vermouth bar Wildhawk, where her job title is Head Bird.

7. Mary Palac of San Jose’s Paper Plane has described herself as “the muscle” behind the bar. She won the California regionals of the female bartending competition Speed Rack to prove it.

8. Keli Rivers keeps busy: She is the consulting “ginnoisseur” at Whitechapel, a bartender at Villon, a brand ambassador for Monkey 47 gin, and, in her spare time, the general manager at Tradition.

9. Nicky Beyries is the bar manager at Foreign Cinema and Laszlo, in charge of developing cocktails for both bars and menus that run from weekend brunch to late night.

Next: Why Asian restaurants are centers of cocktail innovation.


Originally published in the February issue of San Francisco 

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