Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Women, Whisky & A Wild, Wild Year – Celebrating Wahine Who Have Broken Barriers in 2020 (+ Our Best Cocktail Recipes to Cheers To Their Success)

Capsule x The Glenlivet

In a year that won’t, er, be remembered all that fondly, it’s still important to pause and celebrate the wonderful women who have done their part to help us all through the dumpster fire that was 2020.

It wasn’t all that long ago that us women couldn’t do jack all – we couldn’t be politicians, much less leaders, we couldn’t speak out and make ourselves heard on the issues that affect us, we couldn’t enjoy a glass of whisky without getting weird stares at a bar, and we certainly couldn’t write a profanity-laden rap about certain parts of our anatomy.

So to celebrate the fact that we can now not only do all of those things but do them better (let’s be honest, we totally can) we’ve teamed up with our friends at The Glenlivet to celebrate those wahine who, like them, have broken down barriers and re-written traditions to disregard history and do whatever the hell it is they like. Grab a whisky cocktail (our favourite recipes are below) kick back and offer a toast to the women who have smashed it in 2020.


Yes she is (image @sugarsquirrelshop)

Yup, being the first female Vice President of the United States would have done it – but to be a woman of colour in a year where the world has seen increasing racial division makes her accomplishments all the sweeter. Her epic “I’m speaking” shutdown to outgoing VP Mike Pence won hearts the world over – well, that and the fly – as well as her vision, poise, kindness and heart. As the woman soon to hold the highest ever office for a female in the US government, Kamala has broken the biggest barrier there is. Well, second biggest. #kamala2024


You can’t compile a list of amazing wahine who have worked to break down barriers and not mention the women who have led their nations through some of the darkest times in living memory. While we all know how lucky we’ve been in Aotearoa, the world has seen other incredible prime ministers and heads of state who have dealt with Covid-19 with empathy, kindness, thoughtfulness and rationality, proving once and for all that empathetic – or ‘feminine’ leadership – isn’t only effective, it’s the most effective. Huge props to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Sanna Marin of Finland and the President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen for keeping the worst of Covid at bay.


So, as any woman ever who has suffered through a miscarriage or a still birth will tell you, it turns out we don’t speak about baby loss. Ever. Model and author Chrissy Teigen decided to change that this year, busting through a barrier many wahine have painfully found themselves up against, when she and husband John Legend released heart-breaking photos of the moment pre and post the loss of her third child, a baby boy called Jack.

“I absolutely knew I needed to share this story,” she said at the time – and her words and images ignited a much-needed conversation around miscarriage. “Chrissy and John have given a lot of people permission not to grieve alone,” summed up one commentator.


Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has battled through her fair share of barriers. As a mixed race athlete – she’s both Haitian and Japanese – she’s encountered racism all her life, but as the Black Lives Matter movement took hold of whatever space in the news cycle wasn’t dominated by Covid or the US election, she realised that before she was an athlete, she was a black woman. After making the semi-finals of the Western and Southern Open in August, she withdrew in protest. “I don’t expect anything drastic to happen with me not playing, but if I can get a conversation started in a majority white sport I consider that a step in the right direction,” she said at the time.


WAP. Need we say more?

Probably not but we will. Sure, it’s dirty. At times it’s uncomfortable. Never listen to it with your parents in earshot.

But Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s somewhat shocking song is, with no doubt, an obnoxious slap of a feminist masterpiece, with filthy rap prose and a heap of female sexual pride that bursts with empowerment in a male-dominated genre. Hell, you don’t have to like the song, but its impact in pop culture is undeniable. Cocky, self-assured and, er, in-your-face, it’s unashamedly sexual – just like pretty much any rap song written by a man would be, and we are Here. For. It.

 “CeRtIfIeD fReAk, sEvEn dAyS A wEeK…”

Cheers to the women who have made 2020, well, bearable – and for all the barriers broken and traditions re-written. See below for our two favourite The Glenlivet cocktail recipes to raise a glass to all the mana wahine that have done us proud.


A refreshing low-calorie summertime whisky cocktail. The soft natural flavours of coconut water provide the perfect accompaniment to the laid-back character of The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve.


50ml The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
10ml freshly-squeezed lime juice
120ml coconut water
2 dashes Amargo Chuncho


Add The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, fresh lime and coconut water to a highball glass half full of crushed ice and stir. Fill the glass with crushed ice, taking care not to bring the level of the liquid up too high. Dash with the Amargo Chuncho bitters.

This drink can be also served as a sharing drink in a jug, pitcher or punch bowl. Simply increase the volume dependng on the number of people to serve. Add cubed ice and stir, or strain or ladle into ice-filled glasses.


Pineapple has long been held as a symbol of hospitality and its universally loved flavour is a great way to introduce people to the delicious flavours of our whisky. Even better, the pineapple in this cocktail helps to highlight the smooth, fruity style of The Glenlivet.


50ml The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
25ml spice-roasted pineapple syrup (see below)
20ml freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Spice-roasted pineapple syrup:
Take five cardamom pods, a single star anise, two husks of mace/ 1/4 of a grated nutmeg, a small pinch of cumin, 2 cloves and 3 quills of cinnamon and crush into a pestle and mortar.
Mix with 200g of brown sugar and sprinkle onto thick slices of pineapple that have been skinned. Place the pineapples in an oven at 120c for 15 minutes to gently roast.
Place the pineapple,200ml pineapple juice and 200g of caster sugar in a blender, and strain to remove any pineapple.


Shake all ingredients with cubed ice, and strain over hand-cracked ice. Garnish with a wedge of fresh pineapple.

Morgana O’Reilly on Being in The White Lotus, Existential Crises, Filming Birth Scenes, Social Media & Turning 40 Next Year

'Morgana O'Reilly The White Lotus' is now one of the top suggested searches that pops up when you start typing in the Kiwi actor's...

Love, Lies & Guilt: OJ Simpson’s Close Friend Shares His Regrets

The OJ Simpson Trial: How do you begin to reconcile the idea that a man you idolised, loved and laughed with for more than...

THE ONE THING… You Need To Pack Before Taking A Baby On A Long-Haul Flight

Capsule’s Emma is going on her first long-haul flight since having a baby and so put a call-out for the one thing people would...

Stuck For What to Do These School Holidays? Here’s What’s On, Where to Go and What to Do at Home

YAY, it's school holidays! Two whole weeks off school to sleep in, kick back and do whatever we want and have fun and... oh...