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9 months ago

Promising Young Woman: Gina Barbachano’s Tribute to Ada Coleman 


Gina Barbachano (IG @gina_barbachano) y Ada Coleman share two things in common: feminine leadership behind the bar, and the phrase ‘Hanky Panky.’ Gina pays tribute to Ada with a signature cocktail, inspired by Women Power. 

This article is dedicated to all of the empowered women in the hospitality industry, who like Gina and Ada, are strong, unique and powerful—winners by nature who never give up! They are distinctively talented and proud of every achievement.

Women bartenders shine with their own light, and this is why the Tahona Society recognizes their work once again, as industry professionals. 

The feminine power behind Hanky Panky

For two years now, Gina has been the bar manager at Hanky Panky Cocktail Bar in Mexico City: a one-of-a-kind, members only establishment dedicated to leading and setting the standard of quality service and cocktails on the burgeoning craft cocktail scene. You can always find Gina behind the bar, ensuring the best experience for her guests! 

“I got a text message from a good friend telling me that Hanky Panky (IG @hankypankydf) was looking for a girl to be part of the team. I remember studying a lot because I was so nervous and when I got there, they liked me and hired me.”

~ Gina Barbachano

Hanky Panky is situated in the up-and-coming La Juárez neighborhood, which is currently experiencing a business and culture renewal. As a speakeasy type of bar, its address cannot be disclosed. Nevertheless, reservations can be booked by phone. 

“Working at Hanky Panky is an amazing learning opportunity. I keep learning from my coworkers and, of course, from Pollo (head bartender). He always takes time to help me perfect my technique or to advise me. I think we make a great team; we’ve become a little family.”

~ Gina Barbachano

This cocktail bar is inspired by Ada Coleman’s cocktail “The Hanky Panky,” first served in the 1930s at the American Bar at Hotel Savoy, in London. Ada’s pioneering creativity was the inspiration for the Hanky Panky Cocktail Bar! Remember that simple yet complex magic formula of this signature cocktail: gin, sweet vermouth, Fernet Branca liquor and orange zest.

Let’s also remember that Ada was the manager at the American Bar and that Hanky Panky was the creation that catapulted her to be one of the most recognized women on the cocktail scene.

Ada continued to perfect her art beginning in 1900, when she started at the Savoy, until her retirement. During this time, she had the honor of preparing cocktails for people such as Mark Twain, the Prince of Wales and Prince William of Sweden.

The inspiration behind the ‘Promising Young Woman’ cocktail

The concept of the ‘Promising Young Woman’ cocktail is inspired by feminine power with a delicate appearance. 

Yet, using a coupette glass and the feminine notes of the drink have always bothered Gina because this fosters the idea that “a woman is fragile and delicate.” 

One of the comments that Gina hears the most in this industry is that “this is a woman’s drink”, just because of the Coupette glass it is served in. There are even men who feel "their manhood threatened" when they get a drink in this type of glass!

“So, why is it so common to think of women as only delicate?” Gina asks. “We also have strong personalities, lots of presence and punch—these qualities are also shown in the cocktail. 

“The Promising Young Woman has bitter notes but at the same time sweet and delicate, thus having a perfect balance, like we women.”

~ Gina Barbachano

Being a woman behind the bar—like Ada and Gina —has not always been easy

Gina has been very fortunate to be able to work with people she respects and loves and who have become her supportive friends, but that does not mean that she hasn’t had to go through some difficult times as well.

It must not have been easy for Ada either and Gina thinks about this. But Gina can understand that Ada, like her, must have really wanted to grow in this industry and that she succeeded! What great inspiration it has been for Gina to see Ada’s dreams coming true through her own success.

Finally, we leave you with two surprises: Gina’s signature cocktail inspired by Ada Coleman – perfect for raising a glass to all of the women bartenders that motivate us to be better every day; and with a super interesting article about 12 women who shaped cocktail culture, which of course includes the legendary Ada Coleman: 

https://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/women-who-changed-bar-industry-female-bartenders

Promising Young Woman

Ingredients  

  • 45 ml Altos Tequila Plata  
  • 25 ml White Vermouth 
  • 10 ml Fernet Branca a menta
  • 15 ml Cynar
  • 15 ml Italicus
  • Twist of lemon


Preparation

Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker with plenty of ice. Shake well. Strain and serve in a coupette glass.