7 femi-licious cocktails to celebrate women’s equality in the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race

Tomorrow marks the 161st occasion that the crew teams from Oxford and Cambridge Universities go head to head in the famed boat race on the River Thames. Since 1856 the young male rival rowers have sparred on an annual basis with the women’s team joining the races in 1927. But it won’t be until this year that the women actually reach full equality with their male colleagues. 

The 2015 Boat Race marks the first occasion that the universities’ female teams will row the same part of the Thames - from Putney to Mortlake - as their academic brothers. Until now, the women’s teams raced at Henley. 

For the enjoyment of the hundreds of thousands of spectators that will line the river’s banks this Saturday to watch women achieve another equality milestone, we thought we’d suggest a few cocktails that celebrate equality. 

But we quickly realised the difficulty in this: most drinks that refer to women are rather sexist. From cocktails named after Hollywood stars of the forties and fifties that often played second fiddle to their male counterparts to overtly sexist drinks like the Slippery Nipple and an entire broad category of “girl drinks”, bartending seems to have a historical bias towards drinks named to entice men while demeaning women.

We did come up with a few cocktails that put women on more equal ground, but they’re still a stretch. So congratulations to those that pushed for the equal standing of the women’s Boat Race teams. And here’s hoping that moving forward, cocktail naming will become a little more equal, too. We can all drink to that.


For starters, let’s go straight to the academic source. This creative list of feminist cocktails, twists on original recipes, was put together by Oxford University in 2013. We have to agree with their opinion of Cosmopolitan Magazine and find it rather ironic that they chose the image they did to accompany it - Tom Cruise in Cocktail, a pretty shit film. 


David Wondrich takes care of cocktail reviews and history for the male magazine, Esquire. Here’s a little historic cocktail he says comes from 1909, 19 years before UK suffragettes succeeded in obtaining the nationwide right to vote. It all seems unthinkable to us in the UK today but there are a number of nations on Earth where women still lack legal protection for a number of rights we take for granted. 


Considering the history of cocktail names, the title of this drink is no surprise. Created by the owner of a New York vegetarian restaurant in the East Village, the Angry Feminist employs an herb more often found in chicken recipes than vodka. Sounds good just the same.

  • 1-1/2 ounces tarragon-infused, premium vodka
  • (Ms. Harris uses Rain vodka)
  • 3/4 ounce framboise liqueur 
  • (Ms. Harris uses Bonny Doon framboise)
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 thin-sliced pineapple for garnish
  • Ice


In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add all ingredients. Shake vigorously until outside of shaker is beaded with sweat. Strain into martini cocktail glass and garnish with pineapple.

Preparation For Tarragon-Infused Vodka

Put three stalks of fresh tarragon in the bottle of vodka. Infuse for at least two days. You can leave the tarragon in the vodka bottle but do not allow any into the drinks.

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