By Karen Rempel
As you walk past Village Vintner on Sixth Avenue between West 10th and West 11th, you might do a double-take. An eye-catching display proclaims “The Real Women of Booze,” with a magnetic layout of women and bottles of alcohol on pedestals—two of our favorite things!
To celebrate Women’s History Month in March, Village Vintner owner Sojin Song wanted to put the spotlight on pioneering women who have founded their own liquor brands that are representative of women today.
Sojin recalls, “A lot of people did not visit during the pandemic. But Pomp & Whimsy’s Nicola Nice has her agent Kendra here in New York, and I’ve been seeing Effie; she’s been coming quite a bit because she lives in NYC.” He got to know Effie especially well, and featured her KLEOS Mastiha Spirit in its own display for a while.
Effie Panagopoulos is the first Greek woman in history to start a liquor brand and she works with Greece’s first female distiller. She and Sojin were talking about the window display for Women’s History Month. Effie noticed that Sojin put red stickers on product labels, marking all the women-owned brands.
She said, “I saw Pomp & Whimsy on the shelf, which is another woman-owned brand.” Pomp & Whimsy founder Nicola Nice and Effie are both in a group that Nicola started, called the Women’s Cocktail Collective—a group of female founders. Effie started looking around at all the red dots that Sojin had placed around the store. “And we both immediately thought, maybe we should do a female-founded window!” She thought, “That’s great, let me round up all these ladies.”
A fitness fanatic, Effie decided, “I wanted to spoof the real housewives. Andy Cohen lives in the neighborhood and I see him at the gym all the time. And so, the layout is inspired by real housewives from the Beverly Hills show. That’s where the tagline ‘The Real Women of Booze’ comes from.” These ladies are legit, but Effie said, “Some of the larger companies, the big spirit conglomerates, are trying to pander to the women audience, but they’re really creating brands that don’t have that same level of authenticity and legitimacy. They’re not truly women-owned, they’re just figments of a marketer’s imagination. There’s a lot of this make it pink stuff that I find to be really off-putting and not well researched. It just shows a lack of being in touch with the modern woman consumer. Whereas I think our brands are more representative of what women are looking for nowadays.” Effie knows that women want something different—healthy, low cal if possible, but delicious and exciting. She appreciates working with Sojin. “He’s one of a minority of buyers that are really into things that are different and unique.” Stop by Village Vintner to check out the display and try the inspiring offerings.
Village Vintner, 448 6th Avenue (212) 477-0538, villagevintnernyc.com.
Meet the Real Women of Booze!
Dr. Nicola Nice, The Sociologist: Pomp & Whimsy Gin Liqueur. It’s gin. Reimagined.
Effie Panagopoulos, The Spartan: KLEOS, The Mastiha Spirit. It’s your Greek vacation in a glass.
Allison Evanow, The OG (Organic or Original Gangster—your choice!): Square One Organic Vodka. From the Farm to the Bottle.
Sonya Vega, The PR Maven: Doña Vega Mezcal. The boldness of mezcal, refined.