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Unreserved Wine Talk

237 EpisodesProduced by Natalie MacLeanWebsite

The Unreserved Wine Talk podcast features candid conversations with the most fascinating people in the wine world. Your host, award-winning journalist Natalie MacLean, dives into how it feels to compete in the nerve-wracking World's Best Sommelier Competition, the shadowy underground of wine forgery… read more


159: Cosmo's Sex & the City, Champagne, Whisky Women in Mallory O’Meara's Girly Drinks

How did the Cosmopolitan become an iconic cocktail on the TV show Sex and the City? Did you know an illegal shipment of Champagne revolutionized the entire industry? Which women are responsible for America's increase in scotch and bourbon consumption after Prohibition?


In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Mallory O'Meara, the author of the just-published Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol.


You can find the wines we discussed at



How did the Cosmopolitan become the signature drink of Sex and the City?

Which next-level Cosmo should you try for your next cocktail?

What’s the connection between Carrie Bradshaw and the oversized wine glasses we now see everywhere on TV?

What’s the strong female history behind the drinks we now think of as categorically masculine?

How did Bessie Williamson and Margie Samuels revolutionize the scotch, whiskey and bourbon markets in America after Prohibition?

What role did Veuve Clicquot’s kitchen play in transforming the way Champagne is made?

How did Veuve Clicquot and Louise Pommery completely change the Champagne market?

Which drink does Mallory prefer while writing?

Why is a daiquiri Mallory’s favourite cocktail?

What are Mallory’s least favourite drinks?

How did Mallory first get into wine?

What impact does Mallory hope Girly Drinks will have?

How has book and author culture adapted to Covid?

What’s the last great book Mallory read?

Whose interesting story got left on the cutting room floor?


My Tips for Navigating Wine During the Holiday Season

How should you think about which wines to pair with Christmas dinner?

Which wines will make great additions to your cocktail party?

How can you pick the right wines for every gifting occasion?


Key Takeaways

I loved the story behind how the Cosmopolitan became an iconic cocktail on the TV show Sex and the City, especially since I loved that show when it first came out and am now gobbling up every episode of the new reboot. There are so many parallels in other industries: you may not be able to afford the multi-thousand dollar Versace outfit on the runway, but maybe you can buy the perfume. The Cosmo was and is an aspirational drink for many women and some men and non-binaries too.

Veuve Clicquot is a classic kick-ass woman’s story, from getting through the Napoleonic blockades to selling her jewelry to fund the business.

I loved hearing about swash-buckling women responsible for America's increase in scotch and bourbon consumption after Prohibition.


Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video

Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video.

I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time.

I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?

Want to know when we go live?

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About Mallory O'Meara

Mallory is an award-winning and best-selling author and historian. She lives with her two cats in the mountains near Los Angeles, where she is at work on her next nonfiction book. Bourbon is her drink of choice.


Her first book, The Lady From The Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick, is a Los Angeles Times bestseller. It won the 2019 SCIBA Award for Biography, the Rondo 2019 Book of the Year and was nominated for the Hugo and Locus awards. Her second book, Girly Drinks: A Feminist History of Women and Alcohol, was just released.


Every week, Mallory hosts the literary podcast Reading Glasses alongside filmmaker and writer Brea Grant. The show is hosted by Maximum Fun and focuses on book culture and reader life.



To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit

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