“Being babes. Drinking bourbon.” That’s the motto of the Bourbon Babes, a group of seven adventurous young women in Sacramento whose happy hour get-togethers led to something more: the discovery and appreciation of America’s signature barrel-aged whiskey. Oh, and a whole lot of fun.
Their private group got global buzz when they opened an Instagram account, posting photographs that take viewers along on their travels around town and beyond. So far, it has 13,700 followers.
Q: How did this happen?
A: My lady friends and I used to do a weekly happy hour get-together, but it got too tough to maintain. Then one of my friends from that group and I were having a conversation about how we liked trying new bourbons, but didn’t want to spend a lot of money at bars. Separately, I had recently joined a book club, and had this lightbulb idea of combining the book club concept with bourbon. Our first meeting was June 2014. So whoever was hosting that month-to-month bought the bottle of bourbon to try. We’d bring snacks and chat.
Q: Then what?
A: It grew. We did that just for fun, then around October we said, “It would be fun to start an Instagram account and post pictures of our adventures.” That really took off, with collaborations with people here in town and the U.S. and the globe. We’ve connected with people who are excited to see women who like whiskeys, but aren’t getting drunk on them. (The dynamic) is more like trying different bourbons.
Q: What are the Babes’ occupations?
A: We all have full-time careers in the writing-editing field, graphic design, Web development, project management and neuroscience. I work in the editing-proofreading field.
Q: You’ve done fundraisers?
A: We did one for WEAVE at Paragary’s. We’ve also done donations to a WEAVE fundraiser and to the Active 20-30 Club’s crab feed. We’re looking to do more fundraising events this year.
Q: Your “Travel Like a Babe” blog series focuses on travel tips, with bars as the destinations.
A: We thought the blog would be useful, because we’ve had people reach out to us when they come to Sacramento, asking, “Where are the good whiskey bars?” Someone asked us recently for recommendations in Folsom and El Dorado Hills. We didn’t know, but we’ll find out.
Q: Why bourbon?
A: We enjoy the complex flavor profile. It has a little bit of sweetness and is more palatable (than other spirits). It’s very versatile, too.
Q: What’s your favorite?
A: Recently we’ve been on a Michter’s kick. It’s a balanced bourbon, sweet but not like you’re drinking candy. It’s alcohol-y tasting, but it doesn’t burn.
Q: What about some of your favorite bars?
A: Block Butcher Bar has a wonderful whiskey selection and the bartenders are super-friendly. We like Cask & Barrel and deVere’s, they have a great whiskey libraries. I’d have to say Red Rabbit is my favorite. It has my favorite cocktail, the Gold Rush. It’s bourbon with lemon juice and honey. A little sweet, a little tart, but you still get the flavors of the bourbon.
Q: Is there a a sure cure for a hangover?
A: I don’t know of one, except not to over-imbibe in the first place.
Allen Pierleoni: 916-321-1128