Ah, the 60s! The next step in the evolution of women is by far the most colourful decade. A time of extremes, transformational change, and bizarre contrasts. Flower children and assassins, idealism and alienation, rebellion, and backlash. Women had also experienced a huge contrast and had just begun to move into the age of choice.

Leffler - WomensLib1970 WashingtonDC

In the 1960s, deep cultural changes were altering the role of women in society, more females than ever were entering the paid workforce, and this increased the dissatisfaction among women around huge gender disparities in pay and advancement. It also gave rise to an ongoing problem of sexual harassment at the workplace. 

Additionally, one of the most profound changes was happening in the bedroom. By the end of the sixties, more than 80 per cent of wives of childbearing age were using contraception after the government made birth control legal—freeing many women from unwanted pregnancy and giving them the choice and freedom to break away from the gender roles of the 50s homemaker. 

The Second Wave of Feminism

The woman who became the voice of what is referred to as the second wave of feminism is Betty Friedan. This Russian-born, Jewish journalist was a key element to the voice which is now a roar for women globally. 

In 1962, worldwide icon of femininity—Marilyn Monroe—died of an overdose. Looking into her death inspired Betty Friedan, and sparked the second wave of feminism into action by putting the feelings of millions of despondent women into words. After interviewing her college classmates—now suburban housewives—Friedan discovered how miserable many of them were. She argued that the problem was the myth of “the feminine mystique” and wrote a groundbreaking feminist polemic with this as the title. By peddling the notion that women should be naturally fulfilled by devoting their lives to being 

Betty friedan ©Lynn Gilbert

housewives and mothers, American society had—Friedan said—“succeeded in burying millions of American women alive”. Friedan touched a nerve with her outspoken opinions. 

Daring and Spirit-Forward

Today’s cocktail is based on a journey with a spirit that has similarities to the journey of the women of the 60s. Vodka had just made its reappearance in America but had found a new and bold voice with the vodka martini, and how fitting for Betty’s Russian blood. The martini is a perfect expression of a cocktail that is daring and spirit-forward, as well as demonstrating the contradiction of being delicate and sexy. It is a drink that crosses gender lines being enjoyed by all. I’ve decided not to mess with the receipt too much but to rather bring in a small touch of 60s nostalgia with the introduction of grape jelly and a splash of the popular chocolate fondue. 

Photo Credit: Dominic Lockyer
The Feminine Mystique

The Art of the Feminine Mystique

1. Homemade Grape Jelly: Throw a palate of red grapes into a large saucepan and simmer at low heat, then cover and leave to cook for 5 mins until the juices start to run. Take a potato masher or fork and mash up the grapes. Leave to cook for about 10 mins more, mashing every now and again until the grapes are falling apart.

2. Place a clean tea towel or kitchen cloth in a sieve set over a bowl, then pour the grape mixture into this. Let the mixture drip through for at least 1 hr or preferably overnight.

3. Next, measure out the juice (you should have about 600 ml) and pour it into a pan along with 1 cup of sugar and the juice of 1 med size lemon. Set the pan over high heat and bring to the boil. Put a small plate in the freezer for 5 mins, then pour a little of the juice onto the cold saucer. 

4. After 1 min, run your finger through; if the jam wrinkles slightly, it’s ready. Pour the hot jam into a sterilized jar. Will keep unopened for up to 3 months.

Cocktail time

First place your martini glass in the freezer to chill.

Next, grab your shaker and half fill it with ice cubes. Pour in the vermouth and give it a very gentle shake to coat the ice cubes with the liquid. Drain out half the shot of vermouth. Add the vodka and the bitters next. Shake again very slowly and gently. Double strain the drink into a chilled martini glass and drop your favorite flavor of chocolate Lint ball into the bottom of the glass, and serve. Sip slowly and celebrate because there is nothing placid about Betty or this drink!

Cheers to women in history.

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