Meet Rachael Hand, one half of the duo behind What Women Drink

Rachael Hand, House of Correction.
Rachael Hand, House of Correction. Photo: Georgia Verrells

You may have noticed that over the last week or so we’ve been profiling some of Melbourne’s best bartenders, in the series What Women Drink. Well today, for part six in the eight part series, we’re hearing from Rachael Hand of House of Correction. She’s been conducting Q&A’s with each of the bartenders in the series, and today we wanted to hear from her.

(Take a look at the whole series here).

What Women Drink is the first offical industry event held at new Melbourne cocktail bar, House of Correction. Hosted by the bar’s Rachael Hand and Alex Ross, the event took eight of Melbourne’s finest bartending talent in one room in front of a heaving crowd to showcase what they bring to the bartending scene. Each bartender presented their drinks to the crowd — and enjoyed a drink themselves — as the House of Correction team pumped out samples of the drink for the punters.

The guests then voted for their favourite drinks, and it was Hannah Lawson of Loretta’s Bar, and Cennon Hanson from Bad Frankie, who tied the vote and shared the prize of a bottle of the Glenlivet 18 Year Old from the night’s sponsor, Pernod Ricard.

Take a look at the specs for Rachael’s drink below and read up on just what hospitality means to her.

Rachael Hand, House of Correction.
Rachael Hand, House of Correction. Photo: Georgia Verrells

Rachael Hand – House of Correction

Why Hospitality?
You don’t work in hospitality, you live it.

I’ve been in hospitality my whole life, mostly in fast food. I only moved into bartending about a year and a half ago and I haven’t looked back. No other industry rewards hard work like hospitality, the room for creativity is amazing and the sense of community is overwhelming.

What is your favourite drink?
There is nothing like an Aperol spritz to help me forget my troubles.

Who inspires you? Who is your mentor?
David Smillie and Max Allison. Two of the most driven people I have ever met. I’m inspired everyday by their passion and love for what they do.

Why do you think females in hospitality are such a hot topic?
Because for a long time it’s been a boys club. I’m happy to say I believe that’s changing in a big way, you cant go into a good bar in Melbourne without being greeted by a lovely lady behind the stick. As Bart Simpson once said: “it’s finally good to see more chicks on the bench, keep up the good work toots.”

What’s your pet peeve?
Badly cut garnishes and messy bartenders. There is nothing worse than an ugly drink on a messy bar.

What drives you?
Knowing that I can always be better.

I can’t walk down the street without running into some of the world’s most talented bartenders, it constantly reminds me what I’m working towards.

What is your greatest strength?
My speed and attention to detail, I’m always looking for ways to become faster and better at what I do.

Explain your drink in 25 words or less.
A simple mixed drink that’s complex, and just a little different.

Rachael Hand, House of Correction.
Rachael Hand serving up her drink. Photo: Georgia Verrells
  • 15ml Olmeca Reposado
  • 15ml Noilly Pratt
  • 45ml Napoleone cloudy apple cider

Batch & leave in freezer until 20mins prior to serving. Serve up.


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