Photograph: Janine Gebran

It’s International Women’s Day today and to celebrate all the bad-ass women out there Sullivan Doh has created a special cocktail. But this isn’t just any old drink, it’s the Valkyrie – a cocktail inspired by the mythical (but very beautiful) Norwegian ‘choosers of the slain’.

His rationale is very clear. “On March the 8th in New York, 109 years ago, more than 120 women lost their lives in a fire. The reason? They were standing up for better working conditions. So they decided to strike to have their voices heard,” he says. “Instead of listening to them, their employer locked them in the factory and intentionally burnt the whole building down. This story should never be forgotten. I strongly believe in gender equality and equity and on this day, I want to use my voice as a bartender to make a worldwide statement: women are equal to men and should be treated as such.”

As the owner of two bars in Paris, Le Syndicat and La Commune, he’s put his money where his mouth is: “I have 10 employees, half of them are women, including my deputy Marela Batkovic, and they are all paid exactly the same as the men.”

“My cocktail is called Valkyrie in honour of the divinities and kickass warriors whose mission it was to take the good souls, fallen in the fight, to Valhalla, the Norwegian paradise.”

Today more than 50 bars around the world, from Singapore to Hong Kong, Greece to Israel will be making Valkyries and toasting women everywhere. Find out more at Valkyrie

Alternatively, make one for yourself at home. Here’s how:

60ml of white light rum
30ml of fresh lime juice
30ml of aquavit syrup  (1:1 aquavit and sugar, stirred on a low heat until dissolution)
1 barspoon of absinthe

Shake ingredients over ice and served in a coupette.


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