Thirsty Reporter: Francis Ford Coppola Launches Spirits Line

Coppola Vodka_Inset
The Family Coppola

Great Women Spirits will produce vodka, gin and brandy.

It's not like many people need an excuse to break out their favorite alcoholic beverages after a long work day, but cocktail lovers and feminists alike will have a new brand to pour up soon. Francis Ford Coppola's winery company is launching Great Women Spirits, a line of vodka, gin and brandy that will be available this October in select restaurants and retailers.

Great Women Spirits — small-batch, house-crafted, classically styled spirits — will officially launch on Ada Lovelace Day (an international celebration day of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and math), Oct. 10, at Cafe Zoetrope in San Francisco.

Coppola found inspiration in his family — including in wife Eleanor, daughter Sofia and granddaughter Gia, who are all accomplished filmmakers — to name the line of spirits after powerful women. "My mother, sister, wife, daughter, and granddaughters have all inspired me, as have all of the incredible women we celebrate with Great Women Spirits," Coppola said in a statement. "We all know well the great men of history, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon and so on. I can think of as many women who distinguished themselves at that level in the fields of politics, science, mathematics and philosophy, so my choices and reasons for this collection are very personal."

The gin pays tribute to the English mathematician and first computer programmer Ada Lovelace, while the brandy honors Maria Gaetana Agnesi, the first woman to serve as a mathematics professor at a university in the 16th century. The vodka is named after Countess Marie Walewska, a Polish noblewoman and the mistress of Napoleon, who represents loyalty to the traditions of the finest potato vodkas from Poland.The artisanal spirits are made with the spring water from Coppola’s Inglenook property in Napa Valley, which is naturally filtered through lava rock at the base of a now- inactive volcano. Can't wait to try the hard stuff? Cocktails featuring Great Women Spirits are available now at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery's restaurant Rustic and Pool Cafe.

In honor of National Vodka Day on Oct. 4, save this recipe for the Enigma: a combination of grapefruit, tart lemon and the dark berry flavor of Creme de Cassis liqueur.

  • 1.5 oz The Countess Walewska Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Creme de Cassis
  • 0.5 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 0.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 0.25-0.5 oz Simple Syrup

Method: Add vodka, creme de cassis, fruit juices and simple syrup to a mixing pint and shake with an iced tin. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lemon slice or twist.