Cocktails & Stories with the Fabulous Lenell | IT 023

Jun 3, 2020

Have you heard of the First Lady of Liquor? Want to know how to make a delicious French 75 cocktail?

In this podcast episode, Kathryn speaks to Lenell Camacho Santa Ana about her journey into this world and she shares some delicious cocktail recipes.

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Meet LeNell Camacho Santa Ana

LeNell Camacho Santa Ana has contributed to the drinks industry as a writer, educator, entrepreneur, brand owner, and consultant. With a bachelor’s degree in French and theater and a master’s specialty in organizational management, she discovered at 30 that her real passion was the hospitality industry.

She is the owner of LeNell’s Beverage Boutique has had whiskey cocktails featured on various menus in Europe and the US and led whiskey training for bar shows such as Berlin’s Bar Convent, London’s Boutique Bar Show, and New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail. She has taught whiskey and cheese pairing classes for Artisanal Cheese and Murray’s Cheese.

Visit LeNell’s website and connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In This Podcast


  • Floral French 75
  • LeNell’s story

Floral French 75

There are many stories about this drink, but one of them says that it was created by British soldiers during the war. It was named French 75 after a piece of artillery that was used in the war.

Recipe for this cocktail (recommended to be made in a 2 part metal shaker) is below.

Alcoholic version

  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz Bloom Gin
  • 0.5 oz St Germain OR use Elderflower Syrup
  • 2 oz Champagne OR Prosecco

Non-alcoholic version

  • 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5 oz Dry London Spirit
  • 0.5 oz Elderflower Syrup
  • 2 oz Non-alcoholic sparkling wine

In a 2 part metal shaker combine the first 3 ingredients, add ice cubes (the bigger cubes will dilute it less than a smaller cube), and shake that to a slow 10 count, then top it with the Champagne OR non-alcoholic sparkling wine. Fill a Tom Collins glass with cracked iced, pour the combined ingredients into the glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

LeNell’s story

With her experience as a bartender and restaurant manager, she worked as a salesperson in both retail and wholesale sales in New York City before opening LeNell’s, an eponymous wine and spirits boutique retail store in Brooklyn in 2003. LeNell’s shop boasted one of the largest American whiskey selections in the world, including her very own label Red Hook Rye that is now one of the most sought after expensive bottles in whiskey collections the world over.

In 2006, The New York Department of Small Business Services gave the store “Small Business Of The Year” Award and New York Magazine selected the shop as “Best Liquor Store”. LeNell’s was recognized by Whisky Magazine as Global Retailer of the Year in 2008 and U. S. Retailer of the Year in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

In 2009, she relocated to Baja California Sur, Mexico where she owned and operated a whiskey haven known as Casa Cóctel, a café, and bar in La Paz. She relocated to Birmingham in 2011 and purchased the J. R. Copeland mansion in the Norwood historic neighborhood where she has reopened her retail shop as LeNell’s Beverage Boutique and is working on-site development plans to open The Copeland Café next door.

Books mentioned in this episode

Useful links:

Kathryn Ily

Meet Kathryn Ely

I’m Kathryn Ely and at age 50, I’m enjoying my very best life. I spent years as a lawyer and then stay-at-home mom helping others go out into the world and live their best lives. While this was very important to me, I did not realize that I was losing myself in the process. I followed all of the “shoulds” like “women should always care for others” and “taking time for yourself is just selfish”.

As two of my children were getting ready to go out into the world I realized I was lost, without my next purpose, and it was scary. So I went back to school and over the course of several years, I not only found myself, but I designed the formula for women in midlife to achieve their most fulfilling lives. It is my mission to equip as many women as possible with this design and the tools to make this chapter of their lives the best chapter.

Thanks for listening!

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