Cocktail Queens: What Is A Female Bartender Called?

what is a female bartender called
Joe | Last Updated: November 19, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

Step behind the counter of a thriving bar and you’ll find that there are both male and female bartenders working hard to craft cocktails and serve customers.

While most customers are confident about the title and how to address male bartenders, the lines can get blurry for some when it comes to female bartenders.

Challenging stereotypes and identifying people correctly is becoming increasingly important in modern times, but have ever wondered; What is a female bartender called?

If so, you’re not alone. It’s a common question and one that we’re going to take answer in-depth today.

So join us as we shed some light on how we address these remarkable women that are so crucial to the success of the bartending industry.

What Is A Female Bartender Called?

The numbers of times I’m asked what a female bartender is called is too many to count.

But the answer is really simple: a female bartender is called just that, a bartender. There is no special term for a female bartender.

However, some people may use the term “barmaid” or “bartendress” to refer to a female bartender.

While these terms are not incorrect, they are not commonly used in the industry and can be seen as outdated or even sexist.

what is a female bartender called
Photo by Koby Photoz

In recent years, there has been a push towards gender-neutral language in the hospitality industry and this means that regardless of gender, all bartenders are referred to as “bartenders” and all servers are referred to as “servers.”

While there may be other terms used to refer to a female bartender, it’s important to use gender-neutral language and avoid any outdated or sexist terms.

>> Read more: Why do bartenders open cans?

Is A Bartender Also Called A Barmaid?

While the term barmaid may have been used in the past to refer to female bartenders, it is now considered outdated and even offensive by some.

The term barmaid implies a certain level of gender bias and objectification. It suggests that the female bartender is there to serve not only drinks but also as a form of entertainment for male customers.

This is not only an inaccurate portrayal of the job but also disrespectful to the profession as a whole.

Today, the term bartender is used to refer to both male and female individuals who work in the bar industry.

It is a gender-neutral term that emphasizes the skills and expertise required to excel in the job, rather than one’s gender.

In fact, many female bartenders find the term barmaid to be belittling and prefer to be referred to as bartenders. It highlights the fact that they are just as capable and qualified as their male counterparts.

Always refer to female bartenders as simply bartenders to remain respectful and ensure you don’t misgender anyone.

Is The Term Barmaid Offensive?

The term barmaid can be seen as offensive by some female bartenders, but while opinions may differ on this matter, it’s essential to approach it with sensitivity and respect.

Some individuals might perceive “barmaid” as demeaning or sexist, as it emphasizes gender stereotypes and implies a lesser role compared to male counterparts, but others may not mind it at all.

As an alternative, I use and recommend you use the term “bartender” regardless of gender, as it highlights the professionalism and skills required for the job rather than focusing on gender-specific roles.

what is a woman bartender called
Photo by Anna Kapustina

It promotes inclusivity and ensures that everyone is treated with the same level of respect and recognition.

However, it’s important to note that not everyone may share the same perspective. Some individuals might not find the term offensive at all and may even identify themselves as barmaids.

But to be on the safe side and not be disrespectful or insult anybody, using the term “bartender” is always best, to begin with.

Is Bartending A Womens Job?

Bartending is not a gender-specific job, therefore, it is both a man’s and a woman’s job. But you may be surprised to learn that 60.6 percent of all bartenders in the United States are women.

There are LOTS of women in bartending and it’s amazing to see. The notion that bartending is a “women’s job” or a “men’s job” is a stereotype that we should all challenge.

Gender should not limit or define one’s career choices or abilities. Bartending requires a diverse range of skills, such as mixology, customer service, multitasking, and the ability to create a welcoming atmosphere for patrons.

These skills are not gender-dependent but rather depend on an individual’s passion, dedication, and experience.

It’s important to recognize that diversity in the workplace enriches the industry and brings different perspectives and talents to the forefront.

female bartender
Photo by ELEVATE

Gender should not be a determining factor in whether someone can excel as a bartender and what matters most is the individual’s skills, knowledge, professionalism, and ability to connect with customers.

As a bartender with a decade of experience working in bars all over the world, I have had the pleasure of working alongside talented individuals of various genders, and I strongly believe that diversity in the profession only enhances the overall experience for both staff and customers.

It’s part of what makes bartending so great is that the industry promotes all genders and allows for self-expression in any way, shape, or form.

Final Thoughts

To wrap up, a female bartender is called just that, a “bartender”. There is no fancy or special term given to female bartenders, and they should be referred to as “bartenders”.

Whilst there are some terms that have been used in the past such as “barmaid” or “barlady”, these are outdated now and may even be insulting to some female bartenders.

Please use the correct terminology when dealing with female bartenders and always remain respectful of how they wish to be addressed.

Women do wonders for our industry and make it what it is today.

Cheers to the female bartenders who leave an indelible mark on the bars all around the world, breaking barriers, and shaking up the industry one drink at a time.

See you in the next one.