Nothing is impossible and everything is attainable! That’s the feeling I had after speaking with Yvonne Langen, writer and creator of Taste and Tipple, blog and Instagram.
We have all dreamed of being influencers, traveling the globe, being recognized and praised, making money all while having fun. Yvonne makes it look so easy and effortless with her big smile, high spirits (pun intended) and amazing cocktail recipes. Have you really thought about what goes into being a blogger and influencer?
In 2017, Yvonne left her then full time job “it just wasn’t filling my cup” she says. This is when she officially launched Taste and Tipple but it wasn’t until the pandemic hit, when Yvonne started hosting a series of virtual happy hours, that Taste and Tipple really took off. “My friends had been lobbying me for years to start a food blog, mainly I wanted to share my passion for food and drink” says Yvonne. For most of us, when we think about bloggers Carrie Bradshaw comes to mind. Writing from her Manhattan windowsill and sipping Cosmopolitans with her New York girls. For now, this is still Yvonne’s side hustle. Apart from her blog and Instagram page, Yvonne is holding down a full time day job.
One thing Yvonne mentioned a few times during our chat was that she wished she had started this earlier. “Start before you’re ready!” There is no need to wait for the perfect moment, or to be an expert editor, web designer or even photographer. “Letting your audience see your growth helps you be more relatable.” So for all of you out there looking to start your own business, blog, whatever it is. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, because it’ll pass you while you’re waiting. Start now, but make sure to have proper guidance when it comes to accounting and taxes, it could really make all the difference.
What was it that led to Yvonne’s fame three years after starting her blog? “The key ingredient was personality, I’d always been afraid of putting myself into my content so I decided to infuse a bit of personality. As I got more comfortable in front of the camera, that’s when people really connected with me.” When I think about this and the influencers I follow it is because their personality draws me in. It’s not so much what they’re selling. If I like and trust them, I’ll surely buy their product.
As Yvonne and I spoke, I learned how knowledgeable she was about cocktails. I didn’t ever think about what went behind making drinks. Pour it, mix it and drink it has always been my philosophy. But Yvonne said “cocktailing is chemistry.” Which, now that I think about it, makes sense. There is a whole art and number game behind it. As she spoke about crushed ice, and clear ice, it started making sense. Being a bartender is a lot more than just stirring a martini; shaken not stirred, my apologies.
How do you become an influencer, blogger or get into the creative field? Can you fake creativity, I asked Yvonne. “You can’t fake it but you can practice. It’s a skill, the more you do it the better you become at it.” So as the saying doesn’t go: practice it until you make it!
What has been your biggest surprise working with cocktails? Yvonne tells me “it’s the stories behind how cocktails are made. For instance the Old Fashioned. That cocktail was created by farmers and was originally served without ice. It was a morning time cocktail. Nothing like a boozy kick in the pants to wake you up at 4 in the morning to go work the fields with your horses.” I never think about the stories behind the drink, how it was invented, why, who was it invented by? All of these drinks have a past, tell a story and I guess once we learn about it we can appreciate the drink more. Maybe even understand history better through alcohol?
I asked Yvonne to share one of her secrets for making the perfect cocktail “always use a jigger” she says. What is a jigger, I had to ask? “It is the shot glass used to measure exactly how many milliliters you put into your drink. Cocktailing is like carpentry, measure twice, cut once.” The second secret, which totally makes sense is “always use fresh ice!”
Is there someone you would like to work with? Yvonne told me that she is very fortunate to have worked with one client who “shaped my enthusiasm for cocktailing. Being able to work with the LCBO has been a huge honour.”
What is one of the most typical questions I could have asked Yvonne? Where do you see yourself in five years, of course? “ I would love to have a TV Show and a book and be doing this full time!” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, hard work, a drive and not giving up is the perfect recipe for success!
The whole Zenbooks team believes in you, Yvonne! Whatever you set your mind to, we know you will achieve!
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