17 Women Who Are Changing The Way LA Drinks

17 Women Who Are Changing The Way LA Drinks

Ann Soh Woods
Kikori and Yuzuri

Ann Soh Woods is the founder of Kikori, a soft, completely rice-based whiskey created to mix well in cocktails. "I wanted [to make] something bright, crisp and smooth," Woods says. "I knew because I loved sake and shochu, [that] rice would be the grain that could achieve the profile I was looking for."

Kikori launched in 2015 and Yuzuri, her yuzu liqueur, debuted last year.

Woods believes her particular combo of inexperience and enthusiasm helped. Although she faced a steep learning curve, as a newbie she felt free to do things the way she wanted without being hampered by conventional wisdom or industry experts, most of whom are men. "In the beginning, I thought maybe I should be like them. I quickly realized that being me was just as effective," Woods says.

She also credits Los Angeles for being a receptive community. "In SoCal, [you have] this very open-minded culture where the people are very familiar with different cultures. When I entered the market, women were really already part of the fabric here in L.A., as it should be, even though I sometimes still get mistaken to be the demo girl."

By¬†Esther Tseng (LAist)