Burlesque Star Dita Von Teese and Her French Gin Ambition

The queen of burlesque has put her name to a French gin to launch Sweet Gwendoline in the USA. For now, the only way you’ll get a bottle is if you’re heading to the States, but the entrepreneur has plans to bring it to Australia.

“The gin is distilled in France and I am excited to bring it to market in the U.S,” says Dita Von Teese. “Right now we are working on how we can import it to the UK and Australia.”

She’s got a soft spot for a martini when she’s out drinking, revealing her favourite bar in the world to The Write Drop.

“The best bar in the world has to be Hemingway Bar in Paris,” says Von Teese.

“You can’t get better than that, and when I am not at the bar, I love to drink Sweet Gwendoline French Gin. It’s very simple to enjoy as a cocktail at home. I make lots of cocktails, but my favourite thing to do is to shake it on ice to make a martini with a lemon twist. I like simple non-sweet cocktails, and despite the name -it’s actually fig infused and hits the spot nicely,” she says.

Von Teese who lives in LA, still tours the world performing burlesque having sold out shows at a Las Vegas residency recently. The pin-up model turned performer never planned on a career on the stage as long as she has managed to sustain one, but says it’s her hard work and determination that keeps her firmly grounded.

“I always say I am an unlikely role model,” says Von Teese.

“It wasn’t my intention when I started, and my audience was predominantly male in the 90s. It wasn’t until I wrote my first book [in 2005] and spoke about how I nurtured my confidence in burlesque, well that’s when I captured a female audience and they could really resonate with what I was saying. I was harnessing my own eroticism for myself and not anybody else or pleasing a man,” she adds.

Von Teese has appeared in video clips alongside Grammy Award winner Taylor Swift for her Bejeweled video clip a few years ago, attracting younger fans to her raunchy quarters. She also made a cameo appearance in Harry Style’s Don’t Worry Darling, lapping it up in a soapy bubble filled champagne bottle for a retro throwback in the film.

At 51, she’s all about embracing life to its fullest with a positive outlook.

“I feel I am getting more liberated in my thinking than when I was younger,” she says.

“You are never going to be younger than you are right now, and I try to express gratitude to my body instead of criticise it. I sometimes think it’s easy to get hung up on little things. If you would have asked me at 25, what I would be doing at 30, I would have thought I would have retired or be too old. I am glad I have other role models of beauty and sensuality who inspire me and who are older than me like Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani. They’re still doing it and so am I,” she says.

Staying fit is her top priority, and that means slowing down on the indulgence of cocktails every now and again.

“At my age, I am not about going off the rails,” she laughs. “Even in creating this Vegas show I gave up drinking and quit it for a while. I didn’t give it up because I have an addiction. I have always loved having a little cocktail before I go on stage, but it’s all about listening to your body and knowing what works and what feels like too much.”

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