Celebrating Women’s Day – Women In Whisky

Celebrating Women’s Day - Women In Whisky

Brenda Venestia Nathan

Brenda is a Group CEO, Shareholder and Director of OTI Africa and Brand-It-Marketing. She says she got into the Whisky industry by helping her husband. “I became part of the industry by helping to grow my husband’s liquor interests. Scotch Whisky has always been a favourite of mine and has been an exciting part of my life for many years and I’ve been doing it for 30 years”.


Brenda says as a brand they do face challenges as they do not only operate in South Africa but regionally and internationally.

“We represent so many wonderful and famous brands of whisky in our main African Market outside of South Africa which is Mozambique. Brands such as Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Glenbrynth, Grants, Monkey Shoulder, Clan MacGregor, First Watch, Jura Whisky, The Dalmore, Jack Daniels, to name just a few”.


She adds; “Our principals and own brand keep me occupied 24/7 and continuously create new and exciting challenges. The Industry is extremely fast-paced, and the competition is next level. You always must be on your toes, whether it be regarding product and retail trends, economic conditions or logistics. The environment can change so quickly, and one has to be ready to react and change their strategy if required”.

Brenda is not only in the whisky industry, she is also a qualified lawyer.  “I am a lawyer by profession but when I got married, I fell very easily into the spirits business. The opening of new markets for our brands is exciting and satisfying. I have wonderful people around me, and my team is passionate, focused, loyal, knowledgeable and amazing to work with”.


Brenda says having passion for the industry is key and one must be prepared to put in the hours.

“If you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work”.


“What I love the most is the satisfaction of working with amazing brands, seeing the results we achieve, the diversification of our business; watching and listening to our consumers expounding, also enjoying and relaxing at various venues I attend. Another thing, is the tasting of new sample Malts, Blends and other Spirits that come across my desk (obviously responsibly and at the end of my day!)”.


She says as someone who works with different spirits, she gets to enjoy different blends and whisky cocktails. “There’s nothing like a well-prepared OLD FASHIONED to start the party with,” says Brenda.




Image result for old fashioned cocktail


  • 2 teaspoon simple syrup
  • Teaspoon water
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) bourbon whisky
  • 1 slice orange
  • 1 maraschino cherry


Pour the simple syrup, water, and bitters into a whiskey glass. Stir to combine, then place the ice cubes in the glass. Pour bourbon over the ice and garnish with the orange slice and maraschino cherry.