It was a few years ago now, but I remember standing in a darkened bar with a friend, trying to order a drink. The bartender eventually noticed us, and as he approached the light caught on the enamel pin, he wore on his shirt.
“What are you after?” He asked briskly. Before I could answer my friend quickly said: “We’ll have what’s on your pin.”
The bartender looked down, laughed and served us two Negronis.
It was Negroni Week, and he had been sent the pin by a friend of his in New York.
And that’s the thing about enamel pins: they are wearable, swappable, and have an extraordinary ability to bring people together. Small, compact and bursting with personality, these tiny pins manifest an individual flair onto anyone who wears them.
For many people I spoke to that week, finding that Negroni pin became an obsession.
While we were all desperately trying to get our hands on one, at the same time, over in New York, Meg Moorhouse from Love & Victory, who designs and sells the pins, was unsure if they would be a success.
“I wanted to make something to sell to raise money for charity during Campari’s Negroni Week, a few years ago,” she said. “Honestly, I didn’t even know if anyone would want a pin that looked like a cocktail… but sometimes you shouldn’t overthink it, I guess.”
Cocktail As The Latest Pin-Ups
Since that time, Moorhouse, who comes from a background of art, fashion and design, has created a range of pin that not only celebrates the cocktail but also highlights each cocktails distinct differences and visual appeal.
Ranging from Mint Juleps to Daiquiris and Margaritas to Gin & Tonics, the pins have proved to be not only fashionable but also highly collectable.
“Negroni, Aperol Spritz, and the Whiskey drinks – the Whiskey Rocks and the Old Fashioned are probably the most popular,” she said.
Even with so many designs to choose from it’s that original Negroni pin that still captures the heart of the designer.
“Well… I think that the Negroni rendering makes me the happiest,” she said. “Just the simplicity of the design. Also, then it’s generally my cocktail of choice.
“I also love the Woman with Whiskey pin. It’s just a woman’s hand holding a tumbler with ice. And her nails are painted red. I love that it’s more minimal.”
Moorhouse designs out of her studio in Brooklyn and has understandably done a lot of work with some fairly major liquor brands including Campari and Beam Suntory.
But not one to rest on her laurels, Moorhouse has a few more designs in the works including a Pimms Cup and a fun take on a Corpse Reviver. She is quick to point out that she’s always open to suggestions.
Getting Pinned Behind The Bar
“A lot of bartenders I admire wears the pins, she said. “And honestly, I like the fact that they resonate with people to the point where they’re getting the designs as tattoos! It makes my day.
“I love seeing bartenders I know and love, wearing them — on nights when they don’t know I’ll be hanging around. It’s the highest compliment.”
Having started Love & Victory as a side project over ten years ago, Moorhouse is continuously excited, not only by what she designs but more the reactions of her pin generate with her clients and friends.
“I hope people love them because they celebrate great cocktails; because the aesthetic harkens back a bit to tattoo designs; because they appreciate the style.”
To see more of Moorhouse’s pin designs and her other cocktail-related products, go to loveandvictory.com