How to make the perfect cocktail…for a lady?
If I read one more cocktail description as “made this for the ladies” I will scream…
While checking out Gaz Regan’s 101 Best New Cocktails 2016,in a matter of minutes, I came across a few quotations on this very theme:
“I wanted to create a softer alternative a classic Negroni, and doesn’t scare the ladies off!
“It was a very elegant and feminine drink, very popular with the ladies.”
“Sonny says that he created the New Fashioned for the ladies”
Who are these ladies who are scared off by a combo of Gin, Campari & Vermouth? Was the ingredient that made it “feminine” supplied by Summer’s Eve? (google it). Why did Sonny think that the ladies would need the Old Fashioned to be refashioned into a New Fashioned?
My grandmother would always get a tad riled when she would order the Dewer’s & Soda and my grandfather the Whisky Sour and the waiter would invariably put the sweeter drink in front of her. I totally understand her silent rage now.
Who decided that, even in the spirit world, beverage choices are assumed to be male or female. FYI — Diet Coke and Coke Zero are literally the same drink.
These aforementioned cocktail creators are masking the taste of the female-offending spirit of choice in order to make a drink more palatable to our fair tongues. But why and who told them to?
After trying the New Fashioned, the lady-in-question won’t like bourbon any better, she’ll just like that particular cocktail, that doesn’t even taste of bourbon anymore, because it’s been hidden away under other so many other ingredients.
If this is a way to sell more Maker’s Mark, then I totally get it. Yet, I don’t think that’s the inherent motivation. It’s might be a little mansplaining going on here. A little “OK Ladies, I fear you can’t really appreciate any spirit made of corn, rye or malted barley or a tad bitter, so I’m going to teach you all about it by completely transforming it into something else.”
I want to taste my spirit — an Old-Fashioned is delicious because it tastes of Bourbon. A Margarita tempts me more than a Mojito, because I love tequila more than I do rum. A Campari & Grapefruit is my pre-brunch choice.
I don’t think I’m alone here. The founder of ScotchWhisky.com is a woman, Andrea Montague was the Brand Ambassador for Bulleit Bourbon, Audrey Saunders is one of the greats.
Maybe we are the only four out there, but my advice to all you bartenders: stop trying to dumb down drinks because you think the ladies might like them. The ladies like them the way they already are.