Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This would be a truly delightful piece on the current renaissance of cocktail culture if it didn't keep straying into smug misogyny. Perhaps the simplest way of explaining it is this:

The new cocktail lounges are all about preserving a comfortable atmosphere for drinks and conversation. (Milk & Honey in New York, one of the best spots in America for the classic cocktail drinker, has a famous set of rules, including the wonderful instruction to its female patrons, "If a man you don't know speaks to you, please lift your chin slightly and ignore him."...)

I don't need to be told how to handle strange men, thank you. Nor do I appreciate the extremely gendered way Messenger looks at different kinds of liquor and drinks (women splashing pink liquor [Cosmos] on their dates while men are "getting into" rye, since god knows women a) only drink when with men and b) can't handle their liquor). I happen to love very complex, fragrant, but strong cocktails that would probably defy strict gender assignment best (though not because of gender politics), but after that it's man-liquor all the way--whiskey and gin. We deal with enough gender difficulties in life as it is; is it so much to ask that I, as a lover of liquor and of cocktails, be allowed to enjoy the drinks I like without being perceived as manly or out of my depth? And why is it that men are apparently capable of enjoying Mai Tais while women couldn't possibly be interested in a Sidecar?

It's not frequent that the article actually says what it means in this regard, though I'd estimate it happened at least five times (in two pages). But something about the way it's written makes it very clear that this is one for the boys, as it were.

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