What's Wrong With a "Girly" Drink, Anyway? Plus Recipes

I hate how "girly" is supposed to be an insult. So let's talk drinks. Plus recipes for three of my fave cocktails.
Publish date:
December 7, 2012
sexism, recipes, alcohol, drinking, casual sexism, classy drinks, holiday drinks

I didn't drink when I turned 21. Because of some family stuff, drinking seemed very unappealing in general. I'm a little bit of a control freak when it comes to anything that will alter my perceptions or otherwise screw with my faculties, so drinking sounded like the opposite of a good time to me.

Eventually, I relaxed enough to enjoy some wine. And I've been known to do some shots with people I trust.

But I never did any of that raucous college drinking that's supposed to be such an American rite of passage. And I can't say I regret not doing it; I've nursed a lot of people through a lot of throwing-up-all-over-the-place hangovers and, well, that's just not my idea of a good time.

Even so, I'm kind of fascinated by the culture that has grown up around drinking. The whole craft cocktail movement intrigues me because people take this stuff so very seriously. And I'm interested any time people are mega passionate about stuff.

Over at Bitch Magazine (you can read me in the newest issue: Habit{at} -- and no apologies, a la Somer, for that self-promotion), the topic is girly drinks -- what makes something a girly drink and why are girly drinks so disparaged anyway?

Part of me thinks that what makes a girly drink is obvious. It tastes like fruity things instead of tasting like alcohol (because: stereotype -- women can't handle the taste of alcohol). And it isn't that men DON'T drink these things.

It's that, as with cars, the perception that women prefer something is more powerful than the reality of the actual demographics.

It's really just another round (see what I did there?) of the same old sexism we experience every day. Because "girly drinks" is disparagement -- and men and women both decry the enjoyability of those drinks. Men and women both talk about how they prefer REAL drinks, whatever those are.

Now, while I do love a finely crafted cocktail (I'm old school, I really love the Negroni), a fruity frozen beverage with or without an umbrella can be a lovely start to a lovely evening. Girly drinks might not be the ones best highlighting the complex flavors of a fine alcohol, but why do they have to be? Sometimes the situation calls for single malt. But sometimes it calls for a daiquiri, yo.

And I refuse to be ashamed on behalf of the daiquiri.

In that spirit (ha, I am on such a roll), I want to know what your favorite drinks and drink recipes are -- the more ridiculous, the better. The purists in the house can play along as well, but this is holiday party season, after all. If we're going to wear reindeer antlers and bedazzled sweaters (I know I'm not the only person who does this), then we should have a festive drink to match.

I'll start, with my own personal favorites:

The Negroni

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz Campari bitters

Shake with ice, then strain into a chilled glass that (in a perfectly equipped kind of world) is filled 1/2 to 3/4 of the way with ice - I like little ice pebbles. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

If you want to get REALLY fancy, twist the orange peel and light some of the oil on fire over the drink. One of my holiday goals each year is to not burn down the house, so I just put half a slice of orange in my glass and call it good.

The Candy Cocktail

  • 12 oz Dr. Pepper
  • 1 1/4 oz Bacardi 151
  • 3/4 oz Amaretto

This is not a complex drink. Pour all of the above into a tall glass with ice. Stir it up, stir it up. Drink it down.

OK, fine, one more! Because I prefer odd numbers.

Blue Bubbles

  • 1 oz blueberry schnapps
  • Champagne

It helps if you call it "cham-pag-ney." Put the blueberry schnapps in your champagne flute, and then fill the flute the rest of the way with champagne. It's straight forward. And it's pretty freaking delicious.

What are YOUR favorite drinks, girly or otherwise?

Marianne is getting tipsy on Twitter: @TheRotund.