What’s the matter with girly drinks? On one level, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the concept. Girly drinks are the pretty, fruity occasionally sugary drinks that kind of stop the show at bars. Typically, Cosmopolitans, Grasshoppers and other cocktails that aren’t frozen cocktails fall into the “girly drink” category.
There are two problems we attempt to tackle in this week’s episode: the drinks themselves and the names.
The Only Problem with Girly Drinks
In this case, “Girly” is a little dismissive and more than a little sexist. When we call a drink girly what we’re really getting at is that real men don’t need to hide the taste of their alcohol, they only need to chase it with beer.
Of course, in the history of the cocktail this isn’t the case. Bitters was invented because spirits were so undrinkably awful, and even Martinis traditionally were made with half really good wine and half really bad gin. It’s actually only pretty recently that spirits tasted good on their own. Calling it a girly drink is more a way of denigrating the drinker than the cocktail.
“Fight like a Girl” successfully was repurposed, but Girly Drink probably can’t be saves, and frankly, I won’t miss it. Casting about for another way to talk about these specialty drinks, we set upon “Fun” cocktails. As in, let’s try something fun. This still allows old curmudgeons like me maintain a barrier between a Manhattan, say, and a Pink Squirrel.
Because there is a difference in kind.
The Problem with ‘Fun’ Cocktails
From my perspective, the real difficulty is that I like the flavor of alcohol. Whether it is because I fell victim to social norms or whether it is because a good bourbon is objectively head-and-shoulders better than whipped cream vodka, I leave to you. Although we struggle with it in the show at greater length, I can’t bring myself to endorse flavored vodkas. I don’t know why they bother me so much, but they genuinely do.
Setting that aside, though, this is a resort area and, if you can’t drink something big and sweet and oddly colored here, where can you?
Next Big Question
Each episode tackles a big question about life at the beach and life in general. On the next episode we’ll ask: When is enough enough when it comes to hair hats, boardwalk tee shirts and other novelty-wear? It stops being funny almost immediately, but there still are people out there wearing faded, “Who Farted?” tees.