Are consumer cocktail choices gendered?

17th February, 2015 by Amy Hopkins

Guillaume Le Dorner, bar manager, 69 Colebrook Row

Guillaume Le Dorner‘Pre-conceived ideas of gender stereotypes will never go away entirely’

When it comes to gender stereotype in cocktails, I believe there are a few points that need to be looked at a little closer.

Some people drink a type of beverage to match a certain personality or a representation of who they want to be.

For example, a man who wants to ascertain a high social ranking or prove his masculinity to his friends will probably order something like an Old Fashioned or a Negroni. For some people, it is not so much about what their drink tastes like but how do people perceive them when they drink it.

It’s beyond me how people think a drink can make them look ridiculous or not, but it is the case for many men; it is all about self-confidence. At the end of the day, who cares? Order a drink you think tastes good, not one you think makes you look cool.

Having said that, however, a man refusing a drink because it appears too ‘feminine’ is something that happens every week; it is not so much about the colour of the drink, but more about the shape of the glass. Some men find it very hard to hold a Martini glass, it is very strange but some consumers feel their masculinity is at risk if they are seen drinking from that type of glass. The strange thing is that most cocktails coming in Martini glasses are often very strong aperitifs, or ‘manly’ drinks.

Pre-conceived ideas of gender stereotypes will never go away entirely. It will evolve and that etiquette of what a man and a woman should drink will change, but as long as there are differences between men and women in our society be they haircuts, clothes or food, there will be people with pre-conceived gender stereotypes towards drinks.

In terms of a ‘female palate’, I don’t believe this notion exists – it is down to drinking habits and education. We are seeing more and more women opt for cocktails that have formerly been perceived as ‘masculine drinks’.

That gap between what men and women drink is reducing but there is still a long way before we all enjoy the same cocktails.

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