Friday, December 30

5 Manly Cocktails Women Should Be Drinking

A few months ago I was at a bar where the hip, mustachioed bartenders were touting their selection of superlative old-school cocktails. So I ordered a Manhattan. My husband turned to me and said, “You know a Manhattan is a guy’s drink, right?”

“No, man, that’s fine,” the bartender interrupted. “You’ve got a woman who knows what she wants.”

Yup, I do. Sure, I like a refreshing mint mojito and a champagne sparkler just like the next gal, but there are times when I crave something stronger, more muscular, like scotch or bourbon.

Since that night I've ordered many a manly drink. I've also asked many a manly man what he thinks of women who imbibe traditional men’s drinks. Everyone I spoke with was OK with it, and many thought it was sexy. But most were quick to add this caveat: “Just not on the first date. You might scare us off.”

They also agreed: Don’t go too masculine too quickly. Want to order an Old-Fashioned? Don’t. Too Don Draper. A Rusty Nail? Too Bob Villa. A Godfather? Too Michael Corleone.

If your current drink of choice is a fruity Cosmopolitan, then don't switch to a bitter Negroni. You might not recover from the shock. So this New Year's Eve, why not be adventurous and try a bolder manly cocktail such as a classic Manhattan or a Tom Collins?

Here are 5 more traditional men’s drinks that women can safely order:

Sidecar: The mixture of cognac and cointreau creates a sexy amber color and leaves a sweet taste on your mouth. You know, just in case he’s got nice lips.

Gin Martini: Ask for a martini, and most bartenders will assume you want vodka. So specify gin and whether or not you want it dirty or with a twist.

Whiskey Sour: As far as sour cocktails go, a whiskey sour is eminently drinkable. Plus, a classically prepared whiskey sour should come with a slice of orange or lemon, and a maraschino cherry which lends a flirty touch.

Salty Dog: If you’re out for brunch, skip the mimosa and order the more playful Salty Dog, a mouth-puckering combo of vodka and grapefruit juice, spiked with salt.

Sazerac: Sazerac is to New Orleans cocktails what gumbo is to New Orleans cuisine. Made with rye, Peychaud's Bitters, and Angostura bitters, this is a heady, spicy cocktail. Purists insist New Orleans is the only place to find an authentic Sazerac, but you can buy Peychaud's Bitters and Herbsaint online. So drink up.

So what do you think about women ordering classic men’s drinks? Do you?

Makes 1
Printable recipe.

The Manhattan was conceived with rye as its essential component, but the consensus is that even if you don't use rye, Manhattans should be made with American whiskey, such as a good bourbon. --Rob Chirico, author of Field Guide to Cocktails.

2 ounces straight rye or bourbon
1 ounce sweet vermouth
Dash of Angostura bitters
Maraschino cherry

1. Stir the bourbon, vermouth, and bitters in a pitcher half filled with ice, or shake them with ice; then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Photo credits: FCC; FCC culinarygeek; Susan Russo.


Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Great post! Not sure if I'm ready for a manhattan but a whiskey sour would be fine. Happy new year!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I am not sure if given a choice anything could replace mt favourite Joey's Bellini but sine we are entering a new year perhaps it is time for a change.

Alanna Kellogg said...

This is so cool -- I always feel stupid when ordering a drink at a bar. What's that one with vodka and OJ? I'm copying your notes into MY notes on my phone. Glug, glug, I'll call ya from the bar. :-)

PS Happy New Year, friend!

Anonymous said...

Oooh, this post makes me mad. A "man's drink"? Really? I'm not supposed to order a strong drink that I like because it might scare him off? And 5 drinks that "women can safely order"? No thanks. I'm much safer ordering something strong and bold than something fruity; sweet drinks have a tendency to turn my stomach, whereas the stronger stuff sits just fine. I'll drink what I like, and any man who is scared off by what I'm drinking (I mean, really? Good lord) can sit at the bar alone with his idea of gender roles safely intact.

Wine Harlots said...

Great list of boys booze for girls. I'm a fan of the Gimlet, but it's clearly a chick drink!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I love a Manhattan as well as a Negroni. And I don't care if they are men's drinks. Their color alone makes them alluring.

Happy new year!

Anonymous said...

DIRTY Gin Martinis and Whiskey Sours are two of my favourites! I find the "girly" drinks too sugary most of the time.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

lisa-It took me a while, but now I adore Manhattans.

val-Absolutely! New year, new drinks! Happy New Year, my friend!

alanna- It's a screwdriver. Glad to give you some new cocktails to glug! Happy New Year to you too, my dear!

anonymous- By all means, you should order what you like and do whatever makes you happy.

wineharolots- I love a gimlet too!

sam-Though my husband has tried several times to get me to like a Negroni, I just can't abide its bitterness. It tastes medicinal to me. Oh, well, sticking with my Manhattans isn't such a hardship!

anonymous- I usually find them too sugary as well. I really love spicy cocktails too.

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said...

Love these drinks! I guess I drink like a man... this is like my best of line up. That, or a simple glass of scotch. :)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Welcome to the club! The Barritt's are big on Manhattans. You should have been here for Christmas! In fact, next time you're in town, I'll make you one of mine. :-) A very Happy New Year to you and Jeff!

Kristen said...

These look like such grown up drinks versus the girly girly drinks I normally order. Great suggestions :)

Sprigs of Rosemary said...

A Manhattan was my mother's favorite, even if she allowed herself just one, maybe two on a special occasion. (And as a child I got the cherries.) Guess that's why I love 'em and will have one tonight! Happy new year!

Anonymous said...

Great post! Since June I've been more open to ordering "man drinks". Sazeracs are my favorite, but outside of New Orleans I'm very particular about where I order one.

Anonymous said...

I've been drinking vodka collinses since I was 18. And whiskey and diet coke is my current fave. That gets some looks from bartenders sometimes. LOL Thanks for the post. I haven't tried all of the drinks you suggest, but I will.

Rachel said...

Love, love, LOVE a Tom Collins! It's a very refreshing Christmas/New Year's cocktail for us in Australia - perfect for a celebratory summer!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I didn't even know I should be drinking cocktails. Wouldn't I have to put down my wine glass to do that?

Happy New Year, Susan!

PalmettoGirl said...

Love a Salty Dog, but I now have an unexpected hankering for a Whiskey Sour! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

What the heck is a "man's drink?" Really? Sheesh. Last time I checked if a dude is scared off because I order a gin martini, I wouldn't want a second date with him anyway.

Rosemary Flannery at FromClutter2Clarity said...

Hi Susan:

I never thought of male vs female cocktails in this day and age. I am a bourbon drinker these days since the weather has turned colder. Old Fashioneds have been my drink of choice and no one has batted an eyelash! You need to come to some cocktail bars in NYC where it's equal opportunity drinking. Happy 2012 to you and Jeff. I hope you will be visiting Tom and me again soon.


Unknown said...

Gin martinis, extra dry, with 3 olives please!

I don't like bitter, but have decided that G&Ts are drinkable with lots of lime wedges squeezed in, so there's hope for me yet.

Those are some surprisingly girly drinks. I think of scotch when I think manly. But I used to drink scotch too... Hmmm... maybe we women have reached the age of enlightenment when it comes to our drink of choice?

Hazel said...

My mother-in-law makes a killer Manhattan using brandy, sweet vermouth and a tablespoon of cherry juice to make it sweeter -- but it's still a stiff "manly" drink!

I also love me a Bombay Sapphire Gin Martini - Dirty with LOTS of olives.

Magic of Spice said...

Fun list of
sidecars :)
Happy 2012!

Ashley Blom said...

I'm just imagining feeling utterly suave and cool ordering one of these at the bar--then taking a sip and trying not to let my overly sugary tastes make me wince, hahha... Will try though!

Ellen Apple said...

Well. I drink bourbon. On the rocks. No additional water.
Or a Black Russian. Pretty much it. But I am a 53 year old post-menopausal loudmouthed southerner, so I basically drink, wear and eat what pleases me (even if it hare-lips half the county as the saying goes)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

laura-You and I'll get along just fine.

tw-Next NY trip I vote for Manhattans at Tom's place. Everybody with me?

kristen-So glad you liked them!

rosemary-Cheers, my friend. Looking forward to sharing a Manhattan with you and Tom next time Jeff and I are in NY.

lollingabout-I understand your hesitation. The Sazerac I had last year in NO was mind-altering.

robin-18? Well, you're waaay ahead of the curve! A whiskey and Diet Coke? How'd you come up with that one?

Susan from Food Blogga said...

rachel-That's what I like to hear.

lynn-Happy New Year, my dear! It's so nice to "see" you here.

cheri-Me too!

anonymous-That's OK.

kathy-Gin martinis with three olives -- yes, please. G&T's with extra lime are the perfect antidote to a sweltering summer's day.

hazel-Now, that's a cool MIL!

magic-Glad you like them.

bee-Yes, give it a try. I'm sure you'll find something you like. :)

Amee said...

thanks for this entertaining post. the comments are even more entertaining...esp. the angry ones signing 'anonymous'? afraid to state your name are you?

i order a crown and coke/pepsi. full cal - no diet!

i don't know if it's MANLY or not. but i like it...and it's not pink.

i went to engineering school and learned to drink like a boy. so it was cheap beer most of the time. I can't hold my liquor anymore though, like i did in my college days. :)

Sippity Sup said...

This is a great post. One which I have given a lot of thought to in my life. Not the genderizing of cocktails so much as the question of what is the proper place for "classic" cocktails in a "modern" world. I have decided classic cocktails carry baggage, much of it romantic. So when ordering a cocktail you are ordering it's back story too. You are letting that cocktail say something about you that is almost universal in meaning. PS Side Cars ARE girly! GREG

Susan from Food Blogga said...

amee-As long it's not pink, you're in the clear. ;) I can't wait to share a few many drinks with you and Shef in Austin!

Judi said...

I was a mixed drink woman...spiced rum and coke until 15 years ago when I was introduced to my first Manhattan! Love it. No angustora bitters for me though. Aside from this a nice martini on the rocks with just a breath of dry vermouth!

Take the change....

pastas wife said...

I'm in! I'm writing a list and will go down the list until I find my new favorite. I admit I love a cosmopolitan or two while making dinner in honor of good old Nick and Nora!

pastas wife said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Susan from Food Blogga said...

greg-Thanks for the thoughtful comment. Yes, I hear what you're saying, but I think genderized drinks is still the way the vast majority of people think. I'm hopeful that this renaissance of classic cocktails we're experiencing (thanks, Mad Men) will help us move away from the gender thing and into damn good cocktails.

pastas wife-Yes! I love it!

judy-I have to say that I love Angostura bitters, but the great thing is there are so many different ones available now that it's easy to find one you like.

Thelma Bursts said...

I love this rebirth of classic cocktails!

The gin martini is my go-to but I'm going to have to try the Salty Dog.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, what?! Both my grandmothers drank Manhattans -- stiff ones, at that. I didn't even know cocktails had a gender. Jeez.

Unknown said...

I'm definitely a whiskey lover, which has surprised many of my friends. The odd part is that I will only drink it neat or on the rocks, hardly ever in a mixed drink.

I still like trying those fruity-girly drinks, but I always come back to whiskey. And vodka. And porters and stouts and...

alienbody said...

I LOVE Manhattans and all things bourbon. Thanks for the new drink ideas!