October 22nd, 2006
When a certain good friend of mine and I go out, we like to start the evening with a Manhattan. We can’t help but notice that we’re among the few women at any given bar who are drinking whiskey. That’s why a couple of recent articles got my attention. First, Alex Witchel wrote a story in the New York Times last month, “Strong Drink Is Not for Men Alone,” in which she voiced her perturbation and amusement over being treated too daintily by bartenders and cocktail servers. She starts with a typical scenario: “When I was in college and went out with my oversize football player boyfriend, we’d order drinks, and every time I’d be served the frosty piÃ±a colada with the pink paper umbrella that he’d ordered, and he’d be served the tough-guy Scotch-rocks.”
Then, I saw a small piece in the Boston Globe by Liza Weisstuch, “Bourbon Takes a Bow,” touting the Whiskey Smash, a bracing mixture of bourbon, crushed ice, and muddled lemon and mint. The article starts with B-Side Lounge owner/bartender Patrick Sullivan, who put the drink on his fall menu, saying this: “When women are sitting around the bar drinking bourbon, you know something’s going on.” I’ll say! Are more women really discovering the pleasures of bourbon, scotch and rye? I’m going to keep an eye out for a trend and report back.