The Cocktail Club on north King Street in Charleston offers an atmospheric place to sip craft cocktails, accompanied occasionally by live music. I had settled in with my drink at the bar when I overheard the young lady next to me ordering drinks:
Woman: “Hi there. I need something for a girl and something for a guy [indicating the fellow next to her].”
The bartender, to his credit, delved further into their taste in cocktails, made some recommendations and got mixing. I felt fascinated — especially after attending a conference dedicated to women and Cognac — to hear her order drinks this way, as if gender had something to do with palate.
Me: “I couldn’t help but hear you order your cocktails, and I wanted to ask — why did you order them that way? I mean, do you think women have different palates than men?”
Woman: “Oh, that’s interesting — I don’t really know why I did that, actually. I’m actually a bartender myself, and I like all sorts of things.”
Me: “Right, absolutely. I mean, what if I’m a guy in the mood for something sweet and spicy, and I see this cocktail on the menu here with cinnamon, chili peppers, chocolate vodka and so forth. I probably won’t order it because it’s called ‘For Her Pleasure.’ But why is it called that? Because it’s a dessert drink?”
Woman: “Yeah, I don’t know. But it’s funny, because I actually ended up with a pretty strong martini, and my boyfriend’s is on the sweeter side. So I’m not sure me ordering the way I did made much of a difference after all. What are you drinking?”
Me: “Ahem. This is a ‘Valiant Soldier.'”
Woman: [Raises eyebrows.]
Oops. And with that, this valiant soldier was forced into retreat!