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Cocktails For Ladies

7 January 2012

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be heading to Congac, France, to participate in this year’s International Cognac Summit, hosted by the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC). Each summit has a theme, and this year the focus is Women and Cognac.

One of the objectives of the summit, I’m told, is to “gather cocktails that appeal to women, identify key ingredients and possibly develop new cocktails geared towards the female audience.”

Certain cocktails, such as Cosmopolitans and chocolate martinis, would seem to have a stereotypically female following, and I suppose certain drinks tend to appeal to men (like Cognac, apparently). But why? Are our palates so different? Do delicate lady tongues really prefer sweet, frilly drinks? I don’t buy it.

But as a man, I don’t presume to know what women really truly want in their cocktails. So ladies, I’m asking: What do you want? When you’re presented with a cocktail menu, what makes you say, “Yes! That is the drink for me.” If you have a husband or boyfriend, do you think  your palate is different from his in any way?


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8 Comments to “Cocktails For Ladies”

  1. My favorite cocktail is gin and tonic with lime and mint. I would think of that as a pretty gender-neutral drink. I’m not particularly attracted to sweet drinks as much as fresh drinks. Like you, I don’t want high fructose corn syrup in my tonic. The things that grab me in a cocktail are freshly squeezed juices like cucumber or orange or fresh herbs.

    • Yes! I love fresh drinks too, with as few chemicals as possible. And you’re so right that cucumber and fresh herbs can do wonders for cocktails.

  2. I prefer Manhattan’s, Gin & Tonic, Sapphire Martini, or 7&7. However, most of my female friends prefer fruity drinks, which I don’t like at all. All the sugar goes through me to quickly and besides not tasting good they give me a nasty hangover, even if I’ve only had a few.

    • That’s a fine cocktail list, and I must say sugar does the same thing to me. Sugar hits me hardest at birthday parties, I find. If I’ve been drinking and then have a piece of cake, it’s over.

      Your comment more or less confirms what I thought, which is that women can hardly be considered a cocktail monolith.

  3. Christopher Davis

    I’m not a woman–despite my occasionally big girl tendencies–but I have noticed women seem to prefer sweeter cocktails and wines at higher proportions than do men. But in regards to cognac and lady drinks: I’ve been accused of ordering an “old lady drink” when I’ve gotten a Sidecar, which I could see pleasing both sides of the sweet/not-sweet divide. I love a manhattan and an old fashioned (not with cognac) obviously–but with “manly” bourbon and they too are “old lady drinks.” Maybe I’m just an old lady in a man’s body :).

    • Well, Sidecars, Old Fashioneds and Manhattans are all delicious – if those are old lady drinks, I’d say the old ladies have excellent taste!

  4. I prefer vodkas and REALLY good tequilas, but that is about it. I’ll be honest, I’ve never tried cognac, but it sounds like a heavier drink. I tend to lean towards the light, refreshing, and citrus varieties when I chose to drink of hard alcohol. If a mixed drink with cognac in it can come close to this description, I would be willing to give it a shot, or two 😉

    • It sounds like you are in the same camp as Cadry, above. There is something particularly delightful about fresh-squeezed citrus combined with alcohol.

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