There's something I've been wondering for a while now -- do drinks have genders?
I'll be honest, I love me a well-made cosmopolitan, but I have yet to work up the courage to request the pink cocktail at a bar. Instead I opt for simpler, more robust beverages, like a gin and tonic or black and tan. Still, I can't help but crave something sweeter, something fruitier, and something -- perhaps -- a little less manly.
I'm not the first to speculate whether there are specific sexual connotations behind drink orders. The Social Issues Research Centre in the U.K. did a study on the social and cultural aspects of drinking and found the drinks I'm longing for -- sweet and soft -- are perceived to be more feminine.
I'm curious to see if in Boston, a supposedly more progressive locale, shares the same view. Would you stop and stare if you saw a large man with a hairy chest gingerly sipping a cosmo? If a petite woman ordered a whiskey, would it give you pause? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'll be calling around to some local bartenders to get their thoughts as well. Until then, choose your drink wisely, or you might be sending some seriously wrong signals.
See this drink I’m holding? It’s one of my all-time favorite beverages: Bacardi + Diet Coke...basically it's a mean-and-lean Cuba Libre. Here’s how I do it:
2 oz light rum
4 or 5 oz Diet Coke
Cut up that lime into four pieces. Squeeze some lime juice into a collins glass (or plastic cup, like the one I'm holding). Throw ice into the glass. Pour rum, followed by some Diet Coke, and squeeze a bit more lime juice in there. Swirl it all around, and presto – you’ve got yourself a cool beverage.
For my New Year's resolution I decided to drink more, and save more money. A pint-sized bottle of light Bacardi and a 2-liter of Diet Coke costs about $10. For the price of one cocktail at a downtown bar, you can make five or six of these on your own - so before you go out on the town, invite your friends over and mix some of these up for 'em (of course, remember to exercise caution).
Drinking Tip # 2
I love silent movies. (One of my favorite pastimes is popping Pandora’s Box into the ol' VCR, turning the volume down, and playing New Order or Joy Division on the stereo. It’s a perfect soundtrack for that Louise Brooks flick. But I digress...)
I was psyched when I stumbled across this recipe, named after the late great Mary Pickford. I haven’t tried this myself, but it seems pretty decent if you dig fruity drinks.
2 oz light rum
2 oz pineapple juice
1 tsp grenadine
1 tsp maraschino cherry juice
Pour the ingredients into a shaker with ice cubes, shake well, then strain into a cocktail glass. Raise your glass, then knock it back.
-- Emily Sweeney
Sip on a classic cocktail, the Brandy Alexander, at Fleming's.
Check out Barcode in Sidekick.
By Liza Weisstuch
The name came first. Only after owner David M. Paratore christened his new spot Vintage Lounge did he learn that the Financial District building it sits in was designed by legendary 19th-century architect Charles Bulfinch. With boxy leather armchairs and studded barstools that look as if they’ve been plucked from a Henry James novel, mod leather stools, and a curvy, buttercup-yellow ’60s sofa dominating the center of the room, it’s unclear what era ‘‘vintage’’ refers to.
What is clear is that the cozy lounge is devoid of attitude, harkening it back to saloons of old and making it seem vintage indeed. Add that to the fact that the expansive windows provide a bird’s-eye view of the horse and carriages trotting by on Broad Street, and you’ve got the classic New England ambience clinched.
The cocktails also have an old-fashioned touch. Most seem to have been inspired by cookbooks the bartenders pulled off their grandmothers’ shelves. Witness the Vintage Lemon Square Martini ($12) in a glass rimmed with crushed graham crackers, the espresso-spiked Hazelnut Martini ($15), and the frothy Key Lime Martini ($12).
The place is a busy detour for the after-work crowd — and a refreshing reprieve from the area’s surplus of dark Irish pubs. Even on a recent rainy night, sharply accessorized guests tossed around terms like ‘‘portfolio’’ and ‘‘market research’’ at the alabaster bar. On a different visit at a later hour, the place had the feel of a classy neighborhood bar, not at all surprising given that the Vintage Lounge is on the ground floor of a building that houses 96 condos. Who wouldn’t appreciate a stocked bar in their lobby?
Not so fast. The spinach and artichoke dip at Sunset Grill and Tap (130 Brighton Ave., Allston) perfectly complements almost any of the bar's 112 beers on tap. When it comes to bar food, this dish ranks supreme. Featuring a plate of extra crisp pita chips covered in cheese, lots of olives, and a big heap of thick, creamy spinach and artichoke dip lumped in the middle, this isn't the standard T.G.I. Friday's side you're used to. For $8.50, you'll wonder how you even considered the nachos.