Booze in the Media

Does Gender Dictate Bartender’s Choice?

The Weekly explores.

July 13, 2011

Dude, you flip the bottle like that for everyone.

Photo: Touchstone Pictures

Interesting item on Seatttle Weekly’s Voracious blog: Restaurant critic Hanna Raskin sent two interns—a woman and a man—out to three bars to test whether an order of "bartender’s choice" would yield different results depending on gender. The interns were instructed to say only that they wanted a cocktail with brown liquor and citrus.

The experiment was conducted at Zig Zag, Sun Liquor, and Bathtub Gin. At each bar, both interns ended up with the same cocktails. This indicates a lack of gender bias, perhaps, but also goes to show that bartender’s choice requires something of the customer as well. Brown liquor and citrus is a very general order, after all. But in a way it’s specific too. My favorite bartender’s choice moments came when I said only: "What are you experimenting with right now?"

The reason this works well is that it shows the ‘tender you’re adventurous, without requiring that you pretentiously name drop ingredients to show you’re not some sort of booze rube. It also shows a respect for the craft—bartenders, you may have heard, are not known for a lack of ego. Appeal to them this way, and they’ll generally make you something original and delicious. Try it some time and see what you get.

Read the full article on Voracious.

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