Choice of drink is gender issue

Ron Tarver KRT

Keith Brainard Knight Ridder Newspapers (KRT)

Q. Is it true that the kind of drink you’re having says something about your personality?

A. As I sit here sipping on gasoline and chasing it with lighter fluid, I can honestly say that what you drink has no bearing on who you are.

However, this is definitely a gender issue. Ladies, you can get away with drinking just about anything.

If you’re drinking an apricot sour, that’s typical. If you’re drinking a stout beer, that’s cool. If you’re drinking a gin and tonic, that’s awesome.

If you’re drinking a Miller Lite, that’s normal. If you’re drinking a cosmopolitan, you’re trying to be sophisticated, but that’s still cool. If you’re drinking a double Wild Turkey followed by an irish carbomb, you rock!

Yes, ladies can drink ANYTHING and get away with it without social demoralization.

The dudes of this world live on a different social crust.

If you’re a guy, and you like white zinfandel, drink it at home. ALONE. If you’re a guy and you like strawberry daiquiris, drink it at home. ALONE. Don’t drink girly drinks in a social setting unless you are reclining on a sand dune along the shores of a Jamaican resort.

Hopefully none of this is new information to you, but if it is, take notes.

I’m not talking about some general education class notes, I mean REAL actual notes that find a permanent home in your brain.

Now that we understand the gender barrier, as far as social drink selection goes, let’s explore what you drink and why you drink it.

Bartending in a college town, I have the fortunate opportunity to influence young livers.

I have served countless numbers of fresh 21 year-olds. I enjoy this position because these people are like Michael Jackson visiting Dubois (pause and let that one sink in).

Let’s actually assume, for legal reasons, that you begin drinking when you turn 21.

What you start drinking is never what you eventually drink, otherwise everyone would be drinking 40s.

It’s like having a major at college: it changes every four months, and despite what you eventually graduate in, you wind up working at a bank, or worse yet, tending bar.

This is the beauty of drinking. The drink will not think less of you, despite your social surroundings-so explore!

Try a scotch on the rocks sometime. Try a Manhattan or martini (and not some fruity “martini”). Try a dark beer. Try something other than what’s on special!

For goodness sake’s people, I’m begging you. Try something other than a lager or a Long Island iced tea!

Trust me when I say the only person who cares what you are drinking is the bartender (unless you’re a guy drinking a “girly” drink).

The only reason I care is because it’s my job to remember what you drink.

I’d like to think I can tell why you drink what you drink, but even I’m wrong most of the time.

But when a shaky-handed 50-something man with squinted eyes and week-old clothes asks me for a shot of gin at 11 a.m., I know that story. If a 20-something woman out with her friends asks for a shot of gin at 11 p.m., I know she’s trying to punish her best friend.

Everything is relative to context.

Therefore, what you drink ultimately says nothing about you. It’s all about the situation (are you playing darts with friends, sitting at a table with a date, sitting at a bar killing time, etc.), the time of day, the type of bar you’re at and the price of the drinks (let’s be honest).

Bottom line, drink what you like, and the drink will like you back.

Your tastes will change over the years, but unlike your choice in a spouse, you won’t lose your house if you decide to switch from rum to vodka.

So explore, but if you ask me for a drink that requires the use of a blender, you damned well better tip heavily!