Keep your gender binary out of my cocktail.
When we first visited the Freehouse back in January, our initial impression was less than glowing. Maybe a lot less. Since then the brewpub has been fine-tuning the things it does best: appetizers (the hard cider-battered cheese curds with quince jam disappeared very quickly at a recent happy hour), brunch, and drinks. The Freehouse's cocktails have proved to be a pleasant surprise, including signature breakfast drink the Wake-Up Call . The bar program has a strong enough point of view to differentiate itself in a neighborhood that has a high standard for beverage trends.
But there's one thorn we just weren't able to ignore, one thing that made us think much too long and hard about liquor and ice and garnish in a glass -- an experience that should be enjoyable rather than infuriating. We're talking about the His and Hers Old Fashioneds.
It's not that there's anything really wrong with the drinks themselves. Old Fashioneds are delicious. We have discussed them ad nauseam here , here , and here . But the gender-specific designation is irksome for many reasons.
1. The drinks aren't even that different.
Maybe that's the social comment the Freehouse is making, but that seems doubtful. The Old Fashioned for Her (both are rum-based, a trend we have also seen take hold at the new Hola Arepa
) contains flor de cana rum, an orange slice, cherries, bitters, and simple syrup. It's relatively standard. The Old Fashioned for Him is just flor de cana rum, bitters, and simple syrup, which one could argue makes this drink more closely related to a mojito than it does an Old Fashioned.
2. Assigning "his and hers" tags discourages people from ordering the drink they want.
Or just customizing a classic cocktail any damn way they like it. If you get a martini up with a twist would you call that a Ladies' Lemony Gin Drink for Ladies? No. You would call it a martini the way you order a martini.
3. The myth that some weird gender binary exists when it comes to drinking is absurd.
When it comes to putting fruit in drinks -- yes, even orange slices and cherries -- all genders can partake. Any other mode of thinking is just a hindrance to our collective development as drinkers and as people.
We understand this was likely done in the lighthearted spirit of fun and marketing and offering something a little bit different. But there's just something about the antiquated assumptions that women want sugar and spice and everything nice and men drink to put hair on their chest that rubs us the wrong way.
Have you ordered one of these drinks? Did you get the one that matched your gender? Seen this trend or something similar elsewhere? Are we reading into this too much? Have at it in the comments.
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