The Truth About The Gender Booze Binary

September 15, 2022 by

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We were surprised to see Google searches asking ‘are cocktails just for girls?’ and ‘manly drinks’ and so launched a survey on the genderization of cocktails, asking the public questions about their individual cocktail preferences to see if each gender played out their stereotype. The results are surprising!

Our survey revealed that a gender booze binary persists in today’s culture, with 87% of all respondents agreeing there is still a visible gender divide in the way alcoholic drinks are marketed and sold. This plays out particularly in cocktail drinking, with sweet, fruity, brightly coloured, prettily-garnished drinks being positioned as feminine or ‘girly’, and savory, sour, spicy, strong drinks advertised as masculine or ‘manly’.

What’s more, drinking cocktails is largely considered to be a female activity – with the majority of our respondents (over 75%) assuming that women consume the most amount of cocktails. Read on to discover more:

Cocktail taste: Men like it sweet

Best Fruity Cocktails

It seems that, contrary to popular opinion, both men and women prefer sweet-tasting cocktails. With 40% of all respondents choosing sweet-tasting cocktails, followed by fruity cocktails (28%). Bitter flavors were much lower on the list.

Cocktail strength: It’s easy as ABV

Variety of different cocktails on a wooden table

The majority of men prefer stronger cocktails (55%), whereas more women choose lighter, refreshing drinks (50%) and are more likely to go for a mocktail (16%).

Cocktail color: The rules of attraction

A colorful assortment of cocktails and description of cocktail colors' effect on the rules of attraction.

The majority of women are attracted to brightly colored cocktails like pinks, purples and reds (45%), whereas the majority of men don’t give two hoots about the color of their drink (40%).

Cocktail garnish: Keep it simple

Infographic showing favorite cocktail garnishes by gender.

Both men (54%) and women (50%) prefer a simple garnish, such as an olive, slice of citrus or sprig of herb, over a bells-and-whistles extravagant garnish, or no garnish at all.

Cocktail name: Get flirty

French Kiss Cocktail surrounded by fresh oranges

Both men (37%) and women (26%) prefer fun and flirty names such as French Kiss and Hanky Panky, over classy, sophisticated names such as Sidecar and Dark & Stormy.

Cocktail spirit base: Here’s looking at you, vodka

Classic Vodka Martini with Olives

Of all the spirits, vodka is a clear winner for both genders, with 29% men and 30% women choosing it over other bases such as gin, rum, whiskey, tequila and brandy.

Drinking neat spirits: Give it to me straight

Hand pouring cocktail over ice in tumbler glass

Drinking spirits neat is popular with both genders, with 25% men and 12% of women very often drinking spirits neat, and 44% men and 39% of women sometimes drinking spirits neat.

Preferred cocktail glass: Judging a cocktail by its vessel

Infographic showing favorite cocktail glasses by gender.

From a long list of options, the favorite cocktail glass amongst men is the squat, cylindrical lowball or rocks glass (28%), whereas women prefer the curvy, fluted hurricane glass (19%).

Cocktail confidence: Budding mixologists

Cocktails made with local ingredients

More men are confident about their cocktail knowledge than women, with 25% of men and 15% of women feeling very confident, and 45% men and 43% women feeling quite confident.

Favorite at-home cocktail: The marvellous Margarita

Infographic showing favorite cocktails by gender.

The Margarita is a clear winner for both men and women when asked their preferred cocktail to make at home, with rum and coke coming close second across both genders. In addition, the Pina Colada and Sex On The Beach scores highly on the womens’ list, and the Screwdriver and Bloody Mary are runners-up for the men.

Favorite Place To Drink Cocktails: Wherever You May Go

Music at an outdoor cocktail party

Of all the places to drink, men prefer ordering cocktails when out socializing at bars (25%) whereas women prefer drinking cocktails when out dining at restaurants (25%).

Cocktail experimentation: Surprise me!

Infographic showing favorite cocktail experiments by gender.

Both men and women are keen to experiment with new cocktails, with 62% men and 59% of women open to trying new drinks.

Self-consciousness: Stare all you want

Sex on the Beach Cocktail

It was pleasing to see that the majority of both men and women are uninhibited about ordering flamboyant, decorated cocktails such as Unicorn Kiss or Sex on the Beach, with 59% of men and 72% of women claiming they are not at all self-conscious.


Source: Pollfish
Respondents: 1000

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