Do Cocktail Glasses Have a Gender? For Some Men, Clearly.


At a recent work party in New York City, 28-year-old real estate banking analyst Brady Dunair approached the bar to order a drink. He was shocked by what he found: his whiskey-based cocktail served in a stemmed glass and decorated with a flower.

The presentation, he thought, was “a bit unexpected” for a whiskey drink. So for his next round, he ordered the same cocktail but told the bartender, “Hold the flower, pass me a roux glass.”

That same night, 26-year-old Daniel Kaye, who works in finance, was less than thrilled with the fruity cocktail he ordered at the Commerce Inn while out with friends. She said the highball glass with the striped straw made her feel a little feminine. “I didn’t like it,” he said, “It was a manly venue, a lot of whiskey was being served.”

There are many reasons why a bartender would serve cocktails in a particular type of glass, dilution and aeration between them. “The 30-something finance bro doesn’t care,” said Kyle Kuhl, the head bartender at the . Rocco’s Sports & Entertainment in Noho.

While attempts to challenge the gender binary are evident in the way we talk, dress for work and put on makeup, a visit to a cocktail bar can transport you back to the 1950s. Bartenders say many men appear committed to always drinking from “manly” glasses and avoiding glassware they consider too feminine.

“It’s a joke of the industry that we lump people into one image based on their choice of glassware,” said Kaslin Bose, 30, a bartender at Donna’s in the West Village. At Donna’s, drinks are colorful, sometimes garnished with fruit and cocktail umbrellas and often served in “curvy glasses,” he said.

Ms Bose requests – only the men – to transfer the cocktail from one glass to another. He said that a manly glass is always a rock glass for those who ask.

At Rocco’s, Mr. Kuhl’s solution is a color-coded glassware guide on the cocktail menu. A blue dot means the cocktail will come in a Roux glass; The green dot symbolizes the coupe glass; and a gray dot represents a novelty glass (has a shape). like football,

Mr. Kuhl has seen more glassware spec on the menu since the pandemic. “More and more cocktail bars are leaning towards it to minimize the surprise of customers,” he said.

Glassware choices are important—for example, Mr. Kuhl serves Serena Chilliams at French 75 in a coupe glass, so that the drink is neither diluted with ice nor warm from the customer’s hand. Their menu provides fair warning.

The system requires some degree of knowledge of glassware, but it works. “A young boy said to me, ‘I was going to get Cherry Bond, but then I saw what Nick and Nora Glass had,'” Mr. Kuhl said. (Nick and Nora look like smaller versions of a stemmed wine glass — possibly non-masculine.)

In his 2019 book, “Alchemy: The Amazing Power of Ideas That Make No SenseAdvertising executive Rory Sutherland wrote, “A few years ago, we found that men were reluctant to order a cocktail at the bar – partly because they had no prior knowledge of the glass in which it would be served.” The solution, Mr. Sutherland found, was to “put pictures or photos of the drinks on the menu.”

in one video with more than 2.4 million views On TikTok, Max Klymenko, who also works in advertising, presented this revelation in “Alchemy”. For new viewers. The conversation in the comments mostly confirmed the book’s conclusions: “I’ve seen men panic about a straw,” read one bartender’s response.

“It’s just a matter of what you see on TV and in the movies,” Mr. Klimenko said. “I clearly remember Harvey Specter in ‘Suits’ always drank from a small glass. To me, it was something like Seemed like something I should emulate.

But Shinji’s In the Flatiron District, the menu includes illustrations of every house cocktail, all served in specialty glassware. But up and up In Greenwich Village, the cocktail menu has both pictures and keys depicting rocks, highballs and stemmed glasses. Cocktail director Ali Martin said the intention was simply to convey the strength or dilution of the drink, but for those who want to drink exclusively from a rocks glass, it saves a step.

“As a society, we are working towards dismantling gender roles and gender dynamics,” said Haley Traub, general manager of Attaboy on the Lower East Side. “Why is this a little thing we’re still holding on to?”

Ms. Traub said she is frustrated by the man’s continued glass movement, but she doesn’t see that changing any time soon. “As much as you want to shake that person by the shoulders and say, ‘Stop gendering glassware,'” she said, “it helps to take the opportunity to explain and educate, and hopefully change their perspective.” Will change.”

Jake Webster, a 24-year-old finance professional, succumbed to the urge to have a stemless glass. When he first started going to bars, he’d order beer or whiskey on the rocks. Eventually, he got tired of ordering drinks he didn’t like.

Despite stalking “a few people at the bar, usually Chad in the room”, he said, his drinking habits are now a cosmopolitanServed straight in a V-shaped glass.

“It’s 2023,” he said. “Who cares now?”

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