What Men Really Think About Your Cocktail Order

The author of a new book about booze tells us what messages we send with our drink orders.

Back in the days when I was a boozehound, I had a signature drink. My friends liked to call it the Diet Turkey. It consisted, naturally, of 50 percent Diet Coke and 50 percent Wild Turkey. See, I liked cola and whiskey, and I thought asking for Wild Turkey was sorta cool, sorta tough, and quite ridiculous.

But what did men think of me when I ordered that thing? Probably that I was a lunatic, sure. But at least I was an original lunatic.

These days, when I go out for a drink, I order a glass of red wine — Pinot Noir or Zinfandel or Tempranillo or whatever the bartender says is big and flavorful, fruity without being sweet, not too spicy, with a long finish. What does that say about me? I like to think it says I know what I like, but I'm not a snob. Although what it probably says to a guy is, "She's a pain in the ass."

When I heard there was a new cocktail book out called How to Booze: Exquisite Cocktails and Unsound Advice, I asked one of the co-authors if he thought that men made certain assumptions about their dates based on what they ordered.

Jordan Kaye confirms my suspicions. "Yep, different drinks send different messages," he says before singling out a few drinks in particular.


The drink that says, "No way in hell am I coming up to your place later"

Jordan explains: "This drink is all about caution. It's the very drink we recommend ordering on first dates, in fact, because it communicates a kind of restraint and seriousness that will serve you well when you're interested in taking things slowly."


The drink that says, "I want to hear about how much money you make"

"By asking for the distinctive, delicious, top-shelf reposado-style tequila, you'll set yourself apart," Jordan notes. "A high-end margarita like this demonstrates that you know how to have a good time — and no one is going to teach you any lessons about how to do that — but you aren't going to be fooled into making any compromises, either."


The drink that says, "You can treat me like one of the guys (except much better)"

This is basically a fancy beer drink — it's a half-pint of pale ale topped off with a half-pint of porter or stout. So it shows that you're laid-back enough to drink a brewski, cool enough to order a drink with serious pub cred, and demanding enough to ask for something special.


The drink that says, "Marriage...babies..."

"Herbs and citrus make men think fertility," says Jordan. "It's a drink that suggests you are full of life and ready to make more of it. Procreation obsession is probably not a message that most guys want to hear too directly, though." So, when you send the message subliminally, by way of your drink order, they can handle it.


The drink that says, "I'm up for anything! Sweep me off my feet!"

Jordan says: "If you happen to be on a date with a genuinely good guy, ask for a classic champagne cocktail. This will tell your date that you are bubbling with enthusiasm for what's coming next — whatever that may be." Jordan notes that ordering your bubbly cocktail-style is more interesting and festive than asking for it straight up. I'd add that the extra flair suggests a bit of Gatsby-era glamour.

Well, ladies (and gents)...what do you make of all this? What do you think your drink orders communicate?

I'll sign off by saying if you order a beer and a shot, you're sending the message that you want to have sex SOOON. If you order an Amaretto Sour, you're sending the message that you're still in high school and this is your first time at a bar (not that I don't love that drink). And if you order a Rye and Ginger, you're sending the message that you're my grandma.