What are Girly Drinks?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
Colorful cocktails are often considered girly drinks.
Colorful cocktails are often considered girly drinks.

Most alcoholic beverages served in a bar fall under two very broadly defined categories: manly drinks and girly drinks. Manly drinks tend to contain only a few key ingredients, alcohol and something else. The flavor or appearance of the drink is a secondary consideration compared to the amount of alcohol it contains. Girly drinks, on the other hand, may have a number of ingredients, most of which are not actual alcohol. These ingredients are often blended with ice, diluted with mixers or served with elaborate garnishes such as umbrellas or speared fruit.

Alcoholic drinks containing orange juice can be considered girly.
Alcoholic drinks containing orange juice can be considered girly.

It is no secret that many people find the taste of alcohol to be unpleasant at best. While many male drinkers consider downing an especially potent drink to be a sign of masculinity, many women prefer beverages which minimize the bitter flavor and burn of the alcohol. Many so-called "girly drinks" were invented to mask the taste of bathtub gin or other questionable sources of alcohol. The addition of fruit juices helped to mask the flavor, while mixers such as cream or ginger ale often minimized the burning sensation.

Fruit-flavored drinks are considered girly.
Fruit-flavored drinks are considered girly.

Frozen drinks such as fruit daiquiris and breezes are often categorized as girly drinks, especially with the addition of drink parasols, shaved coconut or fruit garnishes. Even without the blended ice, mixed drinks containing fruit juices such as orange juice or cranberry juice can also be considered girly. Straight amaretto served with ice may be considered a manly drink, for example, but an amaretto mixed with orange juice or a sour mix could be considered girly.

A Tequila Sunrise drink could be considered a girly drink.
A Tequila Sunrise drink could be considered a girly drink.

Martinis and other high-end cocktails are often considered the definition of girly drinks. Trendy martini blends such as Cosmopolitans or Appletinis have a strong appeal for women who seek flavorful drinks made from more palatable alcohols such as vodka or schnapps. Even cocktails containing several different kinds of white liquors, such as Long Island Iced Teas, can be considered girly because of their sweetened mixers and elaborate presentation.

Girly drinks often have elaborate garnishes and cocktail umbrellas.
Girly drinks often have elaborate garnishes and cocktail umbrellas.

Girly drinks may also feature flavored liqueurs and fruit-flavored vodkas instead of the harsher bourbons and malt whiskeys found in other mixed drinks. Popular college drinks such as Sex on the Beach or Tequila Sunrise can also be included in this category because they contain mixers and fruit juices to mute the taste of the alcohol.

Mixed drinks which use cream, milk or Irish Cream as mixers could also be considered girly drinks. This would include recipes for Mudslides, Grasshoppers and White Russians, although many drinks in this category do fall somewhere between true girly and manly drinks.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

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Discussion Comments

seHiro

@dega2010 - While it's a good message to send to your daughters that drinks can taste good without alcohol, I have to wonder why you would encourage them to get into drink mixing, which imitates the way alcoholic beverages are made. Why not fruit smoothies or something else that wouldn't possibly encourage curiosity in bar-room drink mixing?

ahain

As a woman who thinks most alcohol taste disgusting, let me tell you, "girly drinks" are the only way I will ever get buzzed. I can manage to drink a Long Island Iced Tea and enjoy it, and vanilla vodka with cola or vodka and orange juice Screwdrivers are drinkable.

However, if you think any flavored, yummy-sounding drink will taste good, think again. For my 21st birthday, my friends took me to the local Applebee's, where I ordered a chocolate martini. Chocolate means it tastes good, right? Not when it's a martini. It was so disgusting that I barely managed to choke the whole thing down -- and the glass wasn't very big! For best results finding a good-tasting "girly drink", stick to fruit flavors.

dega2010

My daughter just turned 13 and she wanted to have kid drinks that they could make and have fun with at her party. I found some great recipes and the girls loved making them. We stressed the fact to them that you can have great drinks without alcohol.

Their favorite was called the Evil Princess. For one drink, you need 1 oz. grenadine, 2 oz. grape juice, 1 oz. apple juice, 1 tbsp. vanilla extract, and 1 tbsp. lemon juice.

Pour over ice, stir and garnish with a slice of lemon.

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    • Colorful cocktails are often considered girly drinks.
      Colorful cocktails are often considered girly drinks.
    • Alcoholic drinks containing orange juice can be considered girly.
      Alcoholic drinks containing orange juice can be considered girly.
    • Fruit-flavored drinks are considered girly.
      Fruit-flavored drinks are considered girly.
    • A Tequila Sunrise drink could be considered a girly drink.
      A Tequila Sunrise drink could be considered a girly drink.
    • Girly drinks often have elaborate garnishes and cocktail umbrellas.
      Girly drinks often have elaborate garnishes and cocktail umbrellas.
    • Many women prefer beverages that minimize the bitter flavor and burn of the alcohol.
      Many women prefer beverages that minimize the bitter flavor and burn of the alcohol.
    • Girly drinks are typically served in stemmed glasses.
      Girly drinks are typically served in stemmed glasses.
    • A lemon drop martini may be considered a girly drink.
      A lemon drop martini may be considered a girly drink.
    • In a girly drink, harsher bourbons and malt whiskeys are replaced with flavored liquers and fruit-flavored vodkas.
      In a girly drink, harsher bourbons and malt whiskeys are replaced with flavored liquers and fruit-flavored vodkas.