Women and Whiskey

I read an article on Facebook today on the 8 reasons to date a whiskey drinking woman.  These types of articles always make me smile, at first, because I’m a whiskey drinking woman and all of these descriptions seem complimentary. (Reasons to date girls that drink whiskey) Then it makes me wonder…why are these stereotypes around? Who are these mysterious women that society has conjured up?

Whiskey has a reputation in America as a bad boy or bad girl drink.  When it’s not seen as the drink of choice served to cowboys and criminals, it’s seen as the neat rocks glass drink served in dark smoky rooms filled with leather chairs and wealthy men.  Now it’s sultry women with secrets that don’t like commitment.  Whiskey has a long history in this country and it’s been used by advertising, politics and writers to conjure specific images and emotions.  Let’s be real here, you all know the appeal and you all know the reality, so why do these stereotypes still exist? Well, because we like them.

I’ve had many conversations with women that say, “Oh, I could never drink whiskey!”  The responses I got were more about them not wanting to do something that was out of character for themselves.  Drinking whiskey would make them too tough or too masculine and that was unappealing.  It had very little to do with the drink itself.  This notion that women should try flavored whiskey or should try it in a cocktail is not anti-feminist, as I see so many lady whiskey drinkers react, at first.  It is a safe and acceptable alternative to what most whiskey enthusiasts would consider “real” whiskey.  Many “real” whiskey drinkers make up rules like “You should only drink good whiskey neat” or “You should never add water to good whiskey” or “Men drink whiskey and women drink cocktails.”  I can promise you that the people that make whiskey and the folks that are proud of their family’s tradition of crafting spirits would never tell you how to drink what they’ve worked so hard to create.  Opinions on what’s right and wrong about drinking whiskey are created by the advertising, political motives and opinion writers of the whiskey world.

Our society has been taught since before Prohibition that whiskey is bad and those people that drink it are rebels and anti-establishment.  Women are certainly sensible enough to know what they like, but our culture does not condone women drinking rebellious drinks.  Our culture likes women drinking wine and is coming around to women drinking beer.  It used to be sexy and willful to smoke cigarettes thanks to those films showing femme fatales puffing away and silver screen tough guys lighting up.  Just try to remember that it’s all just an ad campaign.  People will think what they want to, but that’s mostly based on what they’ve been told to think.

Drink whiskey.  Don’t drink whiskey.  It’s up to you, ladies.  I love whiskey and I’m sure that has something to do with the fact the whiskey has an edge.  I’m not immune to the advertising!  In all honesty though, it is a wonderful drink that is crafted with a beautiful combination of artistry and science (two of my favorite subjects).  It’s a miracle to me that no two are alike, and all the magic that goes into making that statement true is what keeps me coming back for more.  Whiskey is a drink for the people.  It’s what we, as a people, should enjoy together!  Cheers!