The bourbon gap

The Times' Alex Witchel tosses her drink in sexism's face.

Published September 27, 2006 10:46PM (EDT)

Alex Witchel of the New York Times likes her Maker's Mark. But here's what happened when she and her husband both ordered bourbon and soda. "I watched as the bartender filled two tall glasses with ice. He poured bourbon into the first glass, a healthy amount, then squirted some soda on top. In the second glass he poured the bourbon and soda simultaneously, rendering it the color of a weak ginger ale," she writes in today's Dining section. "Guess which one was mine?"

Not an anomaly, she insists. At another New York restaurant, she and two men take a table and order the same drink, bartender-blind. Result? "The waiter was male, and sure enough, the drink lightest in color was served to me." These days, when girl-tinis remain the trend that just won't die, she writes, "I've noticed more than a tad of residual resistance to the notion that the female of the species can drink hard liquor unadorned by grenadine or chunks of oxidizing pineapple."

Her solution: a lady bartender. At an East Village restaurant with a predominantly female staff, Witchel notes, "I was served a glass of bourbon and ice, three-quarters full, with a small bottle of club soda on the side so I could decide for myself how much I wanted." Cheers!

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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