Monday, July 21, 2008

A Field Guide to Spotting Cocktailians

Female cocktail pros and enthusiasts comes in all forms, but the men of the mixed-drink field share a surprising number of characteristics, making them fairly easy to spot in a tavern, liquor store or other traditional territories. Having observed them closely over the past five days, I have developed this guide to help you discern whether you are looking at a Bud Man or a guy who has 15 different of bitters in his cupboard.

Shared Cocktailian Characteristics (spot three or more on one individual and you may have a fruit-muddling, ice-breaking Daisy-maker on your hands):

*Headgear. Typically these are short-brimmed, straw or felt pork pies, often one size too small for the person's head, but you may also see cowboy hats, bucket hats, caps, pith helmets and safari hats.

*Short-sleeve, retro shirts, either Hawaiian, Cuban or of the two-tone leisure sort typical in the 1950s. Shirts bearing cocktail-related art (painted or embroidered cocktail shakes, martini glasses, etc.) are also popular.

*Facial hair. Beards, goatees, muttonchops, Van Dycks, long sideburns are all possible signs.

*Ruddy cheeks and/or nose. No explanation needed here.

*A vest worn buttoned and without a jacket.

*Tattoos. More commonly found among bartenders.

*The lack of a necktie. A notable exception to this rule is the specimen who not only have a tie, but also a pocket corner, tie-clip, French-cuff or white-collared shirts and two-tone shoes.

*Evidence of little bottles containing unknown spirits, tonics, bitters and potions stored in various pockets.

When you see any of the below, you do not have a Cocktailian:

*Tucked-in shirt.

*Plain black or brown dress shoes.

*A sweater.

*A briefcase.

*Someone who looks at their watch a lot.

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