When I was at University, there was no-one quite as patronising as the Mature-Aged Students.
In spite of also being First Years, they seemed to have an extraordinary amount of wisdom that they needed to impart to me and my cohort.
This wisdom covered many areas, and group assignments were an excellent opportunity for me to receive vital and comprehensive tips on how to improve the way I lived my life. Tips mostly completely unrelated to our course of study.
One particularly special piece of advice I received was that ladies don’t drink beer, they drink wine or cocktails.
Thanks Ken, in return, I’m offering you the handy tip that your moustache is out of date and you can probably fuck off.
Fast forward a few decades and I think there would be a few people very surprised to learn that simply by virtue of changing tastes, apparently I am now a lady.
A cocktail and wine-chuggin’ lady.
Oh I know, the times they are a-changin’ and I’m sure that Mature-Aged Students can acquit themselves with more collegiality now, and that we are all smart enough to know that there’s no such thing as a gender-specific drink anymore.
But what cocktail do we cover ahead of that most beautiful celebration of love and equal rights, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras?
Well I was stumped.
So imagine my surprise and delight when I was scrolling through the website of one of my favourite liquor retailers this morning and discovered (as I put a way too large and loud Dorito in my mouth, seriously, when are we going to address this issue with an appropriate lady-snack?) that there are indeed gender-determined drink categories we should be sticking to.
For Men, it is beer (of course), American Whiskey/Bourbon and Red Wine.
For Ladies, it is Champagne, White Wine and Vodka.
So it seems that in spite of what I thought back in University, in this week before International Women’s Day, the answer is actually clear.
I need to order up a Cosmopolitan.
I’ve been avoiding the Cosmo, not because I dislike it, but because of the association with a show that, while entertaining, did what I consider to be an enormous amount of damage to the image of modern women around the turn of century.
Sex and the City.
And frankly, it’s still causing problems.
My beef with SATC is long and multi-faceted and to be honest, far too dull to grace these pages. But in brief, shoes are not a substitute for personality, women can also be arseholes and isn’t is fucking marvellous to be rich and white and living in NYC and still living way beyond our means because we know a bloke will save us from ourselves soon?
But in spite of all of that, apparently the Cosmopolitan exists independent of the Carrie/Samantha/ Sarah-Jessica/Kym feud and I should give it a red-hot go.
The Cosmopolitan’s history apparently dates way back to a time when the Huxtables were showing us the raise way to raise our families and wear our awesome sweaters.
1987 (also a time when Mature-Aged Student Life Advice entered my life).
The IBA recipe calls for citrus vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice and lime juice.
It’s sweet and pleasant enough and the cranberry juice will help you ignore your cystitis symptoms until the hangover moves in to eclipse them.
So that’s a nice bonus.
For me, and you know my feelings on vodka, I think if you’re going to use flavoured vodka, you might as well use gin (even though we now know ladies aren’t supposed to be drinking that).
So I’d suggest shaking up a new cocktail, one more interesting than a Cosmo and named after someone who did much more interesting things on television around the turn of the century. I kind of made it up so I get to name it.
The Ellen de Marvellous.
Shake 40mLs of GIN (that’s the part I made up, substitute the vodka for gin, we used Hendricks), 15mLs Cointreau, 30mLs of Cranberry juice and 15mLs of fresh lime juice with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
In 2018, Ellen de Generes turns 60, celebrates her 10th wedding anniversary and marks 20 years since her show Ellen was cancelled after the network cut back on the promotion of it following her coming out the year before. The Walt Disney Company was parent company of ABC and apparently didn’t like the subject matter.
Yes, fortunately the times have indeed a-changed but that was CRAZY BRAVE at the time and by being brave – and nice, Ellen’s comedy isn’t mean or exclusive – Ellen de Generes has contributed mightily to that change to the point that maybe even moustachioed Ken could begin to accept that a lady can drink whatever she damned-well pleases.
And this lady and her bloke damned-well please to throw off the strictures of what we’re apparently meant to drink by virtue of our chromosomes and sit on the couch, watch the Mardi Gras Parade on television and down some cool Ellens this weekend as we raise a glass in gratitude to all the warriors for equality.