The gender booze binary

According to a reader survey by The Mixer, men also enjoy sweet colourful cocktails just as much as women do.

This contradicts a theory that has divided the drinks sector for decades. And while stereotypes may be blurring and modern ideas changing our drinking habits, science has shown there is indeed physiological differences between what women taste compared to men.

Dr. Linda Bartoshuk, a taste researcher at the University of Florida noted that women generally have more taste buds on average than men. This and hormonal differences between the genders may contribute to how women experience bitterness however other flavours such as sweet, salty, sour and umami were experienced equally by both men and women.

While the differences noted are very subtle, taste perception overall is a complex interplay of biology, genetics, environment, culture, and personal experiences.

To appeal to a wider audience, bartenders are working very hard at de-feminizing cocktails for men by renaming these drinks and updating their flavour profile for a more balanced beverage. The goal is to create a beverage that anyone can enjoy without feeling pressure while ordering it.

A great gin to experiment with is Whitley Neill gin, which boasts seven unique flavours in a kaleidoscope of colours. For an African-inspired tipple try the distinctly purple Protea & Hibiscus gin that fuses protea and hibiscus flowers into a smooth, floral gin that is produced and sold exclusively in South Africa.

Other variants include Raspberry, Blackberry, Aloe and Cucumber, Blood Orange, Lemongrass & Ginger or Original London dry-style gin. Even adding fruit to your favourite G&T adds sweetness and colour without looking too girly.

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