What Your Cocktail Says About You

From Junior Editor Catherine Collentine

Ordering a drink stresses me out. I am terrible at choosing a cocktail due to a unique type of anxiety that consumes me the second a server or bartender pops up. I stare blankly back at the person taking my order, silently begging them to help me make a decision. After several awkward silences, I usually end up ordering something banal, like a vodka soda with two limes. Boring.

This poses a problem in my life more than you’d think, because the invites to “grab drinks” constantly pour in (pun intended). Niche cocktail speakeasies, wine bars, beer gardens, four page drink menus at dinner: they all overwhelm me. Add in the fact that I’m the kind of woman who gets overly excited by artisan cocktail menus (I’m a sucker for anything with lavender bitters or local bourbon), and there are seemingly endless options to confound and confuse me.

I make snap decisions about people based on what drink they order (for better or worse) which also makes me nervous when I’m deciding what to imbibe on. Will people define me by my order, the way I do them? What does your drink really say about you? Let’s break it down…


Men and women who order rosé year round seem to be on perpetual vacation time; they’re Manhattans’ answer to the Jimmy Buffet crowd. I don’t get it. What inspires you to drink summer water when it’s cold? Does rosé secretly pair nicely with a roaring fire and slippers? Inquiring minds want to know. Because while I judge you a bit, I’m also kind of having FOMO…can I pull the non-season rosé move off?

The Vodka Martini, Extra Dry With Many Olives:

If you order a martini, I automatically think you’re an adult. You know who you are and what you want and aren’t afraid to do what you have to do to get it. When I picture myself in adulthood (that elusive stage of life that I can’t admit I’m already in), it’s holding a martini and speaking with a Katharine Hepburn sort of accent. It’s what I order when I want to convey that I mean business…hopefully I’m pulling it off.

The Cosmopolitan:

Do people still drink cosmos? Is it lame to call them cosmos? I have never seen anyone order a cosmopolitan in real life, only on Sex And The City. Cosmos remind me of college, when I stirred cheap vodka and even cheaper cranberry juice with a butter knife, threw in a lime and called myself a mixologist. If you order a cosmo, I’ll probably think you’re a recent grad or indulging in a SATC binge. Maybe I’ll order one next time I’m feeling nostalgic for Carrie and the gang.

Gin & Tonic:

Gin & Tonics used to be my go-to drink. They’re insanely comforting; something about the gin reminds me of a grandpa in a cozy cashmere cardigan, listening to NPR softly playing through his old hand radio. If someone orders a G&T at dinner though, I assume they’re not too concerned with what they’re having for dinner (which, let’s face it, I always am). There are so many better options to pair with food – like bourbon with a gourmet burger or a perfect red wine with orrechiette, crumbled sausage and broccoli rabe. For me, Gin (unless in a martini) should be had only as an aperitif or in a bar, without food.


If you’re drinking champagne, I assume you’re celebrating something. So if you order champagne for no apparent reason, I’ll think you’re trying to channel Marilyn Monroe in Seven Year Itch, are a Francophile, or just are really cool for no apparent reason.

The Margarita:

The Margarita screams “It’s the weekend, bitches.” If you order one you make me happy, because you’re opting for something that seems quite exciting and festive on a regular evening. I figure you’re the kind of person who knows how to have a good time, and will tell me how to do so. The same way you could probably tell me how to rock a “going out” outfit without looking like I tried.

What’s your go-to order, Potatoheads? Please let me know – I’m still trying to find one that doesn’t make me anxious…

Other things that make this junior editor anxious? Digital detoxing. And the thought of giving up coffee

*Feature image illustrated by Carolyn Hakansson.