Unlike the olden days when a woman who drinks was considered wayward, it is now socially acceptable for women to drink, even on their own in a bar, without raising eyebrows. As the modern cliché goes, women no longer stay at home and cook like their mothers, they now go out and drink like their fathers.
Alcoholic drink manufacturers are exploiting this new and upward market segment by positioning certain drinks specifically for women.
Now that we have established that there’s no big deal in a woman enjoying a sip or two of her favourite alcoholic beverage, what does her choice of drink say about her? Some of these may appear cliché or stereotypical, but people are nonetheless bound to associate particular women with specific drinks.
Don’t be fooled, women have mastered the art of changing their drinks depending on the company, venue and of course, who is picking the tab! We asked men what they think of particular alcohol brands and the women who consume them. Here are their uncensored views:
1. The panty remover
Unlike men who are introduced to alcohol by being thrown into the deep end of strong beverages, bitter liquor with alcohol volumes in the vicinity of 40 percent, women are weaned into drinking through sweetened drinks. Most start as naïve college students.
You will know them when they ‘call Mwaura’ (throw up) or become vulgar. They are the ones to turn on the friend buying the drinks with dismissive epithets like ‘go to hell.’ The panty remover is likely to be found nursing Smirnoff Black Ice (the ‘Liquid Panty Remover’), the drink that is known to invoke pepo ya ngono.
It has the ability to pandisha moto. To many men, a woman drinking seng’enge is setting herself up for a romp, especially when the eight percent alcohol content approaches the red line. You stand a better chance with a woman imbibing Black Ice, than with one swigging contents from a bottle with a ‘Lite’ written on it.
2. The college girl
The oddly-shaped Kingfisher is similar to Black Ice on many accounts. It is popular with college girls, most of them short women. Its higher alcohol content makes its drinkers some of the most approachable in a bar, especially after the third bottle.
It is also known to loosen up women (pun intended). Men in the know swear that no Kingfisher drinker ever turns down a beer offer from a man.
3. The old and broke
SAB Miller’s Redd’s is a popular fruity ale. Seasoned women with enough alcohol in their systems were probably introduced to drinking with Redd’s at the turn of the millennium.
It is still a respectable drink for newbies. Older women who drink Redd’s are assumed to be of humble means and cannot afford anything better, or are not interested in getting drunk. It is like Tusker for men.
4. The flirt who plays hard-to-get
For women who want to be different, Red Ice is their default, even though most still tend to be young and in college, and they are quite familiar with the stereotype associated with the drink’s Black cousin.
When a woman orders Red Ice, she is essentially telling you that you’ll have to work harder to win her over. The alcohol itself wouldn’t make her keel. If your intention is to get her drunk for an easy trip to the bedroom, you are not in luck.
5. Wannabe social climber
The thing with alcohol is that the pricier it is, the classier it is presumed to be. It is the pricey drinks that are described as crisp, smooth and full-bodied, that is if you are not taking prime single-malt whiskies. The wannabe social climber is averse to anything that’s not fashionable. They go for creamy shots instead - Amarula, Baileys, Tequila Rose...anything creamy!
Older, more moneyed miss independents are excused from this stereotype. The problem with the wannabe is that they expect men to fund their expensive ‘fashionable’ drinking habits. If you run into a woman who asks for any creamy stuff or a shot that goes for the price of two or three beers, run son! She is Miss High Maintenance. Social climbers are also the type that smokes shisha, just because it’s ‘cool.’
6. The undecided
Class is a social construct. And if you want to be classier in bars, there are certain drinks to lift you above the hustling masses. Wine is popular with undecided women.
In my opinion, wine should be taken after meals. The undecided class of women will stick to wine throughout the evening, never mind the prohibitive cost. Men consider women who take wine as respectable, even though many of them are still social climbers.
Many men find women who take wine to be highly opinionated. They will not ask you about your investments or future career plans. They probably read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and esoteric finance magazines and can intimidate you with their deep knowledge of seemingly random facts like the GDP of South Korea.
7. The one with the weave
Snapp is a late entrant that has gained considerable traction in the market. But somehow, it is seen as a drink for women in their late 20s and early 30s who are not really into alcohol, but don’t mind getting intoxicated and having fun, probably it is the advert. It has been observed that it is the drink that women with weaves prefer.
8. The ruffian
Women who intrude the male sphere of brown bottles are perceived as different. They don’t mind stereotypical monikers and men find them easy company, they consider them as one of the boys.
They swig beer and don’t have hang-ups about belching, nor will they walk away from a showdown.
For this type, beers such as Tusker, Whitecap and Heineken are considered friendly, while Pilsner is for tomboys and college girls who want to get high faster before trooping to a reggae joint to listen to rub-a-dub.
Those who drink Senator and its cousins are estate lasses who have “beaten.” The ‘classy’ women, those we consider to be ‘ladies’ will hardly touch any drink that’s frothy (unless it’s Tusker Malt or Lite). As far as the men are concerned, brown bottles are for women in their mothers’ age brackets.
9. The hardy and complacent
Women who drink Guinness don’t get much accolades from men. It is a drink, that even to men, reeks of too much testosterone.
Chances are that the woman who drinks Guinness is big bodied (read fat) and is not bothered by her body shape.
These women are complacent and in a comfort zone. If in a relationship, things can easily become turbulent. In Eastlands, Guinness is associated with hookers and counter girls. Apparently the unpalatable taste slows their drinking as they linger for men.
10. The wise and hardened
They swill strong stuff only. Their preference is mostly Russian vodkas that can make even a tiger tear. This category mostly smokes shisha. By the time a woman settles on whisky as her drink of choice, she would have gone the full cycle and understands the economics that govern drinking.
They know beer is an expensive way of getting high that is hardly sustainable and that a bottle of vodka (price notwithstanding) with soda or lime is a better and more affordable alternative. Most men said they can tolerate a woman who takes wine, beer or anything, but not one who imbibes whisky or Guinness.