Recap: Cocktails & Stereotypes: Does My Sip Impact Your Perception Of Me? #TrueOrFalse

Cocktails Chronicles gives a real talk about stereotypes

Written by Sierra Brown, Cocktail Chronicles Intern (Florida A&M University)


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L to R: Jamel Hendrix, Carmaleita Willis-Lyght, Neha Negandhi, Kashima Peters, Mia Onyeuku-Johnson, and Je’ Wesley Day

If you had a drink at a bar, chances are you have been stereotyped based on your drink choice. Hosted at Soul Bar on Auburn Avenue, Cocktail Chronicles’ After Dark Edition brought to light many stereotypes that are associated with “fruity drinks” or sipping “with a pinky in the air.”

Some bartenders judge a person based off the drinks one orders said Mia Onyeuku-Johnson, Cocktail Chronicles’ expert panelist and owner of Mixology by Mimi in Atlanta.

“From the time you walk in, I do judge from the way that you look,” Onyeuku-Johnson said. “I hate that it happens, and it happens a lot in the hospitality business.”

If someone orders a fruity drink, there is a good chance the bartenders are having a good laugh about it.

“When you order from us, it’s what we think. If someone comes to the bar and orders a martini, dry or extra dirty, that’s cool. There’s nothing wrong with that … Now if you get a strawberry drop with extra sugar on the rim and extra cherries, the bartenders are going to laugh at you secretly,” Hendrix said.

Men ordering fruity drinks, beware. That raised red flags for some women. Onyeuku-Johnson said she is turned off by a man who orders a drink not equal to her pace.

“I’m not going to be on a date with a guy who’s drinking a fruity drink and I’m drinking strong drinks,” she said. “We’re going to turn up together. I don’t want a man who’s doing that, because now I know what you’re doing. You’re going to watch me get drunk and see what I’m going to do.”

For “serious dates,” the consensus among panelists was to stay away from shots and three or more drinks.

Carmaleita Willis Lyght, owner of Lyght House Cocktails in Atlanta assured listeners that although people will have opinions, the main takeaway is confidence.

“You like what you like. I’m not against anybody that wants to drink exactly what they feel gets them going,” Lyght said.

The night ended with laughs and inside jokes. Audience members walked away better informed, although some felt other types of drinks could have been discussed. Co-owner and managing partner for Bridge the Gap Network Curtis Hampton wished the panel talked about wine choices.