White Sangria and My Love of “Girly” Drinks

Since I started my drinking (which, for the purposes of any public admissions, began exactly on my 21st birthday and not a day before) I’ve found that there are an awful lot of opinions about what you drink and what your drinks say about you as a person. As a woman, there seem to be even more.

I like “girly drinks.”  When I go to a bar, if I’m not in any particular mood I tend to order a rum and Coke. I like Lemon Drops, Fuzzy Navels, Strawberry Daiquiris, and an awful lot of other things that are derided as being overly sugary beverages designed specifically for inexperienced drinkers. If it comes in a large novelty glass and looks more like a Slurpee than a drink I’m probably a fan*. My very favorite wine is Barefoot’s moscato and I’ve got a killer recipe for white sangria that has mangos, oranges, and peach schnapps in it that I’ve included below. I’ve always had a massive sweet tooth and it’s not particularly surprising it’s carried over to the land of alcohol.

Strawberry Daiquiri 416

That’s not to say that I haven’t tried; I like gin and have begun to develop a sense for good gin. I spent a semester in Ireland and drank my way through countless pints of Guinness and more whiskey than was necessary. I’ve been to a Johnny Walker tasting event that I hoped would give me an appreciation for scotch. I’ve tried dozens of beers after being assured by my beer-fan friends that the reason I didn’t like beer was because I just hadn’t found the right beer yet. These explorations have led me to conclude that while I do like Guinness, I like it better with blackcurrant syrup added and I like hard pear cider even better. The only scotch I’ve truly enjoyed is Johnny Walker Blue Label, which I found incredibly smooth and lovely but which costs so much it’s just easier to say I’m not a scotch fan. I have yet to find any beer that makes me sit up and think anything other then “Wow, that sure is”¦ beer-y.”

Frankly, why should it matter? I should be able to walk up to the bar and order some hideously pink concoction that tastes like gummi bears if I damn well please. Yet women who drink “real drinks” like scotch, whiskey, or bourbon seem to be venerated in some way. Women who are beer fans cause the eyes of my male friends to light up in joy. And for all you out there who enjoy your scotch or your beer; good for you! I mean that sincerely. Everyone should be able to indulge in their preferred vices (safely, obviously). I just wish that my particular brand of vice didn’t open me up to value judgments about being unsophisticated, immature, or frivolous.

Pink Lady

With that off my chest, for any of you other ladies whose palettes are similarly unsophisticated and frivolous, here’s the white sangria recipe I prefer to use (original is at These amounts make a gallon, but if you want more or less the link will let you recalculate the recipe for your preferred amount.

1/2 cup peach schnapps

1/2 cup cognac (I use brandy most of the time because it’s cheaper)

1/4 cup white sugar

4 oranges sliced into rounds

2 mangos, peeled and sliced

4 (750ml) bottles dry white wine, chilled (cheapest you can get, with all the other flavors there’s no sense in wasting a particularly good white wine on this)

1 liter ginger ale

  1. Combine peach schnapps, cognac (brandy), sugar, sliced oranges, and mangos. Chill for at least an hour.
  2. Pour fruit mixture into serving vessel. Add the wine and ginger ale.

*Exceptions include things with coconut and/or pineapple flavor in them because I’m strange like that.

37 replies on “White Sangria and My Love of “Girly” Drinks”

I’ve been thinking this forever: beer sucks! And why do people always pressure you to drink some? I get so sick of going out and getting the same line, “Are you sure you don’t like beer? You probably just haven’t tried this one. Here, I’ll order you a glass. No? You don’t like it? Well, beer is an acquired taste. You’ll get used to it.” As if it’s a taste I want to acquire or as if I just haven’t grown up enough to enjoy finer alcohols! I’m pretty sure I’ve even been excluded from social gatherings before simply because I don’t like beer and that was all the menu had. Why does drinking beer have to be so political? Can’t I enjoy a night out without having my drink choices policed??

The drink police are relentless, no matter what you are drinking. Even though I’ve joined the beer drinking club, I tend to stick to the one style that I reliably like (wheat beers), and then I get judged for not drinking *insert friend’s favorite beer here*. And heaven forbid you order a cider at a beer party!

 I have yet to find any beer that makes me sit up and think anything other then “Wow, that sure is… beer-y.”

That is me 9 times out of 10. I have a few I like. Oberon is a sentimental favorite. And I kinda like Arbor Brewing Company’s Strawberry Blonde. I’ll drink Blue Moon to be social. But I can have my friends in raptures about how amazing a beer is, and all I can ever taste is beer.

I’m prone to screwdrivers and whiskey sours myself. But I’ve found that at a bar I’ll usually end up with the screwdriver because bars tend to have really awful sour mix.

This is the basic recipe I found. Instead of two cups of beer I just use one 12oz bottle and call it a day. Also I add 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg for some flavor, but I imagine the spices you would want to use could change with the beer (I usually use Oberon, an American wheat beer). You can always leave the spices out until after you have made a test pancake and then season to taste.

I remember an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” where Barney impresses a girl by ordering ‘her drink’ even though they hadn’t seen each other in a while and it’s a vodka cranberry. He turns to Ted with a wink and goes “It’s always a vodka cranberry!” before turning back around. I’d been trying to work it in, but didn’t have the space. Anyway, vodka and cranberry juice is also reliably enjoyable.

Tequila is dangerous. But when you really want some there’s just nothing else that will do.

While at the end of the day, I am a bloody mary and gin and tonic girl,  I do love a pretty drink, preferably with St. Germain and sparkling something. My newest favorite concoction was one created by a friend in honor of RuPaul’s Drag Race ( The Lavender Balls). It’s Blackberry Sorbet (scooped with a watermelon baller), club soda, and vodka, garnished with a mint leaf. Divine.

That sangria recipe sounds amazing. I think I will be trying that in a couple weeks when BFF is here for our pre-wedding girly day full of day drinking and pampering.

Back in my going out days, the only reason I made myself like beer was bc I was jealous that I’d go out with my friends and they’d spend $15-20 all night and be seriously drunk and I’d have to spend twice that bc I was having mixed drinks.

If you like ciders, I highly recommend Lambics like Lindemann’s. I think they’re technically a beer, and they have a beer texture (or is it body?), but they’re sweet. They’re fruit flavored, my favorites are raspberry and cherry, and they make apple, pear, and I think peach. Yumminess.

I discovered I have a preference for ‘masculine cocktails’. Yes, I kid you not. More and more things are pointing to me secretly having a male brain in a female body. I will gladly continue to confuse bar tenders.
I don’t like beer though. Nor wine. Amarula can come play and that’s about it.

You had me at Barefoot moscato, it’s the only wine I can actually take more than two sips of!  Seriously though, people need to lay off girly drinks. I appreciate many types of alcohol and brew my own beer, but when I’m in the mood for sugary/fruity drinks nothing else will do. You can pry my UV Blue out of my cold, dead hands :-)

I think there’s a book to be written on how gendered our ideas about alcohol are. I find it fascinating. I am a gin & scotch girl and I definitely get some attention from men re: that fact, and I always think it is so silly. And at the same time, I found myself thinking how hot ‘n’ manly it was that my boyfriend ordered straight bourbon on our first date. Some of this socialization can run so deep!

And alas, I cannot drink red wine (migraines) so I love a good white wine sangria. This one sounds delicious! I will definitely be making it in the summer months.

And I can’t hear any talk about girl drinks without posting this (Kids in the Hall, “Girl Drink Drunk”):


If I had an extra life, I’d research and write that book! Taste in general is so weirdly gender-associated, in food as well as booze (I’m thinking of associations with steak, salad, etc.), and combine that with the ideas around gender related to who makes it (home cooks vs. chefs, bartenders), and there’s so much to think about!

And I was going to post that KITH sketch if you didn’t, so thanks :)

Hard pear cider is fantastic! And I don’t mind a good cocktail either, and your sangria recipe sounds awesome. But I also like beer or gin. Vodka and I don’t get along as well as we used to, and whiskey/brown liquors and I “broke up” a long time ago when I had waaaaaay too many cheap whiskey+coke combos in one evening.

But back to your main point — Yes, it IS ridiculous that certain things are seen as “girly” (as though being girly is a bad thing, which is of course also stupid) and I will admit that while I don’t see them as “wimpy” like some people might, I am guilty of considering them unnecessarily complicated in a bar setting. Or maybe my guilt is over not wanting to trouble the bartender? I don’t know. I don’t know where it comes from.

Some of those frozen cocktail things can be great though — I had one that was composed of half top shelf liquor, half whatever other delicious fruity things, that I drank it in no time and was drunk immediately. Those things are deceptively dangerous!


Have you tried Sam Adams Cherry Wheat?  Once in a blue moon you’ll find a bar that has it on tap.  Speaking of Blue Moon, that’s incredibly sweet as well (Hoegaarden is another orangey beer).  Abita’s Purple Haze is raspberry flavored, and right now they have a strawberry seasonal beer out.  I mention these not to sway you to to side of beer drinkers but to give you options when you notice that a bartender seems too busy and harried to stop and make a more complicated drink.  For what it’s worth, my favorite beer is Yuengling, but that’s not generally available outside of the Northeast.

I drink wine in crappy bars so I won’t have to pee in their gross bathrooms.

I once turned a bunch of Canadian musicians onto Yuengling so you know this stuff’s legit.  I got into it because it’s similar to Stella without what I recognized as Stella’s slight bitterness.  It’s actually considered somewhat masculine, in line with the rest of this conversation.

I have tried cherry wheat and it wasn’t bad. I’ve also had some beer mixed drinks that were good, including a wheat beer mixed with raspberry liqueur, shandys, and Guinness with blackcurrant syrup. These don’t really solve the ‘complicated’ problem, which is why I tend to rely more on rum and cokes or gin and tonics if I’m in a busy bar.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Sorry, I’m a scotch girl.  In fact, when a bartender checked three times with me that I wanted it neat I had a hard time NOT being horrified.  Why in the special hell would I want to put other things in my scotch?  One ice cube, lady.  Put the scotch in the glass, and put one ice cube in it.  I could not be more specific!

That having been said, I’m a sucker for sangria on a summer day.  I especially like to put LOTS of fruit and liquor in red sangria and then spend the rest of the afternoon eating the fruit.  Yummy delicious sweet cold fruitiness.  Doesn’t get better than that.  Also, sangria is a really great way to use really cheap wine.  So you should make LOTS of sangria, because the wine is so cheap you can buy the HUGE bottles on the bottom shelf!

No need to apologize, it’s wonderful that you love scotch! This wasn’t a rejection of “sophisticated” drinks, but a rejection of the notion that enjoying sugary drinks somehow makes one necessarily unsophisticated.

And Sangria is truly wonderful and a great way to make otherwise awful wine palatable.

I am unashamed of my love of sweet drinks. I’m also a big gin drinker, but sometimes you just want something fruity and delicious. Last summer, I discovered sweet tea vodka with lemon juice, simple syrup, and ice cubes made of peach juice. It’s so sweet and girly but sort of sophisticated, I guess?

I am from a (relatively) rural English county. We (me and my friends) have taken to home-brewing cider. As of three months ago, I learned that apparently cider is supposed to be a feminine drink.



so the distinctions are not only stupid and stupidly gender-normative, they’re also pretty much arbitrary. I can brew a cider in my airing cupboard that will beat the fuck out of that tasteless beer you’re quaffing.


We really need to get over this whole fruity drinks are girly drinks thing.  Mr. Nonsense has a huge sweet tooth (the sugar precipitates in his tea) and would appreciate ordering a cider or daiquiri without getting the side eye. That being said, beer FTW

Future mister is a girly drink drunk as well. If it’s sweet and punchy and fuchsia, he’ll have it. I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, so I’m usually done with one, but damn if the Jolly Rancher martini drink I had last week wasn’t the most delicious drink I’d had in a long time. It was one of those that had quite a bit of booze in it, but was sweet an refreshing and it took a bit of restraint to stop after the second. It went down dangerously easy.

My boyfriend’s like this, too. To the point that waiters frequently mix up our drink orders. He loves the pink drinks that come in fancy glasses with three pieces of fruit, while I tend towards drier, more acidic drinks. Even when we get beer, I prefer IPAs and he like wheat beers. I want bitter and he wants sweet. I never thought about this as it relates to preconceived notions of gender until we started going out and I was constantly being served the wrong drink.

Mr. Marginally goes for the “girly” drinks too, as long as he can’t taste the booze. I can understand people teasing the two of us about gendered drinks, seeing as he looks shady, but has been known to order an appletini, while I’m petite & look about 15, yet I order my whiskey and scotch neat (I swear, if another bartender tries to tell me I won’t like it or insists on putting anything in my drink, I may slap them), & want my beer to be a stout, no exceptions.

But I have no sweet tooth, so it’s no shock I don’t like fruity drinks.

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