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Show Your Feminine Side (Without Embarrasing Your Wingman)

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Our friend Joe recently ordered a Bacardi and Diet Coke and felt, after what he believed was a disapproving look from the bartender, he needed to qualify the order with, “it’s for a chick.” While this may have been true—we can vouch for this, her name was Christine and she was well worth the blow to his masculinity—why did Joey think he had to make an excuse for wanting a little calorie-free soda with his rum? We couldn’t figure it out. Which was why we were somewhat drawn to Eric Felten’s article in the Wall Street Journal“He Drinks, She Drinks.”
Felten writes, “Girly drinks limit men and women both. Women get lulled into the habit of drinking cocktails that don’t taste like, well, drinks. And for men, it’s even worse: in their haste to avoid anything that smacks of the emasculating girly-drink taint, they deny themselves the great adventure of exploring cocktails and all their variety.” He recommends that “non-girly guys with a sweet tooth” drink Daiquiris,Old-Fashioneds and Smith and Wessons, while non-girly girls drink “female-friendly” beverages like Manhattans, Campari and Soda and Gimlets.
Carney, who only swills Jameson, thought this article was clearly a challenge posed on DealBreaker, and countered, “Challenge accepted,” passing the assignment on to his minions. Thus, we descended upon Bull Run at William and Wall Street last night.
Assembled there was our team of experts, including but not limited to, the ubiquitous Pete Murphy, Adam Rodman, Pat Harper and yours truly. These were our findings:

Old Fashioned: “This was, for all intents and purposes, straight bourbon. Despite its colorful, golden appearance, there was absolutely nothing ‘sweet’ to it. Only an NFL player on ‘roids would be able to stomach this decidedly strong and vile drink.”

Manhattan: I really enjoyed this beverage, but I, in the interest of full disclosure, regularly order Seven and 7s and the like, not exactly the drink of your average lady. As long as we’re here, I’ll admit that, after a steady diet of Mike’s Hard Lemonades in high school, my first college drink was a Midori Sour, which is essentially an apple Jolly Rancher on the rocks, served to me by my first college boyfriend. Jon, who was a senior and knew all too well that the key to a freshman girl’s heart was via a sickeningly sweet alcoholic beverage, could’ve slid a glass of sewer water across the table and I would’ve pounded it, but, lucky for us both—can you imagine what my breath would’ve tasted like?—didn’t. And so it was Midori Sours and Midori Sours only for the next seven-odd months. But like all things, my relationship with Jon and, more importantly, for my palette (and self-respect), my relationship with Midori Sours, had to end. And though it’s difficult to pinpoint each one’s respective death, I’d probably go with throwing up eight to ten of the latter in the former’s lap. So, tonight, I was a big fan of the Manhattan. Let’s move on.

Smith and Wesson: The bartender registered a look of sheer bewilderment when we placed an order for this drink. We’re not sure if that’s one point for the bartender or one point for the “guy with a sweet tooth” requesting this allegedly “non-girly drink.” We referred him to the recipe offered by Felten (1 ½ oz coffee liqueur, 1 ½ oz cream, 1 oz vodka and club soda) and soon had the beige-looking drink in our possession.
“It makes me feel like The Dude, obviously the ultimate guy, but it’s so easy going down that I’m skeptically paranoid; am I drinking the drink of a woman? The bottom line is that I would totally order this again, because it tastes really good. But if I were with a bunch of girls, or one girl I—and I’m going to tone this down for your benefit, Levin—‘had my eye on,’ I’d make sure to call it a White Russian, NOT a Smith and Wesson.
“Hang on a sec, man, Smith and Wesson is a gun. Are you really saying a Caucasian is more manly than a gun? A gun can kill people, my friend!” [Disapproving glances passed down; someone knows he's not to speak for the next 10 to 15 minutes.]

Campari and Soda: I was torn about my feelings for this drink because, while it had a bizarrely bittersweet aftertaste, it didn’t burn in the least on the way down, which, in my book, is always the mark of a good cocktail. One of the boys I was with assured me that my ordering this beverage was ‘a total turn on because it’s a far cry from your typical Bacardi and Diet Coke (sorry, Joe!),’ but I suspect his laudation might have more so been a product of his desire to be quoted on this high-profile blog than anything else. Felten includes this as one of the drinks women should imbibe in order to see more eye-to-eye with men drinking Jack and Cokes, etc. What does the fact that not one of the guys I was with could stand to take more than a sip of this drink do to his theory? Carney?

Daiquiri: “Delicious. And I feel like a female-friendly man while drinking it. That’s a good thing, right? Because if it’s not I want to change my answer. But I hope it’s not, because this drink is SO GOOD! If there’s a middle ground between getting drunk and getting laid, this drink is it. Or at least I’m hoping it is, because I never want to drink anything but this Daiquiri again.”

Gimlet: “Delicious. And I feel like a male-friendly woman while drinking it. That’s a good thing, right? Because if it’s not I want to change my answer. But I hope it’s not because this drink is SO GOOD! If there’s a middle ground between getting drunk and getting laid, this drink is it. Or at least I’m hoping it is because I never want to drink anything but this Gimlet again.”

Having crossed all of Felten’s suggestions off our list, I decided to have a Jameson on the rocks, not in the least because I was hoping to score some brownie points with the higher up that is John Carney. As soon as I did, though, the three males with me, who had just requested a trio of Sea Breezes, right quickly changed their orders to match my own. [Insert own judgments here] But, on the way home, we decided to put all gender uncertainties/inequalities aside and share in something we knew would make everyone happy, physically, emotionally, sexually and spiritually: Natty Light. What, we wonder, would Felten have to say about that?
(Seriously, Felten, what do you have to say about that? bess at dealbreaker dot com).


Business School Applicants Having None Of This "Show Us You Can Speak Without Paying A Consultant $500 To Show You How" Crap

After years of receiving scripted answers to questions from would-be business school students re: why they want to go to Harvard/Wharton/Stanford/Sloan or what they think of a company's earnings potential or where they see themselves in five to ten years or what they ate for breakfast, admissions officers have lately been taking a new tack in an attempt to see the "real" side of applicants. Hoping to get a little "unrehearsed honesty" and insight into who these people really are, prospective students are being asked to submit "reflections" ("a short, off-the-cut note that must be submitted within 24 hours of an admissions interview") and take part in "team-based discussions," for which they're told to "relax, be genuine," not worry about giving the "right" answer, and just say what they really think, rather than what a coach told them to say they think. Unfortunately, Harvard and Wharton officials apparently have no idea who they're dealing with here. You can't make future b-school students relax and be genuine! You can't! You won't!

RBS Trader Whose Instant Messages Clearly Show Him (Allegedly) Engaging In Libor Manipulation Not Going Down Without A Fight

One thing that most people probably agree on is that having their instant messages, e-mails, and phone calls end up court would be cause for at least a little embarrassment. Everyone's thrown in an emoticon they aren't proud of, some of us have used company time to chat with significant others about undergarments, and the vast majority of workers have spent a not insignificant amount of the workday talking shit about their superiors. Of course, the humiliation gets ratcheted up a notch in the case of people who 'haha' (and in extreme circumstances "hahahah') their own jokes* which, just for example, involve habitual Libor manipulation. Tan Chi Min knows what we're talking about: “Nice Libor,” Tan said in an April 2, 2008, instant message with traders including Neil Danziger, who also was fired by RBS, and David Pieri. “Our six-month fixing moved the entire fixing, hahahah.” And while having such an exchange become public would be tremendously awkward for most, you know what's really 'hahaha' about this whole thing is that 1) Tan was the one who wanted people to read the above, which was submitted as part of a 231-page affidavit earlier this month and 2) He's trying to use it as evidence that he didn't deserve to be fired. The conversations among traders at RBS and firms including Deutsche Bank AG illustrate how the risk of abuse was embedded in the process for setting Libor, the benchmark for more than $300 trillion of securities worldwide......Tan, the bank’s former Singapore-based head of delta trading for Asia, [is] suing Britain’s third-biggest lender by assets for wrongful dismissal after being fired last year for allegedly trying to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, or Libor. Tan, who 'allegedly' tried to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, also included this conversations as part of his defense: “What’s the call on Libor,” Jezri Mohideen, then the bank’s head of yen products in Singapore, asked Danziger in an Aug. 21, 2007, chat. “Where would you like it, Libor that is,” Danziger asked, according to a transcript included in Tan’s filings. “Mixed feelings, but mostly I’d like it all lower so the world starts to make a little sense,” another trader responded. “The whole HF world will be kissing you instead of calling me if Libor move lower,” Tan said, referring to hedge funds. “OK, I will move the curve down 1 basis point, maybe more if I can,” Danziger replied. And this: In another conversation on March 27, 2008, Tan called for RBS to raise its Libor submission, saying an earlier lower figure the bank submitted may have cost his team 200,000 pounds. “We need to bump it way up high, highest among all if possible,” Tan said. Tan also asked for a high submission in an Aug. 20, 2007, instant message to Scott Nygaard, global head of RBS’s treasury markets in London. “We want high fix in 3s,” Tan said in the message. “Neil is the one setting the yen Libor in London now and for this week and next.” Also this: “It’s just amazing how Libor fixing can make you that much money or lose if opposite,” Tan said on an Aug. 19, 2007, conversation with traders at other banks, including Deutsche Bank’s Mark Wong. “It’s a cartel now in London.” And this philosophical one, for good measure: “This whole process would make banks pull out of Libor fixing,” Tan said in a May 16, 2011, chat with money markets trader Andrew Smoler. “Question is what is illegal? If making money if bank fix it to suits its own books are illegal... then no point fixing it right? Cuz there will be days when we will def make money fixing it.” The defense rests. RBS Instant Messages Show Libor Rates Skewed for Traders [Bloomberg] *Although actually people who do this probably don't even have the good sense to be ashamed of themselves.