You are what you drink/Psych 101 and fun
You are what you drink
If your date orders a Sex on the Beach, does that foreshadow romance at evening's end?
Don't count on it, but it's a good bet your date is feeling fun and flirty - and wants to let everyone know it.
Experts have made a science out of pegging people's inner qualities based on their outer actions. Personality shows up in everything we do, and folks judge us accordingly.
The music we download, the clothes we wear and the cars we drive reflect who we are, how we view the world and how we choose to interact in it at any given moment, says Cherry Creek psychologist Maximillian Wachtel.
The same principles apply to alcoholic beverages. Particularly so because they often contribute to the first impressions we make on others - sometimes on a date, other times at a business dinner or a family reunion.
But what do they say specifically?
For that we turned to the real experts: bartenders.
Our local mixologists take a lot of orders, and because they work the counters, they hang around long enough to hear customers talk and see how drinkers treat their spouses and sell their goods.
We asked them to share their observations and put together this guide.
Your drink: Beer
Your image: Easygoing
Order a brew, and folks see you as laid-back, reserved and blue-collar. You keep your drinks simple, and maybe that means you are too.
"This person is totally uncomplicated," says Dazzle bartender Jenean Sorenson. "They aren't worried about how old the scotch is. It's an easy decision for them. Their motto would be: 'Just poor it cold into a glass and give it to me.' "
Who are you? You are man, in your mid-30s to 50s, and you definitely have your favorite labels. Or you are a guy in your 20s, and you're broke and drinking $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon drafts. The message is the same: I'm just hanging out.
It's a little different for women, bartenders say. Most gals don't order beer, and the ones that do come off as sexy and approachable.
Why do you drink it? You don't want to get drunk. You just want to sit and talk with your friends, and not end up with a headache the next morning.
Your drink: Martinis, manhattans, champagne
Your image: High maintenance
Use more than two adjectives to order your drink (dry, neat, up, slushy, dirty whatever) or get picky (you want your lemons cut into wedges, not slices) and you can come off as pretentious, says Logan Grey, a bartender at the Roo Bar in Cherry Creek. A colleague, Dustin Gathright, a bartender at the 1876 Bar, agrees. He's happy to make what customers order, but "if a group is waiting to be served and someone comes up and orders something that takes like 15 minutes to make with multiple ingredients, that person is self-centered."
Who are you? When the bartender has the time, you are a sophisticated drinker. When she doesn't, you are a debutante wannabe, or a trendy metrosexual.
Why do you drink it? You just want it the way you want it. You don't realize you are fussy or picky - or maybe you do and simply don't care.
Your drink: Margaritas, piña coladas, mojitos, fruity martinis
Your image: Adventurous
Salted rim or not, asking for a margarita makes you come off as fun-loving. You're not afraid to be goofy. You are trendy and knowledgable about the newest drink-craze flavors like mango and pomegranate and secure enough to sit behind a froufrou cocktail with a tiny umbrella sticking out of the top. "You may not be able to get away to Jamaica just yet, but for tonight, you are just one cocktail away from the dream," says Tracey Toomey, co-author of "The Perfect Manhattan."
Who are you? A bachelorette, a professional woman who just got off work, or part of a girls-night-out gang. A guy looking for a party.
Why do you drink it? It's time to let your hair down for the night. "When I drink a piña colada, I go back to my Puerto Rican roots, and I feel like a hot Latin woman," says Abbie Karic, 53, of New York, who was in Denver last week for a conference.
Your drink: Scotch, bourbon, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir
Your image: Sophisticated
You are knowledgable and enjoy luxuries. You've taken the time to educate yourself about your spirits, have been drinking for a while and know exactly what you want. You are direct, precise and order your beverage straight or on the rocks because you love the taste. "These are the kind of people who would never foul up a good single-malt scotch by mixing it with a Sprite," says Billy Riesing, a bartender at Bender's 13th Avenue Tavern.
Who are you? A man or woman in your mid- to late 30s and beyond.
Why do you drink it? Your palate is complex. You want to savor the drink and sip it. You are too old to handle the hangover that comes from drinking sugary blends. And a fine wine is always an acceptable drink.
Your drink: Chardonnay or merlot; blank and tonic (gin, vodka or whatever)
"resident shameless hussie"