Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Martini Club Welcomes Carolyn Crane, I Mean Annika Martin, I Mean...Oh Never Mind!

I am so excited this wonderful Sunday morning! One of my fav writers is here with us....Carolyn Crane, aka Annika Martin, aka former cocktail waitress, aka Mexican food-lover, aka cat owner. (I get everything but the cat business). Anyhoo, if you're not already confused (I sort of am!), Carolyn has a hilarious handy-dandy drink chart to discuss. Take it away, Car-ika!


Hey!  Happy Martini Club to everybody!

I was so pleased Penny invited me to post on Martini club. I think about drinking a lot. As a former cocktail waitress, I have complex ideas of what people drink, and what characters drink.

Back in my cocktail waitress days, I got really good at guessing what people would order before they ordered it.

Here’s a bit of what I remember from my system of how I would guess what people would order by how they looked:

If they looked like a frat boy -  Corona
Downtown pink collar - house white, Chablis,
Upscale female or bohemian wannabe - red wine
Grunge guys (this was the 90’s) - Leinenkugel beer, no glass. Never a glass!
Refined or mature rocker - Guinness or screwdriver
Rugged - scotch and water
Badass - whiskey up
Upscale badass - scotch up
Cultured urbane male - old scotch like McCallan up
Elegant singles night on the town - martini
Woo-hoo party, preppy, or people who seem like they might be into sailing - Gin & tonic
Hipster - Jagermeister shots, possibly with Leine bottle
Semi- hipster - Kamikaze shots, beer back
Arty mature - white russian, or coffee & kahlua
Suburban sporty - Miller or Miller Lite, with a glass
Laid back, stoner, or dredlocks - Tequila sunrise
Underage or novice - whiskey sour with a cherry
Novice woo-hoo party - obscure name (bellybutton on the beach, etc)

Blue Kamikaze Shots

As you see, it was a cynical system that really reduced people to a type, a box. It even dehumanized them a little bit. There are mean ones I didn’t include on there.

It only occurred to me later that what people drink is more than a pigeonhole you can put them into or a way to name and limit them.

The drinks people choose is more mysterious: one part taste, one part where they’ve been, one part who they are, and one part where they want to go, even aspirational. And you can’t see all that from just a drink and how a person dresses. In other words, drink choices are tied up in a person’s character arc.

People’s dreams and desires, and where they’ve been and where they are headed is a lot more interesting and human. And it’s just more accurate. So that’s how I look at drinks now, a bit of taste preference and a bit of character arc.

I think about that with my characters a lot, that their drinks are that—part where they’ve been and part who they want to be. In the Disillusionists, Packard drinks Ouzo, a drink from a sunny place far away. Ouzo is about freedom for him. In The Hostage Bargain (by my smutty-writing alter ego Annika Martin) my bank robbers drink scotch. They’re badass, but have been thrust into a position where they are forced to be more badass then they are. They are aspirational-badass.


Of course, I was done waiting tables before the explosion of fancy martinis. I don’t know what to think about the Scorpion! Or the Blue Cottontail!! Maybe you guys can enlighten me.

My favorite drink: champagne or, cranberry champagne cocktail

Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

Cranberry champagne cocktail

One part Cranberry juice
two parts sparkling wine

What does it mean to my former cynical cocktail waitress self? What would the Cranberry Champagne cocktail drinker pigeonhole me as? Probably something pathetic. Oh well! 


Cripes! I wonder what Carolyn would have thought of me at the bar? I drink mango martinis....

1. Mango: Tropical, easy-going, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants sort of gal
2. Rum: Party girl!
3. Splash of cranberry: Shout-out to my New England habitat, reference to cranberry bogs

Overall assessment: Quirky Suburban Housefrau Who Still Wears A Tiara At 45

(Carolyn probably would have been thinking....Geez! I hope that weird lady gives me a good tip!)

Super huge thanks to Carolyn for this fun piece today. Also, just in case you're in the mood for an incredibly great UF series, check out her Disillusionist Trilogy, and just in case you're in the mood for a hot, sexy, suspenseful story about a sheep farmer abducted by bank robbers, check out The Hostage Bargain.  

Happy Sloshy Sunday, All Yinz Guys!


Carolyn Crane said...

hah! Love your self-analysis, Penny!! I think if you would've ordered a martini while wearing a tiara at the bar where I worked I would've given you a free drink from my own tips!

Hey, thanks so much for having me here! What fun it is to be in the Martini club!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Carolyn! Happy Sloshy Sunday and thanks so much for visiting The Martini Club.

Haaaaa....I wish I could have visited your bar. I would have been a regular!

rissatoo said...

I enjoyed the post, and I think I may have to try your cranberry champagne cocktail, Carolyn. And I'm almost afraid to ask, but how would my standard order of a Cape Cod buttonhole me? (Or if in a beer bar, a hefeweissen?) ;)

AilishsMom said...

What a fun post! Not only do I have new drinks to try, but a new game to play as well. I tend to rotate between margaritas (on the rocks with salt, no blender drinks for me!), mojitos and dirty martinis. Not sure WHAT that says about me. LOL!

Julia Barrett said...

Nice choices! I may not be a frat boy, but I love a Corona with a slice of lime on a hot summer day!

Penny Watson said...

Rissatoo....I LOVE that beer. Lemony and yum! I'm not sure what Carolyn would say, but I'm thinking Double Badass, for sure. ;^)

Penny Watson said...

Hi AilishsMom! Excellent drink selection...a cocktail for every mood. I likey!

Me said...

Carolyn that is pretty darned funny. I was a waitress for 8 years (including a cocktail waitress and a waitress at a high end restaurant). And we too would type people based on drinks. I also did this before the fancy martini explosion. I would always card people who ordered fruity drinks -- like fuzzy navels, because I assumed they were underage. I waited tables in Champaign-Urbana, which is a college town, and the frat boys there always ordered American beers, they guys I liked ordered Mexican imports. :)

Penny Watson said...

Hi Julia! I'm wavering between Corona, Magic Hat #9, and the lemony style summer beers right now. I've moved from red wine to beers now that it's getting hot outside. Hot day, cold beer. :^)

Carolyn Crane said...

Rissatoo: Oooh, a Cape Cod or an obscure German beer. Young Carolyn would've approved of the beer. Cape Cod may have thrown her.

Ailishs's Mom: Hey, Margarita on the rocks gets points! It would've said celebration. However, if you'd gone for the blended you would've won me growls from the bartender. Dirty Martini makes you mysterious.

Julia: They are SO refreshing. That's actually my beer of choice now, too. With the lime, of course.

Me: I love to hear when other people were waitresses. And, yes, I remember that fuzzy navel. Peach schnapps, right? Let's see those IDs.

Carolyn Crane said...

Penelope: Lemony summer beers? Really? I have not heard of this.

JenM said...

I just got back from Belgium and discovered the joy of fruity beers there. Cherry, raspberry, and peach are the most popular. I think that's the equivalent of a cosmo or a wine cooler. Definitely a girly drink. When at home, though, I usually go straight for the mojito.

Geekamicus said...

So, I'm a Cultured urbane male. That's frightening. I wonder if my husband knows.

Carolyn Crane said...

Jen: oh, cherry beer. I think I'd like to taste that.

Geekamicus: LOL. Uh oh!!!

Penny Watson said...

@Me...I used to order fuzzy navels. o.O

@JenM....Have you tried Magic Hat #9? It has apricot in it. Soooooo good for a summer brew. And it's made in Vermont....perfection!

@Geek...Haaaa! Of course you're a Cultured urbane male. I think Scotch tastes like gasoline, so I'm totally impressed.

Nicola O. said...

Oh! I want to know what the mean ones are.

I drink pretentious beer. You have no beer-drinking girls on your list! I would have stymied you.

Denise Janikowski-Krewal said...

Uh-oh. Now I am going to be paranoid about what I drink in public! Great post- loved this!!!

Heidenkind said...

Aw, you should have included the mean ones! I wonder what ordering a sidecar would say about me? Probably that I'm an old maid from the fifties with 3 dozen cats. :P

Carolyn Crane said...

Nicola: Stymier! Now I must know what beer if you stop back by and i will have you ALL figured out.

Natasha: Thanks! Well, if you're nice when you order it, that trumps a lot.

Tasha: Sidecar! How exotic! And, oh yes, the mean ones. I just feel people really would have been insulted, and the list was made by my younger self, but not everyone would have gotten that.

Nicola O. said...

Well, I like a nice amber. Or a belgian white is OK too, especially in the summer. What would you recommend? Something with a medium body, not too hoppy.

If I'm feeling really crazy I might have a porter.

Penny Watson said...

@Nicola....Yay! Another beer-guzzling gal! I drink the dark beers that even my hubby refuses to drink.

Hi Natasha! No judgments here. Anything goes. ;^)

Tasha....Heeee! I like that category. Carolyn will have to add it to her list.

Hi Car-ika! (Do you like how I made up a new name for you?)

martinipen said...


Penny Watson said...


Tom, Carolyn forgot this category...

Well-dressed, clean-shaven literary fiction type....classic martini with four olives


martinipen said...

*One* olive, thank you.