Thursday, 3 September 2015

Cocktails and Clothes: Do You Dress Like You Drink?

Photo: Dragan (CCL)

As I’m sipping my Negroni in a cocktail bar, fully dressed to impress, I couldn’t help but look around and notice that what we drink is very much linked to what we wear, and vice versa.

Thanks to Ryan Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love, the dapper man and the old-fashioned can now be found in nearly any bar. And ladies, ain’t that a treat for the eyes and the palate? 
The Old-Fashioned Recipe: Place a sugar cube in a glass and pop a few drops of Angostura bitters in, add a little soda water, a measure of bourbon (or any quality spirit) and some ice. Garnish with orange zest, an entire wardrobe of incredible suits et voilà!

Do I have to mention the use of mason jars and the rise of The Hipster? They place a tremendous amount of importance on the appearance of authenticity and how environmentally conscious they are by repurposing a vintage-looking glass container for a use other than what it was intended. 
If this is you, try: Mix fragrant home-grown mint and fresh farmer's market blackberries, add Kentucky bourbon and lemon juice, strain into a jar filled with crushed ice and garnish with remaining mint, blackberries, beard, beanie and a plaid shirt!

If we go back in time, it all becomes oh so clear. Every decade has its iconic drink and style! Remember when you were watching Fresh Prince of Bel Air and bumping Biggie on the radio? Most of the cocktails were neon coloured, artificially flavoured. 

Photo: Lwp Kommunikacio (CCL)
But then Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha arrived on our small screens drinking « Cosmopolitans ». This drink sparked a renewed interest in cocktails, but most of all launched the era of the vodka-based « tinis », where drinks were more about looks than flavours.

Wine is no exception to the rule. I found myself not so long ago in two different wine events: one was an artisan wine fair, the other, a Bordeaux wines en primeur soirée. And there it was again, fashion. At the first one, people were laid back, wearing lousy t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. The later had three pieces suits, bow ties and cufflinks on the menu. 

So I decided to explore this theory of mine a tad further and have a little experiment in three very different places in London.

The first stop on my boozy fashion crawl was a big club in Central London. The place was filled with fake eyelashes, very short dresses, unwalkable heels and undrinkable Pinot Grigio. 

I then tried a bar in the City. The only splash of colour I could spot amongst the hoard of men in black was the red wine they were all sipping, discussing stocks and vintages. 

Finally, I landed in a trendy cocktail bar. It was as if Anna Wintour had given her seal of approval at the entrance. McQueen, Chanel, Blahnik and Louboutin were sitting by the bar, and the cocktails were walking down the runway in the most amazing outfits. This place took the theory to a whole other level: Cocktail Couture. 

Before I go out, I choose an outfit in my wardrobe to wear in a certain setting and pair with a drink to match. Shallow, me? Now, don’t be too hasty to judge! The cocktail is no longer a fashion accessory, like it used to be in the 90’s. It’s now fashion itself. 

So here’s my question to you: do you dress like you drink? Tell us in the comments.

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