Whether you like the idea of them, girly drinks and their stereotypical trappings are fundamentally set in our collective imagination: Usually brightly colored, sometimes deceptively strong, and always a little too easy to drink.

Over at Slate, Troy Patterson outlines historical moments when this perception took root, as well as the times it burgeoned and waned. While we support women dispelling fusty, old-fashioned notions of what females drink, there’s value in getting a sense of where the gendered category came from as we hopefully put it to rest.

  • 1878: The five drops of absinthe did little to offer respite in the recipe for the Ladies’ Blush, which calls for a various mix of sugary substances both solid and liquid. Patterson found it described “as a ‘favourite drink among the fair sex’,” in American and Other Drinks.
  • 1951: In the Bartender’s Book, the Pink Lady was a gin drink accented with lemon juice and grenadine, meant for the “nice little girl who works in files.”
  • 1970: The Lemon Drop was among those drinks created in the new “singles-bar girl drinks” era—one ushered in partly by Alan Stillman, whose T.G.I. Friday’s in New York City was conceived as a new bar for single women.  
  • 1988:  Bartender Toby Cecchini switched up the recipe now signature to the Cosmopolitan, using vodka, fresh lime juice, Cointreau, and cranberry juice. The first rendition of the cocktail was created by Cheryl Cook and named after a magazine of the same name.

[via Slate]