This week being Gay Pride week, Gothamist thought for about parading then realized, well, that sounds suspiciously like exercise, and we'd rather drink anyway. So we wondered if there is such a thing as a gay drink? What makes it gay? We asked at an ostensibly straight bar, Lolita, at the party for Elizabeth Merrick's novel Girly (Ms. Merrick ran the Cupcake reading series with Lauren Cerand until April 2005). We spoke to one co-owner, who said, in what would become a refrain, a Cosmopolitan is gay, right? Well, it's pink and, um, even we can't finish that sentence. Lolita does have it's share of gay, though, including The Tease, a Citron-Amaretto-pineapple juice-sour mix-lemon juice and a cherry, a drink that the bartender made to kick you in the knees. And there are two house drinks, the eponymous one and the 266, the bar's address on Broome, a gin drink that can kick other parts in. We asked about the inclusion of the Velvet Hammer on the menu. He says it's from the movie Cocktail. The Tom-I love this woman!-Cruise movie cocktail (vodka, creme de cacoa, milk, a cherry) is clearly their gayest drink.
Walking uptown, we didn't expect to get kicked out of the first lesbian bar we walked into. Starlight, recently featured on The L Word, thought our questions were the dumbest he'd ever heard. "That's like asking what do girls drink?" He said. We'll be more than happy to drink him (and all the East Village girlie dykes who looked at us like we weren't gay enough to walk through the door) under the table.
Cosmo! Cosmopolitan, definitely. A Cosmo. That's what the boys at the next gay bars said. At Nowhere(the bottom of Nowhere's front door is featured in the above photograph), a well-run place with pool table and nights that include Stephin Merritt (of the Magnetic Fields, the 6ths) djing. Is a Cosmo gay just because it is pink? It's just gay, the bartenders chimed, like the Cosmo didn't choose to live out its life that way. When the boys at the end of the bar heard me, they started in with drinks they'd invented, the Marilyn Monroe, even. A bartender who'd intimidate us anywhere else with tattoos everywhere, including real-size scissors on his forearm said "If anyone asks for something I don't know, I tell them to order a beer. It's a dive bar and we're all gay." On Sunday Nowhere adds specials, including $2 beer, to its Sunday party, Big Lug, and calls it Lug Pride.
In Brooklyn, we asked our neighborhood gay bar, Metropolitan, how gay a drink could go. They trotted out Cosmos, of course, and started in on the difference between a Hairy and a Fuzzy Navel, a truly gay conversation right there (the difference is vodka, a Hairy Navel has it and a Fuzzy doesn't). Frozen drinks, apple martinis, all gay, the bartenders said. And how gay do they want to be? Well, they just bought a frozen margarita machine that will pump out the coldest, gayest margaritas starting this Sunday at Metropolitan's weekly free summer barbeque from 5:30 on (come on the early side, though, to guarantee some burgers or veggie dogs).
We might never know the gayest drink out there is but last night when a barely dressed Brazilian said, quietly and with a heavy accent, the gayest drink is "what makes you more happy." Well, we'll drink to that. Happy Pride.
266 Broome St, near Allen Street
167 Ave A, between,10& 11th Streets
322 E. 14th St.
between First and Second Avenue
559 Lorimer St, betwwen Metropolitan Avenue and Devoe Street