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New alcoholic drink specifically ‘for women’ needs to rethink its audience

Mike’s Hard Lemonade has announced that it’s rolling out the “first flavored malt beverage for women.” Guys, don’t even try to drink this… It’s for women. (All we need now is a sign on the clubhouse door.)

Did you ladies out there even know that all those malt beverages you’ve been drinking were for men? Apparently we had no business getting our dainty little hands on the likes of Smirnoff Ice or Twisted Tea. Fortunately Mike’s new, chick-friendly Palm Breeze, a “remarkably light alcohol spritz,” will help millennial women “vacay every day.” Because nothing says girlie “vacay” like a can of sparkling booze, amiright?

According to Mike’s, the Palm Breeze is “specifically targeted [at] the 11 million millennial women that drink more than 13 million cases of flavored malt beverages each year.” By those numbers, it seems to me that we gals already know a few things: 1) These drinks exist, 2) they are tasty, 3) we’re “allowed” to buy them.

We live in a world where alcohol has gender assignments. Mike’s isn’t the first company to do it and won’t be the last. When my husband and I go out for happy hour, we wait while the bartender inevitably places the lemon drop martini in front of me and the bourbon in front of my husband. Then we swap, and I drink the “manly” drink while he sips happily away on his sugar-coated rim.

You hear that, Mike’s? Gasp! There are guys out there who like “girlie” drinks. And wait for it… there are women who like booze that isn’t light, fruity or spritzy.

More: Thanks, but we don’t need a video to teach us how to drink whiskey

Now, I’m not saying women shouldn’t embrace their love for these kinds of drinks. And I’m not saying I don’t enjoy one every now and then. But what I don’t want is to be told that as a woman, I will love this frilly beverage simply because it is a frilly beverage. Because maybe I will, but maybe so will a bunch of burly, non-millennial men who will also be put off by this marketing campaign.

What I’m saying is, Mike’s, everyone liked your Hard Lemonade without any recommendation from you as to whether it was meant for men or women. Just let us make the choice. We might surprise you. But let’s stop with the gender-assigned alcohol, please.

For those of you who want to try the Palm Breeze, gender be damned, you can get six-packs for $6.99 anywhere alcohol is sold, in two “endlessly refreshing flavors”: Ruby Red Citrus and Pineapple Mandarin Orange.

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