Home > Uncategorized > DRINK, HOSPITALITY Happy Birthday Drink for a Man/Metropolitan/”Steve”

DRINK, HOSPITALITY Happy Birthday Drink for a Man/Metropolitan/”Steve”


Occasionally while tending bar a woman will ask if I have a specialty drink for the man she is accompanying

“What’s his name?”

At this point the gentleman, I use the term advisedly, breaks in, says his name, and adds that it is his birthday.

Those of us who have spent substantial time behind the stick know that “boys night out” birthday celebrations are usually lubricated by shots and multiple brews.  However women seek just a pinch more decorum in bacchanal.

“My name is Steve.”

Given that the gentleman has the same moniker as your humble narrator it is easy to please such a guest, especially on his birthday date.

“I’ll make you a Steve.”


1 1/2 oz. Tanqueray gin

3/4 oz. Gran Marnier

2 oz. Cranberry Juice

1/2 oz. Rose’s Lime Juice

Chill a martini glass with ice water if chilled glasses aren’t available

Fill a cocktail shaker 1/2 with ice.

Pour all ingredients into the shaker.

Shake vigorously until the frost line climbs to the top of the shaker.

Dispose of ice water in martini glass.

Rim martini glass with sugar.

Break and pour into martini glass.

“There’s your ‘Steve’, Steve”.

Decorum prevails when a woman buys a drink for a man and the first sip is often a hesitant one.  However the sweet burn of this concoction reassures the male of the species that he is not imbibing a dreaded “girlytini”.

Metropolitan is the original coinage of this drink.  While working at Marche’ in 2000 I saw that many women ordered Cosmopolitans.  Marche’s  lower-level Caveau bar was presumably a wine bar but attracted many 2nd. date couples.  On many occasions a man would request a martini other than gin or vodka along with the provision that it not be “girly”.  It struck me that what the gentlemen wanted was a martini glass so as to create visual symmetry with the object of their desire but without all of the sugar.

Tanqueray provides the burn.  An essential difference between men and women in their drinking habits is that men like burn.  Women rarely drink Hennessy or Jack Daniels straight up as men do so often.

Tanqueray’s juniper, gin is Dutch for juniper, provides the floral notes that give a complexity to gin’s astringency.

Gran Marnier is significantly hotter than the Cointreau utilized by the Cosmo due to the brandy burn beneath the sweetness.  Additionally, the Gran Marnier is more opaque than Cointreau thus the color of the Metropolitan is closer to the red of cranberry juice than the pink of a Cosmoploitan.  This lent a nice pink-red, yin-yang to the couple’s drinking from stemware.

Impression management can be enhanced by placing the cocktail beneath a pinspot on a black or red bev nap.

(The splash of Rose’s Lime Juice is added to suggest a secret potion to the guests).

The Metropolitan was added to the Marche’ drink list by Beverage Manager Nathan Arnold.  I sold a few every week and was rewarded generously for my mixology innovation at the beginning of the martini era.

Martini once meant a choice of gin or vodka, olive or twist.


This prevailed until the end of the 20th. Century.  Generation X, born between 1968 and 1973, spent a longer time in dance clubs than their preceding generations.  Boston’s dance club drinking in the 90’s shifted to shots such as the Grape Crush, Henne Russian and Sex on the Beach served straight up in 4 oz. High Impact Crystal Solo cups during the percussion break of “Mr. Vain.”  Given the 2 A.M. closing and late arrivals of dance guests the night’s first drink was often straight up.

By 2000 Generation X had aged out of dance clubs and were ready for the burgeoning lounge scene as typified by City Bar and The Saint.  While these clubs offered loud beats they also offered table service and seating for a clientele that had advanced to long-term relationships and long-term employment.  However a taste for straight up drinks remained and bartenders became mixologists to meet this demand.  However the more relaxed pace and higher prices of lounges demanded real glass rather than plastic.  Furthermore posing, rather than dancing, was now the focal point of socializing and gracefully held stemware became de-riguer as men and women alike aspired to the cocktail attitudinizing of SEX AND THE CITY.

A  slew of flavored vodkas and rums emerged to create and serve the maturation of Generation X.  Mojitos  followed and a variety of small-batch bourbons and pre-Prohibition cocktails furthered the evolution from bartender to mixologist to craft bartender.

Metropolitans offer men a sweet burn.  The hotness of Tanqueray and Gran Marnier is tempered by the sweetness of  cranberry juice.  The man is satisfied, not merely sweetened.  Win-win!

Make no mistake the “Steve”/Metropolitan is served to sell to men, especially when the woman is ordering.


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