I don’t know if I first heard of the appletini from Sex and the City or Scrubs, but television definitely set the tone of that drink, that I know. It was television that told me it existed, and it was television that told me it was feminine.
And I’m not here to argue that. It totally is. Appletinis taste like somebody melted down a chariot race of peppy HR women all named Carol or Karen gettin’ buckwild on the one Friday night they were all able to somehow find sitters. What I’m here to argue is...yeah, so? What’s wrong with a little femininity? What, ya’ll gonna act like you didn't see and love My Best Friend's Wedding back in the day? Get outta here, everyone’s charming in that flick.
The appletini isn’t even classic feminine either. It jives closer to Stephenie Meyer than Jane Austen, and it looks like a drink they served in Batman Forever. But that’s what makes it the rebel cocktail for men. It has that rep, so what’s more of a defiant move than ordering an appletini?
See, the thing I’ve always hated about standard male drinking culture is that there are so many rules—like we were supposed to receive pamphlets, after downing our first high school kickback’s poorly made screwdriver, that sported the headline, “Only drink gold, brown, and clear forever,” followed by fine print of what’s cool and what’s not.
And to be fair, the appletini isn’t my drink of choice by any means. I’m a whiskey guy. Well, and a beer guy. And a wine guy. And a gin guy. And a tequila guy if I’m in Mexico. And a vodka guy if I’ve already had all of the above. Ok, maybe I’ll just drink anything, so that’s why I’m defending the appletini, because there’s some kind of booze in it.
But I really do get sick of hearing “can’t” and “don’t” in bars. I came to let loose, not hear a lecture from some guy living in his mom’s pool house about what’s gonna get my “man card” pulled. And I most certainly didn’t barrel through the workweek so I could watch a Bud Light drinker bring up Esquire’s “100 Rules of Manhood” on a phone that features a pictorial from an old issue of Maxim as its background, damn.
That’s why I find the appletini so appealing, because it’s like this super shiny forbidden (sour) fruit. It’s this big red button at the bar that everyone tells me not to push. It’s trespassing! It’s a no-no, a no-go, or a joke, which actually makes for a startling act of strange empowerment.
A perfect example: In The Social Network, Sean Parker buys a round of appletinis for Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, and himself. In truth, Zuckerberg never had an appletini until after, and because of, the film. He thought the detail was weird and funny, and employees started ordering the drink as a gag, prompting the appletini to be declared “the official drink of Facebook.”
And that’s why I like that appletinis are out there, shaking things up and stirring up trouble. They’re drinkable middle fingers. Every guy likes or pretends to like whiskey, but only the wrecking crew of underdogs—the weirdos, the wiseasses, and the wimps—boldly order appletinis.