Most alcoholic beverages served in a bar fall under two very broadly defined categories: manly drinks and girly drinks. Manly drinks tend to contain only a few key ingredients, alcohol and something else. The flavor or appearance of the drink is a secondary consideration compared to the amount of alcohol it contains. Girly drinks, on the other hand, may have a number of ingredients, most of which are not actual alcohol. These ingredients are often blended with ice, diluted with mixers or served with elaborate garnishes such as umbrellas or speared fruit.
It is no secret that many people find the taste of alcohol to be unpleasant at best. While many male drinkers consider downing an especially potent drink to be a sign of masculinity, many women prefer beverages which minimize the bitter flavor and burn of the alcohol. Many so-called "girly drinks" were invented to mask the taste of bathtub gin or other questionable sources of alcohol. The addition of fruit juices helped to mask the flavor, while mixers such as cream or ginger ale often minimized the burning sensation.
Frozen drinks such as fruit daiquiris and breezes are often categorized as girly drinks, especially with the addition of drink parasols, shaved coconut or fruit garnishes. Even without the blended ice, mixed drinks containing fruit juices such as orange juice or cranberry juice can also be considered girly. Straight amaretto served with ice may be considered a manly drink, for example, but an amaretto mixed with orange juice or a sour mix could be considered girly.
Martinis and other high-end cocktails are often considered the definition of girly drinks. Trendy martini blends such as Cosmopolitans or Appletinis have a strong appeal for women who seek flavorful drinks made from more palatable alcohols such as vodka or schnapps. Even cocktails containing several different kinds of white liquors, such as Long Island Iced Teas, can be considered girly because of their sweetened mixers and elaborate presentation.
Girly drinks may also feature flavored liqueurs and fruit-flavored vodkas instead of the harsher bourbons and malt whiskeys found in other mixed drinks. Popular college drinks such as Sex on the Beach or Tequila Sunrise can also be included in this category because they contain mixers and fruit juices to mute the taste of the alcohol.
Mixed drinks which use cream, milk or Irish Cream as mixers could also be considered girly drinks. This would include recipes for Mudslides, Grasshoppers and White Russians, although many drinks in this category do fall somewhere between true girly and manly drinks.