Hand-crafted Cocktails


Paul Fussell, in his book, Class – A Guide Through the American Status System, noted that aristocrats and others in the hereditary-upper-classes will say, “Let’s have a drink and talk about it” where those of the middle-class cannot resist saying, “Let’s discuss it over cocktails.”  It has been noticed by many that the status-security of someone from the aristocratic-class or hereditary-upper-class tends to result in their speaking simply and directly, while someone from the middle-class or high-proletarian-class (that is, the working class with money) tends to fear being revealed as inferior and therefore often over-dresses their speech.

Fussell humorously states that airline menus “constitute a veritable exhibition palace of the fake elegant” – but noticed that one such menu card he encountered did “forget itself and slip once, calling beverages ‘drinks’ in a thoroughly upper-class way.”

Also in Paul Fussell’s book one reads, “If a woman does a lot of knitting for family and friends, chances are she’s upper-middle-class.  But if when she finishes a sweater she sews in a little label reading ‘Handmade by Gertrude Willis’ she’s middle-class.  If the label reads ‘Hand-crafted by Gertrude Willis’ she’s high-prole.”

Are you ready?  Here it comes:

Hand-crafted Cocktails

No, this does not mean to contrast the bar that uses the above phrase with other bars where the drinks are made by robots, or by bartenders using their feet.

I know that bars feel they must compete for the dollars of the high-proletarian-class.  Some surely consider dumbed-down marketing appeals such as “hand-crafted cocktails” a necessary evil.  Yet, I am humored at the ever-present spectacle of the ‘fake elegant’ when it comes to promoting anything alcoholic.  It’s time for me to go have a drink and a chuckle.

One thought on “Hand-crafted Cocktails

  1. Fussell’s books are great, and they keep me grounded in reality. Be sure to read them all, including “Uniforms” and “Bad.” I should add that I was reading the posting right after this one, before getting to this post, thinking, “This guy’s read Fussell’s book!”

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