Drink menus are changing as British Columbians rethink the role that everyday language, including jokes, play in discrimination.
“What was funny 20 years isn’t so funny anymore,” said Jeff Guignard, director of BC’s Alliance of Beverage Licensees about drink names commonly used in the hospitality industry.
Such was the case for the American cocktail containing Jägermeister, peach-flavoured schnapps and cranberry juice that was sold at Joseph Richard Group’s restaurants and pubs in Metro Vancouver.
The “Redheaded Sl#t” was removed from 13 of the company’s locations Saturday along with cocktails Sicilian Kiss, Irish Car Bomb and Liquid Cocaine.
Marketing director Karen Renaud said the drink was pulled from menus an hour after a female customer complained that the name was sexist.
Industry overhaul of ‘insensitive’ drink names
According to Renaud, the change was already in the works as upper-level management at Joseph Richard Group questioned the “insensitive” titles.
The company did not create many of the cocktail names, Renaud noted.
“Anytime you put a nationality or stereotype into a drink idea then you are opening up yourself to criticism, as a business that is not a good idea.”
For instance, the Irish Car Bomb, one of the drink names Joseph Richard Group removed from its menu was invented in 1979 following a notable string of car bombings that occurred in Ireland during that time.
Since there’s no B.C. regulatory authority for drink names, Guignard said the responsibility for words used on menus falls to establishment owners.
“Patrons should first direct their complaints to them,” he said.
If the bar or eatery does not make a change, Guignard recommends spending money elsewhere – at one of B.C.’s 10,000 other drinking establishments.
“It’s difficult because people have different interpretations of what is offensive.”
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