Which Cocktails Have Big Dick Energy? An Investigation

Dirty vodka martinis are the girthy kings of BDE.
Composite image; original via Flickr user Adrian Scottow.

A few days ago, Ariana Grande fired off a saucy tweet on how her fiancé, Pete Davidson, was packing some serious hot dog meat. The tweet was later removed, but Davidson has been put on spotlight for having “big dick energy.” As our VICE UK colleagues note, BDE is "not mere confidence—though, a true big dick energy-haver is usually quietly confident—nor is it overcompensating. It's a self-assurance that radiates from deep within and can be felt for miles. It's an energy that immediately shifts the dynamic of a room. It is not actively seeking out debauchery or pleasure, but having it gravitate toward you.” Make sense now? It’s basically like walking the walk without talking the talk, where the energy down south speaks for itself without saying a damn word.


Thank you, Pete Davidson, for breaking the internet with your dick this week.

There’s also LDE (little dick energy) or mediocre dick energy. “Rather than confident, that person is cocky, petty, loud,” Allison Davis writes in The Cut. “I’d diagnose Trump with LDE, but I don’t even want to think about it.”

After sipping my negroni nightcap last night, I wondered what it and other drinks might translate to in the dick energy world. Does a Red Bull Vodka equal big dick energy because you stand firm on your horrendous drink of choice and don’t give a fuck? Or does it mean the opposite? Does a happy hour margarita mean average dick energy? I also cringe each time I write dick energy. It seems so wrong. But “what a time to be alive,” my friend Jenna texted me while discussing this subject. She’s right. It’s 2018 and it’s totally appropriate.

But in case you’re concerned about the dick vibes you’re giving off, I asked several bartenders and mixologists teamed up to put together this cocktail dick energy guide. “As a member of the ‘there's a time and a place for just about any drink’ club, I think BDE vs. SDE is largely situational,” says David Kaplan, Co-owner of Death & Co. And I think it makes sense to preemptively declare tequila the BDE drink of choice. “Tequila makes the public nervous and refreshes like vacation, giving you that boost to make you feel unstoppable,” says Seth Miller, general manager of The Imperial in Charlotte, North Carolina.


White Wine Spritz

It's hot and sunny on the pier near the water and you and the crew are at a simple marina burger spot. Beer is clearly the way to go, cocktails are of the 70s come-in-a-box varietal. The wine selection is "red or the white.” In BDE form you order the spritz assemblage of ‘I'll get the white wine, a glass of ice and some soda water.’ Now you have the makings for alcohol refreshment in a glass while others look on enviously while taking regretful sips of their basic IPAs. Major BDE. —Kaplan


You're drinking what tastes good and what you like—no pretense here—you don't need to prove shit. You've got a monster or at least a monster dose of confidence. Samantha would be fucking proud of you. Dave Fernie, Director of Operations at Honeycut, The Normandie Club, the Walker Inn


You saddle up to the cocktail bar solo while everyone waits to get into this place. It's for special occasions with $18-dollar drink situations (think first dates, trying to impress your boss, etc.). But this is your regular. You circumnavigate the crazy complicated drinks in the specialty glassware and order a bourbon neat. You come here because you love the place, the staff, and the peoplewatching. You order bourbon because American whiskey is fucking delicious. BDE. —Kaplan

Peaty Single Malt Scotch

There's a time and a place for inky, unctuous single malts, and it’s not the bar. Put this in a decanter at your house and break it out the next time you go through a crushing breakup. Ordering a super peaty Scotch neat at the bar is not only offensive to one’s self, but to everyone in your immediate vicinity. Proving that you've trained your gag reflex into submission is a task best saved for more intimate settings, unless you're trying to impress the fuck out of the bartender, in which case, choke thyself zaddy. Fernie


Classic Martini

A true BDE is the classic gin or vodka martini that’s mixed with a fair amount of vermouth, because it knows that it tastes better that way and doesn’t need to be a glass of straight alcohol to prove its worth. It’s slick, cool, delicious, and ordered by those who know that you can knock back three of these and have a better lasting buzz than one to two of any other drink. Impostor martinis, however—just orders of straight vodka with a tiny bit of dilution—are only a small step away from pouring the stuff straight from the bottle and into your mouth. That isn’t BDE, that’s just desperation. —Pamela Wiznitzer, New York City bartender


Unless your idea of a job is GTL, cleaning Jersey sand out of your board shorts, and applying copious amounts of Valtrex to your nether regions daily, you probably don't hang out somewhere where a mojito is an acceptable order. But you know what? Fuck social norms, because a daiquiri on crushed ice with some minty goodness tossed in it is off the charts refreshing and a pretty fucking sure shot that you're not concerned what anyone thinks of you. BDE for days. —Fernie

Horse's Neck

The Horse’s Neck is essentially just a fancy whiskey ginger, and that’s fine and all, but come on, you had to name it? That’s like calling a vodka and orange juice a Screwdriver—or a vodka and cranberry a Cape Cod (eyeroll). What you’re really asking for is something to help your hangover or stomachache. LDE. —Alex Jump, Bar Manager, Death & Co Denver

Dirty Martini

Shake my shit. Stuff my olives. Leave the ice shards. Classic gin martinis are like over the pants handies: they’re tight and all, but let’s get filthy. Dirty vodka martinis are so BDE they’re literally fucking their own ass. —Elliott Clark, Apartment Bartender

Aperol Spritz

Let’s put a strange-flavored, bitter liquor into a wine glass on ice (a power move). Then we’re going to top it with something bubbly, but equal parts sparkling wine and soda to keep the ABV super low so that you can drink lots during happy hour.) Then let’s garnish it with a freaking olive for no real reason. Any lady who’s ordering an Aperol Spritz is probably just finishing up another day of ruling the world with her uncompromising prowess. She doesn’t take no for an answer and she isn’t afraid of a little salt in her beverage, because honestly—she’s a little salty from the world herself. —Jump


Old Fashioned

Mad Men was cool for all the fuckboy, ex-high school dickheads that finally figured out you couldn't just land a partner by wearing cargo shorts and a Big Dogs or No Fear tee anymore, so they started dressing like 1950s absentee dads and drinking like them too, until we all caught on. Old Fashioneds taste good, I guess, but get fucking real dude, there's a time and a place and pontificating over the rye choice in your drink while subsequently discussing your collection of dusty forays into the annals of Stitzel-Wellers’ back catalogue is a real boner-shrinker. Save the old fashioneds for your dad's birthday party or make ‘em at home. This is truly the equivalent of ordering boneless, skinless chicken breast at a restaurant. —Fernie

Ramos Gin Fizz

You know the dude that stalls the entire security line at TSA because he felt like carrying 17 water bottles in his bag, only to get sent back through the scanner three times over because he forgot to take his belt off? This is the equivalent of ordering a Ramos gin fizz at a bar. Did you eat paint chips as a kid? Just don’t be this guy. On the flip side though, it is a really tasty drink and if you’re willing to accept that your bartender probably spit in it, it’s worth it. —Clark


There are more breweries in America than there are cats (completely true fact), so walk to literally any fucking store and just get some beer. That place on the corner, they have 80 beers. You didn't need to drive three hours and wait in line for eight hours to get a beer ‘release.’ LDE. Come at me. —Kaplan