Food & Drink

The Anti Hero: White Limozeen’s Blush and Not-So-Bashful Bachelorette Cocktail

The Music City bar whips up something sweet and bright for the surge of partygoers

A pink drink splashes as a strawberry goes into it. The glass stands against a blue background

Photo: Johnny Autry

Spring has sprung and the grass has riz, which means it’s bachelorette party season—the time when brides-to-be join forces with their besties to storm the streets in matching pastel outfits, feather boas, and tiaras increasingly askance as the night progresses, displaying a fierce determination to not go gently into that matrimonial night. Particularly in Nashville, which has become the pre-wedding wingding capital of the South. “From March to October or November, it dominates the season,” says Paul Morrison, the lead bartender at L.A. Jackson, a popular Music City bar and restaurant.

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Bachelor bashes have been around for generations. But bachelorette parties are relatively new, hitting their stride only in the 1980s. Brides saw little reason that only grooms and their bros should go wild before forsaking their “freedom.” And roaming bar to bar, it turns out, is more fun than the traditional bridal shower, an event staged mostly for the bride’s mother and her friends and the acquisition of small kitchen appliances. These parties, which have evolved and expanded into destination weekends, have since become a major industry; the cost of a bachelorette party averaged almost $11,000 last year, according to the makers of Batch, a party-planning app.

Some of that money funds phallic favors, but a lot naturally goes to drink. (A 2014 study found that 80 percent of bachelorettes imbibed on the big day, averaging five drinks each.) “They have itineraries from the second they wake up to the second they leave Nashville,” says Demi Natoli, the beverage director at White Limozeen, which sees a steady flow of hen parties. Typically, packs of up to fourteen women will swoop in for a drink or two, and then move on to the next bar, like a tropical storm edging toward hurricane status.

So what do the revelers drink? “They all ask for something fruity,” says Sabrina Oberlander, one of the lead bartenders at Acme Feed & Seed on Broadway. “We put a drink called Something Fruity on the menu for that very reason.”

(I feel compelled to note that a 2018 article in Western Folklore suggested that “girly drinks” at bachelorette parties connect to favorite childhood candies, while the phallus-shaped gewgaws mark a bridge into adulthood. Thank you for asking.)

photo: Johnny Autry

Natoli at White Limozeen, which sits atop the Graduate hotel in Nashville’s Midtown neighborhood and is so aggressively pink that the producers of Barbie may have an infringement case on their hands, says that she likes to concoct drinks with a blushing hue, as they look “pretty in our space.” But her cocktails aren’t necessarily liquid confections. The partygoers are “always going to order a vodka drink,” she says, “but I put in ingredients that people might not necessarily recognize.”

Which is the case with the Anti Hero, a drink Natoli devised that comes in the requisite pink—thank you, Campari!—but also tastes more nuanced and sophisticated than a sipper inspired by, say, tropical Skittles. It’s named after a Taylor Swift song, because, duh, obviously, and tastes like a cosmo by way of a Jungle Bird: bright and fun and surprisingly free of “woo!”—with hints of a rosy future to come.


  • Anti Hero (Yield: 1 cocktail)

    • 1½ oz. vodka

    • ¼ oz. Campari

    • ½ oz. strawberry liqueur (Merlet Crème de Fraise recommended)

    • ½ oz. strawberry-lemongrass syrup (recipe follows)

    • ¾ oz. pineapple juice

    • ½ oz. lime juice

    • Fresh strawberry, for garnish


  1. Combine liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well blended and chilled, about 20 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with fresh strawberry.

  2. For the strawberry-lemongrass syrup: Mix 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water and heat until dissolved but not boiling. Remove from heat and add 5 or 6 chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen) and 1 roughly chopped lemongrass stalk. Let infuse while cooling, about 45 minutes. Strain syrup through mesh strainer into bottle. Will keep 2 weeks if refrigerated.