Well... yes, there is that:
Rick and Schweitzer came to their conclusions after five experiments. In one, 109 participants were shown photos of actors holding a bottle of beer or a glass of water — with the beer-holding actors rated as "significantly less intelligent" but "no less likeable" than the others. In another experiment, participants watched a video of a persuasive speech made by a male holding either a Coke can or a bottle of beer. The beer holder was rated as "significantly less persuasive" than the Coke holder. Yet another experiment took the form of recruiting interviews done over dinner between participants (in the role of job candidate) and a paid panel of mid-level managers. The participants were offered a glass of red wine or a Coke. And while the participants reported that they thought ordering the wine would make them look smarter, the managers said that the participants appeared less intelligent when they ordered the Merlot.
Coke? Coke?!?!? I thought they meant looking like a drunk moron. Because, to be fair, there is one thing a drunk moron looks like and, let me tell you, it generally rhymes with blunk bloron. But Coke? I assume anyone having a Coke is recovering or stuck in the tastes they enjoyed when they were nine years old. Any chance the studies were funded by Big Cola by any chance? Well, if you have $39.95 you can buy the study yourself but the abstract gives a bit more of the background. It's just about how people are perceived which, as we know, also goes into the hopper with all the other biases people carry with them. Being tall as opposed to short. Male versus female. Bearded wool capped natty hipster as opposed to baseball capped cargo short slouch. I suppose when you put it that way, a strong drink in the hand does convey a message. For me, the message would be "off duty" as opposed to ready for business. For another this might mean idiot. I suppose I get that.
But isn't that a part of the messaging we want? In a world where herds of smart phone gawkers shuffling down the sidewalk each screaming of being an insulated git in a bubble, being able to move from one context to another and use appearance with a bit of skill is something I would have thought to be valued. I suppose it's contextual, too. Who is scanning the crowd looking to judge the intelligence of those around them? Folk who might be living in a culture devoid of obvious clues and contexts? Sterilized from organic human communication to the point they are left with little left to go by? Who are these people squinting for clues about others anyway? The unfriendly, dull and... sober? You can spot them in a crowd any day, looking around uncomfortably, a bit confused over there in the corner, alone with their glass of soda.