Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Confident Cocktail: The Blue Smoke Martini

There comes a time in every gentleman’s career when he hosts an important business dinner or power lunch. The purpose of this meal is twofold—create a bond with your client and, more importantly, instill their confidence in you. And while there is no substitute for hard work (“everything I deserve, I earn”), your non-verbal communication is on display, so make sure it is communicating the appropriate message.

Although the client can wear whatever they want, you must present like a man whom they can trust without question. Therefore, it goes without saying that a spot-free, perfectly tailored, “power” suit must be worn. Navy blue or dark gray are, with few exceptions, the only color options. Solid, pinstriped, bird’s eye, or windowpane are all acceptable patterns. A pressed white, blue, or lavender shirt (no buttoned-down collars, as they are too casual) makes the perfect canvas for your most important sartorial message: your tie. And while the perfect dimple in your half-windsor or pratt knot (my preference) is required, the color you choose speaks loudly about who you are, your tendencies, and your traits. Choose wisely. But also choose the color that most appropriately describes you and your personality.

·      Red---Powerful, Bold, Dominant, Determined, Persistent, Strong
·      Blue---Authoritative, Loyal, Intelligent, Tranquil, Honest, Articulate
·      Purple---Passionate, Visionary, Regal, Powerful, Respected, Dignified, Luxurious
·      Pink---Calm, Friendly, Compassionate, Easygoing
·      Orange---Happy, Enthusiastic, Welcoming, Warm
·      Brown---Reliable, Approachable, Stable, Patient
·      Yellow---Enthusiastic, Alert, Optimistic, Cheerful, Confident, Outgoing
·      Green---Relaxing, Peaceful, Harmonious, Calm, Efficient
·      Black---Strong, Dignified, Mysterious, Sophisticated, Cold

The business dinner is also the appropriate venue for you, the host, to demonstrate your command of ordering the appropriate bottle of wine (which will be discussed in a later blog post). But, as with any good meal, you should open with a cocktail. And since you will only be ordering one since you need to remain confident, in control, and professional (remember this when drinking wine later in the meal), it must be one that is filling, complex, and furthers the message of confidence that you are conveying. Enter the Blue Smoke Martini.

3 oz. Ketel One or Stolichnaya vodka
Splash of peaty Scotch (preferably Laphroaig or Ardbeg)
3 olives stuffed with blue cheese

Wash a chilled martini glass with the Scotch by tilting the glass to coat the inside, and pour out the excess.
***Shake the vodka vigorously in an ice-filled shaker and strain into the coated glass. 
Garnish with the olives.

The Scotch rinse gives this cocktail a smoky flavor, which is eagerly soaked by the vodka, while the blue cheese-stuffed olives add a pleasing “tangy” flavor. Simply put, the drink is the perfect one pre-dinner cocktail (and you can eat the filling garnish while waiting for the appetizer).

Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says to love your enemy. There are some occasions, however—like a business dinner or power lunch—when you should love in moderation.  Make sure you order wisely and confidently.  After all, you are on display.

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