How to Win Friends and Influence People*

It’s actually remarkably easy. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way:

1.     Make sure lots of people already like you a lot, or at least think you’re okay, and (probably) not a serial killer, Cory Bernardi apologist or fan of The Bachelor.

2.     Invite them to a cocktail party at your house using fancy electronic invitations. As long as item 1 holds, most should turn up.

3.     Invite their significant others too, so there’s a chance they can negotiate driving duties.

4.     Have everyone dress up.

5.     Put on lots of high quality drinks, all on a menu even fancier than the invitations.

6.     Get your sister to do all the food prep. If you haven’t got a sister, I recommend acquiring one at the first available opportunity. The value of a sister can’t be overstated (see item 4 below).

I was fortunate enough to have come across this list before I threw my own knees-up recently, and the sense of order definitely contributed to the success of the evening. Items 1 and 6 were particularly useful. I’m also fortunate to have around 5000 colleagues at my workplace, and among these can be found a number of sufficiently high quality individuals who share a similar passion for cocktails.

With this in mind, I took the opportunity to use them all as top-shelf lab rats, in order to try out some bottle-aged cocktails, as well as the Caravaggio and choose-your-own-adventure champagne cocktail.  The bottle-aged cocktails were the priority: a Martinez, Martini and Negroni (I like gin, okay?). I wanted to see how much time I would save as host if most drinks were already mixed, and also how the various recipes fared after between 2 and 6 weeks in the bottle.

This heedless focus group had the opportunity to try whatever took its fancy, multiple times if desired, and feedback was uniformly positive. What I learnt was:

1.     Pre-bottling saves heaps of time.

2.     The idea that there’s a limited shelf-life for pre-bottled cocktails containing vermouth due to oxidisation appears, so far, to be complete and utter bollocks (9 weeks and counting for the Negroni, which was still great before dinner this evening).

3.     I have some top-notch friends.

4.     Sisters are awesome.

So consider bottling up some cocktails for yourself. It saves time at the end of a long day, ensures you’re ready to go in the event of an unannounced visit from an aficionado, and they seem to get better the longer you leave them. Give it a try; your influence and number of friends will be on the rise.

*Sorry Dale, you can’t copyright a title.