Deal maker

Teddy Roosevelt was a man known for two things. OK, three – that he was the President of the USA. But the two important ones were his name and his famous three-martinis-and-let’s-have-a-deal lunches. Being called “Teddy” was a mixed blessing. He was the brunt of many jokes at the bar (“sorry we don’t serve bears here”, etc); on the other hand I believe Elvis wrote a song about him (“Oh won’t you be…”).

A man like Teddy clinched a few big deals in his life. These were not deals like those grinding bureaucratic fiddlers where seething accountants jockey to score the best rate on inkjet refills; these were deals that required old-fashioned men with straight-talk and steady eyes. It was useful, in such deal-making, to be absolutely hammered.

Teddy could face up to big players like Trotsky, and we know how Russians deal with their liquor. He even had a whole economic principle in the States named after him – the New Deal. Some people say his New Deal led to the Great Depression of the 1930s, some people will say anything, especially after a three-martini lunch.

The current corporate culture doesn’t encourage such a heroic style of deal-making (although it seems American presidents still do what they like, drunk or sober), so the thirsty man’s advice for deal-making is much the same as that for a conversation with a stranger at the bar.

1> Always maintain an air of mystery by frequent pauses and piercing looks. Loose lips sink ships (and deals). 2> Make sure he keeps his hands where you can see them, make sure he keeps hold of a drink. Or, at the boardroom table, something like an important paper. Hands tell you the whole story – is he nervous? Is he reaching for a knife? 3> Under no circumstances be the first to go to the WC. That’s a sure sign of weakness.

But the one thing I want to stress is that you must try to avoid – at all costs – doing business with a cold beer in your hand. Show some initiative! Show that you have grand designs! Show that you plan to rule the world! You won’t do this with a humble working-class brewskie by your side, no sir. You need a drink with mystery and power.

Here’s a cocktail that means business. It should smooth the path towards a handshake, (of some sort). Rather poetically, it’s called a Blue Monday. Keeps ‘em guessing.
2 measures vodka. ¾ measure blue curacao. Stir with chilled ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.