Just the other night, one of my colleagues at the bar counter, the one we call The Professor for all his profound late night wisdom, remarked that it was hard to trust a man who doesnâ€™t drink. He was talking about George Bush and we all nodded sagely. Of course, George Bush famously did drink, but wasnâ€™t able to control the primitive forces that the booze unlocked in his body and mind. He is the epitome of the failed drinker. Now he may also be the epitome of a failed president, which goes to show how powerful the Drinking Man Index is.
Booze unlocks the truth of a person. It is a truth serum. Some people donâ€™t want anything to do with the underlying truths that their dark hearts conceal and decide never to touch the bottle. On the other end of the Index is the guy who throws himself into the cauldron of truth like Obelix was chucked into the magic strength potion. Not many are strong enough to cope with utter and relentless truth that they discover here; it makes them, at best, embarrassing drunks, at worst, embarrassing presidents who destroy nations.
But in the middle of the Index is the joyful ground where booze allows self-analysis, a peaceful contemplation of who you are and what the world is all about. The bar becomes a school of higher learning and the barman so much more than a skanky failed plumber with a taste for karaoke and muscle shirts. This is where The Professorâ€™s observation is so relevant; because people who havenâ€™t spend a little time under the spell of the truth serum will always be untrustworthy â€“ simply because they do not know themselves. When you knock on their doors no-one is really home, theyâ€™re just a mix of received wisdom and shallow understanding.
Now, while all alcoholic drinks have the power to unlock truth, they are not all equally potent. So your selection of drink is directly proportional to the speed with which you need to get to the heart of the matter. Letâ€™s take the flirtation game. Want to get to know her name and occupation? A glass of white wine will do. Want her to show those little quirks that give you some ammo to flirt with? A champagne cocktail like the Arctic Kiss will do nicely. Want to know where she lives (and get a guided tour of the premises)? Now you want a few shooters (your choice, but keep it classy) or something tequila-based in her hand; like the classic Margarita or try the drink called 9 Â½ Weeksâ€¦
Some drinks are better at getting people to externalise their truths. Thatâ€™s The Professorâ€™s term for getting them to talk. Generally, drinks with bubbles are good for this, thatâ€™s why men sitting drinking beers can talk crap all day. If you want to get a sweet young thing talking, give her the bubbly drinks and stick to flat ones yourself, that way you wonâ€™t bore her and you can concentrate on giving her deep, smouldering glances while she exposes more and more about herself. Or should that be of herself? The naked truth is the best truth, after all.
A shot of chilled vodka poured into a champagne flute and topped with bubbly. Make sure itâ€™s all very cold.
9 Â½ Weeks
Into a cocktail shaker over ice go:
2 shots Absolut Citron
Â½ shot orange CuraÃ§ao
Splash of strawberry juice
Splash of orange juice