mod note (Andy) see part one here
The breeze is brisk, thecups are red, and the sidewalks of New York City are crowded body-to-body with packs of overweight tourists and kids on leashes. With football season in full swing and the winter doldrums looming large, summer days spent slamming beers at The Standard beer garden are but a distant memory. The holiday season is upon us, and while investment banking analysts across Wall Street are girding for a fiscal cliff-induced Christmas deal staffing special, a hint of holiday cheer hangs around the bullpen. That's because around this time of year, junior investment bankers celebrate a Wall Street tradition as hallowed as the almighty 100-page Strategic Alternatives pitch. Monkeys rejoice - it's Holiday Party season.
See if you can recognize any of these characters at your firm's mid-December soiree:
The Craft Beer
Sam Adams Winter Ale? None of that for this guy. Craft Beer guy is probably the closest thing to a hipster banker. While everyone else is greedily slurping down Jack & Cokes and ripping tequila shots, Craft Beer guy is asking the bartender if they've got any Delirium Tremens in the back fridge. Craft beer guy loves drinking Belgian Trappist from a goblet, and sneers at the simple sacks who drink pale American swill. When Bud Light Guy calls him out for being an obnoxious fartsniffer, he comes back with something along the lines of "I'm drinking 8% ABV abbey ale, you are drinking hog piss." In a way, he's right - but who cares?
The Vodka Soda
Don't care what season it is
Ever see that Ketel One commercial where all the dudes inare drinking vodka-rocks like it's Johnnie Blue? That is not this guy. Hiding behind the curtain of flavorlessness is a problem binge drinker. It's snowing outside and you go with a frosty, alcoholic Perrier. Is it because the squeeze of lime is just so refreshing on a late November evening? No. It's because, like water, one can chug vodka soda by the gallon. One sure indication that it's no longer summertime? People are drinking vodka soda sans straw. If you see Vodka Soda guy, give him some encouragement, then order him a double - he's trying to catch up.
The Old Fashioned
With the exploding popularity of mixology bars, bartenders at regular-ass bars are seeing more and more of Mister Old Fashioned. While there's certainly nothing wrong with this fantastic whiskey libation, ordering an Old Fashioned at your average open bar is like ordering seafood at a fast-food joint. You want Four Roses? You're getting Early Times. You want seared ahi? You're getting a fucking Filet-O-Fish. There's a time and a place for specialty cocktails, and unless your holiday party is at Please Don't Tell, you should probably stick to the basics. Look out for Mister Old Fashioned bitching to the bartender about using a shaker instead of a swizzle stick.
Swizzle my nizzle
Nothing screams "I'm only having one drink then I'm heading back to the office!!!!" more than ordering a "festive" cocktail. Oh yeah, make this one really count, make it in with the season! Make it special! Gosh, you're so fun! The fact that you made it out and enjoyed a pop with the rest of the gang totally makes up for the fact that you're going to sneak off in five minutes because you "forgot your Blackberry at your desk." You are making the rest of us feel a combination of 1) sad for you because you're too tied up to enjoy yourself, 2) sad for ourselves because blacking out and puking at a work party is the biggest thrill we've had in months, and 3) offended that you would dare to break rank and not black out with the rest of us. Damn you and your self-righteous ways, Eggnog drinker. Why can't you just make a fool of yourself like everyone else?
The Scotch on the Rocks
This is a man with a plan. A wily veteran. Whether it's a smoky Lagavulin or a rotten apple juice Chivas, scotch is a sippin' drink. Neat or on the rocks, doesn't matter. The Scotch drinker keeps a steady pace - because he knows the night is long. He isn't the first to start dancing on the bar or to make a pass at the group head's assistant (see Vodka Red Bull guy), but he may be the last. Scotch on the Rocks guy knows that the open bar at the holiday party is the just the first of several venues. If you're trying to make it an epic one (and who isn't), keep close to Scotch on the Rocks guy - he will end up leading the whole party out and about around the city, from the bar, to the club, to the gentlemen's club, to the cigar lounge, to the after-hours party. Too cool to stay out late? Go hang out with Eggnog.
Stay thirsty, my friends.
Send holiday party invitations to [email protected]