Aah, cocktails! The time-honored way to unwind while simultaneously "entertaining" clients! Even the IRS allows you to deduct half the cost!
But what does a cocktail choice say about the drinker? Here lies a minefield for consultants!
If your client orders beer, you must not order booze. Get a Sam Adams. It's normal enough that everyone carries it, you won't seem weird or stuck up or snobby, and it's not terrible. You can alternatively buy a Yuengling in the Northeast, a Molson Canadian in Canada, an Anchor Steam in California or a Shiner Bock in Texas.
If your client orders a Crown and Coke, he's from Texas. Suck it up and drink one, too.
If your client orders a goofy flavored martini, humor her and get a gin and tonic. She doesn't like booze and doesn't want you to get all snobby on her. Order something "weird" and you've lost a client.
If your client orders a gin and tonic, call for Hendrick's. He or she will thank you, and you won't feel like a fool ordering one too.
If your client orders single-malt Scotch, you should call for 14 or 15 year Glenfiddich whether you like it or not. It's not crazy expensive, and he'll think it's a respectable and appropriate choice. Change the topic of conversation to cars or sports: You'll only make enemies discussing Scotch.
If your client orders a Cosmopolitan, you should order a Sidecar. She's clearly interested in tasty cocktails but doesn't know enough about them to order something awesome. If she tastes yours, she'll love it and love you for the introduction! If not, at least you don't look like a weirdo or a wino.
If your client orders a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned, go nuts. Get a gin martini or a negroni or start calling for top shelf liquor. Try something with Rye or sweet vermouth or egg white. This one's a keeper.
Wine is a topic for another post...
Image credit: Cocktail silliness by katypang