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December 1, 2008

Did George Bush Fall Off The Wagon?

bush-pisco-sour-brandy-peru Last weekend, President Bush attended the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Lima, Peru. Turns out you can’t do anything in Peru without someone handing you Peru’s national drink, the Pisco Sour (made with pisco, a brandy-like liquor). It’s a pretty potent drink and President Bush has supposedly been abstaining from alcohol for 22 years. He avoided an international incident and did not snub his hosts by happily guzzling down the cocktail.

Peru successfully promoted its national drink “Pisco Sour” during the entire Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit, Peru’s Environment Minister Antonio Brack said Sunday.

He noted that the flagship drink of Peru was well accepted by international guests, including Japan’s Prime Minister, Taro Aso.

“Pisco Sour has been the “star” of the APEC Summit, the drink was served in several meetings at the Government Palace and the APEC Summit venue,” he told CPN Radio.

“We have achieved to place our products including pisco on international markets, but also kiwicha, sweet potatoes and traditional Peruvian potatoes”, said Brack.

Bush who allegedly quit drinking at 40 was photographed drinking the Peruvian cocktail during a meeting on Saturday.

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Photo: ANDINA/Carlos Lezama

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November 30, 2008

Wall Streeters Drinking More At Lunch

wall-street-sign The titans of Wall Street have taken a battering in the financial markets recently, but they are eating well and drinking more, according to the people who run Manhattan’s “power” dining spots.

At the 21 Club, a longtime redoubt of corporate chieftains and big names, alcohol sales are up 9 per cent from last year, and businessmen can be seen drinking $14-a-glass cocktails as early as 3pm on a weekday.

“Where people used to have one vodka on the rocks, now it’s a second one or maybe a third,” says Roger Rice, the floor manager. “I don’t know what to attribute it to. Maybe it’s the last year of the expense account.”

Others say their customers are drinking more to drown their sorrows. “People want to feel a little numb because it’s numbing out there,” says Steve Millington, general manager at Michael’s, the restaurant of choice for publishing and media executives.

He reports that alcohol sales are up a fifth from last year. “At dinner, hard liquor sales are up, cocktails and martinis. It’s less so at lunch. People are drinking wine at lunch, less the high-end wines and more medium-priced wines.”

wall-street-bull-balls The increase in alcohol sales is clear, says Mr. Millington, because overall customer levels are on a par with last year. “There’s a scent of fear,” he says.

Times are good at Delmonico’s, the 181-year-old fine dining restaurant, says Dennis Turcinovic, managing partner.

“It’s scary to say, but our business is up 6 to 7 per cent,” he says. “Alcohol sales . . . help a lot, they’re about 15 per cent up this year. The bar’s busy all day. I’ve had to hire extra barmaids.”

There are few signs that people are saving money on food either. At San Pietro, an upmarket Italian restaurant, business remains brisk. Gerardo Bruno, president, says overall business is up 12 per cent from last year.

In spite of the turmoil in the markets, one rule has held firm at San Pietro. “Americans, they never drink at lunch,” Mr. Bruno says. As for dinner, hard liquor sales are down, but after-dinner drinks, particularly grappa and cognac, are up, he adds.

Wine sales remain strong, especially at dinner, except for one noticeable change. “When times are fantastic, the host does not lead, he lets his guests lead in choosing the wine,” says Mr. Bruno. However, in the current climate, dinner hosts are turning to him to ask for wine recommendations, a clear sign that restraint is in order, according to Mr. Bruno.

Yet not everyone has suffered in the economic downturn. Mr. Bruno produced two empty bottles of 1947 Petrus, consumed recently by a Chinese customer who called ahead to order the wines.

The price?

 A mere $12,000 each.

 

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Original article:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/693de752-bdaa-11dd-bba1-0000779fd18c.html

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