How to create a new drink

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

I love the way they just brainstormed and came up with something completely original. Interesting:

‘’What are we going to do about this bloody Irish brief?” I asked, testily, challenging my business partner Hugh to feel some pressure. I was annoyed by his ability to take things a great deal more calmly than I ever did. We’d only been in business together for a month and that alone, I thought, warranted a greater sense of urgency. We had families to support.

“What Irish brief?” he replied. We’d discussed it on Friday last, but Hugh was very good at switching off for the weekend. “IDV,” I reminded him, “International Distillers & Vintners. Its Irish company wants us to create a new drinks brand for export.” They hadn’t said what kind of drink, just that it should be alcoholic.

The technical people at IDV’s research and development department in Harlow had concocted some “heather and honey” traditional-style liqueurs as a starter but no one was much inspired by them. As usual in those days, there was no written instruction and we described the sparse expression of the company’s objectives as the “Wexford Whisper”, so vague was the outline of what they wanted. The only proviso was that we should limit the amount of Irish whiskey we used because IDV didn’t have any strong relationships with Irish distilleries and wouldn’t be able to control supply of the stuff.

Hugh stared at the ceiling. His morning coffee hadn’t kicked in yet and he was a self-confessed slow starter. I was still seething from his languid entrance to the office 90 minutes after mine.

We were, I suppose, unlikely business partners. Hugh Reade Seymour-Davies was a toff. He was a “gentleman copywriter”, educated at Eton and Oxford, and an unapologetic classicist. He could quote all the Latin and Greek greats with real facility and would “get some Latin in” to documents or labels when I felt we needed to impress some of our more intellectual clients. He was steeped in Shakespeare, admired Beethoven and Mozart certainly, but anything written, composed or painted after about 1830 fell into the category of mid-19th century arrivistes.

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