The mixologist is in

I like cold beverage, yeahHas this ever happened to you?

You’re out with friends, at a restaurant or a bar, or maybe a high-end party. The waiter or bartender asks what you’ll have, and you discover you have no idea. You’re tired of wine. And tired of beer. Ordering a rum and Coke seems so juvenile, and asking for those one of those bottled alcopops would be even worse.

No, what you want is a distinguished drink, something that requires the bartender to shake it up and pour into a chilled, stemmed glass. Or something straight, or on the rocks. Maybe something stirred? You want something that Cary Grant would order. Something he’d jump behind the bar to mix himself, with a wink, a flourish of ice cubes and jiggers, and a dash of bitters to make it just right.

But the thing is, you don’t know any of those drinks. You’re pretty sure a gin and tonic involves gin and tonic, and lime, but that isn’t quite what you want today. What you want is something special, something perfect, something served up cold and crisp before you, to delight your palate and send the evening off to a swinging start.

And you have no idea what that something is.

Fortunately, I do. I know lots of drinkable somethings, and I know how to discover which is exactly the right drinkable something for you at this moment.

The problem is that I’m nowhere near you and your beverage predicament. I’m typing away at a computer somewhere, or enjoying my own drinkable something in the company of witty and charming people. So how can you get in touch with me to ask my beverage advice?

It’s simple: Call the Happy Hour Hotline. 1-888-MY-ETHER (that’s 1-888-693-8437) extension 01702843. You’ll be connected to me wherever I am, and I’ll talk briefly with you, determine your ideal beverage, and tell you what to order. All lickety-split.

“Wonderful!” you say. “But surely such a marvelous service isn’t free.”

And right you are — it costs 99 cents per minute. But be assured that I won’t keep you on the phone any longer than necessary. I want to get back to my own drink before it gets warm, you know.

Alternatively, if you need other alcohol-related advice — what and how much to buy for a party, which small batch bourbon to give as a retirement gift, what wine to serve with Beef Wellington — I can help you with that too.

You may not need to call now, but take a moment to sign up for an Ether account and to program the Happy Hour Hotline into your phone right now. Remember: 1-888-MY-ETHER (that’s 1-888-693-8437) extension 01702843.

You never know when a beverage emergency will arise.