How to Handle Yourself at Work Drinks


It’s finally happened.

You’ve been asked to WORK DRINKS. (#workparty.) After weeks of back and forth and fiddling with your schedules to make it work, the day has arrived. If you’re a little nervous, you’re not alone. First work drinks can feel like a super awkward odd first date. Are we friends...are we acquaintances...are you a spy and have plans to tell my boss everything I say? You never know.

So, what does it mean? What can you talk about? You’re still working, but it doesn’t have to be so buttoned up. This isn’t a conference call-- and there’s no hold music (prayer hands). To help you prepare we hit up our friends at Diageo to suss out some appropriate work drink convo starters. Think of these as your cue cards to success.


Hey you, yes you. You’re a human. Not a robot behind a computer with super emailing skills. Many of us have only every connected over email. Don’t start the convo off digging into proposals or ROIs. Talk shop… about yourself. You don’t need to over-divulge. Your new acquaintance is not your new therapist. Rather, talk about something you’ve done recently that has nothing to do with work. For instance, a book you read. An article that you enjoyed. “Did you happen to see that piece on The Cut…?” It’s a super easy, informal way to start that makes all parties feel at ease. If the answer is yes, bond over the content. If the answer is no, fill them in and see what they think.


Once you’ve broken the ice with a little cocktail, ask how they got started in their current position. It’s a great way to get to know about their past and their work history, without flat-out asking about their day-to-day. While they’re talking about their past, present, and future, figure out a way you can help them out… if it makes sense. One of the best ways to make a good impression during a work drink meet up is to find common ground and goals. For instance, you might have someone you can introduce them to who can help them out. Maybe their company is looking for a new web designer and you happen to know the perfect person. Allow the convo about work to flow naturally, and you might end up being able to help them (and your friend) out. It’s a win-win.


You don’t want to order #thesame. You want to show that you make your own decisions and are self-sufficient, that includes your cocktails. It’s the little things. Do your research before going out

to drinks so that you can make an educated decision and order your cocktail confidentially.

Some great cocktail choices include: the Crown Royal Old Fashioned, Crown Royal Vanilla and Hard Soda or Crownberry.


Once you’ve done them a mini favor, bring up how you can better serve each other. If it’s going well and this is someone you can see yourself working with, don’t be afraid to put that on the table with a simple, “We should figure out how we can work together.” You’ll be able to read their vibe if they want to work with you as well. There’s no reason to side-step around the ask, whether it’s for your full time job or a side-hustle you’re working on, be direct.

Take charge.

And remember: Even if your boss or drinks-mate orders another cocktail, only ordering one shows self-discipline and maturity so make sure you sip slowly and drink plenty of water.  If you do however, want to go home a make yourself a celebratory ‘job well done’ drink, we’ve got a couple of recipes (below) for you. Cheers to that!

Vanilla Mule

•1.5 oz. Crown Royal Vanilla
•2 oz. Ginger
•1 oz. Soda

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a copper mug and garnish with a lime.