14 Expert Tips For Surviving Your Office Holiday Party Refreshed, Dignified, And Still Employed

mad men holiday party

Photo: amctv.com

The storied tradition of the Wall Street Holiday party was bruised and battered after the financial crisis, but it lives on, even if it is a shade of its former self.Glory days aside, the D.E. Shaws and the Blackstones of the world have shown us that there’s still PLENTY of opportunity for lavishness on The Street during the holiday season. And no matter how classy the party is, there’s still the possibility of making a complete and total fool of yourself.

This is something you don’t want to do.

So we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of ways to ensure that you survive your Holiday Party intact not only from Wall Streeters who’ve been there, but also from some of the most experienced mixologists in the country (and the world), Nick Van Tiel and Trevor Easter.

These gentlemen are so experienced, in fact, that they’re brand ambassadors for U.S. Brand Ambassadors for Beefeater and Plymouth Gin. They’ve got your oh-so-necessary healthy cocktailing tips.

So pay attention, and keep your dignity.

Go for quality over quantity.

'You don't have to say yes to every drink that's put in front of you. Think quality over quantity and actually enjoy a couple of really nice drinks rather than trying to keep up with everyone else.'

-Nick Van Tiel

Take a date, but make sure they can drink responsibly.

'Take a date if you're allowed one. It's the only sure-fire way to make sure you don't end up having hate sex with that one MD who constantly blows up your weekends.

'Don't bring a date who can't handle her liquor. The Hottest Mess award should go to one of the interns, not to your girlfriend of the past 6 weeks. At one of our parties, an analyst's girlfriend was passed out in the club. Sleeping away in the booth. Don't bring that person as your date.'

-Skirt in Finance

Have a solid, go-to drink.

'I have two go-to drinks in my arsenal which I turn to more often than not, because they are nice and clean and fresh, very low in sugar, taste amazingly, and ensure that I am having a good intake of water as I am drinking and enjoying the night. I've copied these recipes below.

  • The Marguerite
  • 2oz Plymouth gin
  • 1oz Noilly Pratt or Dolin Dry French vermouth
  • 2 dash Orange bitters

'Stir/Strain/Coupe/Lemon twist. This is my favourite version of the Dry Martini and was actually the first written recipe ever recorded for this iconic drink, printed in a book called 'Stuart's fancy drinks and how to mix them', by Thomas Stuart in 1896.

  • Beefeater 24 & club soda, with a squeeze of grapefruit

'Sounds very simple - and it is - but this has almost no sugar - just very clean, good quality gin (with much more flavour than boring old vodka), with a full glass of carbonated water, and a nice squeeze of invigorating citrus oils to help with the aroma.'

-Nick Van Tiel

Respect the co-worker boundary.

You know what we mean.

-Everyone, ever.

Stay hydrated, and eat before not after.

'Stay hydrated and eat something. Have one large glass of water for every cocktail or alcoholic drink that you have. There is no better way to keep the fun night rolling and make sure that you wake up feeling fresh.

'In addition to this, your body can more easily break down the energy in alcohol than it can in food, so if you are eating pizza after half a dozen drinks, your body will be working overtime to process the alcohol and all of that pizza will be getting stored as fat.'

-Nick Van Tiel

Stay away from sugary drinks — that includes beer and wine.

'Stay away from sugar wherever possible. Many people believe opting for beer and wine in favour of distilled spirits is the healthier choice -- but these types of beverages are in most cases much higher in sugar than spirits.

'This goes for cocktail mixers as well - sodas are an obvious culprit, but many people don't realise that fruit juices - even the fresh ones - are full of sugar.'

-Nick Van Tiel

If you're not a good dancer sober, you're not a good dancer drunk.

Just please, don't try to pull out your moves.


The same rule applies to singing. Don't.

Some parties have live bands. The bands are friendly. They are paid to be friendly. They don't want you to join, you're not that good of a singer.


Have a no shot policy.

You'll feel it the next morning.

- Male, 25, Private Equity

Don't go to the strip club after-party.

More often than not, someone's going, make sure it's not you.

- Clusterstock

Have some coconut water ready, it's the elixir of life.

'An insider tip of mine is to make sure you have a couple of fresh coconuts in the refrigerator for when you get home from a night out on the town. There is nothing more thirst-quenching than fresh coconut water. This stuff is my secret weapon for staying hydrated.'

-Nick Van Tiel

Be on time the next day.

Seriously, if you're not, everyone will notice.


Maybe you want to avoid the party entirely.

'That's my secret.'

-Josh Brown, The Reformed Broker

BONUS: Rig the Secret Santa if you have one.

Assigning people who hate each other to buy the other gifts is a right you have earned.

-Skirt in Finance

Maybe you want to take Josh Brown's advice and stay home with someone...

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