Cheap booze for bankrupt millionaires

by Martin Field
Yeah I know you high flyers are doing it hard and don’t know where the next magnum of Krug is coming from.
Public sympathy for scammers and skimmers is in even shorter supply than usual but we lower socio-economic dwellers are charitable, so I’ve decided to share a few tips on alcoholic cost cutting to ameliorate your pain. I have assumed none of the following tips will breach your bail conditions.
Make your own wine. Buy some grapes, put them in a large garbage bag and have the home help trample them on the marble kitchen floor. Bung some yeast in the drained off juice and, when fermented, store in a barrel. Bottle and drink when ready. (True, this is how a friend does it every year.)
Brew your own beer. Buy a can of Coopers home brew stout mix (the best of them all) follow the instructions (or ask your PA to do it). Drink.
Drink more cask (bag in box) wines and cleanskins. Dollar for dollar, cask whites always taste better than the reds – don’t know why.

Cheat. When entertaining relatives or friends at home – if you still have any, (home or friends – it’s harder to lose relatives) decant easy-on-the-pocket spirits and cask wines into empty, top shelf, brand-labelled, screwcapped bottles you’ve saved. Most of your guests will never know the difference. (The ones who do will cough politely at the first sip and ask for a glass of soda water.)
Dodgy cocktails: have an employee shake and stir no-frills booze with no-name mixers out in the kitchen – where no one can see further evidence of your despicable, penny-pinching behaviour. And what’re a few headaches among soon to be former business associates?
Ditto with cheap fizz. Transfer into used French (tautological) champagne bottles you’ve salvaged from behind the local restaurant your failed company used to have an account at.
If it’s really awful bubbly, add a few crushed strawberries to each glass to disguise the taste and float a rose petal on top. As you hand out the drinks say ‘I think chef saw this delightful trick in Vogue Entertaining!’
Small is more. As your liquidators – Shard & Freud Pty. Ltd. – have undoubtedly sold off your Riedel Sommelier goldfish bowls, go to the Reject Shop and buy small wine glasses. You’ll get more serves out of each bottle. Under the illusion that they’ve had their usual ration of wine your guests will go home earlier than usual. You’ll get a good night’s rest and they’ll be bewildered by your apparent generosity.
Buy a still. These are legally sold in Australia – but only for distilling water or essential oils (nudge nudge, wink wink). But remember, it is illegal to distil spirits at home – not so in New Zealand.
However, if you’re into the risks associated with dodgy moonshine (you do know a lot about risk venture capitalism), you can distil the aforementioned home brewed beer into whiskey and the cask wine into brandy. Remember though, always serve your hooch from branded bottles.
Domestic espionage. When you go to dinner at friends’ mansions, surreptitiously check out their booze supply – in case they’re using any of the techniques outlined above. When this is the case, a well-secreted hip flask of your own white lightnin’ can be handy.

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