by MORT BRYER
The folks on the first floor, aka, the basement, decided to have a Christmas party in the office, instead of going out and enriching some local beanery owner. It was the mid-80’s, things were going gangbusters, we were churning out some rather hefty, nay, obese issues, especially for the ones tied to events like Cannes, Mifed, et al. Morale was high and morals low, in other words, happy times in that towering edifice on West 46th Street, in Fun City.
I decided to manufacture a tub of the Swedish national Christmas drink, Glüg (the U has two dots over it, not unlike the equivalent letter of the Teutons). Glüg consists of a batch of red wine, cooked with numerous spices, including lotsa cinnamon and some dried fruit, topped off with some firewater, usually acquavit, gin or vodka, though whiskey can also be chucked in, the object, frankly speaking, is to give the concoction some “authority”, in other words, get people slightly looped. I do believe, being a bit of a rascal at heart, I picked up some 100 proof, either gin or vodka, rather than the usual 80 proof stuff, for an extra “kick”.
While our ad, production and circulation staffers were getting the assorted grub together, I hauled my large pot out, poured in a gallon or more of red wine, pitched in the spices and fruit and started cooking away. It is a NO NO, in bold caps, to add the booze too soon, otherwise the alcohol will dissipate and the glüg will lose its pizzazz.
A lovely odor pervaded the building, wafting its way up to the 5th floor. This was food for worry, gee, we might have to hand out samples, which meant lesser rations for the brave lads and lasses of the first floor. Needless to say, as we quaffed the glug and hit the grub, we did offer some samples to some of the staffers from the other floors and as it turned out there was enough to go around. Jollifications for all hands!
A most pleasant memory, good cheer all around, camaraderie and of course, the Christmas bonus from Syd that year was peachy keen for all!