If Cocktails Were Tech Companies

After all, this whole thing’s a party.

Michael Sippey
4 min readOct 10, 2014


The tech imperative, expressed at Chambers in San Francisco.

This week, Steven Levy’s excellent new publication Backchannel posted a very entertaining story by Adam Pittenger, “If NFL Teams Were Tech Companies.” I loved it. Twitter as the 49ers? Facebook as the Seattle Seahawks? Microsoft as the Dallas Cowboys? Perfect! Each of the team pairings made sense…except for some of the weird AFC teams but eh, does anyone actually care about the AFC?

The day after the story came out a few of us were at Chambers, a bar in San Francisco known for its well lit imperative to BE AMAZING. So directed, conversation drifted toward the post about about team / company pairings and one of us said “Well, this is really just about branding and perception. We could match tech companies against any list of arbitrary things and make it make sense.” So we grabbed the list of arbitrary things closest at hand—the bar menu—and matched each of the ten cocktails on it to tech companies. Here are the results.

vodka drink = Facebook
tito’s vodka, st. germaine elderflower, basil, lime
Basic drink at the top of the list, easy to pick, easy to drink, no decision making required. The elderflower makes it feel a little bit special, like birthday greetings do on Facebook.

gin drink = Slack
distillery 209 gin, aperol, lemon, angostura
Lately it seems that everyone is into gin, just like everyone is into Slack. Gin gets you talking, Slack gets you talking. It’s mostly a basic drink (like Slack is basically chat), but the aperol and angostura add that perfect dash of hipster vibe…just like Slack’s API integrations, their promo video, and their brand made of plaid.

rum drink = Airbnb
brugal anejo rum, pineapple gum, green chartreuse, lime, angostura, ginger beer, mint
Rum! Pineapple gum! Green Chartreuse! It’s like a vacation party in your mouth! A vacation party that leaves you feeling queasy the next morning when you wake up and wonder where the hell you are, how the hell you got there and why the hell you can’t order room service.

rye drink = Pinterest
dickle rye, rosato vermouth, benedictine, cold-pressed nectarine syrup
It’s like they assembled this drink from a precious Pinterest board. A rye bottle with an old-timey label, a slender bottle of pink vermouth and a couple of nectarines in soft focus. That touch of benedictine just screams “Pin it!”

tequila drink = Uber
suerte reposado, agave nectar, lime, cucumber, raspberry, mint
The Suerte says “strong.” The agave says “raw.” The lime, cucumber, raspberry and mint say “air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror masking the uncomfortable odor of aggressive business practices, intense lobbying and not terribly well-considered blog posts.”

mezcal drink = Snapchat
vida mezcal, ginger tamarind syrup, lime, grapefruit bitters
Here, drink this. It’s good, right? Have another. And another. Don’t worry, you won’t remember a thing in the morning.

classic drink #1 = IBM
st. george terroir gin, cointreau, herb infused lillet blanc, lemon, absinthe rinse
Duh. The integration consultants in gray flannel slacks don’t want to be seen drinking their fathers’ G&Ts, and they keep talking about Watson like it’s some sort of absinthe rinse.

classic drink #2 = HP
buffalo trace bourbon, carpano antica, luxardo, orange bitters
In the split, Meg Whitman and HP Enterprise keep the bourbon; Patricia Russo and the consumer business get the bitters.

byrrh drink = Twitter
byrrh grande, fruitlab orange liquer, leopolds blackberry, lemon, lagavulin rinse
It has an issue with vowels, a clown car of flavors and no one knows exactly what it is when they order it. But once you drink it you like it, and you’ll probably order it again.

lucky #13 = YO!
bartender’s special
Because no one knows what the hell’s in it.

Our cocktail menu.

Huge thanks to @pandemona, @reyner, @thepaulbooth, @_jordan and @sandofsky for buying drinks the other night. Good times.



Michael Sippey