Bring Back The Three Martini Lunch!

According to a new study, drinking during the work day can help you be more creative at work:

Scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago discovered that creativity increases 50% after a few drinks — and speeds up response times.

In a study published this year in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, psychologists gave their subjects enough vodka-and-cranberry to put their blood-alcohol at almost 0.08, which is the legal limit. Then the volunteers played a game in which they were given a group of words, such as peach, arm and tar, and asked to come up with another word that could be used in combination with any of the above, such as pit.

Tipplers delivered more correct answers and delivered them more quickly. Drinkers solved nine problems on average, versus six for the sober group, and came up with answers in an average of 11.5 seconds as against 15.2 for the teetotalers.

Twenty-five percent faster, 50% more creative? Don Draper, once again you have been proven right.

Psychologists have speculated that drinking may spur creativity because it decreases the ability to control your thoughts. In other words, the very reason we use alcohol in social situations — to lower the barriers — works on an intellectual plane as well.

Alcohol, is there anything it can’t do?

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Vast Variety says:

    It can’t mow my yard for me when I’m too lazy to do it myself.

  2. Jay_Dubbs says:

    The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.

    – Homer J. Simpson

  3. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Vast Variety:

    But it can cause you not to care, and really that’s just as good.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    Writers are notorious drinkers. I’m here at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the literature portion of the event and the author’s yurt – don’t ask me, I don’t know why it’s a yurt – supplies coffee, water and Highland Park whiskey.

    On the other hand, Mullahs don’t drink.

    So there you go. You want books or do you want beards?

  5. Graham says:

    @michael reynolds:

    So there you go. You want books or do you want beards?

    I think with the help of booze we can have both.

  6. Janis Gore says:

    I had lunch with an 81-year-old woman the other day who ordered a dirty martini straight up at noon. She’s the best Bridge player in the area.

  7. grumpy realist says:

    Does anyone know why both the Mormons and Muslims are against alcohol? Usually prohibitions of this sort have some sort of rationale behind them. Were the pre-Koranic populations known for their excessive drunkenness?

    The only other reason I can see is to act as a “tag” in a population that does the exact opposite behavior. Used as a way of further distinguishing the “in group” vs. the “out group.” Which is probably why Joseph Smith stuffed it into Mormonism.

    (Wonder if someone snarky will write this all up and propound tongue-in-cheek the theory that the lack of alcohol and resultant lack of creativity is why we haven’t had a Nobel laureate who is Muslim or Mormon yet…)