Who needs Einstein when Smirnoff's got it figured?
Our friends at Smirnoff haven't been wasting time twiddling their thumbs during the summer silly season.
Instead, they've come up with what they say is a scientific formula for the perfect atmosphere in drinking venues.
So, if you're thinking of branching out into the on-trade, remember that:
Atmosphere=((D+E+M-3)x6)+((V+L+T-2)x2)+((FA+FR-1)x4)-2 where V=venue, M=music, L=lighting, T=temperature, FA=familiarity, FR=friends, E=entertainment and D=drinks.
Each element gets a rating of one to four, which is then substituted into the formula. Get a four on each one and you've got a total score of 100 (though we frankly can't be bothered to check by working it out).
Or, to put it another way, if you score top marks on everything, then you'll get a perfect score when you add it all up, like in, say, gymnastics or sheep dog trials.
The research was conducted by Mind Lab International, where Mind=Money, Lab=For and International=Old Rope.
Synergy draws first blood
The latest celebrity drinks tie- in comes in Russia where Sylvester "Rambo" Stallone has signed a deal to advertise Russian Ice vodka for producer Synergy.
The company said he had been chosen for his "Russian roots", displaying a worrying disregard for the region's history and geography at a time when the country's troops are wreaking havoc inside the borders of one of its neighbours - Stallone's great-grandmother was actually from Ukraine.
Should neo-nationalist fervour take hold in Russia, it will be interesting to see how its citizens take to a brand icon whose two main film characters killed dozens of Soviet troops and humiliated one of its boxers.
King of the mountain
As part of the Greene King IPA Challenge, Ant Chevin, an operator at Greene King's bottling hall, joined Bath rugby legend David Barnes in scaling and reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa.
Ant and David,
accompanied by a team of guides and porters, took six days to reach the summit - an experience
Ant describes as "extremely emotional as well as being a huge relief".
He chose to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer as his mother died from breast cancer 18 months ago, and is expecting to raise over £1,000.
Keith Ironside, Greene King IPA marketing controller, said: "He took two cans of Greene King IPA with him all the way to the summit but I understand that members of the expedition were too tired to drink them there, so he gave them to the local guides following the descent - I hope they enjoyed them."
A run for their money
The Olympic marathon may have been run without a medal for the British, but we can console ourselves - and toast
our medals in the "sitting down" sports - at a 100m, world-record breaking Budweiser bar, erected on the banks of the Thames in London, and modelled here by injured sprinter Mark Lewis Francis.
No beating about the Busch
We hear that Anheuser-Busch chief August Busch IV is negotiating a consulting contract with Inbev which will run until December 2013. It's rumoured to include a $10.35 million lump sum payment up front, about $120,000 a month in consulting fees, personal security, an office with admin staff, health insurance, free tickets to A-B sponsored events, and $13.3 million in "gross-up" payments.
He will also get about $33.6 million from stock options, along with about $55 million that he's already secured.
Not a bad severance package, then. But as our correspondent Glenn Payne muses: will August IV still have a day named after him in the new set-up?
Bruichladdich's rocket fuel
In the same week
Diageo announced it would use whisky waste products to power its Cameronbridge distillery, wine expert Oz Clarke and Top Gear presenter James May have gone one step further and poured a load of Bruichladdich single malt whisky into the fuel tank of a high-performance racing car. Powered by the Islay speciality, the car managed 0-60 in 3.5 seconds - but it still seems like a terrible waste of good malt to us. On the plus side, "the exhaust smells much better than petrol", according to Bruichladdich distillery manager Duncan MacGillivray.
Tell it like it is
We know rabid attacks from the media can drive politicians to
bizarre actions, so let's hope the y don't take to heart an article on spoof website the Daily Mash .
The story says alcohol bottles are to carry labels warning consumers
could end up "shitfaced", with other measures including "allowing health secretary Alan Johnson to set the price of Drambuie, as well as a ban on clinking glasses and saying 'cheers' ... Meanwhile ministers are expected to publish research next week which suggests drinking alcohol around other people can give them lung cancer."
Today's hot topic
Bulmers Original's ads celebrating the "great British summer"
have touched a
nerve with an American blogger in London - notably a line in one of them that claims: "We'll complain it's too hot".
"Who the hell is complaining that it is too hot in the UK?" he rants on i-boy.com. "Today, like most days, was awful. It was cold and raining. All day. This is one of the worst summers I've ever seen. The temperature rarely goes above 70ºF. We've had to use the heat several nights when the temperature dipped into the 40s ... in July! Since April, I'd say we've had three good weeks. WTF is so glorious, lovable, eccentric, and magnificent about that? Unless you've been brainwashed since birth that 65ºF is hot, this is a joke and so is their campaign. Actually, I suspect many young impressionable Brits may indeed have been convinced by their parents at a young age that 58ºF is a warm day. What else would explain the Bermuda-shorts wearing, flip-flop shuffling, T-shirt-toting masses you see all over London as soon as you don't have to scrape frost from the windshields? Seriously, I'm outside wearing a wool sweater having a glühwein and the guy next to me is in a Speedo drinking Pimm's. Go figure."