Three-Martini Lunch

(redirected from Three Martini Lunches)
Also found in: Idioms.

Three-Martini Lunch

A byword for an expensive lunch claimed as a tax deduction for business purposes. For example, a company may take a client out to lunch but spend more than it otherwise would because of the deduction. The presumed prevalence of three-martini lunches led to an alteration of the U.S. tax code making only half of business meals deductible.
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I suppose it's a good thing we've given up ham-and-egg breakfasts, three martini lunches and meat-and-potato dinners, but part of me misses the routine of actually sitting down to eat.
Cocktails have been pushed even further into the spotlight by the glam of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack in the 195 Os, by the "shaken not stirred" appeal of the James Bond era in the 1970s and 80s, and by the three martini lunches and cigar bars of the 1990s.
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