war on the rocks

The Spirit Guide: How to Survive the Election Cycle

March 4, 2016

I’ve lived in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. for about 14 years, and in D.C. proper for about a year and a half, which means I inhabit the inescapable land of politics on a daily basis. The truth is, I’m quite interested in domestic policies, so I’m usually inclined to share opinions and discuss the happenings and stated policies of our current presidential candidates. With that said, this current election cycle has managed to bog me down with so much inanity and blindsiding that even the most hardened observers have become weathered shells of their former selves after each news cycle. If you told me (or any political commentator for that matter) a year ago that this man would be the frontrunner for the presidency, I would have laughed in your face and gone back to working on cold fusion or finding aliens in my backyard or anything else farfetched, yet still somehow more believable.

The harshness of reality and indifference of the universe means sometimes we have to laugh to keep from crying, and judging by the direction of our current political leadership, that is an apt motto at the moment. Sure, I could come up with some debate drinking game for you to drown your sorrows and hatred the next time you see any candidate but yours say something ridiculous on national television, but I value your liver too much. Instead, let’s create a few original drinks based on some interesting characters who want to be your next commander-in-chief.

Mr. Drumpf Goes to Washington, or; How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let Mexico Pay for the Wall

1 Oz. Bourbon
½ Oz. Goldschläger
½ Oz. Pinnacle whipped vodka
½ Oz. Lemon juice
½ Oz. Simple syrup
1 Dash Hellfire bitters
1 Egg white

Our first cocktail should taste like a mixture of an Atomic Fireball and Dubble Bubble, two quintessential candies from your youth, which is where you’ll yearn to return to during his inauguration to escape our newfound reality.

Chill a cocktail glass and set aside. Build all ingredients in a shaker tin and dry shake without ice for a few seconds. Add ice to the tin and shake hard for 10­–15 seconds, and then pour the finished cocktail through a Hawthorne and tea strainer into your chilled glass. Garnish with a sense of self-satisfaction and serve with a Drumpf hat.

Opulence, Power, and World Domination: Confessions of the Zodiac Killer, or; the Aspirations of Ted Cruz?

¾ Oz. Canadian Rye
¾ Oz. Cognac
¾ Oz. Fernet Branca
Scant ¼ Oz. Benedictine
1 Dash Peychaud’s bitters
1 Dash Old Fashioned bitters

This drink is a play on one of my favorite drinks: the Vieux Carré. Build all of the ingredients inside of a rocks glass, and then add ice and stir. Serve on a napkin with this logo etched on it with dark ink.

Hillary Clinton and the Funky Establishment “All-Stars”

1½ Oz. Vodka
¾ Oz. Cranberry syrup (simple syrup with fresh cranberries added and mashed in while simmering then strained out after cooling)
½ Oz. Lemon juice
½ Oz. Lime juice
Scant ¼ Oz. St. Germain
1 Dash Jerry Thomas Own Decanter bitters

Chill a cocktail glass and set aside. Build all ingredients in a shaker tin, shake for 10 seconds, and then pour the finished cocktail through a Hawthorne and tea strainer into your chilled glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. This drink might look sweet and colorful on the outside, but I assure you it is tart and sour on the inside.

The Showdown in the Sandlot with Saint Bernard Sanders

1½ Oz. George Dickel No. 12 Whisky
½ Oz. Averna
½ Oz. Lemon juice
½ Oz. Raspberry syrup (simple syrup with fresh raspberries added and mashed in while simmering then strained out after cooling)
1 Dash Aromatic bitters
3 Oz. hot, fresh brewed black tea

Add all of the ingredients with the hot tea last into a toddy mug and stir for a few seconds. Garnish with a lemon wheel and start with a sip, lest you Feel the Bern.

This presidential election will reverberate in politics for many years to come. It could be because there’s been an unprecedented rise in candidates that most pundits called outsiders many moons ago. Maybe it’s because this race is showing cracks in our two-party system, where there’s not enough room for all of these ideals to coexist. Whatever the reason may be, we do know that we will need to choose a strong, courageous, and intelligent leader who will leave a legacy long after his or her terms are finished with the appointment of as many as four Supreme Court justices to the bench. I implore you to study and vet all of the candidates, and make a choice you agree with for a man or woman that you are willing to watch represent you in all matters of peace, love, and war in the free world.

There are no signs of the political and media machines stopping anytime soon, so until that choice is made by all of us in November, use these drinks to calm your nerves if things are looking shaky. I believe us Americans will make the right choice in the end, but we do love to flirt with crazy every now and then, so we have to realize it’s just a fling and move on to something more genuine. Until that fateful and glorious day, good luck and cheers.

 

Andre Gziryan is a former barman who still loves a great drink and an interesting story.

 

Photo credit: Jason