We’re finally in the home stretch of what feels like the longest and nastiest U.S. presidential campaign in history. As Nov. 8 creeps up, the entire world seems on edge. So whether you’re just anxious for it to be over or riveted with suspense like a horror-movie heroine, the best way to calm your nerves is with a strong drink.
This being Washington, it’s no surprise that there is an abundance of election-themed cocktails to satisfy your thirst and perhaps influence your vote, including signature cocktails for both candidates.
First up, just steps from the future home of the next commander-in-chief, is the renowned Oval Room. The Oval Room will be pouring two election-themed cocktails. The Madam President is a combination of Cynar, lemon juice, Giffard Abricot, Angostura rum and sparkling wine, topped with an orange twist. The Build That Wall is made with Muscat grape purée, spiced honey syrup and champagne vinegar, topped with soda and garnished with three grapes.
Off The Record, the iconic downstairs watering hole at the Hay-Adams, will offer four election-themed cocktails for leisurely sipping. Guests can opt for Hillary’s Last Word, forged from Bombay Sapphire gin, lime juice, green Chartreuse, Luxardo Maraschino and grenadine, garnished with a Maraschino cherry and lime zest. For the spirited Republicans, there is the Trumpy Sour: Knob Creek bourbon, whiskey-barrel-aged bitters, lemon and honey, garnished with a sprig of thyme and a dehydrated lemon slice.
The vice-presidential candidates have not been left out. The Kainenhattan is a combination of Plantation rum, Antica Formula red vermouth and Angostura bitters, garnished with a Maraschino cherry and an orange wheel. Pence’s Tea Party is made from Laphroaig 10-
year-old and Oban 14-year-old scotch, Amaretto Disaronno, Bénédictine, orange juice, ginger syrup and vanilla extract, garnished with crispy bacon and an orange peel.
Down the road from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue is 701 Restaurant. Guests can select the I’m with Her, made from a combination of George Dickel rye, Flor de Caña four-year-old rum, Rocky Mountain peach liqueur and apple cider vinegar, garnished with a peach wedge; or the Make America Great Again, a combination of Moon Drop grape purée, spiced sorghum syrup and sherry vinegar, topped with soda and garnished with three grapes on the rim.
At Ottoman Taverna, located on I Street NW, diners can opt for a cocktail reflecting the personal style of each candidate. You can “vote” Democratic with the Pantsuit, a combination of vodka, lime juice and house-made fresh peppermint shrub, topped with sparkling wine, or go Republican with the Side Sweep, made with gin, freshly muddled basil, strawberry, raspberry, lime-honey water and blue raki.
In the interest of impartiality, at the Grill Room and the Rye Bar are three cocktails without a party affiliation. Thyme to Decide, garnished with a thyme sprig, incorporates gin, honey syrup, lemon juice and blackberries. “I understand that each candidate has their strengths and weaknesses … but it’s Thyme to Decide,” says Kevin King, food and beverage operations manager at the Rosewood, Washington, DC.
Also at the Rye Bar, guests can sip on the Pacific Blue — vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, Luxardo Maraschino and blue Curaçao, garnished with blueberries and a lemon twist — or the Green Card, made with mescal, honey, lime and ginger syrup, garnished with a lime wheel and basil leaves.
Thyme to Decide
1.5 oz. gin
.5 oz. honey syrup
.5 oz. lemon juice
.25 oz. St. Germain
1 sprig of thyme
Muddle blackberries with honey and lemon juice, then add gin and shake vigorously. Double-strain into a coupe glass and garnish with thyme sprig.