10 Election Day Cocktails

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You’ve survived. You dealt with a year-plus of nonsense and still mustered the strength to vote for one or none of the U.S. presidential candidates.

Now it’s Election Day 2016 (uh, yippee) and you hate Trump and Hillary and humankind. But you don’t hate yourself because you’re about to treat yourself with one or more of these politically themed cocktails that can be made at home with ease or ordered out.

If you’re heading out over the next few days, be sure to check out our handy guide for Election Day food and drink specials.


The classic cocktail, one of the best drinks ever, was apparently invented in Manhattan during the 1860s or 1870s. One legend says that the cocktail is linked with the election campaign of Samuel J. Tilden, who vied for and secured the NYC governorship in 1874.

2 parts bourbon whiskey or rye, 1 part sweet vermouth, a dash of Angostura bitters, a Maraschino cherry or lemon twist or orange peel, served shaken or stirred, over ice or neat.

Air Force One

Bridget Albert, author of the book Market-Fresh Mixology, created a sky blue-colored mixed drink in celebration of the 2008 inauguration of President Barack Obama.

2 ounces Hpnotiq liqueur, 1 ounce citrus vodka, juice from a lemon wedge, lemon-lime soda, lemon twist garnish. Stir and serve over ice.

Gin Rickey

The Rickey is a highball delight and incredibly simple to concoct. According to history, barkeep George A. Williamson and Democratic lobbyist Colonel Joe Rickey devised the original whiskey version at Washington, D.C.’s Shoomaker’s bar in the 1880s.

1.5 ounces of gin, juice of one lime, club soda, ice. Replace gin with whiskey and you have yourself a Whiskey Rickey.

Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer

In honor/dishonor of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, Grand Prize Bar in Montrose grabbed the goofball Ted Cruz meme, changed up the classic tiki drink known as the Painkiller and “garnished” a highball glass with a plastic machete.

Recipe: Go to Grand Prize

Ward Eight

When Democratic powerhouse Martin M. Lomasney locked down a seat in the Massachusetts Legislature in 1898, bartender Tom Hussion mix-mastered the Ward Eight in honor of the victor, who represented Boston’s Ward 8 in the state house.

2 ounces rye, 1/2 ounce each of lemon and orange juice, a teaspoon of grenadine, an optional maraschino cherry. Shake, strain, drink.

The Whistleblower

According to manolofood.com, veteran Vancouver, British Columbia, bartender Jay Jones conceived a heavenly citrus cocktail in 2012 to celebrate the 40th birthday of Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.

1.5 ounces vodka, 1/4 ounce Giffard Banane du Brésil, 1/2 ounce rum, four dashes of orange bitters, lime zest. Stir, strain, add the zest, drink up.

Will Rogers

This cocktail, which can traced back to a published recipe in The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930, is named after celebrity cowpoke, humorist and political satirist Will Rogers (not to be confused with cowboy actor Roy Rogers), who once said, “Our Constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators.”

2 parts gin, 1 part dry vermouth, 1 part OJ, 4 dashes curaçao. Shake, strain, enjoy.


Serious Eats says that Erik Adkins of Heaven’s Dog and the Slanted Door in San Francisco devised this politically named cocktail that’s appropriate for the cold and dark days ahead.

1- 1/2 ounces whiskey, 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice, 1/2 ounce maple syrup, 1 egg white. Dry shake for 20 seconds, then shake with ice for 10 seconds. Strain and dash with Angostura bitters.

Income Tax

If Tax Day really meant drinking this 1920s-era cocktail, we’d fork over all of our money to The Man, pronto!

1 1/2 ounces gin, 1/4 ounce dry vermouth, 1/4 ounce sweet vermouth, 1 ounce orange juice, 1 dash Angostura bitters. Shake, strain, garnish with orange twist.

A shot of your favorite booze

Okay, this one isn’t a cocktail, but rather a celebratory toast to everything you’ve survived – the debates a.k.a. children fighting in the sandbox, the FBI email investigation, grabbing women by the privates.

In other words, no matter the outcome, remember: You’re the clear-cut winner by a score of 1 to a big fat zero.

Pour generously into anything that will hold liquid. Drink. Suspend the awful political reality for as long as possible.

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