Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Big Night

Well, a lot of people are surely going to want to know what the appropriate cocktail for the evening is. I hear there's a lot of NDPers planning to gather at Rowers to watch the election tonight, so we can count on there being a lot of water and the occasional bland and light microbrew being consumed down there.

But what about the rest of us? Well, this article claims that, in Washington, people are drinking either the W-tini or the Kerry Berry, both of which sound, frankly, disgusting. But, then again, I'm against flavoured vodkas. I mean, I'm pretty much opposed to vodka period, except in the occasional Bloody Caesar, so these new-fangled concoctions only make me harden my resolve. Vanilla, raspberry and mandarin, what's next, roast chicken?

Speaking of disgusting, check out the drink for the Democratic party at this site. Stoli Peach and Iced Tea? That's enough to make you switch parties.

If I were planning a party at home, I'd make Manhattans. They have a long history of being associated with close elections which I'd tell you about but I don't want to scoop myself in Mondo Cocktail. But as I'm going to be out at a friend's and don't want to carry around a bottle of bourbon, a bottle of sweet vermouth and Angostura Bitters all day long, I'm going to have to settle for some Maker's Mark. A truly American drink.

Another alternative is the Ward Eight. Essentially a modified Bourbon Sour, this drink was invented on the eve of an election. I read recently here that there is a sad irony connected with the Ward Eight, however:

Lomansey (the Democrat for whom the cocktail was invented) was an ardent prohibitionist, and when the drought hit, the owner of the Locke-Ober - who begrudgingly honored Prohibition - closed the bar area of the establishment until the early 1950s. Fortunately, the Ward Eight weathered Prohibition much better, and in 1934, the drink was deemed one of the 10 best cocktails of the year by Esquire.

That detail leaves a sour taste in my mouth and I admit I could not really enjoy a Ward Eight knowing all that. Plus, why mess up a perfectly good Bourbon Sour by adding grenadine?

Really, so long as it's not a Negroni, enjoy any cocktail you like to get into the spirit of the election. The cocktail is a uniquely American invention and a perfect way to celebrate this evening's excitement.