Books and Cocktails To Help You Survive The Election

David: On Tuesday, November 8, Americans will finally cast their votes for the 45th president of the United States of America. If you’re like me, then you are very excited for the election to be over. Not because this election season is, perhaps, one of the most historic in American history, or because campaigns from both major candidates have been particularly nasty, but because — as clashing ideologies draw lines between friends and family — your Facebook and Twitter feeds have been overwhelmed with half-witted comments on our nation’s future. 

Yes, it’s been exhausting. But luckily, it’s almost over. 

To celebrate, I put together a list of politically themed books and paired them with appropriately designed cocktails, perfect to help you (and me) get through the final leg of the election. Cheers!

Hard Choices

Hillary Clinton has made history as the first female nominee from a major party. It should come as no shock, then, that she has utilized a lifetime of political acumen and expertise to drive her campaign through the glass ceiling of what is arguably America’s oldest boy’s club. In her most recent memoir, Clinton not only explores the complicated inner workings of a lifetime in politics, but also provides a humanizing look at the choices that have guided her along the way. That’s why the cocktail I designed to accompany this book is as strong as it is subtle. I call it: 

“The Secretary of Taste” 
1 oz Laphroaig scotch
2 oz soda
A twist of lemon

This is the perfect cocktail for relaxing by the fire, or for staring contemplatively out of a high-rise window. It’s strong, a little sweet, and a little sour. But best of all? It’s classy. 

Time to Get Tough

Say what you will about Donald Trump but, one thing is for sure, he’s one of the most recognizable men on the face of the planet. After a lifetime in the public eye, his recent bid for the presidency has sparked a national debate that will likely continue for years to come. In this book, Trump outlines his plan to improve America, and argues that the state of the union is currently sub par. This is the perfect book to read if you’re unfamiliar with Trump’s politics, especially if you’re interested in what his official policies might look like when put into practice. The cocktail that I designed for Trump focuses more on his celebrity than his politics. It’s sweet, bubbly, and if enjoyed in large quantities, quite dangerous. I call it:

“The Trump Tower” 
1 1/2 oz Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Tequila
1 oz Cointreau
3 oz orange soda
1 slice of orange

Served in a tall glass, this drink is as bright and as memorable as any of Trump’s many architectural structures.

The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America

The 2016 election was the closest that America has ever come to moving away from the two party system. Bernie Sanders represented the growing needs of the far left, and for a long time was a legitimate contender for the Democratic nomination. While Clinton ultimately took the honor, Sanders’ politics remain in effect, and his supporters are still very loud and very public. This book outlines Sanders’ vision for America, and serves as a primer for anyone interested in the effects that his campaign might have on future elections. That’s why the complementary cocktail is designed as an homage to the revolutionary spirit that defined Sanders’ campaign. I call it:

“The Revolution” 
1 oz Captain Morgan Rum (white) 
5 oz black tea, chilled
½ oz lemon

In my opinion, good tea is too often left out of cocktails. When prepared correctly, tea is a fantastic mixer and, when considering the “Boston Tea Party,” serves as an excellent American Revolution-style inspiration.

Benjamin Franklin

Though never elected president, Benjamin Franklin’s legacy is easily one of the most impactful in American history. This book outlines the life and times of one of the great patriots in early U.S. history, and argues for the influence of Franklin on government and foreign policy. Interestingly enough, Franklin was also a known Francophile, which was taken into consideration when designing his cocktail. I call it: 

“The French Bulldog” 
1 can of Red Bull
1 bottle of Champagne
12 oz of Mad Dog 20/20, Orange

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Dave, this sounds disgusting. Dave, this will make way more than one cocktail.” Well, you’re half right and you’re half wrong. Before the advent of the cocktail, mixed spirits were generally served as punch, with one batch made large enough to serve several members of a party. This recipe follows in that grand tradition. And, as for the taste, well that’s subjective. Personally, I think it’s delicious.

The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence

The U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are two of the most famous documents in the history of democracy. Both documents are important for every citizen, especially in a day and age when both Democrats and Republicans are making claims based on our Founding Father’s ideologies. The cocktail (well, if you can call it a cocktail) that I designed to go along with these documents is designed around the lost nostalgia of the American Revolution. I call it: 

“The Old Old Fashioned” 
1 oz Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
1 Sam Adams Lager

Don’t mix them, that would be crazy. Instead enjoy each separately but together. A sip of whiskey and a chaser of beer, the perfect remedy to an election season that refuses to end. It’s important to note that both the whiskey and the beer are staple American brands, both built upon strong traditions and old heritages. And both, like America herself, resilient. 

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