Welcome to Buy You a Drink, where GOOD's resident mixologist offers a free libation to one thirsty newsmaker each week. This time: The Republican fallen.
Oh good, Jon Huntsman is back in the race! The field of possible challengers to President Obama is shaping up to be the most scintillating since the famed Murderers' Row of 1996: Bob Dole, Jack Kemp, Pat Buchanan, Steve Forbes, Lamar Alexander. It was like the Jordan Bulls of stultifying old white dudes.
I’m kidding, of course. But it’s an Artie Lange kind of joke, borne of profound despair and a certain level of intoxication. It’s tough to write a newsy booze column (or a boozy news column) when the Republican primaries dominate the headlines, and the leading contenders are two Mormons and a sweater-vested bigot who already has a frothy cocktail named after him.
So this week I thank God for the also-rans. Michele Bachmann, I salute you for inspiring us all with your courageous attempts to redefine concepts like "facts,” and to re-draw the boundaries of acceptable personal interaction. You will be missed. Rick Perry, I’d like to buy you a drink for staying in the race after a piss-poor Iowa showing, thereby pulling off something even more remarkable: making Michele Bachmann seem reasonable by comparison.
The Call: Let Your Freak Flag Fly
Regular readers of this column may recall my tendency to champion the cause of the hopelessly deluded. Back in November, when Herman Cain was still the GOP frontrunner (It’s true! That is a thing that happened! We were so young then!) I humbly proposed we toast his exit with some bitter bubbly. Somehow, the political discourse went downhill from there.
Naturally, I blame myself. The 9-9-9 cocktail I tied to Cain’s candidacy was too pedestrian, too reserved to really energize the populace. To honor the departure of our fringiest fringe candidate, I needed to think further outside the box. I wanted a drink unusual enough to conjure up Bachmann’s banshee-wide eyes of gay panic, yet fun and flirty enough to serve to Marcus Bachmann on a boys’ night out. I turned on CNN to get the latest primary numbers, and found myself autonomically mashing bananas into a fine paste.
Batshit Banana Batida
1/3 of a ripe banana
½ tsp. brown sugar
½ oz. falernum
Juice of 1/3 lime
2 oz. cachaça (I used Sagatiba Pura; the grassier, aged Sagatiba Velha might be weirder, and thus preferable)
Scant ½ oz. dark rum
Slice banana, and muddle with sugar and falernum at the bottom of a shaker or a wide-bottomed glass. Add ice, lime, and cachaça. Shake vigorously. Double strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with new ice. Garnish with a lime wedge, a slice of banana with the peel still wrapped around it, or anything sufficiently ridiculous.
The Bachmann BBB is fun (if a bit slimy) to make, and it makes for amusing, befuddled looks on the faces of one’s guests. I can’t say for sure that it’s a quality cocktail, or a force for good in the drinking world, but I fully intend to run screaming in the other direction the first time someone says anything negative about it.
I would call Rick Perry’s persistence quixotic, though I am slightly concerned that the comparison unduly denigrates the intelligence and savoir faire of Don Quixote. In honor of the Governor’s windmill-tilting fantasy that he can still win the Republican nomination (and in keeping with the circus theme of our election coverage), I whipped something up in the grand tradition of flavor mimics.
The GOP (Grand Ol’ Peanut, or Governor “Oops” Perry)
1 oz. Roughstock 124-proof Montana whiskey
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Sutton Cellars vermouth
Splash Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
Stir with cracked ice; strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist, or maybe a circus peanut.
Like mock apple pie, mock turtle soup, or Paul Harrington’s grapefruit-aping Jasmine cocktail, my GOP arrives at the flavor of roasted peanuts without using any peanut ingredients. Since it’s basically a perversion of the Boulevardier or the Old Pal, I’d recommend serving the GOP to any otherwise clueless guest who has nonetheless acquired the notion that she would like one of those classics—the drinking equivalent of a Republican voter for whom any old Texas governor will do.
For your guests with more sophisticated palates, I’d recommend an actual Jasmine, or perhaps the beacon that lit my way through our last presidential primary season: the tasty and comparatively sensible Baroque Obama.
Send your ideas for drinks to survive campaign season, or your suggestions for improving our creations, to firstname.lastname@example.org.