Liquor Nerd: Endlessly insane U.S. election is a great excuse to grab the popcorn and wheel out the Art Deco bar cart

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      Jesus H. Sailor Jerry—what a grim slog, with the horrible thing being the last four years of insanity might not officially come to an end for days. November 3 was when America voted for its next president. But due to COVID-19, mail-in ballots, and a world that’s totally fucked, odds are an actual winner won’t be declared until the lawyers get involved.

      And should the 200-percent-less batshit-crazy of the two options prevail, the thinking is a certain Mango Mussolini will do everything possible to avoid loading up the U-Haul at the White House.

      When you’ve spent months feeding the common rabble stories about rigged elections, grassroots cheating at the ballot box, and rampant voter fraud, you’ve made it clear you couldn’t give a shit about democracy. Or, for that matter, Lil Pim.., er, Pump. 

      Given all the above insanity, it’s time to not only grab a box of popcorn, but also wheel the circa-1930 Art Deco bar cart to the flat screen. To get through this, you’re going to need plenty of liquor. And if things drag out for days, no worries. Everything feels better when you’re perpetually comfortably numb.

      Here’s a fun fact: neither President McDonald J. Trump nor presidential hopeful Joe Biden drink. Diaper Don watched while his brother crawled into the bottle and never resurfaced. Biden grew up in a family where the booze not only flowed in rivers, but where his Uncle Edward inevitably ended up with a lampshade on his head.

      Orange Julius’s main vices are Kentucky Fried Chicken and Fox news. Biden’s big and utterly crippling addiction is the Sunglass Hut.

      Go back in history, though, and you discover booze and the Oval Office go together like Mike Pence, a darkened room, a tube of lube, and the missionary position.

      When not ordering pants specially tailored to reduce pressure on his bunghole (his words—not ours) Lyndon B. Johnson loved a strong scotch and soda. Martin Van Buren was known as Blue Whiskey Van due to his affection for a good free pour, Teddy Roosevelt raided the White House garden regularly as a Mint Julep fan, and Harry S. Truman often got the day started with a shot of bourbon.

      John F. Kennedy was a hard-core Bloody Mary disciple, George Bush Sr. rarely turned down a Vodka Martini, and Bill Clinton favoured the Snake Bite (one part cider, one part lager). As for Barack Obama, he’s famously known as a beer guy—during his time in office a special White House Honey Ale made good use of the grounds’ bee hives.

      It’s hasn’t always been just about imbibing at the end of the day. James Madison once blamed an election loss on his failure to ply the peasants of America with the “corrupting influence of spirituous liquors”, and George Washington understood that “swilling the planters with bumbo” rum brought plenty of good will when voters hit the ballot booths.

      The takeaway here? If liquor was the magic elixir that helped the above icons navigate some turbulent political times, what the hell are you waiting for this election? Get on it!

      Even though you live in Canada, think what you’ve endured the past four years—that having everything to do with America being more fascinating than we’ll ever be.

      The idea that all Mexicans are rapists, and we need a wall to keep them away from the rest of us. The idea that Tiki-torch-carrying neo-Nazis are very fine people. The idea that the West Coast continues to burn up every summer not because of climate change, but because someone isn’t removing branches and leaves from the forest floors. The idea that President Grab ’Em By the Pussy seems to have a never-ending and disturbingly raging boner for his daughter. The idea that…well, you get the idea.

      As we wait for every vote to be counted, there’s a real possibility that the nightmare might be over. There’s also the very real possibility that the nightmare will continue for days and weeks. As a result, no one will judge for drinking whenever you tune in for election results.

      By “drinking”, we’re not talking pouring two packets of Tang into a 40-pounder of White Lightning Max vodka, and then making like Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas. That’s just a temporary escape from a reality that’s still there after you wake up in a puddle of your own drool and tears.

      Instead, ask yourself what the great commanders-in-chief down south would do in years gone past. That Franklin D. Roosevelt loved a good Manhattan or Bermuda Rum Swizzle suggests the creation process was as much fun as the buzz. William McKinley actually had his own drink, with the McKinley’s Delight going the all-booze route with whiskey, vermouth, cherry brandy, and absinthe.

      For this installment of Liquor Nerd, lets go right back to the beginning of American politics for a drink that just might get you through this 2020 election—however long it takes to officially conclude.
      America’s first president, George Washington, was a Porter beer and molasses man, but he also made his own whiskey.

      His favourite cocktail was the Cherry Bounce—as per notes written by Mary Washington. The bad news is that it will take you two weeks before it’s ready to drink—so for the next 72 hours or so you might want to go the booze-forward Manhattan, Old Fashioned, or Revolver route.

      The good news is that it’s possible that this election will drag out for weeks. And as such, you’ll have a true American classic on hand to cope with the insanity.

      CHERRY BOUNCE

      12 oz preserved Morello cherries in their own juice
      2 cups brandy
      1.5 cups Demerara sugar, adjusting to taste
      2 cinnamon sticks, smashed with a rolling pin
      2 whole cloves
      1 whole nutmeg, crushed

      After reserving the cherry juice, press cherries through a strainer. Add the strained cherry juice to the reserved juice, and combine with brandy and sugar, stirring to make sure sugar dissolves. Cover and put in fridge for 24 hours. Bring 1 cup of the mixture to a simmer, then add cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg and cover for five minutes. Remove from heat, let steep for two hours, and then pour through a strainer back in the jar. Cover and let sit for two weeks, stirring occasionally. Serve at room temperature in a small cordial glass. then either toast America for a job well done, or start lobbying the Canadian government to build a wall that makes the U.S.-Mexico one look like something from a Lego kit. 

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