DNC 2016

Drink the DNC: Philly bartenders’ 5 convention-themed cocktail recipes

Bartenders from Ela, SkyGarten and 1 Tippling Place share recipes with the Dems in mind.

The Hillary Clinton, in front of its ingredients.

The Hillary Clinton, in front of its ingredients.

Jenna Eason/Billy Penn

We’re guessing a few members of the Democratic National Committee could use a drink right now.

But hey, no one needs a good reason to have a delicious cocktail. We reached out to local bartenders and asked them devise some DNC-inspired recipes. These five summery drinks could be right for your next party, lounging at home, sipping as you watch the speeches or taking the edge off as the nation’s politics gives us another dumpster fire.

Hot Button Issue

Several bartenders were pumped to make spicy drinks. (Care to guess why?) But SkyGarten’s Jesse Cornell wasn’t aiming to make a drink that would support a particular candidate. This drink is a spin on something Cornell regularly serves. The jalapeño-infused Espolon blanco tequila places it at a certain sweet spot: Wusses need not come near it; spice lovers will get their life.

What is Cornell looking forward to with the convention in town? “Surge pricing on my Ubers,” he says sarcastically. More seriously, he thinks big events, like last year’s papal visit, can get locals upset, but “it’s not that bad. It’s just a few extra people,” he says. “I’m psyched to get some more bodies in here.” SkyGarten has special DNC hours this week—open Monday through Saturday.

“Hot Button Issue”
by Jesse Cornell at SkyGarten

1½ oz jalapeño-infused Espolon Blanco tequila
3 oz fresh lemonade
Aperol float

Pour tequila in your glass of choice over ice. Add lemonade. Finish with Aperol on top.

The Nancy Pelosi

Myles Carroll, who mixes cocktails over at 1 Tippling Place, had a goal with this drink: yummy, summery and accessible. “I didn’t want to get to esoteric or nerdy about it,” he says. He wanted to make “something that everyone would like.”

This drink is versatile, inoffensive, but certainly no pushover. That gave us Nancy. Carroll’s bar has also extended its hours. It’ll be open one extra day: Today!

“The Nancy Pelosi”
by Myles Carroll at 1 Tippling Place

1½ oz gin
½ oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
¾  oz lemon juice
½ oz housemade grenadine*
1 to 2 oz club soda
Mint sprig for garnish

Pour ingredients in small shaker, add one cube of ice and shake to combine and chill. Fill Collins glass with ice, pour cocktail into glass, and top with club soda.
Garnish with mint sprig.
*For the housemade grenadine:
Pour ½ cup of 100% pomegranate into a shaker. Add ½ cup of sugar and 1 oz pomegranate molasses (optional). Shake until combined, around 2-3 minutes. Then add an ounce of brandy or vodka and store in fridge. Will last a month or more.

The Donkey Show

There are going to so many parties this week. We’d bet that at many of them, politicos, still in their suits, are quietly going to be burning to act a damn fool. This might be the perfect drink for that lot.

“The Donkey Show”
by Jesse Cornell at Skygarten

1½ oz Bluecoat gin
2 dashes orange bitters
Schofferhoffer (grapefruit wheat beer)
Orange wedge

Pour gin into beer glass. Top with Schofferhoffer. Drizzle orange bitters. Garnish with orange wedge.

The Bernie Sanders

Of course Carroll had go to peppery with this one. “Jalapeños have a different flavor than habaneros,” he explains, ” and Thai chiles have a different flavor than the banana peppers I use here…a bright citrus flavor.” 

“The Bernie Sanders”
by Myles Carroll at 1 Tippling Place

1½ oz blanco tequila
½ oz mezcal
¾ oz lime juice
¾ oz rasberry syrup
½ of a banana pepper

Muddle pepper into the rest of the ingredients in a shaker. Add ice, shake and strain into rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with other half of pepper. Note: Make sure not to touch sensitive parts of your body after handling pepper (eyes, mouth, etc.).

The Hillary Clinton

“The idea is every mom loves wine,” Stephanie Atkins, bartender at Ela. No, no, it’s not one of those wine cocktails—this is for a classy broad, one who doesn’t mind bitters. Plus, the drink isn’t complete without a nice pour of cherry liqueur. “There’s a bitter element because it hasn’t been easy [for her], but then it’s finished with blood of her enemies,” Atkins explains. (You can see more her concoctions on Instagram @cocktail_vixen.)

“The Hillary Clinton”
by Stephanie Atkins at Ela

1 oz Lillet
1 oz Breckenridge Bitters liqueur
1 oz Sauvignon Blanc
Dash Angostura bitters
¼ oz Cherry Heering
Lemon peel
Club soda

Into a tall glass, add the Breckenridge. Follow with the Lillet, and then the Sauvignon Blanc. Top with ice. Fill most of the way with soda, but leave some room. Throw in a dash of Angostura, then pour the Heering down side of glass so that it sinks. Rub the rim of the glass with a lemon peel, then place the peel in the cocktail for garnish.

Want some more? Explore other DNC 2016 stories.

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Nancy Pelosi