Staff Picks: Favorite Cocktail Recipes & Other Forms of Election Stress Relief

For many of us, this has been a tumultuous and enormously divisive presidential election season with very high stakes, but we’re finally at the finish line. Whether you’ll start working on your Canada immigration papers or celebrate with relief, the moment of truth is near. In the meanwhile, try coping with the unknown the way staff does!

Maggie Ardiente, Senior Editor

Depending on who wins, I may drink a classic cocktail featuring the elderflower liqueur St. Germain:

  • 2 parts sauvignon blanc,
  • 1.5 parts St. Germain,
  • and 2 parts club soda over ice.

It’s a bubbly, light, easy-to-drink sweet cocktail that symbolizes my happiness and relief. However if the other wins, I’ll drink a Jameson neat. Because I’m going to need a very, very strong drink.

Jennifer Bardi, Senior Editor

Election Night Survival Mode

I’ll be serving “Blue state specials” on Election Night. Beverages may include Manhattans, honoring both candidates’ New York connections, but I’ll probably avoid any White Russians. After reciting an ode to Bernie Sanders, I may challenge whoever’s in the room to a game of Electoral College Twister.

Aidan Bissell-Siders, Communications Intern

Country on the Rocks (perfect for minors)

You’ll need:

  • Glassware
  • Ice
  • Time

How to use:

  • Read political news.
  • Become consumed by rage.
  • Place ice into glassware.
  • Wait until ice has melted—emotions will have similarly cooled.
  • Return to step 1.

Peter Bjork, Managing Editor

The boulevardier cocktail is, in my opinion, the superior cousin to the classic Negroni that switches out gin for bourbon. And though it’s probably meant to be a spring and summer drink, I don’t care.



  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • Lemon twist

Directions (via Bon Appétit magazine)
Combine 2 ounces bourbon, 1 ounce Campari, and 1 ounce sweet vermouth (preferably Antica Formula) in a large mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until glass is very cold, about one minute. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe or a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Matthew Bulger, Legislative Director

Bi-Partisan Consensus

  • 1 shot Tito’s vodka
  • 1 shot Patrón tequila
  • 1 shot Jack Daniel’s whiskey
  • 1 shot Tanqueray gin
  • 1 shot Bacardi rum
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces soda water
  • Shake of bitters

First, get all of your liquor and mixers lined up. Second, throw away all of the mixers. Third, do a shot of each type of alcohol until the other political party’s ideas start to make sense.

Fred Edwords, Director of Planned Giving

I offer the Big Bang Theory of ultimate stress reduction to cure those election-time fears and blues. It has been noted by scientists that sexual activity increases immediately following funerals. Is this because people are trying to reproduce to make up for the death, or is it because sex distracts the mind from grief? I believe the latter and offer that sex can distract the mind from election stress as well.

And since we won’t really know the outcome of this presidential election until after the Electoral College ballots are counted in the US Senate in the early days of January (there are rumors of an impending revolt by a number of electors who oppose both major-party candidates), this means we all may need to indulge in two-months between the sheets if we truly expect to survive the election season.

Jan Melchior, Graphic Designer

Hot Wine Punch

  • 4 cups red wine
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup brandy
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • Several cinnamon sticks

Warm together in a sauce pan, but not to boiling (unless you want to burn off the alcohol).

Therapeutic Granny Squares

  • Several skeins of yarn in your favorite colors
  • Crochet hook
  • Crochet needle
  • Scissors

Google the term “granny squares” and you will find several tutorials for making them. Granny squares provide quick gratification as they are small and don’t take long to make. Also, they quickly add up making you feel like you’ve been very productive. You can sew them together and make something really big or at least tell yourself you are.

If you keep your hands busy either raising your cup to take a drink or feverishly crocheting square after square you will find your thoughts slowing down, once you’ve had enough of the wine punch you will probably ease off on the granny squares. Allow yourself to stare blankly into space when necessary.

Merrill Miller, Associate Editor

Regression Rum

  1. Acquire your favorite type of rum and whatever mixers you require to create your favorite rum cocktail. Mine is Bacardi Silver and Coke. (For a non-alcoholic version of this recipe, substitute with any comforting drink such as hot chocolate, tea, or apple cider.)
  2. Assemble pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals, if available, to construct a blanket fort.
  3. Curl up in your blanket fort, sip your drink, and watch comforting videos of your favorite kids’ movies. My suggestions are Disney’s Robin Hood, Babe: The Gallant Pig, or The Land Before Time, but any beloved children’s films will do!
  4. Attempt to become engrossed in the whimsy of talking animals and recapture the innocence and security of childhood.
  5. Become distracted by your adult concerns and compulsively check the election results on your phone.
  6. Attempt to watch the children’s movies again but realize that the experience just isn’t the same anymore.
  7. Sip your drink, hug your stuffed animal or pillow, and continue to compulsively check the election results on your phone.

Monica Miller, Senior Counsel, AHLC

A nice bottle of crisp Sancerre 🙂

Katherine Paige, Staff Attorney, AHLC

I’m fleeing the country.

(Ed. Note: Indeed, Kat is mid-way through a hiking trip through the Andes to Machu Picchu!)

Jessica Xiao, Assistant Editor

Election Night “Russian Novel Roulette”

  1. Find all novels you own by Russian authors.
  2. Find a friend. Or someone who could pass for one for an evening.
  3. Find a bottle of Stolichnaya.
  4. Take turns asking policy and governance questions.
  5. Choose a book and flip to a random page.
  6. The answers you seek will be on line 14 of that page.
  7. Take a shot every time the answer is so tragically close to a possible reality of the future of the United States.
  8. Start each shot with a cheer to the phrase, “It could always be worse!”

We at hope you enjoy our suggestions for reducing your stress on Election Day. However, another way to respond to your anxiety over the future of our nation is to become active in causes that you are passionate about. Change only happens when we each do what we can to advocate for it. With that in mind, you may want to look into local groups and initiatives in your own community and get involved. The American Humanist Association’s online map of local chapters and affiliates is a great place to start!