News Dump Bittersweetness


It’s Friday evening, do you know where your Special Counsel is?

The last several days have been an onslaught of news. From gun control to trade wars to scandalous cabinet secretaries to Jared Kushner losing his security clearance and using his position as Trump son-in-law/Senior Advisor to secure massive loans to his family business, the past week has felt like months worth of major stories.

Even when you get outside of the White House, our institutions of government have run amok. The House Intelligence Committee is leaking texts of Senators for partisan gain. The end game of Mitch McConnell’s Senate obstruction is soon to play out in the Supreme Court with a union-busting case. Collective bargaining for public unions is hanging by a prayer.

We are definitely living the curse of interesting times. If Trump is draining the swamp, then we’re all in the sewer it’s running through.

Of course, some of this overwhelming pace of breaking news is not the kind that Trump wants to hear, either. Robert Mueller is tightening the noose around the Trump campaign and it ties to Russian election interference. Trump may have lost Hope (Hicks), but Mueller gives hope to the rest of us.

Whatever the news tonight, good or bad, it is sad we are even here. So while we wait, have a Bittersweet Symphony cocktail, put on some redemption songs, and think about how we might recover some of what we’re losing.

From Gaz Regan’s great book The Negroni, the Bittersweet Symphony is a tasty Negroni variation:

1.5 oz London dry gin

.75 oz Punt e Mes

.75 oz Aperol

Stir, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, lemon twist.



Hail To The Chief?


As we celebrate 44 of the 45 U.S. chief executives on this Presidents’ Day, it is worth revisiting the El Presidente cocktail. It seems even more appropriate today.

When I posted the cocktail for Presidents’ Day 2017, Michael Flynn had just been dismissed as National Security Advisor because of his dubious ties to Russians and his lies (supposedly to Vice President Pence) about it. Now, of course, Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about those contacts and is cooperating with the Special Council investigation. The whole post from last year is here.

Today, “conservatives” are calling for Trump to pardon Flynn, but these Treason Weasels are fighting against the ever increasing flow of evidence of Russian interference in our electoral process. Just last week, Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three organizations laid out very detailed specifics on the “information warfare” campaigne that played out on social media.

While Trump initially claimed these indictments were vindication for him — “no collusion” — it is clear they were targeted at only one aspect of the investigation and much more is yet to come. Trump seems to realized this as well as his Tweeting has been even more unhinged than usual.

So raise your El Presidente cocktail this Presidents’ Day, Hail to the Chief and good health to Robert Mueller. A good recipe to follow comes from Beach Bum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean. You can also get some history on how the cocktail was named for a Cuban president who cozied up to foreign business interests (U.S., not Russian, in this case, but you can also check out the New Yorker article on Trump’s ties to Russian business interests).

1.5 oz aged Cuban rum (Havana Club Añejo 7 Años)

.75 oz Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry Blanc

.75 oz curaçao (Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curaçao)

.5 teaspoon grenadine (Not part of Berry’s recipe, but a variant I enjoy)

orange twist

Stir on ice for 30 seconds, strain into a cocktail glass, twist.