Conservatives are usually pegged as stuffy teetotalers, devoid of the ability to have fun. However, there are plenty of sybaritic right wingers that enjoy their drinks, and I am here to give you the top ten conservative cocktails because it is important to remember that even our Founders knew how to party. These 55 bibulous, wig-wearing party animals drank “54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of claret, eight of whiskey, 22 of porter, eight of hard cider, 12 of beer, and seven bowls of alcoholic punch” in order to celebrate writing the Constitution. It’s always good to be like the Framers of the Constitution! Some may think that conservatives only drink domestic beer from a can while watching NASCAR, but even Republicans like to class it up now and then.
Important: these are not feminine, effete beverages; these are the kind of intoxicants a card-carrying member of the GOP can be proud to order at the local speakeasy.
2 oz of whiskey
1/2 oz of sweet Vermouth
2-3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Maraschino Cherry for garnish
As good conservatives, we must always start with tradition. This Prohibition era drink was a common cocktail during the time progressives banned alcohol from the country. It supposedly originated at the Manhattan Club during the 1870s, but this drink will always remind us to distrust big government. A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away your alcohol.
2 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz of dry vermouth
Splash of olive brine (if you’re feeling dirty)
Olives for garnish
How can we ever forget James Bond’s infamous order of “shaken, not stirred”? A drink dating to the 1860s, the martini is the cocktail for the gentleman and lady. Nothing says “I’m a conservative and enjoy the finer things in life” than going to a bar and ordering a martini. Just be careful to not be too pretentious by adding a top hat and monocle.
2 oz of Bourbon
2 dashes of bitters
1 splash of water
1 tbsp of sugar
1 Maraschino Cherry (or Bourbon soaked cherry for extra flavor)
1 orange peel
This drink came back to use because of Don Draper, the protagonist of Mad Men, and it is a good thing, too. One of the oldest cocktails, coming from the early 1800s, an Old Fashioned is the best way to celebrate capitalism and the American Dream, just like Mr. Draper drinking one in the early afternoon. Make sure while drinking it to offer the toast, “To INDUSTRY!”
Gin and Tonic
1 1/2 oz gin
1 1/2 oz tonic
1 lime wedge
An interesting cocktail for this list, one might not think of the GnT as particularly conservative. However, it was introduced during the days of the British East India Company. Tonic has quinine in it and was used to fight malaria. Disliking the taste, soldiers added gin and lime, creating the GnT. Naturally, the drink of British soldiers defending free trade across the world is good enough for conservatives. Be careful, though, as one study connected love of gin and tonics with psychopathic tendencies.
1/3 cup Bourbon whiskey (or Scotch)
Not a drink for the faint of heart, this says you are conservative of convictions. You know what you want and take it. As Lady Margaret Thatcher noted to one friend, “Dear, you cannot drink gin and tonic in the middle of the night. You must have whisky to give you energy.” You may start with the Gin and Tonic, but this is the necessary follow-up.
2 oz Scotch whiskey
1 1/2 oz sour mix (1 oz lemon juice, 1/2 simple syrup)
Maraschino Cherry and 1/2 Orange slice for garnish
If you don’t have the stomach (or taste) for straight whiskey, a whiskey sour can still get the job done while keeping liberalism at bay. Still a traditional drink from the 1860s, it keeps one connected to the past while enjoying refreshing flavors. Why is it conservative? Because it’s dependable and has been for over 150 years.
2 oz. Bourbon whiskey
1 oz. simple syrup
10 (or so) mint leaves
MUST be served over crushed ice and in a chilled pewter glass
Southern culture is quintessentially conservative, and the mint julep is quintessentially Southern. Charm, tradition, plantations, and horse racing represent our culture, and this drink speaks to our sacred, Southern ways. It is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, and the mint julep is often combined with a seersucker suit or a lovely big brim, church hat.
Jack and Coke
1 oz Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee whiskey
6 oz Coke or Diet Coke
A simple drink, the Jack and Coke is for the blue-collar conservative when a beer just won’t do. This is for a working man or woman, not someone who blogs derisive articles about capitalism from a coffee shop or teaches yoga. An honest day’s work deserves a strong, simple drink to end it.
Open the bottle and pour to your heart’s content…
It may not be a cocktail, but wine is delicious and satisfying. Pairing it with the right food or sitting in a vineyard with a good friend is what Tolkien would happily refer to as the “hobbit life.” Conservatives know that slowing down, taking time to reflect on meaning, and enjoying good company is what makes life worth living. Wine is an excellent facilitator of this.
1 1/4 oz rum
12 mint leaves
1 tbsp sugar
1 Squeezed lime wedge
2 oz soda
We finish off with the favorite drink of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and pugilist Ernest Hemingway. Although it’s a Cuban drink, it is ideal for hot climates and fans of American literature. One can pontificate on the Lost Generation and plan grand adventures while imbibing this one. The mojito speaks to our past, but it gives us a strange sense of optimism. That the day could be full of all kinds of possibilities.
I leave you with the wisdom of Prime Minister Winston Churchill: “I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.” Enjoy.