Buzz Worthy

Election '08 Cocktails: Vote With Your Liver

Sunday, September 16, 2007

So you want to support your presidential candidate. And, let's be honest, you wouldn't mind tossing back a few in the process. Perfect. You can do both at downtown Washington's Lotus Lounge, which is running a "Pick the POTUS at Lotus" promotion (POTUS, of course, stands for president of the United States). The contest lets patrons "vote" by ordering one of 17 drinks named after the candidates. [See the full drinks list below]

Lotus's bipartisan beverage selection includes the Milk Dodd (brandy, dark creme de cacao, half-and-half and nutmeg), with a milky appearance to represent Chris Dodd's hair; the Hillartini (a cosmopolitan), which Lotus declares to be "pink and feminine, yet strong and bold"; and the Raising Arizona (a straight martini) for self-proclaimed straight talker John McCain.

Teetotaler Mitt Romney gets the Romney (pineapple juice, cranberry juice and soda; vodka shot optional) and Barack Obama gets the Obama-rama (Grey Goose orange-flavored vodka, Malibu rum and orange, cranberry and pineapple juices), a sweet nod to his childhood home of Hawaii.

So far, no candidates have groused about their assigned cocktails, which Lotus event coordinator Bridget Ochs says were cooked up without favoritism. "It wasn't meant to express how we felt about any candidates," she says of the flavors and names.

And, lest nearby K Streeters get any funny ideas, Lotus (1420 K St. NW, 202-289-4222, says it's tracking results through an automated point-of-sale system. "I'm sure the bartenders would appreciate a really big tip, but it won't change the results," Ochs says.

Lotus will announce its winner just before the Iowa caucuses, which are Jan. 14. After that, the promotion will continue until the Nov. 4 general election, and Lotus might even throw in a few independents, Ochs says.

In the end, though, the Lotus POTUS might just come down to personal taste -- regarding what's in the cup, not on the ballot -- which means you'll be no closer to knowing who'll get into the White House. And you might have a hangover to boot. Then again, nobody ever said this campaigning thing was easy.

-- Christina Breda Antoniades

Beverages on the Ballot

The 17 presidential candidate drinks at Lotus Lounge (with explanations from the bar):

Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.)

Drink: The Joe Biden (Hendrick's martini).

Explanation: A traditional drink for a traditional lifetime politician.

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