Sake Gumi
Election day has come and gone, but the celebration parties are still going strong. So whether you're celebrating the history-making inauguration of our first African-American prez, or you just want to drown your sorrows in booze after the electoral thumping of Mr. McCain, I present you with a couple of candidate-inspired cocktails that should be of help. Big up to Kitchen Caravan for the videography, and to Vanessa Bahmani for that awesome photo above.

Juan McCain

Inspired by Mr. McCain's Panamanian roots (he was born in the Canal Zone), this cocktail combines Panamanian anejo rum, aged Irish whisky, bitters, and sour cherry juice for a potent yet tasty cocktail that has the potential to make you as unhinged as McCain himself.

In a double rocks glass filled with crushed ice, build:
Liberal dose of Angostura bitters
2 parts Ron Abuelo Anejo Panamanian rum
1 part Redbreast 12yr aged Irish whisky
1 part simple syrup
Fill with sour cherry juice
Give glass a light stir and top with a few more dashes of Angostura.

Baroque Obama

This cocktail, inspired by our beloved prez-elect (there goes that media bias again), is my interpretation of an obscure and long forgotten cocktail called the Baroque Cocktail, invented by the long-defunct Baroque Restaurant in NYC. The original is comprised of Jamaican rum, gin, sugar, lime juice, and Maraschino. This Obama-inspired version instead uses African rum, American gin, organic Hawaiian cane syrup, Hawaiian Plum extract, organic lime juice, and Maraschino. Those of you who were benevolent enough to attend the Obama fundraiser at Ms. Gleeson's a few weeks ago got a chance to taste this--benevolence has its rewards. And since people seemed to enjoy it, the recipe's below.

Place the following ingredients in a cocktail shaker with fresh ice:
2 parts Starr African Rum
1 part Aviation gin
3/4 part organic Hawaiian cane syrup
Dash of Hawaiian plum extract (sometimes labeled "Li Hing Powder")
1 part organic lime juice
Splash of Maraschino liqueur (ie Luxardo)

Shake vigorously (so as to "wake up the drink") and strain in a chilled cocktail glass. Cheers!

*Got a cocktail question? Hit me on twitter @paystyle, email me at payman(at)lifesacocktail(dot)com, or simply drop me a comment below!

Paystyle was born in Tehran and grew up in Los Angeles (aka Tehrangeles) before moving to Brooklyn with his wife and co-pilot Vanessa Bahmani who provides the stunning photography of Pay's cocktail concoctions. Return every Wednesday for his weekly Happy Hour column.
Column: Happy Hour


  • Didn’t truly appreciate the clever ingredients until I watched the videos. Now, may I be invited to your next cocktail party so I can try all these yummy concoctions?

    Jones on

  • Payman I love your blog!!! I like the cocktails inspired by the candidates…I think I’ll try the Baroque!lol

    Danalee "The Fashion Attorney" on

  • Thanks for the great video’s and brilliant cocktail recipes! We’ll have to make those soon and toast to two great guys!
    Love the names of the cocktails! You’re a genius!

    white on rice couple on

  • Sure thing, just drop me your email address and I’ll let you know.

    Paystyle on

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