Can a Cocktail Predict the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election?

Some drinking establishments have presidential-theme cocktails with promotions for guests to predict the winner of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

By Carla Hay September 8, 2016, 7:30 AM EDT

Omni Hotels & Resorts' Democratic Party cocktail selections include the Hilla-rita, in honor of Hillary Clinton, which has Tres Generaciones Reposado tequila, orange juice, agave, DeKuyper Amaretto, and a sugar-and-salt rim.

Photo: Courtesy of Omni Hotels & Resorts

The outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election will be determined on November 8, but some drinking establishments are giving guests the opportunity to predict the election's winner with presidential-theme cocktails.

As of Tuesday, Omni Hotels & Resorts nationwide began offering an original cocktail menu with election themes for seven drinks. Imbibers can cast their ballot by ordering a drink off the “Polling for Cocktails” menu. Drink orders will be tallied, and the overall consumption rates will be tracked and posted on Omni's online channels every Wednesday from the previous week. Guests can also share their votes on social media using #DrinkTheVote. The promotion will continue until Election Day, when the Omni can determine if the promotion's “popular vote” was truly a predictor of the next president.  

“The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election is one for history. Omni Hotels & Resorts is excited to see if we can make an assumption based on consumption,“ Omni Hotels & Resorts vice president of food and beverage David Morgan said in a statement. “We felt this would be a fun, light-hearted way to get our guests involved in the conversation.”

From October 8 to November 8, bar patrons of the restaurant Bourbon Steak at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, can order the four specialty presidential cocktails concocted by head bartender Torrence Swain. Those who order the cocktails will be given a vintage-style ballot to toss into either the “Democratic” or the “Republican” full-size whiskey barrel at the end of the bar. Two cocktails are based on drinking preferences of past Democratic presidents James Buchanan and Harry Truman, while the other two represent libations of choice of past Republican presidents Herbert Hoover and Dwight Eisenhower. Each presidential cocktail is $20, with $5 from each going to the nonpartisan organization Nonprofit Vote. After the election results are announced on November 8, a customer's ballot will be randomly selected, with the winning contestant declared “President for the Day” and awarded dinner for two at Bourbon Steak and one free night in the presidential suite at the hotel.

On July 18, the first day of the 2016 Republican National Convention, Teddy & the Bully Bar in Washington, D.C. began a Cocktail Voter Poll promotion, with two cocktails inspired by the major-party candidates: Hillary’s Inbox (based on Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton) and the Trump Tower (based on Republican Party nominee Donald Trump). Teddy & the Bully Bar will keep a running tally of cocktail orders through November 8, when the bar will hold an election-day viewing party.

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