Presidential Libations

Celebrate Presidents’ Day by mixing these original, simple and delicious cocktails inspired by American history.


Courtesy Banks White, executive chef, FIVE restaurant (, Berkeley, California

This cocktail, created shortly after Barack Obama was inaugurated, blends Scotch with the grapefruit and pomegranate juices popular in his native home of Hawaii.

1 ounce Oban 14 Year Old Single Malt Scotch
1 ounce grapefruit juice
1 ounce pomegranate juice
½ ounce falernum
Dash of orange bitters
Orange peel, for garnish
Brandied cherries, for garnish 

Combine the Scotch, grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice and falernum in a shaker. Shake vigorously and pour into a coupe glass filled with ice. Add a dash of bitters and garnish with the orange peel and brandied cherries.


Cîroc Obama

Courtesy Gypsy Bar at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa (, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Using Cîroc—a grape-based vodka—as this cocktail's foundation, blue Curaçao is added for a patriotic hue and the splash of Sprite lends a star-like sparkle.

1 ounce CÎROC Vodka
½ ounce blue Curaçao
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce Sprite

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a martini glass filled with ice.


Gettysburg Address

Courtesy Alan Popovsky, owner of Lincoln Restaurant (, Washington, D.C.

This vodka-based cocktail infuses ginger and lemon flavors with beet purée—a vegetable farmed in abundance during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency.

1 ounce Square One Botanical Vodka
1 ounce VeeV Açaí Spirit
1 ounce lemon sour mix
½ ounce ginger syrup
½ ounce beet purée
5 strands Bull’s Blood beet greens
3 dashes Bar Keep Swedish Herbs Bitters
Combine the vodka, VeeV Açaí Spirit, lemon sour mix, ginger syrup and beet purée ingredients, shake and pour over ice. Garnish with beet greens and bitters.

Emancipation Punch

Courtesy Alan Popovsky, owner of Lincoln Restaurant (, Washington, D.C.

This popular cocktail is a permanent fixture on the restaurant’s drink menu. It combines American Dry Gin with herb-inspired spirits, created to reference the herbal farming during Lincoln’s era.

18 ounces brewed chamomile tea
6 ounces lemon juice
6 ounces clove syrup
1 ounce Bar Keep Lavender Spice Bitters            
6 ounces Cuca Fresca Cachaça
6 ounces Bluecoat American Dry Gin
4 lavender sprigs, for garnish    
5 lemon slices, for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl except garnishes, add ice and stir. Garnish with the lemons and lavender sprigs.

The Rough Rider

Courtesy Bully Boy Distillers (, Boston, Massachusetts

The Rough Rider cocktail combines sweet and sour with Bully Boy’s white rum for a well-balanced, palatable drink. “Bully” was a favorite catchphrase of Teddy Roosevelt—the Harvard University roommate of the Bully Boy Distillers’ founders’ great-grandfather. Fittingly, Roosevelt was known for both his toughness and exuberant personality.

2 ounces Bully Boy Distillers White Rum 

½ ounce honey 

½ ounce fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with cracked ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
















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