The race for the White House is shaping up to be a tight one. So after casting your vote, a Swing State Cocktail is a great way to celebrate what has surely been a "spirited" political season. This election-inspired list of stiff drinks is the creative genius of D.C.'s Art & Soul restaurant and bar. Mixologist Ronald Flores and restaurant manager Calvin Hines, Jr. developed the bipartisan beverages.
ABC7: WHEN DESIGNING "THE VIRGINIA", HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE INGREDIENTS?
HINES: When designing each Swing State cocktail, we did research on each state. We wanted some element of each drink to be relevant to that state. Everything from the states flower to presidents who were born in that state were researched. We then researched and began experimenting with flavors. The entire process took a few days. Each state had its own, unique challenges, however, that is the exciting part about the creative process. As far as Virginia, we decided to use White Hall Viognier, which is from a Virginia winery, and is featured on our wine list.
Virginia ingredients: White Hall Viognier, Smooth Ambler, ginger beer
ABC7: HAS THERE BEEN A FAVORITE SO FAR AND WHY DO YOU THINK IT'S BEEN SO POPULAR?
HINES: Our top three selling Swing State Cocktails are the Pennsylvania, the Colorado, and the New Hampshire. The Pennsylvania is the most popular because of our house infused peach vodka, which is displayed at the bar in a mason jar. Guests always ask, "What's in that jar? It looks interesting!", which leads into a conversation about the Swing State Cocktails, and then ultimately, The Pennsylvania.
ABC7: WHICH COCKTAIL IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?
HINES: I could not tell which Swing State Cocktail is my favorite. That's like picking which child you love the most. They are all my favorite, because of the time, and thought that was put into them.
ABC7: IF YOU'RE WEARING AN "I VOTED" STICKER ON ELECTION NIGHT, I UNDERSTAND YOU CAN GET A DEAL!
HINES: Election night is right around the corner and yes if you come in wearing your "I Voted" sticker you can enjoy two Swing State Cocktails for the price of one. Plus, each Swing State Cocktail will be half price for 15 minutes after the election result for that state is announced. We will also have a happy hour menu, other cocktail specials, and multiple screens from 4pm until a decision has been made.
Art & Soul is a Capitol Hill restaurant, serving southern-inspired cuisine created by celebrity Chef Art Smith and Chef Wes Morton.