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It's Election Night, And America Is Drinking

Cutouts of past U.S. presidents line the bar as Hillary Clinton supporters watch televised coverage of the presidential election at the Comet Tavern in Seattle on Tuesday.
Cutouts of past U.S. presidents line the bar as Hillary Clinton supporters watch televised coverage of the presidential election at the Comet Tavern in Seattle on Tuesday.

If you're drinking tonight, you're definitely not alone.

There's anxiety. There's excitement. There's the anticipation of either despair or celebration. There are, perhaps, hours to go until it's all resolved — as the race is turning out to be significantly tighter than some pollsters had predicted.

It's a surefire recipe for a lotof alcohol consumption.

And some election enthusiasts are getting more creative.

Looking for a cocktail for the evening? Here are a few suggestions:

From Quartz, the Shattered Glass: tequila, orange liqueur, champagne and a dash of hot sauce, in honor of a potential Hillary Clinton victory. (The website also suggests a Nasty Woman tequila punch and a bitter, aperitif-based America's Requiem as election-themed options.)

Bon Appetit offers up the Swing State — which, the magazine notes helpfully, "might just be the strongest cocktail we've ever created." It combines overproof bourbon, sweet vermouth and fresh orange juice. recommends mixing Goldschlager, vodka and orange juice and topping with cotton candy — The Donald, of course — or making a stiffer-than-usual "riff on the classic Democrat cocktail" for The Hillary.

The website Supercall suggests a martini with a dash of hot sauce, in honor of Clinton. It's "a little dirty (like most politicians)."

The Omni Hotel has recipes for a pink, sparkling Trumptini with vodka and cranberry juice, and a Hilla-rita with a sugar-and-salt rim.

Mother Jones commissioned recipes for the Bad Hombre (bitters, creme de cacao, vermouth and mezcal) and Nasty Woman (with basil, vodka and soda).

And, given the extent to which debates over Russia have dominated this election cycle, The Berry recommends an old classic: the White Russian.

Of course, there's always the simpler option of off-the-shelf drinks, by the sip or by the shot.

But rather to our surprise, while searches for "drinking game" spiked during the first debate in September, according to Google Trends, the upsurge in searches hasn't been quite so prominent on Tuesday.

And some investigation by NPR (for research purposes) found that most suggested drinking games for tonight seem ... less than serious. Certainly less than advisable. See for yourself:

From The Daily Meal: "If something is just catastrophically messed up, we recommend you find the nearest liquor bottle and pour yourself a double shot — it doesn't matter what." Or: "Any time the breaking news banner pops up or an anchor speaks the phrase, take a sip of your drink. If the news is actually something important and genuinely breaking, finish it."

Or, as one of NPR's Snapchat followers suggested, "Drink until it stops hurting."

With thanks to Maria Hollenhorst, Anna Marketti, Mayra Linares, Alexandria Lee, Camilo Garzon, Izzy Ross and Ami Shah for their research assistance.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

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