Wine & Spirits: Election-Inspired Elixirs at Topaz Bar

by WL Author

Topaz Bar pays homage to each of the four GOP candidates, and to President Obama, with its new 2012 Campaign Cocktails Menu.
By Kelly A. Magyarics

The libations on Topaz Bar's new cocktail menu are inspired by current presidential candidates. (Photo courtesy of Kimpton Hotels)

The race to the White House is on, and the bar at D.C.’s Kimpton-run Topaz Hotel invites Washingtonians to stop by its Super Tuesday Viewing Party on March 6, 2012. Starting at 5 P.M. and running until closing, mixologist Rico Wisner will mix up five politically charged cocktails for the Republican candidates, as well as for our current president. Guests can throw their support towards their favorite presidential hopeful by ordering:

Romney Float ($5): A teetotalling tipple inspired by the clean livin’ GOP candidate, this rich, n/a treat features Old Dominion Root Beer, finished with whipped heavy cream and a house-made, “salted lake” caramel drizzle. (For those unwilling to eschew the hard stuff, you can add a shot of Root Liqueur for an extra $6.)

Rico Wisner's Rick's Tea Party cocktail at Topaz Bar. (Photo courtesy of Kimpton Hotels.)

Rick’s Tea Party ($9): Santorum fans can order this tea-tinged cocktail, with green tea-infused Absolut Vodka, Benedictine and lemon.

Ron’s PBR ($5): If Ron Paul’s old-school mentality appeals to you as a voter, then swig a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Gin-Grich and Tonic ($9): The G&T gets a Southern twist, as Bluecoat American Dry Gin and Fentimans Tonic Water is topped with a Leopold Bros. Peach Liqueur float.

Home Sweet Home ($9): Obama is looking to keep his 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue address for another four years. Show support for the incumbent with Topaz’s homage to D.C.’s native cocktail, The Rickey. Rico’s riff includes Bulleit Bourbon, lime, club soda and a hint of pineapple juice.

After Super Tuesday, the Campaign Cocktail Menu will remain until the official GOP nominee is selected. At that time, Topaz Bar will invite guests to cast their vote for the presidency by sipping on their favorite candidate’s cocktail. The bar will keep a running tally of who’s in the lead until the general election in November.

“I was inspired to create cocktails representing the candidates as if The Daily Show were having to come up with them,” explains Wisner. “Each cocktail has a great way of pointing out each candidate’s issues, but is still fun and irreverent.”

Rico shared the recipe for Rick’s Tea Party, which is earthy, herbal and citrus-y, all at the same time. While I don’t personally endorse Santorum, this cocktail is definitely worth a sip:

Rick’s Tea Party
Courtesy of Rico Wisner, Topaz Bar, Washingon, D.C.
1.25 oz. Mighty Leaf Green Tea Tropical infused Absolut Vodka (See Note)
.5 oz. Benedictine Liqueur
1 oz. Fresh lemon juice
.75 oz. Simple syrup
Splash of soda

Add all except soda to a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake to chill. Strain into a chilled highball glass of fresh ice, and top with a splash of soda.

Note: For 1 bottle of the infused vodka, use 8 bags of Mighty Leaf Green Tea Tropical tea. Let steep for 1 hour, and then remove tea bags. Time can vary slightly depending on temperature.

Kelly Magyarics is a wine and spirits writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website,, or on

Related Articles