If you find yourself hitting the bottle harder than usual these days — getting up at 7 a.m. Pacific to tailor your drinking games to the congressional testimony of former FBI directors and such — you might do well to tether your situational dipsomania to some booze-friendly satire. Laurie Gibson and Amanda Orr’s book of cocktails, Drink: A Four-Year Survival Guide, provides a handy rubric for the art of resisting the alt-right (or suffering through another four years of bumbling ineptitude).
Even though you can’t spell “Trump” without “rum,” the president is, by all accounts, a teetotaler. If there are presidential wine decanters on Air Force One, they’re probably not getting much use. But Gibson and Orr are PR professionals — the former here in San Francisco, the latter in Washington, D.C. — who most certainly enjoy a drink. Approaching panic over the state of the nation since sometime in mid-2016, they decided to co-write a book to allay their unease. After churning through possible stress-relief subjects like yoga, they landed on one that felt immediately obvious: drinking. It helps when, as in Gibson’s case, your surname is also the name of a classic cocktail.
“This is going to be a long haul for us: to be very persistent and dedicated to the resistance,” Gibson says. “At the same time, we’re all going to get exhausted if we don’t do things that are funny.”
To break the taboo against discussing politics in social situations where chitchat prevails — “that’s gone out the window, because what’s more important than our liberty?” — they made the book funny. Each of the 44 drinks in the book has either a pun-filled name and/or a pointed description. There’s the Dark and Tweet Storm, the We Are So Screw(ed) Driver, and the Harvey (Bang Your Head Against the) Wall Banger. While the plain-old Irish Coffee comes with the suggestion “best served with chocolate cake while bombing Syria,” the cleverest one might be the Don’t Drain the U.S. Mint Julep.
Having that many jokes is almost a high-wire act, but a couple of them easily fell into place. The Moscow Mule is pretty obvious, plus there’s the Adios, Motherfucker, a heady mix that’s like a Long Island Iced Tea except with Blue Curacao instead of triple sec and 7-Up for Coke.
“That’s a true cocktail,” Gibson says, “but I’d never heard of that. I was looking at a cocktail book like, ‘Oh my God, this is so perfect.’ We had to put that in here.”
Neither author has a strong culinary background, but Gibson notes the recipes are all well-researched. And on the pretext that misery loves company, they configured recipes to make two drinks each. Published on May 29, Drink’s jabs and references are current, although with such a chaotic administration rocking daily from one crisis of its own making to the next, who knows how long that’ll last?
In the meantime, Gibson doesn’t have a favorite, although she included the “Small Hands Shirley Temple” as a nod to kids who might be a decade or more from the legal drinking age but who absorb stress from their parents via osmosis. And after the Comey hearing spurred bars around the country to welcome drinkers early in the morning, Gibson and Orr are looking to partner with bars in their respective cities to get their drinks in the hands of left-of-center boozehounds.
But mostly, it’s about needling the thin-skinned leader while taking the edge off of the precipitous decline of America’s global prestige and our renewed commitment to burning down the atmosphere.
“Trump takes himself so seriously that he can’t stand the thought that we might be laughing at him,” Gibson says.
Drink: A Four-Year Survival Guide
By Laurie Gibson and Amanda Orr