October 30th, 2008

Vote Independent

Old campaign buttons

Let’s be serious for a minute. Once we vote on election day 2008, the only thing we can do is sit back and watch history happen. The grueling tension of this millennium’s first three presidential contests has made a lot of people understandably skittish about the outcome next week. But I’m beseeching you: this year, don’t stay home with your head under the bedcovers, or watching cable news while drinking gin straight out of the bottle. Cast your vote, take a deep breath, and commune with your fellow citizens at one of Boston’s best bars: the Independent.

The Indo and drinkboston are teaming up for an election night happening where you can watch the state-by-state returns on TV, eat a free snack and have a chance to win a $25 gift certificate by showing up wearing what is deemed the best political election garment or accessory. And we’re not just talking “Change we can believe in” or “Country first” T-shirts. We’re talking vintage buttons from the Kennedy-Johnson campaign … boater hats with red, white and blue ribbon … Eisenhower earrings.

Oh, yes, and the featured libation with which we’ll anoint this “Where were you when…” moment? The Ward Eight — and for only $5! I know I can’t shut up about this cocktail, but come on — not only was it invented for an election (110 years ago, to be exact), it’s Boston’s best-known drink. And it’s damn good when made properly (as the Indo’s bartenders do), with rye whiskey, fresh lemon juice and real pomegranate grenadine. Of course, you can also eat and drink as usual from the Indo’s regular food, cocktail, beer and wine menus.

It all starts on Tuesday, November 4 around 5:30. No need to RSVP — just show up. And don’t forget to vote!

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10 Responses to “Vote Independent”

  1. dcs

    To be thorough, you could, actually, vote and volunteer for a campaign of your choosing to help get out the vote, drive people to the polls, etc. There are some fairly close contests in our swinging granite neighbor to the north…

  2. MC Slim JB

    The Ward Eight was one of the most popular drinks at one bar I tended. I made it with Canadian whisky back then (Seagram’s 7, probably) and a really bad commercial sour mix, ick. The typical Ward Eight drinker was a 5’4″ lady in her mid-sixties. As a rye lover, I think it’s nice to see it making a comeback in places that make it with care.

  3. Arnold

    What would make this an even better event is if one could actually vote at the Independent. I’m not looking forward to the lines next Tuesday and a couple of Ward Eights while I wait would sure be nice…

  4. ljclark

    Ha! Arnold, that is a stellar idea. I understand that candidates’ offering alcohol at polling places was standard practice when our country was young. In another 10 years, maybe we’ll all be conveniently texting our votes instead of waiting in line.

    Yeah, MC Slim, in the four years I tended bar, I probably made about five Ward Eights. I was definitely using Rose’s grenadine, powdered sour mix and some wretched fake whiskey in a plastic bottle.

  5. Br. Cleve

    Sad to say, Lauren — that’s the way they were making them at Locke-Ober right into the 21st Century. I guess someone lost the original recipe there along the way, though I assume Lydia Shire has straightened them out since she took over.

    Johnnie’s On The Side in the West End/North Station features the Ward 8 and dedicates it to Martin Lomasney (the polictician for whom the drink was created for, at his victory party at Locke-Ober….the night BEFORE the election) on the menu. The West End was, in fact, Ward 8 of the Boston precincts. Probably still is.

    cheers from Ward 13!

  6. Arnold

    If George Washington did it, it can’t be all bad, right?

    From “What Would the Founders Do?” by Richard Brookhiser:

    When George Washington first ran for the Virginia House of Burgesses, he wanted the voters who came to the polls to be happy enough to elect him, so he treated them to drinks. (Treating voters was illegal, but universally practiced.) The Washington campaign served 28 gallons of rum, 50 gallons of rum punch, 38 gallons of wine, 46 gallons of beer, and 2 gallons of cider, no doubt hard, for a total of 164 gallons of alcohol. There were 396 voters. Washington won.

  7. ljclark

    Cleve: Wow, go Johnnie’s!

    Arnold: Yeah, GW! http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1696935

  8. pinky g

    Brilliant! Not as twisted but I always kind of liked this one too: http://www.jibjab.com/originals/founding_fathers

    Thanks Indo & Drinkboston for offering an election support group! See you there (on the later side). I’m dancing in the streets (or the parking lot) if the good guy wins.

    Arnold which torturous polling station line will you be in? Maybe the travel bar is the way to go: http://lupecboston.com/2008/10/29/orange-bitters-and-the-orange-roof/

  9. Arnold

    Pinky G,

    I will waiting ever so impatiently in East Cambridge. So I won’t have far to go to get to Union Sq.

    While my father and I do disagree about politics, he has passed down to me an old school travel bar. I might have to seriously consider your suggestion. Thanks..

  10. Adam

    I’m plannin’ on being there for a few. Coinsidently this was in my inbox this morning from WineSpiritsDaily.com:


    If you leave in the remaining states that ban alcohol sales on Election Day, that is. With the election just around the corner (literally) Discus reminded the industry that 7 states still ban alcohol sales on Election Day. Kentucky, Indiana and South Carolina do not allow alcohol sales at restaurants, bars and package stores. Utah and West Virginia still ban the sale of alcohol at package stores on Election Day. Alaska and Massachusetts also ban Election Day alcohol sales, except that local governments are authorized to provide an exemption from the ban.

    “The Election Day sales ban is a ridiculous relic of the Prohibition era when saloons sometimes served as polling stations,” said Discus vp David Wojnar. “Repealing the 1930’s ban on Election Day alcohol sales would provide adult consumers with much-needed convenience – whether they’re celebrating election returns or mourning them.”

    Yay for exceptions!

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