Whether you're sitting down with a cocktail this evening to toast your political successes, drown your disappointments, or just celebrate the fact that you'll be able to watch TV again without being subjected to a deluge of lousy campaign ads, the Wall Street Journal's Eric Felton has (as always) the perfect drink for the occasion:
2 oz rye whiskey
½ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz orange juice
½ oz grenadine
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
The cocktail was created to honor one Martin Lomasney, a teetotaler himself, who was a political boss back in the day:
In 1898, Boston Democrats suffered a dramatic schism, with the nominating convention splitting in two. Lomasney's faction drew up nomination papers for their man, and Mayor Josiah Quincy's crowd did the same for their candidate. Two messengers were sent racing, first across Boston Harbor by ferry and then through the streets of Boston on bicycle, a mad dash to deliver and file the nominating papers. Lomasney's man got there first, which put his candidate on the ballot. I like to think that this rather fantastical victory was the cause for a celebratory drink.
Not that Lomasney was there for the cocktail. Not only didn't he drink, he didn't frequent the Locke-Ober Café, with its lobster and fancy French sauces. Lomasney preferred to eat applesauce on crackers (while wearing a signature straw hat) at his center of operations, a social hall called the Hendricks Club. There, he would greet an endless stream of supplicants.
"Martin Lomasney kept little notebooks in which he kept everyone's name for whom he had done a favor," says Peter Drummey, the Steven T. Riley Librarian at the Massachusetts Historical Society. If someone needed a favor that Lomasney couldn't himself deliver, he turned to his notebooks to find someone in his debt who could help out. The "Czar of Ward Eight" also kept a rather large safe in which he archived ruinous dirt on friends and enemies alike. When favors weren't enough for him to get his way, coercion kicked in.
When you're kicking back tonight and watching the results of the increasingly focus group-driven, feelings-orientated, and feminized politics of today, you might think about knocking back a Ward Eight or two and remembering the days when men drank rye whiskey and political power could be determined by the winner of a real race.