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The American President

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Image credit: The American President, 1995.

One more day. One more day and what has been the most contentious presidential election that I can ever remember will finally be over. Whoever wins, whatever side you’re on, I think we all can agree on one thing- politics is a lot more pleasant in Hollywood.

Perhaps the best example of this is The American President (DVD/Download), starring Michael Douglas as a widowed POTUS and Annette Benning as his feisty lobbyist girlfriend. Written by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin and directed by Rob Reiner, this 90’s era romantic comedy just sparkles in its idealism. A president wooing his lady with a Virginia ham and glamorous state dinners? Taking dating tips from his pre-teen daughter? Adorable. And what’s also great is that Annette Benning is no pushover. She stands by her environmentalist beliefs, is unafraid to tell the president that his crime bill is too soft, and does it all wearing some killer pantsuits. Her only enemy? Dupont Circle. And Republicans.

Despite the attacks from political opponents, the President still manages to find time to spirit his girlfriend away to Camp David. A night in front of the fire in a secluded cabin?  Sounds like heaven.  The only thing that would improve it?  A cocktail of course! While watching The American President, I recommend drinking a Sparkling Maple Whiskey Cider.

Sparkling Maple Whiskey Cider

1.5 oz Cabin Fever maple whiskey

4.5 oz Spiced Apple Cider

4.5 oz Ginger soda

Combine all ingredients in a glass filled with ice and stir gently to combine.


I try not to get too political on social media or on this blog, because of course I respect the opinions of others and I never want to sound like I’m belittling anyone who thinks differently than I do. We all have our reasons for supporting a particular candidate. But isn’t it great that cocktails are completely non-partisan?  Republicans and Democrats alike enjoy unwinding with a tasty beverage.  If you’re looking for an escape on election night, I proudly endorse this Hollywood political fantasy, and a strong cocktail (or three).  Cheers!

When Harry Met Sally


Image credit: When Harry Met Sally, 1989

There are very few New Year’s Eve scenes in cinema as satisfying as the one in this week’s film, When Harry Met Sally (DVD/Download). That grand speech at the end about wanting the rest of your life to start right now just gets me every time. Sure Meg Ryan has a bad perm and ridiculous long blue gloves, but I can overlook it all for that speech. Harry Burns is a heck of a guy.

The film begins by asking the age old question, “Can men and women ever really be just friends?” Billy Crystal as Harry says no, Meg Ryan as Sally says yes. They bicker, then meet again 5 years later and bicker about it some more, then meet again 5 years after that and decide that the bickering is silly, become the best of friends, then lovers, then nothing. It sounds like a saga of a movie, but Rob Reiner’s skillful direction and Nora Ephron’s genius script keep things moving along quickly. What results is a clever, sharp film about the relationships between men and women, and the pitfalls that await us all. And oh yeah, Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm in Katz’s deli and the whole world freaks out. Quel scandale.

It wouldn’t be New Year’s without a glass of something fizzy in my hand. In homage to Meg Ryan’s big scene, and Rob Reiner’s adorable mother, while watching When Harry Met Sally, I’ll have What She’s Having.

What She’s Having

1 ½ oz gin

¾ oz Cointreau

½ oz Maraschino Liqueur

½ oz lemon juice


Mix gin, Contreau, Maraschino liqueur, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a champagne flute. Top with Prosecco.

what shes having

In my experience, it’s totally possible to have a friendly acquaintance of the opposite sex, but extremely rare for that person to be a best friend. I definitely think there’s some truth to what Harry’s saying. I did have one very close male friend once upon a time…. and then I married him. And with any luck I’ll never have to be “out there” again. After all, nobody else could ever tolerate my inability to order anything as-is from a restaurant menu. Sally, you’re not alone. Happy New Year, and Cheers!