If you have yet to be ensconced in the cult phenom television series Scandal, you do not know what you are missing. The powerhouse behind the show is none other than Shonda Rimes, the brilliant creator of mega-hits Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice.
The show is centered around Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) a political “fixer” and owner of crisis management firm Pope & Associates. Her clients are those that are entangled in messes so deep that only a miracle (or a thick Rolodex, lots of cash and a bit of serendipitous good fortune) can get them out of it.
Interestingly though, Olivia doesn’t just fix problems, she also fixes people. Olivia has a merry band of helpers, but each has his or her own closet full of skeletons too. For all of her redeeming qualities however, Olivia is no saint: She’s having an affair with Fitzgerald Grant, the president of the United States.
With the addictive and riveting plot twists, storyline surprises, and a complex cast of characters that you don’t know whether to like or loathe, set against the politically charged backdrop of the nation’s capital, Scandal keeps its viewers riveted to the screen to watch what happens next.
Fans can't wait for the remainder of season two to begin January 10 at 9 pm, after a mid-season cliff hanger and brief series hiatus, to find out what will happen to one of Olivia’s team members — the mysterious, talented, highly trained and “highly damaged” former CIA operative, Huck. Did he do it?
If you have to ask what he's accused of doing, then you’ll want to catch up on all of the previous episodes and nail-bitingly watch what happens with the rest of us.
In the meantime, for the current fans, I have crafted a few character-inspired cocktail recipes that will help take the edge off waiting for the remainder of season two and anticipating the next plot twist. Bottoms up!
Long Live the Pope
This drink is just like Olivia: strong, sultry and captivating, with a slightly delicate edge.
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. elderflower liqueur
1 oz. pomegranate juice
1 oz. Poire William (or any pear liqueur)
2 tbsp. fresh grapefruit juice
1 tsp. agave
In a cocktail shaker, combine all of the ingredients, add several ice cubes and shake well until icy cold. Strain the drink into a tall highball glass filled with ice cubes.
Dignified and restrained at first glance, but it packs an unexpected and intoxicating punch.
3 oz. sparkling sake (available at Central Market and Trader Joe’s)
1/2 oz. tequila
1 oz. white cranberry juice
Juice of 1/4 lime
1 dash of Angostura bitters (may substitute orange bitters if preferred)
Mix all of the ingredients except the sparkling sake in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a flute glass and top off with the sparkling sake.
What the Huck?
“It's weird, it's black and bitter, it's minty and strange, and, quite frankly, it tastes like burning.” While this may aptly describe Huck, it is also how bar manager Jeffrey Morgenthaler describes Italian digestivo Fernet-Branca, the secret ingredient in this drink. Although it may not sound appealing, it is quickly becoming the darling ingredient of the cocktail scene according to Food & Wine.
2 oz. gin
1 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3/4-1 oz. tonic water
1/2 oz. orange liqueur (such as Agavero Orange)
1/4 oz. Fernet-Branca
Build all of the ingredients into an old-fashioned drink glass filled with crushed ice and stir gently until nice and frosty.