Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Candidate cocktails: A taste of your 2022 candidates

From vodka to voting, your guide to drinking on Election Day
Audrey Thibert

Ever wondered what drink your 2022 midterm election candidates embody? Us too. Look no further than this comprehensive list of candidate cocktails.

Do your civic duty — get drunk.

Mandela Barnes


Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator Mandela Barnes is easily a Mai Tai.

The drink itself can be tart or sweet, but it is also surprisingly strong. Mai Tais often gets a bad rap since they are considered a tiki drink, but who doesn’t want the promise of warmth and sunshine during dreaded Wisconsin winters?

Barnes’ promises of holding elected officials accountable to the voters, standing up against corruption and ensuring the rights of voters across this country will fuel voters to vote for him. We want to enjoy the bright, tropical flavors of a Mai Tai all year round, just like we want to feel confident in our vote, long after election day.

Ron Johnson

Next up is Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson.

Johnson is pushing 70 years of age and thus is a an 18-year Single Malt Scotch. Sipped neat, it is a sharp, distinct flavor that is certainly an acquired taste. This drink is something your grandfather gives you a sip of, and you are reminded that you don’t actually enjoy alcohol. Neither does your grandfather, but at least Scotch gets him drunk the quickest. Johnson has been around the block — he is currently a Senator but has also been an accountant and businessman. No one ever tells people to drink Scotch. It is something that happens when you get old. Simply put — there are a lot of better options.

Tony Evers

Here we lead into our governor candidates, starting off with Democrat Tony Evers.

Evers would be a Tom Collins — citrusy, fizzy and refreshing, with herbal notes. It is a bright drink. A perfect match for Evers and his promise to fight for a better and brighter future for all Wisconsinites. It is a grown-up version of lemonade — no frills and nostalgic — which pairs well with Evers’ plan to bring people together around common sense solutions.  The drink has also been around since 1876, fitting for Evers’ old age.

Tim Michels 

As far as Republicans go, we have Tim Michels in the running for governor.

Michels represents a Bourbon Old Fashioned — but wait! This is not your typical Wisconsin Old Fashioned. This version features no cherry or oranges. Instead, it is simply bourbon, water, sugar and bitters. A fitting cocktail for Michels as his beliefs are a bit too old fashioned for us.

Michels gets no fruit in his drink because he does not enjoy the sweeter things in life. He thinks ordering this drink will make him fit in with fellow Wisconsinites, but Wisconsinites want the sweet treats.

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Josh Kaul 

On the ballot for Attorney General is Josh Kaul. Kaul would be a vodka soda with lime, of course. He is experienced and respected, a safe bet. This is fitting, as Kaul is the current Attorney General and is running for re-election on the promise of prioritizing public safety.

The lime adds zest, a bonus knowing Kaul flipped the office from Republican to Democratic back in 2018 for the first time since 2007.

Eric Toney

Republican Eric Toney is running against Kaul. Toney would also be a vodka spirit, but in the form of a vodka martini with a lemon twist. Toney is straight to the point, a tough, no bullshit drink (considering it is basically just three shots of vodka.) A bit of a red flag, much like Toney’s avoidance of all questions inquiring if he would be voting for Trump in 2024.

Neil Harmon

Now for what you have all been waiting for — Secretary of State. We have four candidates for this seat, starting off with Neil Harmon who would be Spotted Cow. It is a somewhat boring pick, but so is the position of Secretary of State. A Spotted Cow is a default option, and you can change up your drink order if this gets dull, much like Harmon switched it up from being a Republican to a Democrat and is now a Libertarian.

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Doug La Follette

Doug La Follette is up next as a shot of Fernet Branca. Fernet, for those of you who do not know, is a type of amaro that tastes like herbs, roots and a whole bunch of spices. La Follette has served as Wisconsin’s Secretary of State for 44 years, and he earns this aggressive, almost black licorice tasting shot. La Follette also started Clean Wisconsin and has focused on renewable energy since the 1970s, hence the earthy herbs, roots and spices of Fernet.

Amy Loudenbeck

Running as a Republican for Secretary of State is Amy Loudenbeck, who would be a red Wando’s fish bowl. Loudenbeck is a UW alumnus. She is a Badger and a Republican, and is thus a red fish bowl from Wando’s. She packs a punch. Watch out for this one!

Sharyl McFarland

Finally, we have Sharyl McFarland.

McFarland is running under the Green Party and earns her spot as a Green Tea Shot: sweet, bright and peachy, with that hit of whiskey to warm you up. She is a longtime advocate for social justice and human rights, focusing her work on important issues like voter suppression, racial inequalities, mass incarceration and homelessness. Much like a green tea shot, McFarland brings a sense of calmness that leaves a pleasant taste in your mouth.

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