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 (played by actress 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 of them has their 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 always know whether to like or loathe (sometimes doing both in the same episode) 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 2 to begin Thursday night (9 p.m., Channel 13), 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, trust me, 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 “seasoned-vet” viewers, I have crafted a few character-inspired cocktail recipes that are sure to help take the edge off both while waiting for the remainder of season 2, and also while you’re actually watching the show itself in anticipation of the next plot twist to happen. Bottoms up!
Long Live the Pope
This drink is just like Olivia: strong, sultry and captivating, with a slightly delicate edge.
1 ½ to 2 ounces Bourbon
½ ounce elderflower liqueur
1 ounce pomegranate juice
1 ounce Poire William (or any pear liqueur)
2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon of 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 packs an unexpected and intoxicating punch.
3 ounces sparkling sake (available at Central Market, Trader Joe’s and some supermarkets)
½ ounce tequila
1 ounces white cranberry juice
Juice of ¼ 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 magazine.
2 ounces gin
1 ounce lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
¾ to 1 ounce tonic water
½ ounce orange liqueur (I prefer Agavero Orange)
¼ ounce Fernet-Branca
Build all of the ingredients into an old-fashioned drink glass filled with crushed ice and stir gently until nice and frosty.