Where to go for boozy election-themed fun in Austin

The Flying Saucer has made playful pint glasses for the presidential election. One depicts Hillary Clinton, the other Donald Trump. Drink out of one tonight while watching the first presidential debate.

The Flying Saucer has made playful pint glasses for the presidential election. One depicts Hillary Clinton, the other Donald Trump. Drink out of one tonight while watching the first presidential debate.

We’ll most likely be watching the first debate tonight between the two main U.S. presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, with a mixture of horror, glee and triumph — and maybe a good stiff drink, too, depending on their answers and performance.

A few places in town are offering election-themed drinks, and still other places are hosting presidential debate watch parties where we certainly don’t need a themed beverage to get us in the mood for a rousing back-and-forth between the candidates. Here’s a roundup of where to go tonight if your couch simply won’t do. The big debate begins at 8 p.m. and runs for about 90 minutes on all the major networks and cable channels.

Photo by Jessica Fradono. These cocktails fit for a president are available at the W Austin, which is keeping track of the "votes" for each.

Photo by Jessica Fradono. These cocktails fit for a president are available at the W Austin, which is keeping track of the “votes” for each.

For themed cocktails/glassware: 

  • The W Austin: This downtown hotel hopes you’ll make an informed decision about who should be the next U.S. president, but while you’re at it, vote for which drink is your favorite as well. The W has crafted three election-themed cocktails to choose from — the Pantsuit, with Treaty Oak Red Handed Bourbon, lemon, mint, sugar, grapefruit juice and Angostura bitters; the Comb Over with Hudson Manhattan Rye, Lillet Rose, sugar, a lemon twist and orange bitters; and the Independent, with Combier, Elyx Vodka, Regan’s Orange Bitters and Angostura bitters.
  • Omni Barton Creek: This resort in West Austin has created a veritable menu of Republican and Democratic cocktails, as we noted a couple of weeks ago. The Omni group of hotels wants guests and restaurant visitors to try the likes of the Trump-tini and the Hilla-rita, decide which one they like best and vote on it, in the hopes of discovering whether these boozy beverages serve as a predictor of the next president.
  • Flying Saucer Austin: Although the chain of beer bars hasn’t created a drink based around the election, the Flying Saucer has something else to offer: themed pint glasses adorned with the cartoon-like faces of Trump and Clinton. These are available for purchase online as well as at your nearest Flying Saucer location. Like the W and the Omni, the Flying Saucer keeps track of how many of each are bought, and for good reason: Since the Saucer election glasses debuted in 2004, sales of the glasses have accurately predicted the outcome of the last three presidential elections. Like it’s the Ohio of bars or something.

For presidential debate watch parties: 

Our political reporter has compiled this list of options — including Scholz Garten, where the Travis County Democrats will be, and the Republican Party’s Victory Texas office for GOP faithfuls — but these other places are also screening the big debate.

  • Flying Saucer Austin: Yep, you can nurse a beer out of one of those presidential pint glasses tonight while watching the political face-off. Free popcorn will be available at this one alongside the glasses.
  • The North DoorNo matter your political leanings, watch the debate on the East Austin venue’s 25 ft. HD screen with drink specials and more. The doors open at 7:30 p.m., so get there early for a seat.
  • The Whip In: Beer, Indian food and good company. What more could you want out of your debate viewing experience?
  • The Liberty: This East Sixth Street bar has a fancy new projector on which to show the all the action — but get there early to guarantee a spot.
  • Black Star Co-op: The brewpub will have its house-made beers for you to sip on while you watch, as well as a variety of snacks fit for a president. Including taco bowls. Remember Trump and taco bowls?
  • Little Woodrow’s: All Austin locations of the beer bar will be showing the presidential debate — as well as Monday night football, in case you were worried about missing your weekly sports tradition.

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