The holidays are about traditions, and we at PRI think there is no better tradition than enjoying a great glass of California wine or other adult beverage while talking about public policy.
Once again this year, we are pleased to present a list of some of the best adult beverages recommended by our Next Round podcast guests in 2019. Their recommendations run the gamut from beer and wine to craft cocktail recommendations, very fancy and expensive drinks to cheap ones you can buy at the grocery store.
And here is an added treat for our loyal Right by the Bay readers. To mark PRI’s 40th anniversary this year, we put together a map featuring our guests’ beer, wine, and cocktail recommendations. We handed it out as a special thank you to guests attending our 40th anniversary events throughout the year. In case you didn’t get one – as your special Christmas gift to you – click here to download a copy and print one up for even more holiday drink ideas.
Season’s Greetings to all from Right by the Bay.
Samuel Coleman – Mare Island Brewing Company Saginaw Golden Ale
Coleman recommends this ale, which he says, “is actually named after a ship that was created at the old naval base on Mare Island.” He notes that his grandfather actually served on Mare Island back in the day, which makes this ale even more special for him.
Robby Suave – Blackberry Old Fashioned
In July, we spoke with Suave, author of the recent book Panic Attack, and naturally he recommended a summer-time cocktail. “They are delicious, especially . . . for the hot July and August months,” he says. I think a blackberry old fashioned sounds pretty good any time of year, even now during the holiday season.
Ryan Williams – Ridge Vineyards
Claremont Institute President Ryan Williams recommends what he says is “the finest winemaker in California, which is Ridge.” He says they make some of the best Bordeaux varietals in the world at their Napa vineyard, and also produce some great white wines at their Santa Cruz property. If you’re looking for a more expensive wine this holiday season, he recommends their Monte Bello Bordeaux. Williams also notes that they have a wonderful lineup of zinfandel wines and zinfandel blends.
Jarrett Dieterle – Boulevardier Negroni
We spoke with Dieterle about the debate over AB 5, which he analyzed through his primary work at the R Street Institute. He is also quite the aficionado of alcoholic beverages and will release a new book Drink for your Country in Fall 2020, which is described as “a romp through the political underworld of the booze industry.” Given that, we’re excited to try his craft cocktail recommendation for a Boulevardier Negroni.
Mark Cunningham – Wines from Long Island
Cunningham, the editorial page editor of the New York Post, educated us Californians who are used to visiting Napa, Santa Barbara, or the Sierra foothills to buy wine that Long Island in New York is actually quite the wine region. “I just want to note that my wife and I go out to the north fork of Long Island every summer and there are some lovely wineries right by the beach there,” he says. “Californians who are bored and jaded by your wine country could stop by and see something different.”
Lawrence Siskind – Tears of Llorona Tequila
If you’re looking for a good tequila, we’re happy to give a plug to Tears of Llorona, in which our board member Lawrence Siskind owns a small stake. During our podcast interview, he reminded us that Tears of Llorona is spelled with 2 l’s and not a y. “If you look for it with a y, you’ll never find it,” he says.
“This is not your college tequila. This is a very high-end product . . . It’s made from 100 percent blue agave. It’s aged in three different barrels – barrels that hold scotch, sherry, and brandy . . . It’s like a cognac or brandy more than a tequila.” Finally, he advises, “do not use it with ice cubes and certainly don’t mix any soda or any other drinks in it.”
Sarah Rose Siskind – Laphroaig Scotch
Sarah recommends Laphroaig Scotch, which she admits is a choice you’re probably not expecting from her. However, it brings up fond memories of her youth when she drinks a glass.
“I liked it ever since I was drinking it as a freshman in college,” she says. “I always wondered why an 18-year old girl’s favorite alcohol of choice was one of the peatyist scotches available . . . And then I realized a couple of years ago that the reason I love it so much and have such an attachment to it is that it smells very familiar to me. It’s what my dad would drink when would read me bedtime stories and eat peanuts and put me to bed.”
Her dad Lawrence chimes in, “If I had had a good week, it would be (Laphroaig) 18 (year old).”
Daniel Hannan – Tariff-Free (someday!) California Cabernet
Tory member of the European Parliament Daniel Hannan is no doubt thrilled with the results of the UK general election. His drink recommendation is something that looks more likely now that the Conservatives have won a majority in parliament and Brexit is finally on the horizon. “I am going to be drinking a lot of California cabernet . . . (but) my great hope is that after we have left the European union, I will be able to drink it tariff free because we will have a free trade agreement.”
Tim Anaya is the Pacific Research Institute’s communications director.