House of Cards: Cocktail + Drinking Game

Netflix knew what they were doing when they chose Valentine's Day to release the newest season of their hit show - House of Cards.  Who wants chocolate, wine and roses when you can have scandal, lies and manipulation?  

For those of you who have seen the show, you can relate to my addiction.  For me, there is nothing better than relaxing with a cocktail while watching the captivating performance of Kevin Spacey as ruthless politician, Frank Underwood.  He is both the protagonist and the antagonist.  Both the villian and the victor.  You know you should probably want him to fail, yet for some reason you are happy when he succeeds.  

If you haven't already spent the past 24 hours watching all twelve new episodes, then here is a specialty cocktail and drinking game to maximize your House of Cards experience.

If an old-fashioned decided to have a threesome with a mint julep and a glass of sweet tea, then you'd have a perfect House of Cards cocktail.  This creation is full of southern charm, but far from anything pure - just like Underwood himself.   

Sweet Tea Old-Fashioned
2 ounces of Bourbon Whiskey (4 Roses Small Batch was my choice)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Sweet Tea Simple Syrup (recipe below) 
Splash of Club Soda or Water
Ice Ball (link here, here, here and here for various molds)
Orange Peel
Old-Fashioned Glass

Place ice ball in an old fashioned glass then add the angostura bitters and bourbon.  Pour in sweet tea simple syrup to your liking (depending on how sweet you prefer you drinks).  Top with a splash of water or club soda (I prefer the fizz of club soda).  Garnish with an orange peel.

Sweet Tea Simple Syrup
5 1/2 cups water
1 heaping of loose leaf tea
3 1/2 cups of sugar, stevia or splenda

Place water in pot and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat once boiled and add the tea to hot water.  I used good old fashioned Lipton, since I did not want to have anything overly sweet or fruity to take away from the drink.  It is very important to not stir the water once the tea has been poured.  Just let the tea immerse itself and steep for 10 minutes.  In a measuring cup, pour in the sugar.  My choice was Splenda, since I prefer to limit my carb and sugar intake to things I can chew, like cake.  Once the tea has steeped, strain the tea infused water into the sugar.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Strain the tea & sugar mixture, this time placing a coffee filter over the strainer.  This will remove any tea leaves or residue left in mix.  Chill before using in drinks.  This will make a large batch, but you can stored it in the fridge for up to one month.  I use Italian bottles for a pretty presentation and tight lid seal.

Take a Drink...
  • when Frank speaks directly to the camera
  • when a text communication is posted to the screen
  • when Frank taps his knuckles (or ring) on a desk, wall, etc.
  • every time Doug asks if Rachel will read to him
  • when Frank throws something
  • every time someone references the bible or you see one
  • every time Claire calls Frank "Francis"
  • every time you see someone taking a pill
  • when anyone mentions packing or is actually packing 
  • every time Doug is just sitting inside his car
  • whenever someone sings, even though there is no music playing
  • when Frank is eating ribs or drinking sweet tea (drink twice if having both) 
  • anytime Claire or Frank smoke (drink twice if they share the same cigarette)
  • anytime someone says something about a promise 
  • whenever you see blood
  • whenever you become distracted by the "hole" in Robin Wright's neck 

 Raise your glass to cheers...
  • whenever someone in the show is drinking booze

Finish your drink...
  • whenever someone is murdered or dies (including animals)
  • when there are three people present during a sex scene

Polish off the bottle...
  • if you watched season two, in its entirety, in one day
Anyone else counting down to season three?

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