According to bartenders at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, where the Republican National Convention is currently underway, the most popular drink among thirsty convention-goers is, somewhat appropriately, an Arnold Palmer spiked with sweet-tea vodka. (Palmer, a legendary golfer and the traditionally non-alcoholic drink’s namesake, has, over the years, donated a significant amount of money to the Republican party.) Other crowd favorites at the convention include Tito’s vodka (which, ironically hails from one of the only blue counties in the typically red state of Texas) and local Cleveland craft beer.
Drinking at the convention is contained to an outdoor bar, perhaps to accommodate the teetotalling nature of the party’s ticket. As The New York Times points out, Donald Trump doesn’t drink at all and Mike Pence, Trump’s recently announced running mate, won’t drink when he is away from his wife, despite an argument that booze can help politicians bridge party lines by alcohol proponent David Wondrich.
While the arena bar opens at 11 a.m., festivities must inevitably end each day, which is where local venues step in to help conventioneers keep the Republican party going all night long. Well, until 4 a.m., anyway. City officials allotted waivers to Cleveland bars to remain open that late for the duration of the convention. Not to be outdone in government sanctioned imbibing, Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania legislature made a last-minute decision to relax the state’s notoriously strict liquor regulations, allowing bars in Philadelphia to stay open just as late during the Democratic convention.
Let’s hope convention-goers take advantage of the new regulations and stumble bleary-eyed out of bars across the city at 4 a.m.—it’s just more fodder to fuel the next Hunter S. Thompson.