Wikinews interviews New York bar owner on Santorum cocktail

Thursday, March 15, 2012

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Wikinews interviewed one of the owners of a New York City bar about a popular new politically-themed cocktail drink called Santorum. The beverage was inspired by the santorum neologism coined in advice columnist Dan Savage's column Savage Love in response to comments made by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum about homosexuality; Savage's readers voted to define santorum as: "the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex."


The santorum neologism has inspired satirical forms of parody, including this political cartoon by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal webcomic artist Zach Weiner. 2012.
Image: Zach Weiner.

The Pacific Standard bar is located in Brooklyn, New York, and is co-owned by Jonathan M. Stan and John-Christian G. Rauschenberg. Stan commented on the creation of the Santorum cocktail, "When he was winning in the polls, I thought, 'OK, I'll do a Santorum'." Regarding how long the beverage will be made available, Stan remarked to The Brooklyn Paper, "We'll keep it around until he’s irrelevant. I hope he’s there the whole way".

The main ingredients of the Santorum drink include vodka of an orange citrus variety, Baileys Irish Cream, and Angostura bitters. It is served in a cocktail glass and topped with Godiva chocolate flakes. The beverage is priced at US$8.00, and upon an order for it, the bartender will recount for the customer the definition of the santorum neologism.

Troy Patterson of Slate Magazine ventured over to Pacific Standard to sample the new santorum cocktail at the bar. After tasting the beverage, Patterson observed, "My Santorum was sweet but balanced, with a subtle citrus pucker".

  [The santorum neologism is] offensive beyond, you know, anything that any public figure or anybody in America should tolerate, and the mainstream media laughs about it.  

Rick Santorum

In a 2003 interview with the Associated Press, Rick Santorum compared legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States to supporting bestiality. Readers of the Savage Love advice column selected a new definition for the Senator’s last name, and Savage created a website to promulgate the spread of the phenomenon. The term became a prominent result in searches online, and gained dominance on Web search engines including Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.

Rick Santorum himself has acknowledged and discussed the existence and prevalence of the santorum neologism phenomenon; he was quoted by The Canadian Press on his assessment of Google's response: "To have a business allow that type of filth to be purveyed through their website or through their system is something that they say they can't handle. I suspect that's not true." Santorum criticized the response of the press to the phenomenon in a 2011 radio interview, saying, "It's offensive beyond, you know, anything that any public figure or anybody in America should tolerate, and the mainstream media laughs about it."


Pacific Standard owner, Jonathan M. Stan, displays the Santorum cocktail drink as a finished product at the bar. (2012).
Image: Pacific Standard, provided by the owners.

 ((Wikinews )) What inspired you to create a cocktail after the santorum neologism?

John Rauschenberg: Santorum the person has been in the news throughout the primary season, and we thought it would be interesting to try to create a delicious drink that mimicked the appearance of the Dan Savage meaning of "santorum."

 ((WN )) How did you first hear about the definition of the santorum neologism that grew out of the contest from the Savage Love advice column?

JR: We don't really remember. It's been around forever. Probably read about it somewhere.

 ((WN )) What are your thoughts about Rick Santorum’s views on gay rights?

JR: It's not for us to take a stand on any political issues. We'll leave that to the professionals.

 ((WN )) Do you think it was an appropriate form of satire for Dan Savage to popularize the definition of the santorum neologism created in his advice column?

JR: We thought it was funny. Whether it is appropriate or not is another thing we leave to the pros to decide.

 ((WN )) When was the Santorum cocktail first created?

JR: A few months ago.

 ((WN )) What ingredients go in the Santorum cocktail?

JR: Bailey's, orange vodka, bitters, and chocolate flakes.

 ((WN )) How is the Santorum drink made?

JR: The ingredients are shaken and/or poured into a cocktail glass. See the pictures.

 ((WN )) Your Santorum cocktail creation has already received media coverage from publications including: The Brooklyn Paper, The New York Times, Jezebel,, EDGE on the Net, and Instinct Magazine. Did you think when you created it that the Santorum cocktail would receive this news coverage?

JR: Not at all. We were just trying to come up with a topical and funny new cocktail for our customers to laugh about and enjoy.

 ((WN )) What culinary dishes would you recommend that go well with the Santorum cocktail?

JR: You'd probably be having the cocktail at dessert time, so something sweet: ice cream or pie.

 ((WN )) Is the drink popular? How many times do you suppose you’ve served it at your establishment since its creation?

JR: The drink was mildly popular for the last few months, but of course has become a great deal more popular since getting all this publicity. We have no way to estimate how many times we've served it overall, but we're now pouring around ten a night.

 ((WN )) What are some reactions of your patrons after seeing the availability of Santorum as a cocktail?

JR: Most people find it amusing. Some people want to demonstrate their bravery and ability to overcome their mental blocks by drinking one. A lot of people think it's a really appealing mix of ingredients.

 ((WN )) Has anyone come into your facility specifically because they have heard they can order the Santorum cocktail and wish to try it?

JR: Yes, especially recently.

 ((WN )) Has the availability of the Santorum cocktail at your pub prompted any interesting political discussions amongst your staff and customers?

JR: Nothing more serious than the usual light political banter. Given our location and clientele, most of our customers are of a similar mind politically and there isn't much disagreement.

 ((WN )) How long do you plan on making the Santorum cocktail available at your bar?

JR: As long as Santorum stays relevant in the news and customers are interested in ordering it.

 ((WN )) Have you heard any feedback from Rick Santorum or the Santorum campaign about the Santorum cocktail?

JR: No.

 ((WN )) Were you at all worried about legal repercussions from creating a cocktail inspired by the santorum neologism?

JR: Not at all. There's nothing legally wrong with it.

 ((WN )) Have you created any other drinks named after politicians?

JR: No.

 ((WN )) What are your thoughts about the satirical definition for the neologism "romney" ("to defecate in terror") created by Jack Shepler inspired by an incident involving Mitt Romney’s family dog?

JR: We don't really have any.

 ((WN )) Do you think you might create a new cocktail based on this "romney" neologism?

JR: Not based on that definition. If we ever came up with a "romney" cocktail it'd probably be something different. Maybe something incredibly bland.

 ((WN )) Comedy hosts Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report have each reported on the santorum neologism repeatedly on their satirical news programs. If asked to do so, would you be willing to appear on these programs to mix up a special Santorum cocktail for the host?

JR: Absolutely.


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • Spreading Santorum, website created to promulgate redefinition of Rick Santorum's last name
Prior media coverage discussed in interview

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