Election night survival pack: food, drinks and how to stay awake

We've got you covered: snacks – from fried chicken to chocolate chip cookies – and themed cocktails to see you through an all-nighter

For anyone intent on following developments in the US presidential election race, it’s going to be a long night ahead. Here are some recipes for TV snacks to fuel an all-nighter, as well as a couple of classic American favourites to keep you busy in the kitchen while the results trickle in.

Polling stations close at 7pm eastern time (midnight in Ireland) and there will be buckets of fried chicken passed around millions of American homes this evening as the exit polls are analysed and the future of the nation is chewed over. Irish bystanders can feel part of the action by rustling up a midnight snack of fried chicken.

Donal Skehan takes inspiration from Korea, one of the fastest growing ethnic cuisines in the US, for his take on KFC or Korean fried chicken. You might need to nip out to the shops for a tub of gochujang (Korean chilli paste) for this one, but otherwise, it's pretty straightforward.

You'll need to spend a bit more time in the kitchen, and raid the spice cupboard, to make a batch of Imen McDonnell's buttermilk fried chicken, but it'll be worth it. The American, now resident in Adare, Co Limerick, perfected this recipe for her book published earlier this year: The Farmette Cookbook: Recipes and Adventures from My Life on an Irish Farm.


Domini Kemp's Texas chilli beef takes a couple of hours to reach meltingly tender perfection, but it can bubble away on the stove while you catch up with the news Stateside. Serve it with a spoonful of guacamole and a pile of tortilla chips and it will keep hunger pangs at bay til the breakfast news rolls round.

You'd be forgiven for thinking there are only two candidates in this race. We tip a nod in the direction of Libertarian party candidate and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson with Vanessa Greenwood's recipe for chargrilled corn dippers with mango, which takes its inspiration from just across the border in Mexico.

Jill Stein's Green party credentials sit easily alongside Domini Kemp's recipe for a vegetarian green feta dip, with kale and yoghurt. This also goes well with chicken, according to its inventor, so if there's anything left in the bucket, dip it in. Or you could whip up a batch of Lilly Higgins' cheesy puff crackers, made with storecupboard ingredients, for a double dairy hit.

When a quick burst of energy is required, sugar can provide an effective, if shortlived and not very healthy, response. What could be more American than a good old chocolate chip cookie, and a batch of these, still warm from the oven, could keep weary eyes open a little longer in the early hours.

Vanessa Greenwood first learned the recipe for her puffy, golden, chocolate chip cookies in home economics class at school, and she's still using it, quite a few years on.

Domini Kemp secured the recipe for chocolate chip cookies that are baked at Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant, and these dark, double chocolate biscuits are the US sort, that bake soft and harden as they cool, while retaining a slight chewiness.

Election night cocktails

First, a reminder: a pub measure of spirits is 35.5ml. Go easy, or maybe not, depending on how the night unfolds.

The Donald
It comes with a thing of cotton candy on the top that looks like Trump's hair. What more do you want? From Liquor.com:

60ml vodka
15ml Goldschläger gold-leaf cinnamon schnapps
Orange juice
Orange wheel and cotton candy, for garnish

Pour the vodka and Goldschläger into an ice-filled high-ball glass, and top with the orange juice. Garnish with an orange wheel and big puff of cotton candy.

Hillary's Dirty Little Secret
Cocktail website Supercall.com came up with this. It uses hot sauce, referencing an interview in April where Clinton said she carried hot sauce around with her.

67ml vodka
15ml dry vermouth
15ml pickle brine
3 dashes hot sauce

Put the ingredients in a shaker tin with ice. Shake it up for 12 seconds. Strain it into a coupe cocktail glass and garnish with a cornichon pickle.

Potus Punch
Thank you to Omni Hotels for this one.

60ml Tito's Handmade Vodka
30ml fresh lemon juice
30ml orange juice
30ml grenadine
15ml simple syrup
4 fresh blackberries, plus 1 for garnish

It’s pretty easy to make: “muddle berries”, the recipe says, then add ice, add the remaining ingredients, stir it up and pour it over ice.

And if you are struggling to stay awake, check out our these tactical tips to help you pull an all-nighter.