Even though the holiday season may be over, there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate with friends and family. After all, when the gift-giving cools off, the action on the gridiron heats up, culminating in one of the most-watched sporting events.
Super Bowl LVIII will take place on Feb. 11, 2024 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, giving sports fans, who also double as game day hosts and hostesses, plenty of time to plan their festivities. Wings, nachos, sliders and sandwiches are standard fare for game day entertaining, but savvy hosts also must give thought to the beverages they will serve. An assortment of spirited and non-alcoholic drinks are the norm, and many who entertain may think beer is all that’s needed for game day fun. However, some may want to elevate their Super Bowl hosting with specially curated cocktails. Here’s how to get started.
A fun way to serve cocktails is to tie the theme into the teams who are facing off. Research the most popular cocktail for the team’s home state or city. For example, if the Cowboys are playing, you can serve “Hit the Road Jack,” which was named the official cocktail of Dallas several years back.
Otherwise, search drinks that coordinate with the team itself. You can serve a “Tiger Tea” for the Bengals, a “Buccaneer” cocktail if Tampa Bay is playing or a “Black Raven” should Baltimore make it to the big game.
Offer Trendy Options
Trends emerge in the world of cocktails, and if you lean into those trends, you’re bound to have grateful guests. According to EHL Insights, which provides hospitality and business news, savory and spicy cocktails are becoming increasingly popular as people desire more complex and interesting flavors in their drinks.
A “Pineapple Jalapeño Margarita” can pair nicely with bite-sized tacos. Serve a “Cucumber Wasabi Martini” alongside California rolls and fried wontons. The Negroni remains a trendy cocktail and features sweet, bitter and botanical flavors that can work well with Italian cuisine.
Game Day Punch
If you don’t want to worry about having enough supplies on hand for a bevy of different cocktails, have a big-batch punch at the ready for guests. There are many variations, but this recipe for “Whiskey-Apple Cider Punch” can appeal to the masses. It evokes those fall flavors that signal football season, and it works well with many comfort foods. Try it, courtesy of Southern Living Test Kitchen.
Whiskey-Apple Cider Punch
1 cup frozen cranberries, thawed
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup water, divided
3 cups bourbon
1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice (from 14 lemons)
¾ cup honey
1 24.5-ounce bottle sparkling apple cider, chilled
1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced (optional)
Combine thawed frozen cranberries, light brown sugar and ¼ cup water in a food processor; process until cranberries are roughly chopped and sugar has almost dissolved, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add bourbon, fresh lemon juice, honey, and remaining ¼ cup water; stir until well combined and sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a 3- to 4-quart pitcher, discarding solids.
Chill at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours. Just before serving, gently stir in sparkling apple cider. Pour into glasses and, if desired, garnish with Granny Smith apple slices.