It’s Friday night before The Big Game, and I’m willing to bet that if you’re even half as OCD as I am about menu planning, you’ve got your food all figured out.
Well here’s something you may have overlooked: a signature cocktail. I’ve brought up how much I love cocktails at parties before, but allow me to elaborate on the why. Of course, there’s the deliciousness factor. And that having a unique drink makes a special occasion that much more memorable (or not… depending on how many you have).
But the BEST reason by far to have a signature cocktail at a party: it makes life easier for the hosts, while still giving the impression that you went the extra mile for your guests.
On one hand, I suppose you are doing something extra by offering mixed drinks in the first place. But a party without a cocktail is no party, so let’s forget that. (I do keep beer & wine on hand for peeps that aren’t down with specialty drinks, but they’ll usually go for one if it’s offered.)
By having a signature cocktail, you don’t have to worry about stocking a full bar, or the hassle of making a million different drinks. Believe me, when people have the option to request any cocktail under the sun, they will. So then you’ve spent a ton of money on booze, and spent your whole night filling drink orders – no thanks.
A signature cocktail allows you to set out the few things required for that drink with a bucket of ice, and you’re done. You’ll be doling out drinks faster than people can gulp them down.
If you want to get extra special (as I often do), you could offer 2 sorta similar cocktails and it will still be more than simple enough to handle. For this Super Bowl, we’ll be whipping up these beautiful babies I’m showing you here, and classic margaritas. Oh, and said margaritas will be chillin’ in a pitcher, just begging to be poured over some ice and served. Both use lime, neither requires a cocktail shaker, and one will be made ahead of time! Besides, I’ve been looking for an excuse to break out the tequila we got as a wedding gift from a family friend.
These kentucky mules come from Michael Symon’s new show Symon’s Suppers, which I’m in love with. I’m also in love with Michael Symon, so maybe there’s a connection there. These drinks are bright and flavorful, and match perfectly with this not-so-wintry weather we’ve been having. In fact, they’re so delicious that my mass consumption of them last weekend is part of the reason I’m on this whole health/no booze kick right now! So uhh… be careful. Or not. It is the Super Bowl after all. So GO CHARGERS— oh um, GO 49ERS— ummm, *sigh* nevermind. Just eat lots of good food and have fun!
On a side note: if you aren’t totally OCD about menu planning and need some last minute inspiration for a game day menu, here’s what I’ll be serving:
A loaded baked potato bar with this chili, and all the usual baked potato fixin’s
Roasted shrimp cocktail - always a hit
Nothing too outlandish, and lots I can prepare/start ahead of time. When cooking for new friends, I like to keep things fairly simple.
*Disclaimer: I will still be sticking to my Not A Cleanse Eating Right Fortnight guidelines on Sunday, and I didn’t consume the drinks pictured, the hubs did.
Recipe from Michael Symon, Symon's Suppers
This is a time you want ginger beer with as much bite as you can get! The spiciest & most flavorful I've found (and I've sampled A LOT) is AJ Stephans.
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 4 to 6 ounces ginger beer
- lime slices for garnish (optional)
- Fill a Collins glass or Moscow mule mug with ice and add the lime juice. Pour in the bourbon and fill with cold ginger beer. Stir and serve, garnished with a slice of lime if you're feeling fancy.