This Sunday might as well be declared a holiday in the United States. It could be argued that it the holiday could be international; the global reach for Super Bowl 50 was 167 million people. That is the third largest audience in the history of people watching television. The week before the game is nothing but analyzing the game to death, figuring out where to watch the game, and an odd parade of previews for ads that will be played during the Super Bowl. Part of this pre-game ritual is preparing the drinks that people will be consuming during the game.
A Little Love for the Refrigerator
Don’t reach for your keys until you have reached for something else; the refrigerator door. Spend a little time in there pulling out all the leftovers you were going to eat and the jars on the door you have not looked at in a year and dump them. Mainly because you are going to need plenty of room for keeping drinks cold. And food, I suppose. There is the added benefit of getting rid of all the odd smells in there, which is nice. While you are in rummaging, take stock of the fruit and mixer situation. Do you have some juices? How much pop is in the fridge? How is the beer situation? Write it down in your favorite list-taking app (mine is Google Keep). As you are walking out the door, look in the liquor cabinet. There may be a stop at Arrow Wine in your future if you are running low on a family member’s favorite rum.
Technology has come a long way. While there is nothing wrong with guessing the amount of drinks you are going to need for an event, there are websites out there now that can help you out. Perfect Party Planning, while not a thing of beauty, is one of the better ones out there. Mostly because it takes into account how people drink, from the children who will not be having anything to the one guy who you KNOW is going to be borderline drunk by the opening coin flip. You can modify accordingly, but this handy tool is a great place to start. The good people at Epicurious have their own chart, which uses a little more explanation and goes into more detail for those of you who want to REALLY go deep. Buy a little bit extra, especially with beer and mixers. Pop and juice are fair game for anyone, and few people will turn down a beer at any point during the game.
Make a Batch of Cocktails
People are going to want something to drink when they get there. Having beer and wine readily available is one way to go. Another thing you can do is make batches of cocktails! This is a great way to get a drink into someone’s hand the moment they walk in the door. There is no worry that you are going to be bartending for the first hour of the party or that people will be waiting for a drink. If you know the recipe, batching it is not difficult. Multiply the recipe by the number of cocktails you want to make, and you are off to the races. For large jugs or bottles to pour from, I recommend Brewtensils. Yes, you can hit up Target for a fancy jug, but Brewtensils has a great selection of bottles and plenty of them.
The one thing you do not want to forget when you make a batch of a cocktail is the water. Water is critical to the way a cocktail tastes and one of the reasons they are mixed with ice. It takes off some of the rough edges of the liquor as it chills the drink. You can do this in one of three ways. If you have a vessel with a spigot that is going to be self-serve, or a punch bowl, you can make the cocktail in advance and just add ice to it about ten to fifteen minutes before guests arrive. This will give the ice some time to melt. You can shake or stir the cocktail briefly over ice before you serve it. Sure, you are back to bartending, but it will be a little less time-consuming. The third way requires you to add water to the cocktail when you make the batch. For every cocktail you are planning to make, add about a half an ounce of water. Then put the well-mixed cocktail into your clean fridge, and it will be ready to just share and enjoy!
This is a Marathon
The men playing the game are not new to the sport, in the same way you and your friends are not new to drinking. So you know you are going to need to pace yourself. We all enjoy a great craft beer, and Dayton is lousy with it. Grabbing a few growlers, or a keg if you can get it, of beer is the right way to go. The smart money is going to pick up some session beers along with the other, more robust beers. Warped Wing’s release of Trotwood means we all know there is a local, if sometimes hard to find, lager out there to enjoy. Rhinegeist’s Hans is available in a limited release, setting an easy drinking lager up with Cougar. Otherwise, click on the link above and find the low-ABV beer that will get you through to the final play.
…And A Bottle of Wine
Wine is a little more of a finicky creature. People who love wine can be almost as snobby as craft beer drinkers when it comes to what they want in their glass. One way to get around this is to just ask what they want to drink, then go out and buy it. But if you are just going to get a few bottles of red and white for the game, don’t be intimidated by the wine section. For white wines, Riesling a general crowd pleaser, as is a good Chardonnay. Spicy food tends to hover around the tables of sporting events. A sweet, cool Riesling will wash that spice right off your tongue before the fire starts. Chardonnay is just a general crowd pleaser. Need a red? Pinot Noir and Zinfandel (the real ones, not the pink stuff) work really well. The lightness and fruitiness of either of those two will give some relief if the spices get to be too much. You can even pick up a bottle or two of Champagne in case your team wins!
While the game is going to be on, the event itself is gathering your friends and family together to eat, drink, and have a fun screaming at the television. Hopefully by game day there will still be some surprises, both on the field and during the commercial breaks. The planning you have done should prevent any surprises happening to you and your guests during the festivities. Unless your friend who was drunk(ish) at the coin toss makes it to the end of the game. Now, can you pass the nachos?