It’s Super Bowl Sunday and the tailgates are in full swing! A decades old tradition where friends and family can get together and cheer on their favorite team, tailgating is just as much a social gathering as it is a sports event. Not only for football fanatics and sports enthusiasts, the super bowl is a time to celebrate and gorge yourself on a buffet of greasy finger foods, domestic beers and fruity wine coolers. Of course, no Super Bowl party is complete without the requisite salty snacks, hot wings and ice-cold beers. But maybe it’s time to revamp those old tailgate traditions with some fun flavors and new recipes. You don’t need to call in a caterer or a bartender to host a kickass Super Bowl party this year. Take a little inspiration from some of these clever cocktail curators who have mastered the art of the mixed drink. If you really want to bring your A-game to the tailgate, here are some creative and saucy cocktail recipes to add to your game-day spread that will keep the party strong from kickoff to overtime.
Topsy Turvy by Jeremy Oertel
Invented by renowned mixologist Jeremy Oertel, who is currently mixing things up at Donna in Brooklyn, NY, the Topsy Turvy is a caffeine-infused cocktail with as much brute strength as an offensive lineman. This drink is made with a real-coffee liqueur and rye whiskey so you can stay energized from play to play. To make the Topsy Turvy, take 2 oz. of Carpano Antica Forumla, 1 oz. of Lock, Stock and Barrel rye, 1 tsp. Borghetti coffee liqueur and a dash of mole bitters, stir them together then strain into a glass. Add an orange twist garnish for a little slice of color and citrus.
For a complex cocktail that’s dark, bittersweet and citrusy, try the coffee and rye-based Pats City. This drink is not for the faint of heart and could easily fuel an entire football team with its 6-year aged rye and straight up coffee syrup served on the rocks. To make the Pats City, combine 2 oz. Templeton Rye, .5 oz Fernet-Branca, 1 bar spoon of coffee syrup and 3 dashes of Scrappy’s Orange Bitters. Stir the ingredients together then strain into a large glass with ice and garnish with an orange twist.
Half-Time Show by Greg Mayer
From master mixologist Greg Mayer of Academia in Austin, TX, the Half Time Show is the quintessential game day cocktail. Made with MVP vodka, which was launched by two former pro football players, the Half-Time Show is fruity, refreshing and a definite crowd-pleaser. To make this all star cocktail, pour 1.5 oz of MVP Lemonberry Vodka, .75 oz of lemon juice, .25 oz of real cranberry juice, .5 oz of Aperol, .5 oz of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur and 2 fresh mint leaves in a mixing tin. Shake vigorously until all the ingredients are properly diluted, then strain into a coupe glass using a Hawthorne and fine mesh strainer. For extra fragrance and flavor, garnish with a sprig of mint.
To add a little drama and panache to your tailgate game, try out the Smoky Eagle. This zesty cocktail will fuel your competitive drive and bolster your team spirit with a potent mix of vodka and ginger beer. This drink may have few ingredients, but it’s got no shortage of flavor! To make the Smoky Eagle, add 2 oz. Crystal Head Aurora vodka, 4 oz. lemonade, 3 oz. Fever Tree ginger beer and smoked orange wedges – for a smoky finish – in a shaker with ice. Shake it all up then enjoy in a tall glass.
Fire & Rye by Avila’s El Ranchito
If you’re looking for a devilish drink that will add some fuego to your game-day buffet, try the Fire & Rye from Avila’s El Ranchito in California. This jalapeno and whisky-infused drink is strong, spicy and sure to start a fire in your belly and under your seat. To make the feisty Fire and Rye, combine 1.5 oz. Hochstadter’s Slow & Low whiskey, 2 fresh pressed jalapeños, 2 oz. pink lemonade and a splash of soda water. Top it off with a lemon twist garnish – and maybe a side of water just in case you can’t handle the heat!
Adult Milkshake by Peche
After a gut-busting buffet of wings, chips, burgers, beers and other game-day dishes, wash it all down with a boozy sweet treat from the culinary geniuses at Peche in Austin, TX. The Adult Milkshake brings together two of our favorite ingredients: booze and ice cream! This cold and creamy creation is the perfect complement to a savory, salty Super Bowl spread, catering to our grown-up side and our inner child at the same time. To make the simple yet delectable Adult Milkshake, combine 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream, 1 oz. banana liqueur and .5 oz of Zaya rum in a blender. Once you’ve got the right milkshake texture, pour it into a tall glass and garnish with a pinch of cinnamon. Then bust out the straws and start slurping for a post-game brain-freezing buzz.