With everything else going on in the world, the Super Bowl seems to have snuck up on us this year. But ready or not, the big game takes place this Sunday between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, and there are few greater American traditions than sitting around with your friends, watching a bunch of oversized men smash each other to pieces, and stuffing your face with enough snacks and booze to last you the rest of the winter. And of course, whether you’re a die-hard fan or an unapologetic bandwagoner, you’re going to need some Super Bowl cocktails to show your team colors.
Considering we’re not always the most creative when it comes to sports-themed drinks (after ten minutes of brainstorming we gave up and bought a case of High Life), we’re fortunate that Johnny Swet, Cocktail Director at Lillie’s Victorian Establishment and Papillon Bistro & Bar in New York City, was willing to share a couple game-day cocktail recipes with us. They’ll be available at the bars if you’re in the neighborhood, but more importantly, they’re super easy to mix up at home.
So, without further ado, we present:
The Falcon Cocktail
The trick with creating a Super Bowl cocktail for each team is making sure there’s something for everyone. If one is strong and spirit-forward, the other should probably be light and refreshing, and the latter is exactly what you get with the Falcon.
Made with Tito’s Vodka (though you can use any standard vodka), pomegranate liqueur (we typically use PAMA), agave syrup, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and ginger beer, this is a tall, effervescent drink that’ll get you through the game in style. And, perhaps more than anything, we appreciate the lack of “Matty Ice” puns in the name.
The Patriot Cocktail
On the other end of the spectrum is the Patriot, which goes for a spirit-forward, somewhat fruity recipe that’s loosely inspired by the Old-Fashioned. Using Bulleit Rye Whiskey, maple syrup (to get that New England cred), cranberry juice, and Angostura bitters, it cuts a strong but drinkable profile. Plus, the cinnamon stick garnish is reminiscent of cold nights in Foxborough, even as your team sweats it out in Houston.
No matter who you’re rooting for in Super Bowl LI (these Roman numerals are going a bit off the deep end, don’t you think?), it’ll be a classically American excuse to overindulge and spend some time with friends and family. Cheers to the big game!
Photo: Papillon Bistro & Bar