Food & Drink, Sports & Recreation
The Best Beverages for the Big Game
Preparing for the Big Game requires more than just a great TV setup. You also need a wide array of snacks and beverages to keep you energized and fueled for the long game ahead. Your game-day menu isn’t complete without drinks! Let’s take a look at the best drinks to serve the dedicated football aficionados attending your party (and any pregame tailgate festivities).
Beer is by far the most popular drink for football fans. According to Mashable, Americans drink around 325.5 million gallons of beer every Pro Football Championship. For reference, Niagara Falls is around 750,000 gallons. Whether you like bottled beer or canned, it’s a simple, refreshing game-day drink for those 21 and over. If you have beer at your Big Game party every year, though, you may want to mix it up a little this time.
Instead of heading to Walmart to buy a pack of run-of-the-mill beer, why not try a craft brewery? You can also try something a little different, such as a beer cocktail or beer punch to pair with your burgers. You can even use beer to make a delicious beer cheese dip that will complement the perfect tray of chili nachos, pretzel bites, barbecue chicken wings or other appetizers. Add a dollop of hot sauce, garlic or dry mustard for a good kick of flavor.
For those who don’t like beer (or those who can’t drink it), try ginger beer or ginger liqueur, which are sweet, bubbly nonalcoholic beverages anyone can enjoy.
Cocktails and Mocktails
You can really show off your creative side when you make a good cocktail or mocktail. Liven up your Big Game party with a cocktail shaker or elaborate bar cart stocked with spirits. Creating your own cocktail mixes can be a great way to engage your guests during halftime or a lull in Big Game commercials. You can even let your loved ones take a crack at making unique drinks of their own.
Cocktails typically have an alcohol base with sugar or fruit juice mixed in. The most popular fruit juices tend to be citrus — lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange — or other sour fruits such as pineapple. Here are a few of the most popular cocktail recipes:
- Cosmopolitan: Vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime juice
- Old-fashioned: Bourbon, bitters, sugar, water and an orange peel (with optional fresh thyme)
- Mojito: White rum, lime juice, sugar, soda water and mint
- Whiskey sour: Whiskey, lemon juice and sugar (with an optional egg white)
- House margarita: Tequila, triple sec and lime juice
- Daiquiri: Rum, citrus juice and sugar
- Piña colada: Rum, cream of coconut or coconut milk, and pineapple juice
These are the base ingredients, but you can easily mix them up to create your own unique spin on these classic cocktails. Your new drink could be a hit with your fellow football fans! Share your recipes with others to spread the joy. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Swap one fruit juice for another.
- Replace the current alcohol with a bottle of Champagne or dry vermouth.
- Add lemon-lime soda or green apple soda.
- Substitute sugar for another sweetener.
Mocktails are nonalcoholic alternatives to cocktails. They are mostly made of fruit juice or sodas and are winning fruity drinks for anyone of any age. You can also make virgin versions of your favorite cocktails and house margaritas by removing alcohol from the equation entirely.
Soda and Sparkling Water
Soda is another popular game-day drink fans of any age can have. There are tons of flavors and brands to choose from, including club soda, lemon-lime soda, green apple soda and more. Most stores are open during the Big Game, but curbside on game day may be more than a little hectic. It’s best to shop for drinks ahead of time to make sure your guests stay well hydrated throughout the game. Just don’t forget to set up a cooler or bucket of ice to keep the drinks fresh.
Want something a little healthier? Swap out your soda with fruity sparkling waters instead. Sparkling water can also make a great addition to your homemade cocktails and mocktails.
Staying hydrated on game day is very important. You and your loved ones may not be on the field, but it can be an intense game nonetheless. If you want a refreshing, healthy drink, why not mix and match fruit juices or set up a punch bowl? By adding ice cubes or sugar and blending it, you can make a quick smoothie (or several) to keep cool all game long.
Here are some juice options to try:
- Cranberry juice
- Fresh grapefruit juice
- Fresh lemon juice or lemonade
- Citrus flavors (anything with a citrusy flavor can be a hit)
Checkout all the Big Game food and beverage deals!
When it comes to game-day foods, you can always try the classics.
Cocktails tend to be the most popular party drink — bar none — in part due to their versatility and numerous variations.
Any sports drinks packed with electrolytes are great for keeping you hydrated during the Big Game and beyond. According to Food Network, the best overall electrolyte drink is Gatorade.
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