Are you ready for some football? On Feb. 4, millions of Americans (myself included) will be in front of a television watching a little game called the Super Bowl.
Usually, I'm not too concerned about who's playing or who wins. I go to my friends' house for the social gathering, the commercials and the Super Bowl party food and drink.
There are certain foods that are always served at Super Bowl parties like pizza and wings. Here in the Philadelphia area, hoagies are also a staple. But no matter where you live, one constant is sure to be beer.
Since there's going to beer at the party anyway, a good way to offer more drink options is to make a beer cocktail or two. Here are some ideas to try:
1. Black Velvet Beer Cocktail: This cocktail is equal parts white sparkling wine topped with equal parts stout — traditionally Champagne and Guinness. If Champagne isn't in your budget, a Brut Cava will do just fine. The drink was created in England in 1861 to mourn the death of Prince Albert.
2. Spiced Bourbon, Beer and Maple Martini: Most of the ingredients are in the name of this drink, which is served straight-up martini-style. Dark beer, real maple syrup and bourbon get a kick from some nutmeg and dried red chilis.
3. Cherry-Lemon Shandy: A little prep work needs to be done for this cocktial. You'll have to make cherry simple syrup and plain simple syrup ahead of time. The syrups are mixed with club soda, lemon juice and a citrus-forward beer for a cocktail that even non-beer drinkers should enjoy.
4. Edna's Lunchbox: Also known as the Cincinnati Lunch Box or simply the Lunch Box. Cold light beer (or a Hefeweizen), cold orange juice and amaretto are combined in a pint glass.
5. Michelada: Dark Mexican beer gets a dash of this and a dash of that — fresh squeezed lime, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce — all served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass.
6. Aperol Mist: A little stronger than a traditional Aperol spritz, this beer cocktail combines the Italian apéritif with Belgian-style wheat beer and lemon juice.
7. Mendota: Similar to a mimosa but with completely different ingredients: IPA with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice mix together for a breakfast beer cocktail.
If you don't want to spend the entire game playing bartender and mixing drinks, consider getting the ingredients for just one of these cocktails and printing out the directions for making it. Place the directions where they can be easily read along with the ingredients and necessary barware. Then, let your guests mix their own beer cocktails.