There’s only one day a year, other than Thanksgiving, upon which our ceaseless gluttony for fatty foods and gloriously excessive alcohol consumption are treated as inalienable rights: Super Bowl Sunday. Unsurprisingly, football has a key role in each holiday. (The Detroit Lions, however, only play on Turkey Day.)
Before you start racking your brain for the perfect Manhattan recipe to pair with a nine-foot sub or figuring out which variation of the El Floridita Daiquiri would best complement Thai hot wings, consider the aftermath in your home and in your body of drinking boozy cocktails for about five hours. Not pretty. The alternatives? Beer is too ordinary, sherry too delicate and wine too…book-club.
No, the big game demands a special drink. Channel your inner Lombardi and rise to the occasion. The answer, my fellow sports fans, is punch.
Why punch? For one, you can prepare it ahead of time, which means you’re not stuck playing bartender throughout the game (or commercials). And everybody can share it, in the same communal spirit of rooting for the opposing QB’s arm to get ripped off. But perhaps most importantly, you should serve punch because as the game goes on it gets slowly more diluted and less potent. Your guests will thank you in the morning.
1 (750-ml) bottle Centinela Reposado Tequila or other reposado tequila, chilled
12 oz Fresh apple juice or cider, chilled
8 oz Fresh lemon juice
4 oz Rich Demerara syrup (2 parts Demerara sugar, 1 part water), chilled
16 dashes Angostura Bitters
16 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters, Fee Brothers Old Fashion Bitters or The Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters
24 oz Club soda, chilled
Garnish: Apple slices, cinnamon and nutmeg
At least 24 hours prior to kickoff, fill a plastic container (1-pint or 1-quart, depending on the size of your punch bowl) with water and add apple slices and cinnamon sticks if desired. Freeze until solid. Combine the tea and vermouth in a jar or other container and let stand for 90 minutes. Strain, and refrigerate. On game day, combine the tea-infused vermouth and the remaining ingredients in a punch bowl, adding the soda last. Carefully add the prepared ice block and garnish lavishly with apple slices and freshly grated cinnamon and nutmeg.
Joaquín Simó is a bartender at New York’s Death and Company, which was named the best cocktail bar in America at last summer’s Tales of the Cocktail conference.