For football season, we had a bartender from each NFL team's hometown provide the perfect cocktail to represent their team.
“Introduced in 1930, Honolulu blue and silver have been the distinctive look of the Detroit Lions for almost the entire life of the franchise,” says Selden Standard bartender Rob Wilson. “Inspired by those colors, the cocktail features blueberries and [blue agave] silver tequila. The idea is to have the vinegar create a really pungent garnish, kind of like a pickled onion on a Martini. Fresh berries will lack that zing, so I’d definitely suggest pickling them or even just soaking them overnight in Champagne vinegar to at least get some of that flavor.”
(As for the name, in 1958, the Lions traded quarterback Bobby Layne to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Layne, in response, supposedly said the Lions would not win for 50 years—though this statement has been disputed as a hoax and was never published at the time. But for the next 50 years, the Lions had the worst winning percentage of any NFL team.)
- 1 oz 100 percent blue agave silver tequila
- 3/4 oz Dolin blanc vermouth
- 3/4 oz Cocchi Americano apéritif
- 1/4 oz Maraschino liqueur
- 3 dashes Grapefruit bitters
- Garnish: 3 pickled blueberries on a toothpick*
Add all of the ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled.
Strain into a cocktail glass or coupe, and garnish with 3 pickled blueberries on a toothpick.
*Pickled blueberries: Gently warm blueberries in a small pot with a little Champagne vinegar, salt and sugar, and let cool overnight.