Super Bowl Cocktails, Inspired by This Year’s Teams
Beer might at first seem like the right libation for a Super Bowl bash. But if you’re committed to a theme—say, choosing a drinks menu inspired by the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs—then cocktails give you way more to work with.
There are several different drink-planning approaches at your disposal: You could serve sippers that hail from the final teams’ hometowns, both of which are top-notch drinking destinations. You could opt for drinks decked out in the teams’ colors—which, in the case of this year’s match-up, is extra simple since both sides will hit the field in red and white. And yellow (the Chiefs) and gold (the 49ers), which, let’s be honest, are pretty similar. When in doubt, never shy away from a good football pun. (Prepare yourself for several drinks with “snap” in their names. Sorry, not sorry.)
Don’t worry about doing the research—we’ve done it for you. Feel free to steal our rationales for the following drinks, pass them off as your own and be the hero of Super Bowl LVIII on February 11. We won’t tell.
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It’s deep red in color, can be piled high with party-appropriate garnishes and delivers a nose-clearing zing thanks to a heaping teaspoon of horseradish. What’s better to keep you up and alert for the big game?
Hibiscus Punch Royale
This large-format punch will water a crowd—12 thirsty souls, to be precise—and offers a ruby shade courtesy of a sweet hibiscus flower-infused syrup. It’s the invention of Martin Cate, the owner and founder of iconic tiki spot Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, so this is a must for 49s fans.
Ginger snap, snapping a football—get it? Bolstering this zero-proof drink’s suitability for the big game is its origination at The Brick, a Kansas City institution that slings everything from Fluffernutter sammies to classic burgers. Spicy and sweet in equal measure, the drink marries fruity pear syrup with warming ginger beer.
This ‘70s-era cocktail was born in the long-defunct San Francisco bar Henry Africa’s, but its popularity lives on today. The drink’s sunny coloring is reminiscent of the 49ers’ tights—or is it Chiefs’? At any rate, its balanced proportions of vodka, lemon juice and triple sec are sure to please both teams’ diehards.
Created by famed Kansas City bartender Jenn Tosatto, the Fireside gets its deep maroon color from a hefty portion of Malbec wine and sweet-tart cherry juice. Tosatto tells us it’s super comforting, which might come in handy when the other team scores a touchdown.
Spiritually related to the Bloody Mary, this tomato-forward number from Matthew McKinley Campbell of A Mano in San Francisco provides its own party snack accompaniment. As part of the drink’s prep, tomatoes, pineapple, lime juice, agave nectar and adobo sauce are pureed in a blender. Simply reserve the liquid and serve the solids—essentially a salsa—with chips.
Yes, it’s another football pun. Get over it. Manzanilla Sherry and gin join forces in this vegetal cross between a citrusy Tom Collins and a classic gin and tonic. The starring ingredient—sugar snap peas—lends a contrasting sweetness.
Frozen drinks may be a bit unconventional for a frigid sporting event in February, but we have a feeling plenty of folks will need some cooling down. This upmarket slushie, invented at the now-shuttered Kansas City restaurant Bluestem, is a riff on both the classic Paloma cocktail and Italy’s famous slushie-style Sgroppino. Sparkling wine aerates the drink and delivers a frothy texture, while tequila gives it a boozy backbone. A few glugs of grenadine lend a rosy-red hue.
Dreamed up at Kansas City spot Ça Va, this drink’s yellow-gold hue conjures images of both teams. Yellow Chartreuse lends a floral and herbaceous quality, while Irish whiskey serves as the foundation. Bubbly Cava lightens everything up and honey syrup brings it all together.
Published: February 2, 2024