Two years ago I made the trip to Nashville to watch the Chicago Bears pummel the Tennessee Titans on a brisk November afternoon. The night before the city was not dissimilar to “The Island of Dr. Moreau” with miscreants and animals lurking the streets, dragged down on depressants—made more depressed by listening to shitty three-piece bands in hole-in-the-wall bars. The next day it was reported that the city actually ran out of beer.
In other words, football fans—especially Chicagoans—enjoy drinking. A lot. And no day is bigger in the annals of drinking than Super Bowl Sunday. Whether you’re a fan of either team pining to celebrate or you’re a Buffalo Bills fan drinking to forget, the day is one of tipping back.
Below are two cocktails—one for the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks—I “created” for the big day ahead.
The Bucking Bronco
You wake up on Super Bowl Sunday and the first thing you need is a cocktail. This is a cocktail I created for last year’s Kentucky Derby. This will take some prep time but the syrups will last long enough that you can drink them the following Sunday to get over the fact that you have to wait eight months for more football.
√ 2 oz. gin
√ .5 oz. fresh lime juice
√ .5 oz. carrot juice
√ .25 oz. ginger syrup
Shake and serve over ice with a glass that is rimmed with celery salt. Add any number of garnishes, from a celery stalk to lime. It’s orange so that’s clever, right?
Let’s talk gin. You don’t have to break the bank here. Broker’s London Dry or Plymouth will work. But don’t go cheap either. You don’t want to deal with a Leon Lett-sized hangover.
Carrot syrup: Cut the ends off of approximately 2 lbs. of carrots and juice, collecting it through a strainer. Take this juice and add, by volume, an equal amount of white sugar. You can add celery root juice but you won’t need much. And since I hate celery root I don’t bother. This carrot juice will last a long time with that amount of sugar content.
Ginger syrup: Juice approximately .5 lb. of peeled ginger and use a strainer when gathering it if possible. Place this aside. Gather the remaining ginger mash in a pot and just cover with water. Simmer this for 15 minutes. Strain this mash through a chinois to gather the liquid and discard remaining mash. Now add the steeped liquid to the fresh ginger juice and add an equal amount of white sugar by volume.
We’ve found at the bar where I work that if you peel the ginger it helps avoid the syrup from molding if it sits too long. Get about 2 cups of liquid and then add 1 cup of water and one cup of sugar. If it is too gingery for you—or too Andy Dalton-y as I’d say—go ahead and up the sugar.
It’s best if you can juice the ginger, but if you can’t, you can also steep it in a simple syrup solution then squeeze it through a cheesecloth.[ref]Fancy name for a kitchen towel.[/ref]
It may seem like a shitload to do but remember that you can use these syrups in a myriad of cocktails. Use Google and get more inventive than Chip Kelly’s offense.
There is a famous bartender in Japan named Kazuo Uyeda. The Japanese do things with care and precision. Bartenders often spend years in apprenticeships before they ever even make a drink. I cut out the middleman by simply working at T.G.I.Friday’s for two years. Anyway, to Uyeda’s credit he’s one of the best in the world. He has a cocktail called the Hong Kong Connection and this drink below is a take on that. Since we have an orange cocktail for Denver, I figured we needed an emerald-aqua marine one for those Nor’westerners.
√ 1 oz. Cognac
√ .5 oz. bourbon
√ .75 oz. fresh lemon juice
√ .25 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
√ .25 oz. Simple Syrup
√ 1 barspoon (.06 oz.) of Blue Curacao
Again don’t go crazy spending money on Cognac. Hardy or an inexpensive Pierre Ferrand will do. And you know my take on bourbon. Grab that Wild Turkey and start gobblin’. As for the Chartreuse — it’ll set you back, but you should drink it because it’s deliciously herbal and could probably be paired with that carrot syrup you made.
You’ll probably never use the curacao again, but it’s the Super Bowl so quit bitching and start drinking.
If nothing else, you might be too drunk to concentrate on all those useless commercials. You ever wonder what would happen if you took commercials literally? I picture some poor bastard buying a new Chrysler, driving it to the nearest 7-Eleven to buy Doritos, a Coke, and sixer of Bud Light, before heading off to the U.S. Marine recruiting office to sign up. Four months later he’s in Iraq and there’s no gin in sight.
Drink for that guy.