“It’s the most wonderful time of the year….” The song, originally recorded by Andy Williams in the 1960s, is a Christmas classic, but it could just as easily have been written for the Super Bowl. Football fans from Fairfield to Freehold are amped for Super Bowl 50, which is scheduled for Sunday, February 7. Kickoff between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers is set for 6:30, but there’s a whole lot of planning to do between now and then.

Pizza or wings? Nachos or seven-layer dip? Salsa or guac? No matter what’s on the menu, tasty drinks are required. But if you’re stuck on finding a football-themed beverage that isn’t Gatorade, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered.. Whether you’re attending a party or hosting Game Day at home, here are some Super Bowl-inspired cocktails designed to please every fan.


Harvey Wallbanger

This classic cocktail has a long history with football. Invented in the 1960s by legendary mixologist Donato “Duke” Antone, it was popularized by former St. Louis Cardinal George Bednar.

3 oz. Cuvée Blanc 4th Edition from Heritage Vineyards
3 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 oz. Galliano
Dash Angostura Bitters

Combine the wine, orange juice, and bitters in a wine glass filled with ice. Stir, and float the Galliano liqueur on top of the mixture. Touchdown!


Kickoff Tea

Get the party started with this tea cocktail (which can easily be made non-alcoholic).

3 oz. Laird’s Applejack (for the designated driver, substitute apple cider)
3 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
3 oz. fresh brewed black tea, cold
1 ½ oz. lemon juice
Lemon or orange slices, for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir well and serve in a chilled glass. Garnish with lemon slices. If you’re a Broncos fan, try a slice of orange instead.


Coldplay

For fans of the British halftime performers.

2 oz Laird’s Jersey Lightning Apple Brandy
½ sweet vermouth
½ oz white crème de menthe
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


Rock & Rye Halftime Special

For non-fans of the British halftime performers.

1 ½ oz. Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock and Rye Whiskey
2 oz. Lazy Eye Vodka from Lazy Eye Distillery
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
Bitter lemon soda
Lime slices, for garnish

Combine the rock and rye, vodka, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake briefly, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass over ice. Top with the bitter lemon soda, then stir and garnish with lime.


The Trophy

A fun spin on the classic Black Velvet cocktail — perfect for when the final score is announced.

8 oz. Brix City Porter Authority from Brix City Brewing
8 oz. NV Villa Neri Spumante Secco from Hopewell Valley Vineyards

Slowly, simultaneously pour both ingredients into a chilled cocktail glass. Do not stir.


 Blue Monday

Just in case your favorite team loses.

2 oz. Devotion Black & Blue Vodka
½ oz. Blue Curaçao
1 oz. Cointreau or triple sec

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with cracked ice. Stir to combine and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


About the author: Michele Thomas is a professionally curious; she likes to learn stuff. A certified sommelier with 15 years of experience writing about food, wine, education, and the arts, she chronicles her wine escapades as the Bed–Stuy Sommelier (@BedStuySomm) on Instagram and Twitter.


Hero (Top) Image Courtesy: © Fiuncho/Dollar Photo Club

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