For most of us, Super Bowl Sunday is the only big entertaining occasion between New Year’s Eve and the grilling/shower/wedding season that starts in May. If you’re lucky, the only thing you have to worry about on Super Sunday is whether you’re going to watch the game at a bar or go to a friend’s house. If your plans are a bit more challenging, then you’ve probably decided to host a Super Bowl party of your own.
Now don’t get me wrong. Hosting a party can be a lot of fun, particularly one that already has a theme. And Super Bowl parties are some of the easiest events to manage. All you really need are the basics: a big ass TV (If the screen is so small you have to pull your chair closer to watch Empire you are definitely not ready) and enough seats for your guests. Throw in a few bowls of chip and some dip, along with plentiful beer and soda and you’re set.
But we both know that you leave basic to those other women. And thus you end up hosting the Super Bowl of Doing the Most. And that is how you end up sweating over homemade chili, pulled pork sliders and hot wings, mini pizzas, seven-layer nacho dip, tacos (and you just had to make the tortillas from scratch, just because). Meanwhile, your beverage plan is stuck on beer and soda.
Now I can’t tell you scale back to the bag of chips plan, but for my money, I’d rather spend my money on some great store-bought finger foods—there are a ton of great spots to buy wings and I am a big fan of Mrs. Cohen’s frozen appetizers—and spend my time stepping up my Super Bowl drinks game. Now when I say spend time, I don’t mean hours of prep. I’m talking about mixing up a few batches of punch, some to put out and some to keep in reserve in the fridge, and choosing one cocktail for guests to whip up DIY-style. Here are a few of my favorites to get you started:
For a taste of the tropics
Cruzan Paradise Punch
by Jesse Card, Cruzan Master Mixologist
12 parts Cruzan Peach Rum
12 parts ginger ale
4-1/2 parts honey syrup (made by dissolving 6 parts honey in 6 parts hot water)
3 parts lemon juice
Combine all ingredients except ginger ale in a pitcher. Stir to mix and refrigerate. Add ginger ale right before serving.
PAMA Party Punch
12 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
12 oz light rum
1 liter ginger ale, chilled
8 oz orange juice
1-1/2 oz lemon juice
In a pitcher, combine PAMA, rum and juice. Chill. Pour into a large punch bowl and gently stir in ginger ale. Garnish with orange, lemon and lime slices.
Because you know you love moscato
White Moscato Sangria (adapted)
16 oz Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato
1 cup brandy
16 oz peach nectar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup simple syrup (made by dissolving sugar in equal part hot water)
3/4 cup grapes, halved
1 orange sliced into rounds, plus more for garnish
The original recipe also calls for the following fruits, which I have omitted because they are out-of-season. Feel free to throw in whatever fresh fruit you have available:
1 large peach, pitted and diced
2 medium plums, pitted and diced
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours). Serve over ice in glasses garnished with orange wheels.
The one cocktail recipe you’ll need
Not everyone likes a punch, so to keep the crowd happy, stocking a few key bottles and some mixers will keep your party swinging. And speaking of swinging, here is the only cocktail you’ll need. It’s tasty enough to satisfy the fussiest guest, and it packs a deceptively hearty kick—perfect for fans of the winning team to toast with, or console fans of the losing side.