Think this is the worst of all possible Super Bowls? Two cocktails to dull the pain.
Welcome to Buy You a Drink, where GOOD's resident mixologist offers a free libation to a thirsty newsmaker each week. This time: Preemptively angered football fans.
Is this the worst of all possible Super Bowls? The online chorus of groans over the matchup between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants suggests it might be. At kickoff time on Super Bowl Sunday, I’m betting there will be more Americans watching the game with palpable hatred for both teams than actual affection for one or more of them.
Consider: It is easy for a person of discerning taste and upstanding character to hate the New England Patriots. You might despise Bill Belichick, the irascible, perpetually glowering, ethically compromised head coach who would gladly steal your wife if he wasn’t so busy spying on your team’s practices. Or perhaps you loathe Tom Brady, the overexposed, man-bun-sporting pretty boy quarterback whose tabloid-feeding romantic entanglements give knuckle draggers an excuse to bare their grotesque, He-Man Woman Hater sides in public. (My personal version of hell involves a gaggle of steak-faced, backward ball-capped Framinghamians disparaging Bridget Moynahan and reciting super-gross phrases like “pull the goalie” over and over and over). Or maybe you just can’t stand Patriots fans, strong contenders in the race for World’s Worst Sports Fans—a rank, gurgling human stew of pig ignorance, East Coast entitlement, thinly veiled racism, and a perverse, wholly counterfactual victim complex. The Ann Coulters of sports.
Or maybe you’re just tired of seeing the Patriots, and stories about the Patriots, on your TV ad nauseam. That’s fine, too. Our motto at Buy You a Drink: Non-Judgmental About Being Judgmental.
If you hold some or all of these perfectly understandable positions, you probably hope the Giants will pulverize New England on Sunday. Might I suggest a strong NYC beverage to help you cheer them on?
The Call for Patriots Haters: An Underdog Borough
Sure, the Giants play their home games in Jersey. Yes, hipsters are currently Brooklyn’s most famous export. But Brooklyn has always been a working person’s borough, and I’m sure some sports blowhard has called the 2011-12 G-Men a “blue collar team,” built as they around a punishing defense that pressures the opposing quarterback better than anyone else in the NFL. I’m suggesting the Brooklyn Cocktail to inspire a Giants win for that reason, and also because the Brooklyn Cocktail is delicious.
Brooklyn Cocktail, from Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh, Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails:
2 oz. rye or bourbon
¾ oz. dry vermouth
2 tsp. Amer Picon, or Torani Amer (real Picon can be impossible to find, as it has lacked a U.S. distributor for several years now).
2 tsp. maraschino liqueur
Stir in a mixing glass with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry—much as I hate those chemical-bathed fluorescent ones, it might be kind of a neat Super Bowl trick to serve your Giants-supporting guests a cocktail with one red cherry and one blue one. Of course, red and blue are also Patriots colors …
On the other hand, maybe you hate the New York Football Giants. Hypothetically, you might despise Tom Coughlin, the irascible, petty tyrant of a head coach, a man so arrogant that he disagrees with the concept of time and yet so thin-skinned that his postgame press conferences devolve into tedious exercises in buck-passing (spoiler alert: the buck never lands on Coughlin). Or you might loathe Eli Manning, the pastry-complected Fauntleroy who, before he was an Elite NFL Quarterback, was known principally for the who-pissed-on-my-cornflakes face he made when the then-lowly San Diego Chargers had the audacity to select him as the number one pick in the 2004 NFL Draft and offer to pay him millions of dollars to play football in a gorgeous beach city; secondarily for the tantrum he threw and the hell his daddy raised to ensure that Eli, a grown-ass man, would not be subjected to such torture; and tertiarily, for fighting losing battles against the mighty forces of New Jersey wind.
Or maybe you just can’t stand Giants fans, who share with Massholes the idiotic yet ironclad certainty that the whole world cares as much as they do about their team, its rivalries, history, locker room intrigues, and a whole host of other crap that registers as nothing more than signal interference to the vast majority of sensible people, when it registers at all.
If you feel that way, you might be rooting for the Golden Boy to cement his place in history on Sunday. In that case, might I suggest a strong Bostonian beverage to cheer him on?
The Call for Giants Haters: An Ode to Cheaters Long Past
We’ve sipped on the Ward Eight before. Created at Boston’s Locke-Ober Café to honor an electoral victory by 1920s Ward boss Martin Lomasney, it’s the perfect drink to toast perennial champions who are too smart, and insufficiently ethical, to let chance play a role in their victories. I’m confident Bill Belichick would approve.
Wahhd Eight Cocktail – Fackin’ Greatriots EDITION!
2 oz. strong bourbon (I used Weller 107 proof)
¾ oz. Cara Cara orange juice
¾ oz. lemon juice
2 tsp. real pomegranate grenadine, or less than one teaspoon of the bright-red fake stuff
¼ oz. crème de violette
1 egg white
Shake vigorously with cracked ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange wedge—and if you have a little extra crème de violette and a medicine dropper, you can decorate the foam with a design in Patriots blue.
To make the Ward Eight suitable for game day, I chose oranges with a reddish tinge, upped the proof on the base spirit, and added a foamy head and hints of crème de violette. In other words, I added white and blue notes to a red Boston drink.
If you find yourself mixing Ward Eights for true Patriots fans on Sunday, it’s probably best not to mention that the cocktail is only a stone’s throw from a “New Yorker”—just substitute ½ oz. of lime juice for the other citrus in the original (violette-less) recipe.
Better yet: if you’re personally indifferent toward the outcome of the game, you could try a little sociology experiment. Serve your New York guests New Yorkers and your Boston guests Ward Eights (or vice versa), then watch them bicker loudly but pointlessly over the relative superiority of two variations on the same delicious cocktail. Serve everyone else warm beer, and then see how sympathetic to the Northeasterners they feel.
You’ll be a lousy host, but the squabbling might be entertaining to watch from afar. And at least you can say that your party perfectly embodied the spirit of Super Bowl XLVI.
Send your opinions on the Worst Fans in Sports, and your cocktail ideas, to firstname.lastname@example.org.