Are you ready for some … hosting? If your living room has been designated the local Super Bowl venue, preparation is in order. Namely: party drinks and food. (We're supposing you already have an awesome TV given the responsibility bestowed.)
Super Bowl cuisine is predictable -- wings, nachos, pizza. This is not an ideal occasion to introduce new recipes or low-calorie options. The typical Super Bowl drink selection is similarly simple: beer. Lots and lots of beer. Instead of leaving any non-beer drinkers with a choice of tap water or generic-brand soda, plan a few alternatives. Here are eight non-alcoholic and alcohol-optional party drinks that will add diversity to your menu without much extra effort or expense.
1. This mocktail is often called Canadian Pride, but it may be just the ticket for this unofficial American holiday:
4 tsp maple syrup
3 oz. grapefruit juice
3 oz. dry ginger ale
Stir together the maple syrup and grapefruit juice (or combine them in a cocktail shaker) and pour the sweet-and-sour mixture into glasses. Add the ginger ale and some ice before serving. If you feel like getting fancy, garnish with a slice of grapefruit.
2. A Brown Pelican could scarcely be simpler:
2 parts apple cider
1 part ginger beer
Chow recommends using sparkling apple cider and adding a splash of orange juice, as well.
3. This cranberry punch from Taste and Tell is a quick and easy recipe to serve your masses -- 12 to 14 of them, to be precise.
2 quarts cranberry juice cocktail
1 can (6 oz.) frozen pink lemonade, thawed
1 quart sparkling water
This party drink practically begs to be spiked with vodka, but of course that's optional.
4. A hot toddy (or not toddy) will warm up that February evening. Drink to all the people in the outdoor stadium in New Jersey.
1 tbsp honey
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 cup hot tea
1 oz. whiskey (optional)
5.Spiced apple cider is another winter classic. Don't worry about buying spices such as whole cloves or cinnamon sticks. Just use a couple you already have in the cupboard, and this recipe adapted from A Beautiful Mess:
1 gallon apple juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups spiced rum (optional)
Simmer the ingredients for a few hours in a slow cooker. This party drink serves 8.
6. There are endless ways to make naturally flavored water. Try loading up a pitcher of iced water or sparkling water with slices of your favorite citrus fruit. Sprinkle in a few herbs (mint, rosemary, thyme, ginger) for something more exotic. With salty food being passed around and alcoholic drinks thrown back, party attendees will thank you for enticing them to stay hydrated.
7. How about a root beer float for dessert? Start with one or two scoops of vanilla ice cream (try one of the top picks from Cheapism.com's ice cream taste test). Pour in just enough root beer for the foam to reach the top of the glass. Wait a few seconds and add a little bit more. Top with whipped cream if desired.
8. If it looks like the game may be headed to overtime, turn to Irish coffee:
6 or 8 oz. strong coffee
1 1/2 oz. whiskey (optional)
1 tsp brown sugar
Lightly whipped heavy cream
Tip: Pour the whipped cream over the back of a warm spoon, so it floats on top.