With the matchup set for Super Bowl 2016, football fans may already be thinking about food and drinks to stockpile for a party. These recommended beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will score with guests while staying on budget.
10 Crowd-Pleasing Drinks for Super Bowl 2016
This drink pays homage to the Denver Broncos defense of the late 1970s and early 1980s, nicknamed the Orange Crush. Combine equal parts vodka, triple sec, and orange juice in a cocktail shaker and do shots, or add more orange juice and a splash of lemon-lime soda for cocktails. Serve over ice and garnish with a clementine segment.
Fans of the Carolina Panthers can try this twist on a Long Island iced tea to show their pride on game day. Buying all the alcohol could strain the budget, but party hosts who have open bottles of seldom-used liquor already behind the bar might welcome the chance to finish them off. A recipe posted on Drinks Mixer calls for 1.5 ounces of Southern Comfort, 1 ounce of spiced rum, 1 ounce of peach schnapps, half an ounce of vodka, and 5 ounces of sweet tea. Stir together and serve in a mason jar over ice.
There's no easier way to keep party revelers happy than by whipping up a big pitcher of margaritas. Serve with some tasty chips and guacamole, and you can sit and sip with the gang instead of spending the evening behind the bar playing mixologist. Try one of Cheapism.com's recommended tequilas for under $30 in the mix.
Is there a better Sunday drink than a good Bloody Mary? Keep it simple with vodka, tomato juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper and garnish with celery. Or go big and set up a Bloody Mary bar: Put out small bowls of bacon, olives, shrimp, lime wedges, and cheese cubes and invite guests to garnish their own drinks. Spices such as paprika, garlic salt or powder, celery salt, lemon pepper, and Old Bay seasoning also add a kick and are probably already in the cupboard. Provide multiple hot sauces and tomato juice varieties to kick things up a notch.
Colorado and, to a lesser extent, North Carolina are known for craft beer, but instead of choosing pricey brews, keep beer drinkers on neutral turf. Low-priced Pabst Blue Ribbon took the top prize among cheap American lagers in a budget beer taste-off by Cheapism.com. It surprised the judges in the blind tasting with a mild, even flavor and minimal aftertaste.
Natural Ice is another American beer that won't break the bank on Super Bowl Sunday. In Cheapism's blind test of cheap beers, tasters found this one an unexpectedly agreeable choice with a bright, crisp flavor. For someone throwing a party, the primary appeal is the low price of a 30-pack.
Costco's house brand costs $22 for a pack of 48 beers -- about 46 cents a can -- and deserves a chance based on the performance of previous Kirkland beers in Cheapism's taste test (the Kirkland Signature IPA and German-Style Lager, both retired, were low-cost favorites). The new brew is by Wisconsin's Minhas Craft Brewery and clocks in at 105 calories per popped top.
For a non-alcoholic drink selection, look to spiced apple cider. It's perfect for a cold February evening and easy to make for a crowd. Heat up apple juice or cider in a slow cooker and sprinkle in cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Let the mix warm for a few hours until it's nice and hot and the ingredients are well blended. Put out a bottle of spiced rum and guests can spike the concoction if they wish.
Irish coffee is a tasty way to stay awake if the game goes too late. Make a pot of strong coffee and add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and lightly whipped cream (pour it over the back of a warm spoon for the best result). Again, offer a bottle of whiskey and guests can choose to partake or not.