Best Super Bowl Drinks, or How to Hide in the Kitchen Eating Nachos and Lighting Fruit on Fire to Avoid Football

By Justine Sterling Posted January 31, 2013
Super Bowl Cocktail: Cradle of Life

Cradle of Life © Tina Rupp

Food & Wine editors aren’t necessarily sports experts, as you will see admitted below. So if you’re wondering whether to bet on Baltimore or San Francisco for Sunday's Super Bowl, don’t ask us. But for an answer to that burning question regarding what to pair with loaded nachos, we’ve got you covered. Here, editors’ game-day-perfect cocktails, wines and beers for serious football food fans.

San Francisco-Style Margaritas: “Please do not take this as a Super Bowl endorsement of the SF 49ers (because I am always and forever a New York Giants fan) but I’m making margaritas for the big game. Specifically the version created by Tommy’s Mexican restaurant in San Francisco in the 1980s. It features agave syrup instead of triple sec, which is nice because it’s not so in-your-face sweet, plus reposado tequila, which I like more than blanco. And it’s ultra-simple, so I can spend more time making nachos.” —Kate Krader, Restaurant Editor

Hedonistic Red Blend: “There’s no team in the NFL that I really care about, so the Super Bowl has become all about nachos for me—and hanging out with friends—but mostly nachos. It just so happens that I recently fell in love with a red wine from El Dorado County in California. The wine’s called Bebame and it’s a blend of Cabernet Franc and Gamay (two of my favorite varieties). It’s fresh and pop-y and so entirely pleasing and hedonistic that I am unable to stop drinking it. It will be just perfect with nachos—and the Super Bowl.” —Megan Krigbaum, Senior Wine Editor

Creamy Belgian Tripel: “Only a truly great beer could lure me to watch the Super Bowl. I like Bosteels Brewery's Tripel Karmeliet, which is made with three grains. It has a little wheaty sweetness and oaty creaminess, but it finishes dry.” —Kristen Donnelly, Senior Food Editor

Apple-Inflected Sazerac: “Since Super Bowl XLVII is being held in New Orleans, the city’s famous, super-simple cocktail is an ideal pick for viewing parties. This recipe from star mixologist Romée de Goriainoff (the Experimental Cocktail Club) swaps in Calvados for the usual base of rye whiskey. The rich, complex apple flavor winterizes the cocktail for me and will go nicely with the smoky-sweet barbecue on Sunday night’s menu.” —Alex Vallis, Digital Features Editor

Flambéed Cocktail: “I’m fairly unable to pay attention to football, so a game-day drink for me is one that will keep me occupied for at least a few minutes in the kitchen. Karin Stanley’s Cradle of Life fits the bill: While the 49ers play the Ravens, I’ll be combining two kinds of rum with orgeat and three kinds of citrus juice, hollowing out a lime, filling it with Chartreuse and lighting it on fire.” —Lawrence Marcus, Senior Digital Editor

Californian IPA: “Since I was raised in Sonoma County, which isn’t far from San Francisco, I am essentially required by law to root for the 49ers. I even have a connection to Joe Montana (his son went to grade school with my little sister)—though I’ve never met or seen him in person. That said, San Francisco was far from my hometown. So rather than go for the obvious (but delicious) Anchor Steam, I’ll be drinking a beer from somewhere closer to my old neck of the woods: Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA. Brewed in Cloverdale, California, the bright, super-hoppy ale is an easy-drinking beer that’s also a no-brainer match for my favorite game day snack, beer cheese.” —Justine Sterling, Assistant Digital Editor

Related: Best Super Bowl Beers for Every Chicken Wing Flavor
Fantastic Super Bowl Recipes
Michael Symon's Super Bowl Bash

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