I admit, when it comes to the big Super Bowl game, I look forward to two things: the halftime show and the drinks. Don't get me wrong, I love watching a good football game (and Sunday night's game was certainly great!), but for me, it's all about the music and the booze. Although beer is the quintessential beverage of choice for most people for The Big Game, I prefer mixed drinks with a side of crunchy snacks. If you can relate, read on because I came up with a few tasty cocktails and snack combos to get you though any crazy game night!
The Arizona Sunset
I haven't experimented much with gin, but Prairie Certified Organic Gin has a super smooth flavor that I really enjoyed. I recently learned that the Prairie brand of distilled spirits is produced from corn grown on three family farms in Minnesota. After the harvest, the corn is brought to the farmer-owned distillery, then a sustainable co-op that converts leftover corncobs into fuel, returns the leftover distillers grains to local farmers for use as feed. This is a sustainable process for a community that takes great pride in their work!
Coming up with a mixed drink recipe isn't as intuitive to me as coming up with a food recipe, so I did a little research, asked some friends and family, and combined my own flavor preferences to come up with this mix. My father-in-law recently gave us a big bag of sweet and juicy naval oranges from his friend's grove, so I combined the fresh juice with a splash of key lime juice and Prairie Organic Gin in a shaker and added hierba buena or mint to it. Rather than muddling the mint, I took the leaves and clapped them between my hands. This bruises the leaves and releases the oils and aroma. Placing the leaves in the cocktail glass first, then putting the ice over the mint has a similar muddling effect. I poured the gin and juice mixture over the ice, garnished with a slice of fresh orange and a mint leaf and viola, a beautiful and tasty drink!
Serving: 1 drink
- 1.5 ounces Prairie Organic Vodka
- 3 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice (I prefer key limes)
- 4 mint leaves
- In a shaker, mix vodka, orange juice and lime juice.
- Take the mint leaves and clap them between your hands.
- Add mint into a cocktail glass, then add ice. Pour juice mixture over ice. Garnish with orange slice and mint leaf. Serve immediately.
When it comes to snacks to pair with this delicious drink, I choose Wonderful Pistachios with fresh orange slices. The pistachios have a great crunch and buttery flavor that pair well with oranges, but they also pair well with strawberries, mangos, cherries and cranberries. The flavor from the lightly salted pistachios compliments this seasonal citrus fruit and personally, I love the salty and sweet flavor combo! The nuts are fun to eat and when they are in the shell, they take longer to eat, so shelling them slows you down--which is especially important when you're watching a nail-biting game that goes into overtime! Although I try to abandon my Registered Dietitian Nutritionist "hat" when it comes to socializing, I still prefer healthy snack options. And, as you can see, everything looks beautiful on the table!
Boozy Pink Lemonade
I've seen fruit infused vodkas before, but cake flavored vodka? Never. When I opened the bottle of UV Cake Vodka, the aroma of birthday cake was strong! Although sweet cocktails aren't a preference of mine, I was willing to take on the challenge of fixing a drink that had some punch and tang to it.
Over the past 12 years, I have been hosting birthday parties for my kids, so when I think about cake, I think "birthday party," and when it comes to a party, I think of punch. So, I came up with a pretty pink party drink that adults could enjoy at any festive occasion! I mixed UV Cake vodka with frozen pink lemonade concentrate, some fresh lemon juice and club soda. The fizzy soda and tart juice cut the sweetness from the vodka and tastes....a little too good. If you like sweet drinks, you could easily overdo this one because you can't taste the alcohol, so be careful!
Boozy Pink Lemonade
Serving: 1 drink
- 1.5 ounces UV Cake Vodka
- 3/4 ounces pink lemonade concentrate
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice (or lime juice)
- 3 ounces of club soda
- In a shaker, mix vodka, pink lemonade and lemon juice.
- In a cocktail glass, add ice and pour juice mix and club soda together.
When it comes to pairing snacks for this sweet and slightly tart drink, I went with a combination of Wonderful pistachios, sliced green apples and pretzels. This pretty much satisfies every snack preference of mine. The crunch from all three foods with a slightly salty element was perfect with this cocktail. I love that they are all light, yet filling. Pistachios and apples both have fiber and are full of antioxidants, and pistachios have healthy fats that not only satisfy but also protect your heart. Pretzels have always been one of my favorite snacks because they aren't greasy and their neutral flavor goes well with fruits, dips and nuts! This is definitely a win-win snack choice!