Football season is over for the Eagles, and Philadelphians may not be swarming Broad Street after the Super Bowl this year, but fans could still use a drink or two.
Seeking something stronger than beer? Consider making a big batch of cocktails for your Super Bowl gathering.
“I think people like big pitchers of booze,” said Mike Mongiello, general manager of Bing Bing Dim Sum on East Passyunk Avenue. “It goes with a family-style meal or atmosphere.”
Bing Bing’s menu always features two kinds of punch for sharing. Mongiello recommended Super Bowl party hosts try whipping up a batch of Bing Bing’s Muy Thai punch, a tart, tequila-based drink reminiscent of a margarita that’s sweetened with carrot juice. The bright orange drink pairs perfectly with salty snacks like chips.
Booze and Vinyl: A Spirited Guide to Great Music & Mixed Drinks, a cocktail book published last year by siblings André and Tenaya Darlington, offers a recipe for a communal rum-based drink called Hellfire Punch, a riff on milk punch that packs heat from cayenne pepper. It requires some planning, like steeping lemon zest overnight in rum and brandy, but then it can be assembled and served to dozens of thirsty people.
When preparing multiple servings of a drink in one batch, simply multiplying all the ingredients isn’t always the best approach, says Drew Lazor, author of 2018′s Session Cocktails ($18.99, Ten Speed Press) and a regular Inquirer contributor. Better to focus on the ratio of ingredients, starting with the drink’s strongest component, then add less of the aromatic ingredients, like bitters, which have a strong effect on flavor.
Still mourning the Saints' loss? Try an Old Hickory, a New Orleans-influenced vermouth cocktail that appeals to fans of Manhattans and old-fashioneds. Home bartenders who want to make a few at once should begin with the sweet vermouth and then add dry, then add Peychaud’s bitters and orange bitters. Adjust as you go, Lazor recommended, tasting along the way until it’s just right.
For those craving something lighter and bubbly, there’s a French 75 punch. Made with either gin or vodka, the drink combines sweetness, citrus, and Champagne for a bright cocktail that feels celebratory no matter the occasion.
Serves 10 to 20
¾ ounce Thai chilies, stems removed
3 ounces honey
1 cup water
5½ cups Sauza silver tequila
5 cups carrot juice
½ quart lime juice
8½ cups pear juice (Kerns pear nectar recommended, available at Spring Garden Market and other Asian markets)
1. First, prepare the simple syrup. In a pot over high heat, bring chilies, honey, and water to a boil.
2. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
3. Combine syrup with remaining ingredients in large bowl or other container. Pour over ice and serve in glasses.
— Bing Bing Dim Sum
Serves 20 to 30
3 750 ml bottles of brandy (recommended: Ferrand 1840 cognac)
1 750 ml bottle rum (recommended: Smith & Cross Jamaican rum)
1 750 ml bottle cherry brandy (recommended: Luxardo Sangue Morlacco)
16 lemons, zested
2 pounds demerara sugar
1 gallon warm water
8 cups milk
17 ounces fresh lemon juice (a little over 2 cups)
2 nutmegs, grated
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1. Steep lemon zest in brandy, rum, and cherry brandy overnight in a large pot.
2. To prepare the drink, dissolve sugar in warm water. Let it cool, then add to the spirits mixture.
3. Heat milk to a simmer. Add lemon juice, nutmeg, cayenne, and milk to spirits mixture. The milk will curdle.
5. Let punch sit for one hour, then strain through a cheesecloth. Strain again, pouring the liquid over the curds in the cloth.
6. Serve in a large punch bowl over a big block of ice.
— “Booze and Vinyl” by André and Tenaya Darlington
Serves 4 to 6
6 ounces sweet vermouth (recommended: Carpano Antica Formula)
5 ounces dry vermouth (recommended: Dolin dry)
10 to 12 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
10 to 12 dashes orange bitters
Optional: Orange twists
1. Combine sweet and dry vermouth in a large glass or pitcher. Add bitters, starting with 10 dashes of each and tasting before adding more. Adjust to taste.
2. Add ice, and stir until chilled.
3. Strain into glasses filled with ice.
4. If desired, squeeze orange twist over each drink to express oils and discard.
5. If preparing in advance, mix drink in a glass bottle or container with a lid, do not add ice, and refrigerate. Gently flip the bottle to reincorporate ingredients before pouring over ice.
— “Session Cocktails” by Drew Lazor and the editors of Punch
Serves 5 to 10
¾ cup simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar dissolved over heat)
1½ cups lemon juice
1½ cups gin (recommended: Plymouth)
1 bottle Champagne
Optional: lemon wheels, absinthe for garnish
1. Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl.
2. Serve over ice in a glass of your choosing.
3. If desired, garnish with lemon and a dash of absinthe.