I don’t know much about what we Americans call soccer. I didn’t play it as a child nor did any of my kids. Of course, full disclosure: I didn’t have any children, so there is that.
I know almost as much about socc – football as I do about hockey. That is to say, I pick a team (usually because I like the color of its uniforms, or think one of the players is hot, or I like the team’s mascot) and yell encouraging things like “Go!” or “You got this!” or “Kill him!” And I cheer when other people cheer so I look cool.
I picked England and Belgium to be playing for the World Cup championship on July 15. They played July 14. For third place. Congrats Belgium. Tomorrow it’s all about Croatia and France. And in my time zone the match begins at 9 a.m.
And 9 a.m. on a Sunday, for me, means one thing: coffee. But tomorrow, in honor of the two countries playing for the title, I’ve decided boozing is in order. Why not enjoy a little of the crazy the folks in those countries, and all the fans of the two teams, will be embracing?
I won’t pretend to love socc – football, but I can truthfully say I love it when the World Cup rolls around every four years. The world’s football isn’t as popular in our country as America’s football and our fervor for our favorite football teams is crazy. But American football crazy is pretty tame compared to the fanatical world football crazy that takes over the globe for a month.
So for this booze blog entry, I picked two drinks from both countries to try today so you can reap the benefits tomorrow while screaming “Go!” or “You got this!” or “Kill him!”
First up France’s famous Mimosa. This one seemed like a no brainer. It’s a popular brunch drink. And Sunday = brunch. And if you think 9 a.m. is a tad early for brunch. I have one word for you. Amateur.
Simple recipe this one. Throw OJ in a glass and top with Champagne. Because France. Or buy a small bottle of Cava, a nice Spanish substitute (or Prosecco, or any sparkling white), like I did for this recipe.
Mimosas are one of the only ways I like to drink the bubbly. Bubbly is not my fav – unless it’s in something else. Like OJ. And the great thing about Mimosas in front of the TV; no one knows how many times you keep topping that baby off.
For the next recipe, I move to Croatia. I know very little about Croatia and am in no mood to research today. But have you seen an atlas? Those guys appear to be tough bastards. When Yugoslavia broke up and Croatia was formed they stuck it to Bosnia. Look -->
First up from the Croats is an Aperol Spritz (á la Adriatic).
WTF is Aperol? I know, right. I had no clue either but I found a fifth of it. It annoyed me the store didn’t have a smaller (or cheaper) bottle. When I got home, I sipped the Aperol, which is an aperitif made with rhubarb and god knows what else. It’s 11% APV and has a bit of a bitter taste (thanks rhubarb). In this recipe that taste plays well off the Prosecco making it a light morning socc – football bev to root on your favorite team.
And it’s almost as easy to make as a Mimosa: Pour 1.5 ounces of Aperol over ice, add about 3-4 ounces of Prosecco (or the rest of the Cava from the previous Mimosa) and top with a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with an orange if you want, but you know how I feel about garnishes.
Anyway, surprise. It’s refreshing and I am afraid could go down way too easy. Maybe I’m not so annoyed I have a fifth of Aperol in my liquor cabinet now.
Back to France. A little stronger bev this time. Maybe one for the last half of the game when the score is 0-1. Let’s make us a Sidecar.
It’s a wonderful cocktail, the Sidecar. The scrumptious smoky Cognac is a wonderful thing by itself, but when mixed with Grand Marnier (or Cointreau or Triple Sec, or anything orangey) combined with the tart lemon, well let’s just say I can sip this delectable cocktail all afternoon. And I’ll make it again tomorrow. Maybe two of them. Oui oui.
1.5 oz Cognac
1.5 oz Grand Marnier
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
Splash of lime juice
Shake with ice, strain and pour
Anyway, it really is a sipping cocktail. And I am sipping. And sipping. Because I’m also stalling. Last drink for the World Cup final is one that seems a bit tough for the morning. And maybe for any part of the day. But I’m embracing Croatia’s underdog scrappy World Cup status and giving it a go. It’s called Bambus.
The recipe is a simple one. A Bambus has only two ingredients. Two ingredients that one wouldn’t typically think should be mixed. Ever. Red wine and cola.
Yes, you read that correctly. Red wine and cola. Let’s taste it, shall we?
Uh-oh. Hmmm. Ummm. Yeah. So . . . it’s not bad. And by not bad I mean I sort of like it. I know it’s weird. The sweetness of the cola is moderated quite nicely by the tart red wine. And I didn’t bother to buy the best Cab out there. You saw the bottle. And I will say I could drink that bottle again. If it was mixed with cola. It’s really weird that I like this. I feel like it’s completely wrong. This drink, like Croatia, was the underdog coming into this World Cup recipe fight and it definitely held its own.
So who will win the World Cup title? No one will know until tomorrow, but in my France-Croatia mashup, I say there are going to be some penalty kicks taken before a winner is announced. So I’ll keep sipping. And in a little bit when these four cocktails are done, I really won’t care. Go Steelers. -D
We have been friends for more years than we haven't. Perhaps because of that or simply because we both have jobs/family that seem to encourage escape, we often bond over an ounce or so of liquid magic. Through these experiences, we have discovered the joys that can come with a well-crafted cocktail, quality beer, and excellent wine. It's about quality for us, and we want to share that with you.