Like most holidays and events these days, most of us are probably going to spend Super Bowl Sunday at home this year. Not that that’s a problem — as long as you have a working TV or streaming service and some refreshments, you won’t miss any of the action. In fact, you might even find it to be the ideal way to watch the big game: fewer people to share your wings with, no guests to impress or worry about. Just football, snacks, and, of course, drinks.
Beer is the classic Super Bowl Sunday drink, but it’s far from the only option. Whether you’re home with family or roommates, or out at a socially distanced tailgate, fill your cooler with whatever is going to really hit the spot. For ideas, VinePair asked bartenders around the country (and one expat in Mexico) what they’re planning on sipping on Sunday.
From non-alcoholic refreshers to good ol’ Coors Light, here’s what bar pros plan to have in hand while watching Kansas City and Tampa go head to head.
The Best Super Bowl Sunday Drinks Recommended by Bartenders
- Say Grace Martini
- Classic Daiquiri
- Lawson’s Finest Liquids Scrag Mountain Pils
- Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon
- Elderflower Spritz
- Cascahuin Tahona Blanco Tequila and Cantaritos
- Coors Light
- Jameson Pickleback
- Citrus Blossom Mocktail
- Spill the Tea Mocktail With Seedlip Grove
- Fresh Victor Margarita
- Blue Moon Vodka Jello Shots
Keep reading for details about all the recommended beverages!
“If Kansas City is in, I’ll want something savory, like the Say Grace Martini [made with vodka, gin, baijiu, dry vermouth, and bird’s eye chili], or even the Dill-icious [pisco, dry vermouth, pear liqueur, lime, and dill]. I’m from Philly, where Andy [Reid] coached the Eagles for a while … and we’re salty, I guess you could say!” —Lee Berger, bar manager, Ghost Bar, NYC
“This Super Bowl I’ll be drinking a few of my favorite things, including the classic Daiquiri and Mexican beer like Tecate. Mexican [lager] beer typically has the addition of flaked maize making it super crisp and a bit drier than your standard lager. This helps cut through the fat in classic ‘football food’ like chicken wings and queso.” —Katie Auth, bartender, NYC
“If your Super Bowl gathering resembles mine, you’re going to want both a relatively easy drinking beer with which to pace yourself and enjoy alongside the quintessential spread of comfort foods; and a liquor you won’t mind shooting as the fulfillment of various prop bets (e.g., a shot each time Tony Romo predicts a play, a shot whenever Jim Nantz’s voice cracks while making a noise for effect, etc.). On the beer front, Scrag Mountain Pils is an excellent example of a subtly Americanized Czech pilsner — slightly hop-forward, crackery malt profile, dry finish — from Lawson’s Finest Liquids out in Vermont, but with relatively wide distribution. As for the hooch, I’m partial to bourbon, and for the low price yet rich palate of caramel, baked fruits, and oak spice, it’s really tough to beat Old Grand-Dad Bonded. At around $20 it’s a steal.” —Jordan David Smith, spirits director & head bartender at Sky Blue Hospitality LLC (HALL, o.d.o), NYC
“I’ll be drinking an Elderflower Spritz for Super Bowl Sunday: 2 parts vodka, 1 part elderflower liqueur, juice from 1/4 lime, and seltzer. This cocktail is easy to make, refreshing and light, and will not overpower any heavy snacks that are typically spread out for the game feast. Elderflower has such a beautiful floral flavor and pairs well with cheese, fruit, and charcuterie. If I can’t find elderflower liqueur, I use an elderflower tonic water instead. This is also a great choice for kids, designated drivers, and alcohol-free guests — sans vodka of course! I’ve never been a big beer drinker, so having a bubbly alternative on game day that isn’t too heavy is a must for me.” —Gina Buck, beverage director, Concord Hill, Brooklyn
“I’m in the heart of tequila country and we love our agave spirits around here. We are in the middle of tangerine (mandarina) season and they are so sweet, they taste like candy. I just got a bottle of Cascahuin Tahona blanco tequila which I will be sipping as well as mixing some cantaritos. A cantarito is a mixture of fresh juice (lime, orange, and grapefruit — however, I substitute tangerine this time of year) with grapefruit soda and some salt. The name cantarito comes from the clay cups (vessel or bowl) they are made [in].” —Paul Hudson, operating partner, La Pasteria, Guadalajara, Jalisco
“I will be enjoying ice cold Coors Light for the big game; something that is easy, light, and refreshing, so I am sure not to miss a moment of the game. Coors Light is also the perfect pairing for any game-day football party foods. My family and I also have a tradition of celebrating the BIG PLAYS with a Jameson shot with a pickle back. GO CHIEFS!” —Kim Basnight, lead bartender, Fins Bar, Nashville
“This Super Bowl Sunday, I’m planning on making some serious mocktails. I love citrus in winter, so I’ll be indulging in Benno’s Citrus Blossom, which has grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and orange blossom water. For something slightly more herbaceous, I’ll make our Spill the Tea with Seedlip Grove, Earl Grey tea, and citrus juice. These are both very refreshing and sippable all night long, and pair well with all Super Bowl bites (I’ll personally be enjoying some spicy eggplant dip!). If I feel like spiking them, I’ll pair the Citrus Blossom with tequila for a fun riff on a Margarita, or add Scotch or rye to the Spill the Tea.” —James Lee, head bartender, Benno and Leonelli Restaurant & Bar, NYC
“I’ll be drinking Fresh Victor Margaritas. I think a lot of people just want something delicious to drink without spending a lot of time thinking about it or making something, and Fresh Victor Mexican Lime & Agave hits the spot. In two quick pours over ice I’ve got a delicious, fresh Margarita and am back to the game.” —H. Joseph Ehrmann, proprietor, Elixir, San Francisco
“Every season, I set aside a ‘Do Not Open Unless the Saints Make the Super Bowl’ bottle. Since my bottle of Michael Cruse’s Ultramarine will have to stay in the cellar this year, I’ll probably stick to my game-day go-to: whiskey.” —Alexandra Minton, beverage director, Jack Rose, New Orleans
“I am definitely a wine guy, both professionally and as my personal preference when I drink. During small casual get-togethers like the Super Bowl, I often choose to drink sparkling wine with friends. Whether it is some of my go-to value driven crémants, trying something new, or splurging on true Champagne, bubbles are the name of the game, pun intended.” —Todd Johnston, beverage director, Marsh House, Nashville
“For the Super Bowl, beer is always the answer! Personally, I enjoy a nice cold glass of beer with a little bit of vodka. A nice Blue Moon goes perfectly well with vodka, in jello shot form. You will need jello shot powder and to mix it with Blue Moon and your choice of vodka. Refrigerate this until firm. I like to top mine off with Cool Whip and garnish it with orange slices.” —Zyren Posadas, senior food & beverage manager at FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, Chicago
“On game day, I put down my spirit/cocktail hat and pick up a wine glass. I’d rather have a rosé or a light white in my hand for an all-day drinking session. And, I find wine easier to manage from a hosting standpoint with less waste and overconsumption.” —Dean Hurst, beverage director, Datz Restaurant Group, Tampa, Fla.