The time has come. Every four years, a small group of elite athletes from around the world demonstrates amazing physical prowess while the rest of us eat snack food. Ah, the glory of the Olympics.
In honor of the games, and because you’ll probably want to be slightly intoxicated for the inevitably bizarre opening ceremonies, we’ve taken the liberty of recommending drinks based on your favorite Winter Olympic sport. Not everyone will win in Pyeongchang, but you’re already a winner if you’re sitting back and getting buzzed while watching other people exercise.
Adored in Canada, rapidly gaining the world’s tiniest fan base in the States, curling is a sport likely invented when someone got really bored while sweeping. Which is to say, it’s like less boring sweeping. People who love curling really love it, so if you count yourself among them, we recommend a nice rich stout, not just because it’s warming, but because it’s the kind of thing you can safely drink while shoving massive stones across frozen surfaces.
Speed Skating: Genever
Clearly you feel the need for explosive speed, which might incline you to shoot something “hardcore” spicy like Fireball, but we’re gonna steer you in a different direction: genever. Hard to find, yes (you’ve probably had its close cousin, gin), but if you can, not only will you repair your relationship to juniper, you’ll pay homage to its Dutch origins. When they weren’t busy clogging, the Dutch were developing the kind of skating that gave birth to racing. Boy do they love their extreme shoes.
This one’s easy: Engage in the time-honored tradition and eternal classiness of doing shots from an ice luge. Just do it really, really quickly. The luge was actually invented as a vacation pastime, but modern- day luging is decidedly more extreme — speeds can approach 100 miles per hour, so races are timed to the thousandth of a second. We recommend a chaser of Mountain Dew to honor the extreme-ness of it all.
Skeleton: Pumpkin Beer
In a perfect world, this would involve elite athletes in spandex jumpsuits being chased around the ice by skeletons. Alas, no. Skeleton is so named because the sled itself is basically a “skeleton” version of a larger sled, meaning the only thing between athletes and doom is a tiny piece of plastic. The name makes us think of Halloween, which makes us think of pumpkin beer — adored by some, terrifying to many.
There’s cross country, there’s the Nordic combined, which we’ll pretend to be familiar with, and, of course, there’s the ultimate bad-assery known as ski jumping. But whichever kind of long-stick-shoe sport is your favorite, we’re gonna recommend you knock back a few classic PBRs in honor of the ‘80s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and the eternal spirit of “Party Mountain.” Added bonus: you’ll have, like, so many cans for recycling.
Snowboarding: All Aperol, All the Time
If all you care about in the Olympics is watching some dudes and dames “tearin’ it up” and just generally “shreddin’ the gnar,” we know exactly what you should be drinking: an Italian orange liqueur. Something like Aperol is perfect because it’s the exact color of everything about the Flying Tomato himself, Shaun White.
Figure Skating: Frilly, Fancy Cocktail
There are a couple schools of thought on this one: something frilly, like a fancy cocktail, to honor all those, uh, unique outfits, or something a little sharp and citrusy with a twist, since figure skating is easily the Olympic sport with the most spinning in the air while wearing knife-shoes.
Ice Hockey: Beer
Just… yeah, beer.
Clearly this is a chance to honor Nigeria’s first-ever Olympic bobsled team. If you can’t get your hands on Ogogoro — the country’s crazy-strong version of gin — we recommend making a cocktail with some quality vodka or gin depending on your juniper tolerance. Bonus points if your cocktail includes hibiscus juice, a nod to Zobo, a tart, gently spiced, mercifully non-alcoholic Nigerian hibiscus drink.
The word “biathlon” comes from a Greek word meaning “two contests,” so it’s easy to recommend a beer and a shot. What makes that drink even more perfect for you is because you like the only sport in the entire games where guns are actually, well, shot. It seems like a bizarre combo — cross-country skiing and marksmanship — but it was probably born out of necessity back in the day when people had to travel long, snowy distances to hunt their food. So definitely a more essential sport than, say, ice dancing.
Tonya Harding image courtesy of Gazettereview.com.