A couple of posts ago I wrote about pairing cocktails with specific activities. I noted that some such pairings were more intuitive than others. As I was watching the NBA playoffs the other day, it dawned on me that I don't really have any association with sports viewing and cocktails, save the mint julep and the Kentucky Derby. This seems strange. A lot of people watch sports. I'm sure some of them drink booze. Yet I can't remember any commercial or pop culture reference of any sort linking cocktails and watching sports. Historically, this might have had something to do with most stadiums only serving beer, but far more people now watch sports at home or a bar, where booze is available.
Thus my contemplations started. There are times, perhaps at home or at a bar where the taste of the drink is paramount despite any ongoing conversation. When I get certain cocktails, particularly more complex or challenging ones, much of my concentration is on the drink. Conversely, when watching sports, the game gets the bulk of my attention, leaving the remainder for talking to others and paying attention to the drink. That doesn't mean that the taste is irrelevant, only that perhaps simpler is better. Particularly for home viewers, it might also be nice if the drink wasn't too much trouble to make - relatively few ingredients and little juicing, muddling, or use of eggs. The drink should also be one that you can milk for a bit while watching, where even a commercial break is sometimes not enough to make a cocktail, so something with ice makes sense.
The And One
2 ounces of bourbon (Jim Beam)
0.75 ounces of lime juice
a bar spoon (healthy splash) of maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)
Shake ingredients with ice and pour into cocktail glass with ice cubes.
I was pleased with the drink, which is a variant on the whiskey sour. Despite the juicing, it wasn't too much effort to make. As with the Last Word, the lime and maraschino liqueur mix well and the bourbon works with both. The taste starts with what I'd described as a the peanut flavor of Jim Beam Black and transitions to the lime, with the maraschino adding flavor and a hint of sweetness latter in the swallow. I think that the drink was traditional, and kind of many befitting sports with the bourbon, but had a bit of flair from the maraschino. Further, because of the ice cubes, I was able to nurse it for most of the first half of the game, where normally I feel compelled to finish cocktails before they warm up too much. I'm sure there are other cocktails that work for watching sports, so I and hopefully readers will come up with a some other ideas.