As soon as the Panthers won the championship game, I knew I would be looked upon by my friends to come up with a cocktail for whatever Super Bowl party I attended.
Pondering the possibilities, the obvious choice was something blue. I am not a huge fan of blue curacao or the blue concoctions that call on it. But blue means tiki drinks, and that’s something I can get behind.
My first instinct was to reach for my copy of “Beachbum Berry Remixed” by Jeff Berry, the authority on tiki. This book has an entire section devoted to the blue drink in all its ill-advised forms. Reading the history and description of each drink gave me the strength to reexamine my thoughts on blue drinks. One in particular was so aptly named for our purposes that I couldn’t resist. A trip to the ABC for some blue curacao was in order.
The drink that had me giddy with the possibilities is called “The Best Year,” V. Bobby Batugo’s winning entry for the 1975 U.S. Bartenders’ Guild National Championship. It has so many things I generally steer clear of that it met the critical mass of must-try.
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It also has the advantage of being a blender drink, which makes it easier to make for a group. With the amount of alcohol in the recipe for a single serving, I would tend to serve these in smaller glasses and stretch the mixture. The Super Bowl is a long game, after all.
For my version, I floated a little Blavod black vodka on top for visual effect, I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy some just for that, but if you happen to see a couple of happy bottles, I would grab them.
Kevin and Heather Gavagan are Charlotte cocktail nerds who host public and private cocktail events. Follow them on Twitter (@hauntbarCLT) or email HauntbarCLT@gmail.com.
The Very Best Year
3 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice
3/4 ounce citrus liqueur, such as Licor 23 or Tuaca
3/4 ounce blue curacao
3/4 ounce Rose’s lime syrup
2 ounces vodka (I used Covington, to keep it local)
Place 1 cup crushed ice in a blender and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until well-mixed and pour into a tulip glass for one serving, or split it into rocks glasses or small wine glasses. Garnish with football shaped pineapple wedges and any clever plastic trinket you can come up with.
Yield: 1 generous serving. You can double it in most blenders.