Super Cocktails for the Super Bowl

Super Cocktails for the Super Bowl

Today our resident cocktail expert David Kline is sharing some stories about The Big Game and cocktails for a crowd.  David has 40+ years experience in the hospitality industry and in this article he brings an added element.  He shares with Tripping Vittles the honor of going to college in Wisconsin and the propensity to enjoy a large batch cocktail once or twice while earning a higher education degree! Read on for Super Cocktails for the Super Bowl.

Well, it’s that time of year again and as the Big Game that brings people with opposing fan loyalties together for parties that present a fair façade of football fandom détente we’re faced for the 53rd time with that old question – what can we drink besides beer on Super Bowl Sunday?  

 Believe me when I say I’ve been a beer fan from way back (more on that in a minute)  But I like to have choices, so it seems reasonable to me to have water, non-alcoholic beverages, beer and other options to get me through the long game.  To get to today’s offerings I’ll take you back in time to give you some insight on my inspiration.


I had the great fortune to spend my undergraduate years at a small liberal arts college in a small town in Wisconsin.  My experiences there broadened my world view (having grown up in Kansas even Wisconsin could broaden my world view) and provided me with a wealth of experiences that reward me to this day.

The Wisconsin setting no doubt was the key.  Beer.  Lots of beer.   I have fond memories of absurdly inexpensive cases of Point beer that slaked my thirst reliably and often.  This was well before Stevens Point Brewing ever sold their Special Lager outside of Wisconsin.  For those of you who may have a dim view of Point Beer based on your own personal experiences with it I can only say it was a time and a place and the beer was fine on my young, budgeted palate.  Lest you think Point had no panache I will direct you to a proud moment in Wisconsin beer history in 1973 when a contentious columnist named Mike Royko, then based at the Chicago Daily News, reported that in a taste test Point Special was rated the #1 American beer!

Wapatuli The College Cocktail for a Crowd

So there has always been beer in hand while watching Football.  But those college days also provided other drinking opportunities.  Ubiquitous at a dorm gathering or frat party was a beverage called Wapatuli (spelling and recipe variations abound); a uniquely democratic blend of a variety of unrelated clear and brown alcohols , fruit juices, sodas and sliced and diced fruit served in a punch bowl or, more commonly, in a garbage bag-lined trash can. Drink at your own risk!

This is not urban legend.  I drank it and drank it willingly with a silly smile on my face.  It should be noted that repeated visits to the trash can reduced inhibitions as consistently as it did memories of the party itself.  I’m proud to report that my palate and my pride survived these primitive punch revelries.  Fear not, I will not be giving you a Wapatuli recipe for Super Bowl consumption, but the punch theme is the inspiration for turning a single cocktail concept into a tempered large batch drink that will not only enable you to make it through the game, but allow you to remember it, too!


If you’re going to drink alcohol for several hours you should, by necessity, be thinking about drinking in moderation.  I’ve crafted the following two drinks with a modicum of alcohol and a maximum of flavor. These are session drinks – meaning you can drink several easily in a session (over the course of a long Super Bowl game, let’s say) and with minimal alcohol impact on your palate, judgement and central nervous system.   I designed these drinks to present the alcohol subtly, as in a punch you might find in a punch bowl. 

The aesthetics are appealing. The flavor profiles are bold and clean with good acidity (keeps your palate freshened) and minimal carbonation.  Between the two drinks the key flavors are black cherry, almond, cranberry, Kentucky bourbon whiskey, Tennessee whiskey, apple cider, red apple, peach and cinnamon.  Food friendly, these drinks should comport themselves gregariously with any Menu of Super Bowl Vittles 

I’ve provided you with a single cocktail version (6¼ oz.) and a batch version (56¼ oz.).  The batched version should fit in an average-sized pitcher.  Part of the batch plan here was to make it easy for you to create these ahead of time for less stress on game day.  Another part of the plan was to keep the recipes simple with few ingredients so that if you have to make more on the fly during the game you won’t be stuck in the kitchen for long.

Storage for larger batches cocktails, glass jars with screwed or clamping lids, Mason jars would  also work – [amazon_link asins=’B00488YR4U,B0041SWYFQ’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’trippingvittl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’63907f19-cbb7-4e34-8401-0a846676c2b4′]

Let your guest count and party style dictate your service style during the game. 

How upscale or casual is your party?  Upscale could mean glassware of the old-fashioned, highball or pint style.  Casual could mean anything from a red Solo cup to an acrylic tumbler.  The idea is to keep the service simple.  You’ll need ice cubes or cracked ice.  An ice scoop and bucket.  Serving Container. Note if you use a large container be sure you keep ice separate and add to each drink. will keep it from diluting the cocktail.   [amazon_link asins=’B073QM7QR1,B00WFELKWQ,B0006VODEM,B076K3Y315,B0153DJV8A,B002B4SX8O’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’trippingvittl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d73af504-5de8-4d22-aa1c-4942c2ce1a7d’]

The following are your Super Cocktails for Super Bowl Sunday.

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