This year my Super Bowl drinks will be inspired by the craft beer and cocktail history of the home regions of the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs as well as by the preferences of a certain pop superstar. From historic cocktails to modern craft beers, both Kansas City and San Francisco have rich beverage scenes that offer plenty of inspiration behind the home bar. Personally, I like to pregame with a cocktail or two then stop all the mixing and shaking and keep my focus on the game with a beer in hand.Here are the Kansas City- or San Francisco-inspired drinks I’ll have on hand this Super Bowl.
1. Pisco Punch Developed by Duncan Nicol around 1900 at the Bank Exchange Saloon, this drink quickly became legendary. Nicol carried the exact secret of his recipe to his grave, but today modern Pisco Punch recipes generally call for a mix of pisco, simple syrup, pineapple and lemon juice. As for exactly what the original contained, speculation has ranged for decades and included everything from cocaine to absinthe. But perhaps, like the recipe for a winning Super Bowl team, the exact formula contains something more than the sum of its parts. As Rudyard Kipling mused about pisco punch in 1899, “It is compounded of the shavings of cherubs’ wings, the glory of a tropical dawn, the red clouds of sunset, and fragments of lost epics by dead masters.”
2.Horsefeather This take on the Moscow Mule is a Kansas City speciality. It substitutes whiskey for vodka, a lemon squeeze for lime juice and adds a few dashes of Angostura bitters. The result is a regional favorite that tastes like a cross between a Moscow Mule and a Whiskey Sour. Traditional versions of this drink call for Rieger’s Kansas City Whiskey to be used, but it works with other types of whiskey or bourbon for that matter. According to some accounts, the Horsefeather originated in the 1990s in Lawrence Kansas, but specific details are as murky as exactly when Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift became official.
3. The 21st Amendment Brewery Those pulling for the San Francisco 49ers will want to seek out cans from this beloved brewery founded in 2000 in San Francisco’s South Park neighborhood. In addition to its original brewpub space, the brewery now has a taproom in San Leandro. Thirsty football fans can also find these beers distributed nationally now. Some popular offerings include Brew Free or Die and Hell or High Watermelon. The brewery is named for the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition. Coincidentally, 21 is also about how old San Fracsisco quarterback Brock Purdy looks.
4.Boulevard Brewing Co. Opened in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Co. bills itself as Kansas City’s beer and the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest. As such it’s a common brew to toast the Kansas City Chief’s recent string of victories including two Super Bowl victories since 2020. Popular offerings include the brewery’s pale ale, Joker’s Wit, a Belgian-style wit beer, and the Space Camper Cosmic IPA. The beer is available in dozens of states and even offers several varieties of non-alcoholic beers — and it’s always a good idea to have some non-alcoholic options at every Super Bowl party.
5.French Blonde Reportedly this is Swift’s new favorite cocktail, or at the very least she ordered it once. I hate myself a bit for including this here, but like it or not the cameras will be panning to Swift every chance they get. That means that for better or worse this drink is thematically appropriate — and it’s a fun drink. The recipe calls for gin, elderflower liqueur, Lillet Blanc, grapefruit juice and lemon juice. This may not actually be Swift’s favorite drink, or even what she’ll be drinking during the game, but if you serve it to your guests, the bright and floral cocktail is sure to be a hit, or perhaps I should say, touchdown.