I wanted to create a special drink for the Super Bowl. Here were the criteria I set:
- The ingredients should somehow reflect on the Steelers, the Pittsburgh area, and football.
- The recipe should be original (although it could be roughly based on a not-well-known drink).
- It should taste good.
Football and western PA are nearly synonymous, and there’s an easy link to both of them: Iron City Beer. The trouble is that I hate Iron City Beer. Not as much as I hate Bud or any of the various Miller products or (heaven forfend) Coors, but it’s a strong distaste all the same. I’m sorry to offend but c’mon: It’s thin and bland, an ailing brew. And yet, it’s the hometown brew, the bottle (or can, or disposable plastic cup) that the true believers of Pittsburgh will be raising this weekend. If I could work it into the drink, I’d be well on my way to my best-ever Bowl beverage.
As avid Googlers (welcome, handsome strangers!) and faithful readers (hello, all five of you!) already know, I am terribly fond of our mad-sexy Troy Polamalu. So of course I wanted to somehow connect the drink to him.
But how to bring these elements together and at the same time make the drink irresistably quaffable?
The answer: Pimm’s No. 1.
Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based liqueur, deep amber in color and cloyingly sweet. It tastes like Moxie. Actually, I’ve never had Moxie (the drink, that is), but Pimm’s No. 1 tastes precisely how I imagine Moxie to taste, and it has a solid alcoholic kick to boot.
How does it solve my mixological dilemma? Well, Pimm’s No. 1 is a critical component of what Britons drink at sporting events. OK, at Wimbledon and various cricket matches, but those are big events there. The Super Bowls of Britannia. So, it’s a sport-oriented drink. Plus, it begins with “P” so it ties in Polamalu (tenuously). And the name says “No. 1,” which is what the winner of the Super Bowl is.
And most importantly, it makes thin beer taste good. The typical way to drink Pimm’s No. 1 is to add it to lemonade, ginger ale, tonic, champagne… any mildly flavored mixer. I found that if you put some No. 1 in a couple of ounces of lager, you’ve got a close approximation to a Belgian beer. (It tastes even better after you’ve had two.) It’s perfect! I’m going to bring a flask of it to all future softball games.
And so, without further ado:
Pimm’s No. 43 Trophy Cup
(a My Brilliant Mistakes original)
1 part Pimm’s No. 1
4 parts western PA lager (Iron City, Rolling Rock, Yuengling)
half a lemon slice
Pour Pimm’s in a rocks glass; follow with lager, pouring down the side of the glass to avoid creating a big fizzy head. Put lemon garnish on glass rim or squeeze at nearby Seahawks fans, as appropriate. Every time Polamalu causes a Seattle player to hit the turf, drink.
Be advised: This drink has an honorable kick. I’m having one now (OK, my third), and it has taken me three tries to type this sentence correctly.