I may not be able to help you perfect that shuttlecock serve, but I am pretty proficient at picking the right drink for the right occasion. Here's five recipes to help make watching the Olympic games even greater.
This creative cocktail takes its continental moniker from the gold medal-winning Olympic fencer. But you should only have it when watching swordplay, and only when using this recipe from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz: Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway with cracked ice. Add 1 ounce gin, 1/2 ounce Cointreau, 1/2 ounce Campari, 1/2 ounce dry vermouth. Stir well and then strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.
This well-balanced combo should be consumed when watching track and field, specifically the sprinters. At least one will have the nickname “Flash,” which will make consuming the drink even more poignant. This is another recipe from GBVF: Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway with cracked ice. Add 3/4 ounce Cointreau, 3/4 ounce kirsch, 3/4 ounce Bénédictine, and 3/4 ounce maraschino liqueur. Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a little grated nutmeg.
Ideal for sipping during any medal ceremony or when you’ve just won a bet on who will take the Men's Trampoline gold. Be careful though--don't spill your drink imitating the athletes. This is also from GBVF: Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add 1-1/2 ounces brandy, 1 ounce Grand Marnier, 1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and 1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed orange juice. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
American Champagne Cocktail
This is an elegant mix and perfect for those moments when you’re feeling especially patriotic and want to toast not only individual competitors but the whole U.S.A. contingent. The recipe’s from Good Spirits: Add one cube of ice to a Champagne flute (if both your Champagne and orange juice are chilled, feel free to omit the ice). Add 4 ounces of Champagne, then 1-1/2 ounces freshly-squeezed orange juice. Stir briefly. Float, carefully, 1 ounce bourbon on top of the other ingredients. Garnish with an orange slice.
If you’re starting to feel as if you’ve spent a few too many hours gazing into the T.V. while watching the games, head on down to the Rob Roy (Belltown, 2332 2nd Avenue) and order this delight. You can have it in honor of Trixie Shuba, the Austrian Olympic figure skating champion of 1972. Its combination of bourbon, grapefruit, Creme de Mure, honey, and sparkling cava is certainly worth an award.
Lucien Gaudin photo copyright 2011, Harvard Common Press and Jerry Errico.