Thirsty Thursday: Drink Pairings with Sweet-and-Spicy Snacks for the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XLVII is this weekend, which means I’m getting ready to make a big batch of football finger foods. To me, this classic American experience isn’t just about the Big Game (and the entertaining commercials), but also about the good drinks and finger lickin’ foods. This year I’m pairing sweet-and-spicy snacks with a few zippy, homemade cocktails for an outstanding Super Bowl spread.

I’m starting with a Sweet and Spicy Popcorn Snack Mix (pictured above). Popcorn, almonds and pepitas are tossed in a buttery mixture of sugar, smoky chili powder, lemon zest and hot cayenne. Caution: This zesty, cayenne-kissed snack is highly addictive.

Next, I’m opting for chicken wings, a Game Day classic. While there is really no such thing as bad chicken wings, it’s rare to have really memorable wings that are sweet, sticky and bursting with spicy, sinus-clearing flavor. These Spiced Honey-Glazed Chicken Wings are perfumed with honey, curry powder, cumin and piquant hot sauce.

I’m kicking off the drink pairings with Minty Meyer Lemonade (pictured, top) made with a fresh mint-infused simple syrup and small, sweet Meyer lemons. Make a large pitcher of this for a crowd — and for the adults, add a shot of vodka to each glass before serving.

The Ginger Rum Shandy is the perfect cocktail for the Super Bowl. This mixture of ginger simple syrup, apple juice, spiced rum and lime is topped with a generous portion of effervescent beer.

Lastly, these spicy snacks wouldn’t be complete without being paired with a Chelada, a Latin American drink made with Mexican lager and lime and served in chilled, salt-rimmed glasses.

Bottoms up, folks.

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