So how does a cigar enthusiast like yourself watch the big game? Tuning in alone is no fun, even if you light up a choice stick, and the odds are slim to none that your neighbor’s Super Bowl party will allow cigar smoking. We say it’s time to strike up the courage and throw your own cigar-friendly Super Bowl bash.
While there’s nothing wrong with going big for the Super Bowl, cigar enthusiasts are a relatively easy group to please. A cigar-centric party doesn’t need to be a complex affair, because after all, the game itself is the main attraction.
So check your television to make sure it’s in working order, set out plenty of comfortable seats and improve your smoke-friendly room with some additional ventilation. Further ensure the comfort of your guests by putting out a few hearty dishes (think meats and starches), sprinkle in some fine cigars and choice spirits, and top everything off with a little casual gambling to lighten up the mood.
And should any of your guests gripe about the lack of pomp and circumstance, smile and pass them a cigar. Then lead them out the door, because the game is on.
If you’re lucky, your cigar buddies will do the right thing and show up to the party packing their own heaters. But there’s bound to be a few stragglers who show up empty handed, so it would be wise to go shopping and stock up on cigars so that everyone has something to puff.
The Super Bowl is a nearly all-day affair, making it the perfect opportunity to light up smokes that take a long time to finish. Think Churchills, double coronas and grandes. These cigars typically take at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours to completely smoke, meaning you and your guests will have more time to focus on the game instead of deciding what cigar to smoke next.
To get an idea of some great cigars to buy that skew towards the larger side, start with our Top 25 Cigars of 2017. Out of the 25 cigars on the list, there are six non-Cubans that fall into one of these three tasting categories: The No. 5 Alec Bradley Tempus Natural Centuria, No. 7 My Father The Judge Grand Robusto, No. 16 Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon Churchill, No. 18 E.P. Carrillo Dusk Solidos, No. 20 Macanudo Inspirado Orange Churchill, and No. 25 Undercrown Churchill. Not only are these top-notch cigars, but they cover a range of strengths, from medium to full body.
And don’t forget to set out additional ashtrays, cutters and lighters. The last thing you want is guests searching for an accessory because supplies are lacking.
If your idea of provisioning drinks for a Super Bowl party is to lay out a few cases of beer or tap a keg, you can be excused. After all, 52 years of not-so-subtle reminders have conditioned us to think that brews are the official quaff of the Super Bowl. Watching seemingly endless loops of prancing Clydesdales and simulations of light beer scrimmaging with lager will do that to a guy.
Well, move over fizzy hops and barley. Spirits are fielding an offense that just might make them your Super Bowl favorite. In your home stadium you’re free to please guests (and maybe more importantly, yourself) with a few more choices from the drinks playbook.
There’s little denying that beer makes for easy entertaining. It practically serves itself and clean up is minimal. Your pregame strategy centers exclusively on how to make it and keep it cold. Then it’s every man for himself. Serving Super spirits is a little more complicated, but the game plan can prevail if you have a good strategy.
Choose your guests wisely: Remember, the main event at a Super Bowl party is the game. Minimize the number of high-maintenance characters who think their desire for a Pink Squirrel cocktail supersedes the action. You don’t want football dilettantes interrupting a goal-line stand to ask if you have Crème de Noyaux and “Will you shave some ice, please?”
Keep it simple: A basic bar spread for a Super Bowl should include four spirits and four mixers. Choose your liquor based on your friends’ preferences and where you live, but basic choices to consider are Bourbon, gin, rum, Scotch, Tequila and vodka. Club soda, cola, ginger ale and tonic water will cover the mixers. Cut up lemons and limes and provide more ice than you think you’ll need. That’s it. Don’t include rarified aperitifs and liqueurs. They will give the guests the impression they are at a cocktail party—which they are not.
There is no such thing as a Super Bowl cocktail: The Kentucky Derby may hold claim to the Mint Julep and the Henley Regatta has its Pimm’s Cup. But despite the best efforts of the so-called modern bar chefs, no mixed-drink concoction has attached itself to the Super Bowl. Nor should it. Again the focus is the game, not six-ingredient extravaganzas. If someone insists, here’s a cocktail inspiration specific to this year’s game: the Pigskin. It works on the premise that footballs are brown and Minnesota is cold. Place one large ice cube in a rocks glass. Cover with Bourbon.
Punch it up: We know, we know, the word “punch” itself conjures notions of teenage parties where some card spikes the punch bowl with hooch. But first of all, at your party there’ll be no bowl. This is flu season after all. Why chance an epidemic with an open cauldron that people dip their cups and sneeze into? And second, you’ll be spiking it yourself when you prepare beforehand. Today’s punches are more like premixed batch drinks, which guests can pour out of a pitcher into their glass. Pick a classic mixed drink—say, a Daiquiri or a Whiskey Sour. Multiply the volume of ingredients by a factor of eight. Combine in a large pitcher. Stir. Refrigerate. Provide glasses and ice for your guests to serve themselves. Watch the game.
Rejoice in style: When your team wins, what better celebration than a few fingers of single malt and a cigar. And should your gladiators fall short? Don’t cry into your beer. That’s what Cognac is for.
Visit a bar or attend a party on Super Bowl Sunday and you will surely see a grid taped to the wall. Most likely, it will be made of oak tag and contain 100 boxes sketched out in Magic Marker. Each box will have a name inside it and corresponding numbers. Everyone participating will have kicked in a few bucks and payoffs will be made as various points are scored. If your numbers correspond to the score or to the points made, you win.
This is fun as far as it goes, but it’s all based on luck, and, frankly, more suited to grandmas than gamblers. If you want to kick things up for your Super Bowl party or gathering at your favorite sports bar, check out the so-called prop bets being offered by casinos.
Prop bets are wagers on specific occurrences that take place over the course of the game. They include everything from how many yards Tom Brady throws for to whether the coin-toss will be heads or tails. Print them up on sheets of paper, have everybody kick in the same few bucks that they would for the grid pool, and whoever gets the most bets right wins all the money.
Bill Krackomberger, a professional sports bettor known as Krackman, offers one tip: if you are wary of a prop bet, take the under. “Seventy-five percent of my prop bets will be on unders and negative outcomes,” Krackman says.