Doing it right: how to drink and watch sports at the same time
World Best Bar
Apr 09, 2019
26 November 2020
It’s the perfect time to celebrate all the hard training and clean living your favourite athlete does. How, you may ask? By doing all the drinking for them, of course! Find out which drinks to pair with which sport below.
Pairing drinks with sports watching does not need to be complicated. For example, no sport is associated with a drink quite like lager and football. They’re so linked, in fact, that both Manchester United and Liverpool had their own lager brands at one point.
Apart from the literally millions of lager ads featuring football that have been released, it’s the obvious choice. It’s not too strong, meaning you can make it through extra time and penalties without a problem, and it’s fizzy, giving you a much-needed lift if your team is doing badly.
Another classic drink associated with sport is Pimm’s, which is much a part of tennis as strawberries, cream and the huge amounts of pressure put on every British player. It’s such a strong pairing, in fact, that Pimm’s was actually the 2017 sponsor of Wimbledon. You can always tell that tennis season is coming when there’s a run on strawberries, cucumber, apple, mint and lemonade in the supermarket, as people make their own Pimm’s cup cocktails ready for a few hours of screaming ‘COME ON, ANDY’ at the television.
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Ice Hockey: hot toddy
Ice hockey can be a cold sport for those watching. The rink temperature is usually around -4 degrees Celsius to keep the ice frozen, and the temperature around the rink is a pretty chilly 12 degrees Celsius.
If the sight of grown men beating each other up on ice skates over a puck doesn’t get your blood pumping and your body warm, you might need a little help getting toasty. What you need, in short, is a hot toddy, the steamily hot cocktail of whisky, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon for taste and boiling water. As well as staving off a cold, this warm concoction will keep you toasty well into the third period.
With some of the world’s best and most beautiful golf courses located in Scotland and being so close to some of the world’s best whisky distilleries, it’s no surprise that golf and whisky have become a sport and drink match. A dram or two of good Scottish whisky has been drunk on the golf course and, of course, at the ‘19th hole,’ the clubhouse.
In particular, there is a connection between the iconic single-malt Glenmorangie and the Royal Dornoch golf. The whisky is produced near the course, and there are links between the golf course and the whisky manufacturers that go back generations. It is now the official whisky of Royal Dornoch. In 2013, the course even renamed their 18th hole ‘Glenmorangie’ in tribute to their neighbour.
In fact, the spirit is so beloved among golfers that it is known as the ‘The Official Spirit of the Open Championship’.
Sumo Wrestling: sake
Sumo wrestling may not be watched much in the west, but in Japan, it’s as massive as the athletes themselves. Top wrestlers are paid as much as your average Premier League footballers.
Ever wondered why sumo wrestlers have such smooth skin? No? Well a group of sports scientists did, so they performed infrared scans of sumos. They found that the amount of sake, a type of Japanese rice wine, they drank raised their body temperature on average by 2 degrees. This improved blood circulation, helping nutrients reach across the body.
In fact, sake can have benefits even if you do not intend to enter the dohyo any time soon. With 10 and 20 times more amino acids than grape-based wines, sake has a number of health benefits. So, to paraphrase a classic joke, it might be time to order six Japanese rice wines and DO get all sake.
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Darts – any drink you can lay your hands on
How do you get yourself the oche-ready body of your favourite darts star? All the drinks and pub curries you can find. Darts has long had a (perhaps unfair) reputation for being a boozy sport alongside its more civilised sister, snooker. Unsurprisingly for a sport that began life as a pub game, darts players are usually known as big drinkers. There was even a sketch in 1980s British sketch show Not the Nine O’clock News that saw dart players competing to down the most pints rather than triple-20s. Really want to get into the darts watching spirit(s)? A triple of everything.
These are just some of the classic drink and sport pairings. And with a little experimentation the next time you visit your local sports bar, maybe you’ll discover another iconic sport and alcohol match.
Photo by LightFieldStudios on iStock