Cocktails for Your Big Game Party

footballWe still don’t know quite yet which teams are headed to the Big Game,  but we do know that It’s the NFC vs. the AFC and we have some entertaining to do. In 2015, it was the Seattle Seahawks vs the New England Patriots, so we thought we’d use those teams to give you a little party inspiration for the Big Game no matter who ends up on the gridiron.

In addition to rich dips and crunchy chips, cocktails are a must for any Big Game party. Coming up with cocktails to match each team, is more simple than you might think.  Here are a few ideas for cocktails for your Big Game party.

patriots-flagBoston has a number of cocktails that bear its name. While the  Boston Cocktail (3/4 oz gin, 3/4 oz apricot brandy, 1 1/2 tsp grenadine syrup, juice of 1/4 lemon) is the obvious choice because of the name,  Ward 8 has deep roots in the city’s history. It was created in 1898 to honor Boston Politician, Martin Lomasney, and the ward he represented — Ward 8. Here’s how to make it:

  • 2 ounces rye whisky
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

It’s the cocktail for someone with a sweet tooth. If beer is your preference for snack accompaniment, Sam Adams is still one of the most preferred beers in the nation, but there are several Boston craft beers you can pick from to serve your guests.

seahawks-pictureIn Seattle, super fans of the Seahawks want The Last Word. By “The Last Word,” we mean the cocktail. It was originally created in Detroit in the prohibition era, but during a cocktail renaissance in Seattle, it found a new home.

Here’s how to make it:

  • ¾ oz. gin
  • ¾ oz. green Chartreuse
  • ¾ oz. maraschino liqueur, like Luxardo
  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Just like Boston, Seahawks love their beer. There are plenty of Seattle beers to choose from but for football fans, the taste of the northwest your guests might be looking for is Rainier Beer.

No matter what teams make it to the Big Game, there are fun ways to mix up cocktails to honor each time and each city as you cheer them on.

You don’t have to have a favorite team to cheer on during the Big Game — football’s most important game can be fun for everyone with the right food, drinks and entertainment. Check out LTD for more products and ideas for your Big Game party!

Holiday Spirit: Curious Facts About Christmas

ltd-tree-pinkChristmas has evolved quite a bit over the centuries. Santa certainly didn’t deliver gifts at the first Christmas and candy canes weren’t a seasonal candy available in Bethlehem — these customs and traditions were picked up along the way and spread from culture to culture. Here are 5 curious facts about Christmas you didn’t know.

When in Rome Conventional wisdom suggests the Christmas tree tradition was started in Germany because of the seasonal song “O Tannenbaum,” but decorating evergreens for the winter holiday can be traced back to Ancient Rome. Ancient Romans dressed boughs of evergreen trees with fruits and nuts for their Saturnalia celebrations each winter. Early Christians may have adopted the evergreen tree as a symbol of rebirth and renewal to make the holiday feel more familiar to Roman converts to Christianity. The German tradition dates from the 1700s, but it didn’t catch on in England and America until the 1800s when Queen Victoria wrote about her happy memories of decorating trees as a princess.

nativity-ornament-setX Marks the Holiday Most people believe the “X” in Xmas is a way for advertisers to shorten the name of the holiday, but the nickname has a long history that has nothing to do with marketing and commerce. It’s a deeply religious symbol that got its start in monasteries. First commonly used in religious texts in the 1400s, the letter “X” signified the cross and was the first letter of Christ’s name in the Greek alphabet. For monks who spent hours toiling over manuscripts, finding a way to write quickly and efficiently was vital. When they replaced Christ’s name with an X, they were using what linguists call a Christogram.

American Revolution Christmas was once illegal in Boston. Until 1681, celebrating Christmas in Puritan Boston would cost you a five-shilling fine. Eventually, civic leaders loosened up and allowed Christmas celebrations, but even then, early Americans weren’t big on the holiday; in fact, some Puritans considered it a holdover from Catholicism. It didn’t become a federal holiday until 1870, in part because the Puritans disapproved.

Little People Louisa May Alcott, the author famous for writing Little Women and Little Men, penned many short stories, novels and non-fiction articles, but a lesser known fact is that she’s responsible for giving Santa his elves. One of her short stories in 1856 mentioned Christmas elves, pointy-capped creatures who helped Santa Claus care for his reindeer and make gifts for good children. Although the story wasn’t published in her lifetime, she shared it with other writers, and a few years later, a story about Santa’s elves appeared in a copy of the magazine “Godey’s Lady’s Book,” one of the most influential publications of its time. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are enduring characters, but Alcott’s most famous literary creations might be Santa’s little helpers.ltd-pet-hats

Merry Petmas! Most people who have pets consider them part of the family. About 64% of American pet owners buy their pets gifts — some even hang the requisite stocking over the fireplace. Extra treats, a squeaky toy or a pet bed, we want to bring holiday cheer to every member of the family, four-legged and otherwise.

Happy holidays from LTD! Whether you’re celebrating with extended family or you’re having a quiet holiday with your pup, we wish you well this season and for the year to come.