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!

National Hot Dog Month: Best Cities for Hot Dogs

Hot-dogJuly is National Hot Dog Month — it’s no surprise because with all of the cookouts, the hot dog is at the top of the list for easiest (and tastiest) food to grill. But everyone has a different way to eat a hot dog — and some of those can’t be described as anything but interesting. Topping the dog is usually where opinions differ (opinions are quite strong if you’re talking about ketchup), but everyone is entitled to their opinions — including cities who have very strong opinions. Here are a few of the best cities for hot dogs with the strongest opinions on how they’re prepared.

Cape Neddick In Maine, they go to Cape Neddick to get their hot dog fix. The hot dogs are steamed and 90% of them are topped with mayonnaise and onion sauce. Compared to a Chicago dog, Maine hot dog toppings may be pared down, but outsiders think they’re just as weird.

Chicago In the City of Big Shoulders you get a hot dog with Big Toppings. To an outsider, having an all-beef hot dog on a poppy seed bun topped with yellow mustard, diced onions, neon green sweet pickle relish (has to be neon), a whole dill pickle spear, tomato slices, whole sport peppers and a dash of celery salt, is totally weird and totally too much. But to a Chicagoan, it tastes like home.Hot-dog

Detroit Detroiters eat Coney Island Hot Dogs or “Coneys” but they are a far cry from the brown mustard and sauerkraut people in Coney Island actually eat. A Coney is an all-beef hot dog topped with all-meat chili, raw onion and yellow mustard. The name comes from the Coney Island style restaurant, but the hot dog originated in Michigan.

Honolulu If you’re traveling to Honolulu or other parts of Hawaii, you’ll find the brilliant Hawaiian style hot dog. It’s a Hawaiian sweet bun pierced in the center – so it doesn’t have to be sliced – and a grilled Polish sausage is placed inside so the whole dog is wrapped in bread. It’s garnished with mango or pineapple relish and Hawaiian mustard or garlic lemon sauce. A Hawaiian dog with shave ice for dessert – that’s island style.

Los Angeles Dodger Dogs are what the ballpark is serving in Los Angeles. It’s a skinless, foot-long pork dog, grilled or steamed and topped however you like it. That means you can put mustard AND ketchup on it without getting any ribbing from other hot dog eaters.

New York City New Yorkers keep it simple: an all-beef hot dog, spicy brown mustard and sauerkraut or raw onions. From the carts on Central Park all the way to Coney Island, this is how you get a hot dog in New York.Hot-dog

Seattle Just when you didn’t think hot dogs could get any weirder, we arrive at Seattle. In Seattle, a Polish sausage is split down the middle, cloaked in a toasted bialy and shmeared with cream cheese. It originated in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s; much like the grunge music of the same period, it is an acquired taste.

Tucson In Tucson and in other parts of Arizona, you will find the Sonoran hot dog. Being it was created in the Southwest, this makes sense. Kind of. It’s like a taco-hot dog fusion. It has hot and cold toppings; hot: pinto beans, bacon and grilled onions; cold: diced onions, diced tomatoes, jalapeno sauce, mustard and mayonnaise. It’s a lot for a wiener to take on, but it’s a winner.

At LTD Commodities, we celebrate hot dogs in any way they’re dressed up! Whether it’s topped with cream cheese or ketchup, as long as the barbecue is bumpin’, we won’t turn down a dog.

Seattle vs. New England: Regional Food for the Big Game

fish-and-chipsSunday, February 1, 2015, the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots go head-to-head on the gridiron for football’s championship title. While the players will be battling it out on the ball field, fans and foodies will be duking it out at the dinner table! The Big Game has created a true culinary face-off between two cities and two coasts — but whichever dishes you want to serve at your Big Game party, you’ll be the big winner! Here’s what you have to work with for regional food for the Big Game:

Fish and chips: Both Seattle and Boston boast of some of the best fish and chips in the nation. They both use cod and they’re both served with coleslaw.

Oysters: Seattle and Boston name oysters as hometown favorites. Who has the best should only be determined by experts.

Hot dogs: Seattle makes the hot dog its own by adding cream cheese and grilled onions to it — it was the brainchild of a bagel purveyor who wanted to please late night crowds during the grunge boom of the ‘80s and ‘90s..

Boston hot dog lovers are on the purist side. What makes up Boston’s Fenway Frank (named for the home of the Red Sox) are sauerkraut and mustard. It’s been a Boston fan favorite since the early 1900s.

crabcakesCrab Cakes: Seattle and Boston crab cakes recipes are both derived from Maryland, but Seattle has bragging rights with its Dungeness crabs.

Side dishes: Boston has Boston baked beans. They were a staple for the Pilgrims when they settled in Massachusetts. Settlers didn’t do any work on Sundays to observe the Sabbath — which included cooking meals. To get around this rule, they would cook the beans overnight (molasses being the key ingredient) on Saturdays so they’d have a hot meal to eat on Sunday.

Though it’s not something you can get everywhere in Seattle and they don’t have a rich history (just rich flavor), the garlic fries at Safeco Field are among Seattle’s iconic foods, so we’re pitting them against Boston’s beans. Both the beans and the fries can be made at home with comparable prep times.

Dessert: Boston has an obvious signature dessert: Boston cream pie. A french pastry chef at the Parker House Hotel is credited with coming up with this dessert in 1856. It’s not really a pie — it’s more of a pudding cake (yellow cake, custard filling, chocolate ganache icing) — but it’s celebrated as a Boston favorite and became the official dessert of the commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1996.99668421

Seattle doesn’t have a signature dessert like Boston does, but it does have a famous dessert that can easily be replicated at your Big Game party (and it would make a pretty spectacular end to the game if the Seahawks win): The Lunar Orbiter. Basically, it’s an ice cream sundae served in a bowl atop a bowl filled with dry ice. Before taking a bite, water is poured on to the dry ice to make cloud-like vapors as you eat your sweet treat. They served it at the restaurant that tops the Space Needle for decades, but it’s been replaced by bread pudding, cheesecake parfait and seasonal cobblers.

Of course this list doesn’t include all of each city’s best food (we left off coffee, salmon and clam chowder), but there’s enough on your list to make a pretty amazing spread if you want your Big Game party to outshine the actual game. Even if the team you’re rooting isn’t favored to win, your food will be more than enough for a great party.