Few things are more relaxing and fun than the back-to-back-to-back action of a Sunday spent with football, friends, and food. From the comfort of our living rooms, we swap stories, root against each other’s teams, and enjoy cheap beer and decent wings… hang on. That last part doesn’t sound as great as the rest.
It’s time to level up the football party. Hosting your friends for the extended Sunday lineup presents a perfect opportunity to show off your entertaining skills. Plus, it’s fun to plan: playing with the traditional flavors of football (think spicy, savory food) and combining them in creative food and drink recipes to introduce to your friends.
Your primary concern in hosting a killer football party is the spread. Providing options to satisfy your guests’ varying preferences—or even tempting them into trying something new—makes for a happy and vibrant gathering.
Let’s start with some delicious daytime cocktail ideas. Just like brunch, kickoff time on Sundays falls in that perfect window around lunchtime where the body is craving savory goodness. We recommend offering drink options that provide the perfect antidote to that craving: the Bloody Mary, the Michelada, and a selection of local craft beers.
Pro tip: both the Bloody Mary and the Michelada are flexible cocktails that are fun to dress up based on personal taste. Prep a selection of garnishes for your guests ahead of time and let them experiment. We recommend plenty of lemon and lime wedges, celery stalks, olives, a variety of cheeses, and some pickled veggies if you’re feeling extra fancy. A salt-rim station and a ‘make your own Bloody Mary’ bar will take it to the next level!
For the Bloody Mary lovers at your party, make sure that you have Toma on hand. Our artisanal blend will surprise and delight them with the freshest-tasting version of a Bloody. Toma is made with a blend of tomato juice and tomatillos and incorporates three homemade sauces: chipotle tomatillo, sriracha, and a steak sauce. It’s peppery, savory, and slightly smoky, with mouthwatering shots of bright, citrus acidity thanks to the tomatillo. Here’s how we like to prep ours.
The Toma Bloody Mary
Grab two cocktail glasses. Pour 8 ounces of Toma into a shaker with ice. Add 2-3 ounces of vodka and give it a light shake to blend the ingredients. Pour contents into the two cocktail glasses. Garnish with a lemon or lime wedge and a celery stalk.
Slightly less famous than the Bloody Mary but just as delicious is a Mexican beer cocktail called the Michelada. Since you’ll already have beer for your guests, offering Micheladas in your spread is a simple and creative way to encourage them to try a savory, spicy drink that uses Toma in a different way.
Micheladas can be a little lighter than the Bloody Mary, and for the beer fans in your life, they make a perfect Sunday sipper that offer a bit more experience for the taste buds. Here’s our recipe—and remember what we said about making them customizable.
The Toma Michelada
Mix in a pint glass: Fill the glass halfway with ice, add 2 oz of Toma, ½ oz of fresh squeezed lime juice, and top it off with 9 oz beer, preferably a lager like Modelo Especial or Pacifico. Add a lime wedge for garnish.
If you’ve got some spice lovers in the house, add a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce to the Michelada to give it an extra kick.
Our final tip for setting up an impressive and appealing Sunday drink spread is to think local. Elevate your offerings by choosing local craft beers. As New Yorkers, we’re really into Yonkers Brewing Co. and Montauk Brewing Co. lately. Need a recommendation on vodkas? We like Prohibition Distillery and Good Shepherd Distillery, both gluten-free options from NY.
Of course, no football Sunday is complete without savory snacks.
As we mentioned above, we’re big fans of incorporating traditional Sunday football flavors into creative, delicious dishes that are slightly more natural and healthy than the typical delivery order. Keep in mind that the bright acidity of Toma pairs beautifully with indulgent, savory meat dishes! Here are a few of our favorites.
Buffalo Chicken 3 Ways
Credit: Recipe Tin Eats
- 4 lb / 2 kg chicken wings, wingettes & drumettes
- 2 tbsp baking powder (NOT baking soda / bi-carb soda)
- ¾ teaspoons salt
For the Sauce
- 4 tbsp / 60g unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
For Bleu Cheese Dip
- ½ cup crumbled bleu cheese, softened (or gorgonzola)
- 1 – 3 tbsp milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove small garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- Black pepper
- Lay the wings on a rack on a rimmed baking tray and let them dry in the fridge overnight (or pat them dry with paper towels).
- Preheat the oven to 250.
- Place the wings in a large ziplock bag. Add baking powder and salt. Shake the bag to coat the wings evenly.
- Line a tray with foil. Spray the rack on the baking tray with oil. Place the wings skin side up on the rack. Bake on the lower shelf in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Then move the tray up to the higher shelf and turn the oven up to 425. Bake for a further 40 to 50 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through. The wings do not need to be turned over. The wings are ready when they are dark golden brown and the skin is very crispy.
- Toss with Hot Sauce and serve immediately with Bleu Cheese Dip and celery sticks. They can be served plain, with a dipping sauce or tossed in sauce.
For the Sauce
- Whisk together the Sauce ingredients. Keep warm or reheat just prior to using.
For the Bleu Cheese Dip
- Mash the bleu cheese with sour cream until smooth (or to your taste).
- Add remaining ingredients and mix well until combined, using milk to get it to the consistency you want.
- Store in the fridge until required. Remove from the fridge 15 minutes before serving.
Credit: Yummy Healthy Easy
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 12 oz bottle buffalo wing sauce
- Half a 1 oz package dry ranch salad dressing mix
- Whole wheat hamburger buns, for serving
- Bleu cheese dressing, for serving
- Bleu cheese crumbles, for serving
- Place the chicken breasts into the slow cooker, and pour about ¾ of the wing sauce on top of the chicken.
- Add the ranch dressing mix. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours, or until meat is cooked through and easy to shred.
- Once the chicken has cooked, shred the meat finely with two forks. Pile the meat onto the buns.
- Top with remaining buffalo wing sauce, blue cheese dressing and blue cheese crumbles to serve.
Credit: Eating Well
- 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup fine dry bread crumbs
- ½ cup very finely chopped carrot
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- ¼ cup crumbled bleu cheese
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 pound lean ground chicken
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Finely chop mushrooms, onion, celery and garlic in a food processor.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Add breadcrumbs, carrot, cheese, hot sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper to the cooled vegetables; stir until combined. Add chicken and mix gently to combine (do not overmix).
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.
- Form into 30 meatballs (a scant 2 tablespoons each) and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, about 15 minutes.
Once you’re well into your party and everyone is enjoying your outstanding food and cocktail pairings, hosting duties during the second half should be a breeze.