A funny thing happened in the midst of defeat last Sunday. I concocted a cocktail recipe that tastes delicious, features the colors of my beloved Denver Broncos, and can serve as either a remedy to soften the loss of the championship game, celebrate the amazing season that got them to the Super Game, or give you a burst of summer in the middle of winter. Pick your pleasure.
After the painful loss - painful because it was not a close game – I thought I’d name my drink the Orange Elixir. My husband gets credit for Orange Crushed.
It can serve as an elixir for what ails you.
It started with a failure to obtain what I thought would be a key ingredient. Orange Crush soda. Shelves were empty in two of my local groceries. I inquired on Facebook to see if the soda was still being made or if it was available in Colorado. I grew up with it in Ohio, so I wasn’t sure if it was a Midwest thing. Nope, I had friends here in Denver who had stocked up – in advance.
Game day arrived and like most Americans, even when I thought I was ready for the party, I found that I needed just a few more things at the grocery.
I found individual bottles of Orange Crush! Yay!
Boo! They were past their prime. (Seriously not a reference to Peyton Manning). I left the five bottles on the shelf because one expired in early November of 2013 and the other four expired at the beginning of January. They may not have been lethal, but I bet they would taste flat. Kind of like the final score between Denver and Seattle. For Broncos fans only, Seahawks fans are elated. Lesson learned, always check the expiration dates! Oh, and Denver, beef up your defense!
When we watch Broncos games, we don’t really have traditions yet, or superstitions. I know diehard, lifelong fans do. We are still somewhat new supporters. I grew up the heart of Cincinnati Bengals territory, not all that far from the sacred stomping grounds of the Cleveland Browns. I have family and friends on each side, sometimes friendly, other times not so much. I still don’t understand how some states have two professional teams playing the same sport and how others have none. The almighty dollar I suppose.
Back to Super Game day. I placed our Mickey Mouse on a chair to watch and cheer for the team whose jersey he wears. Way to bring the magic, Mickey. Not! That’s okay, we still love you. Both you and the Denver Broncos!
I made food with an orange and blue theme. Pulled barbeque chicken was simmering in the crock pot, orange dyed buns were ready to be filled with the BBQ and topped with cole slaw laced with cayenne pepper, a fruit salad of cantaloupe balls, orange slices, and blueberries were ready to balance out the orange and blue sprinkles buttercream cupcakes, and I had gathered ingredients for what sounded like a refreshing cocktail featuring Denver Broncos colors.
We were ready!
Sadly, I question whether the Broncos were, but I don’t want to kick them while they’re down. We are very proud of their hard work and winning season which got them to the Super Game in New York! It really was a hell of a ride to be proud of and for that, I lift my glass a mile high and say “Thank You, Orange and Blue!”
Orange Crushed Cocktail
Fill a martini shaker with a few cubes of ice, then add the remaining ingredients and shake.
One part Vanilla vodka (it is what I had on hand, I’m sure it would taste good with plain vodka)
One part Cointreau orange flavored liqueur
Two parts Orange Crush soda (because I couldn’t find it, I used Sunkist soda)
If you’re not driving anywhere and want a stronger drink, add another part vodka.
Pour into a cocktail glass and use a small ice cream scoop or spoon to garnish with 3/4 scoops of mango sherbet. (I’m sure orange sherbet would be yummy too). The sherbet gives it a creamy texture and keeps it cool. Finish off by dunking a few fresh or frozen blueberries. I used fresh.
Cheers and the crowd goes wild! Looking forward to next season!