The Bulls' season is history and Chicago baseball isn't exactly lighting it up, so it's a safe bet that the city is ready to raise a glass for the Blackhawks.
Generally when hockey fans pull up in front of the TV or at their local arena, their experience is accompanied with a beer. But with tickets so hard to come by, perhaps it's time to class it up and go with a cocktail.
Besides, the way the contentious NHL playoffs have gone, fans might want to take refuge in a stiff drink. Here are a few suggestions for hockey lovers.
The Sharpshooter -- For Blackhawks fans, in honor of Patrick Sharp
1/2 oz. ouzo, 1/2 oz. vodka, 6 drops hot sauce (cocktails.uk.com)
Patrick Sharp has been a leader and nothing short of a sharpshooter all season. He remains so in the 2014 postseason, having had a huge hand in eliminating St. Louis. Yet no matter who the Hawks face along the way, it's safe to say the playoffs will remain a hot mess.
The B-52 -- For Blackhawks fans, in honor of Brandon Bollig
1/3 shot coffee liqueur, 1/3 shot amaretto almond liqueur, 1/3 shot Irish cream, carefully layered into into a glass, in order (drinksmixer.com)
The B-52 has never been the fastest plane in the U.S. Air Force fleet, but it continues to be an important enforcer in America's arsenal. It's only fitting then to have a drink commemorated in its honor. Similarly, Chicago's No. 52, Brandon Bollig, enforces with the same level of payload as the airborne B-52. Knock back this one if you think Bollig's tough guy role will be a part of the Hawks' road back to the Cup Final.
The Painkiller -- For Blackhawks fans, in honor of Brent Seabrook
2 parts aged rum, 4 parts pineapple juice, 1 part each orange juice, cream of coconut. Served with grated nutmeg and a hard stir in a hurricane glass (liquor.com)
A few games down to the NHL's new bullies, the St. Louis Blues, it seemed the Blackhawks were doomed. Then came Brent Seabrook's hit on David Backes. Seabrook laid out Backes in Game 2 and took the pain away for Hawks fans while sacrificing himself to suspension. An unintended side effect: The Blues' captain was out for the next two games.
Luckily Seabrook and Backes have exchanged well-wishes since, but Hawks fans are right to toast their defensive game-changer. This hard-hitting cocktail of British origin -- like Seabrook -- just might rise to the occasion.
NOT A HAWKS FAN? TRY THESE
The Missouri Mule -- For St. Louis Blues fans
2 parts bourbon, 2 parts applejack, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part Campari, 1 part Cointreau, shaken, served straight up (adapted from wikipedia.org)
Well, Blues fans, your season ended and you probably need a stiff drink more than anybody, especially after the club squandered its best-ever regular season. The Missouri Mule was actually crafted for Harry Truman, the 33rd president and one who was said to appreciate a good cocktail. And while the drink gets its name from the symbol of Truman's party, the Democratic Donkey, the difference between Truman, a true blue Missourian, and the Blues is Truman at least came out a winner in his last campaign.
The Duck Fart -- For Anaheim Ducks fans
1/2 oz whiskey, 1/2 oz amaretto almond liqueur, 1/2 oz Irish cream (drinksmixer.com)
Sure, die-hard hockey fans scoffed in 1993 when the Walt Disney Company established the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, after Disney's smash film "The Mighty Ducks." Since then, the Ducks have been anything but hot air, winning the Stanley Cup in 2007.
Last year the Blackhawks broke the Ducks' record win streak (then 16 games), with their 21-0-3 start. Certainly this fancy drink would work in suburban L.A., though Hawks fans might prefer a less complex road to the Cup.
The Blind Pilot -- For Philadelphia Flyers fans
1 part bourbon, 1 part sweet vermouth, 1 part Galliano, stirred, served straight up (liquor.com)
If you're a Flyers fan still seething about losing the 2010 Stanley Cup Final to the Hawks, you've got a thicker fog to get through now that your team's at home. Good news is, despite the fancy ingredients here, this cocktail boasts a nice Flyers-orange hue -- probably just what you need to calm the heck down.
The Flying Penguin -- For Pittsburgh Penguins fans
1 1/2 oz vodka, 1 1/2 oz white rum, 1 1/2 oz gin, 1 splash bitters, 5 oz. pink grapefruit juice, 1 oz. lime juice, 1 1/2 oz. sugar syrup, served in a pretty glass (cocktails.uk.com)
Flyers fans like to heap abuse on Pens star Sidney Crosby, calling him the perceived nancy boy of the NHL. That all stopped in 2012 when the Penguins beat the Flyers 10-3 at home. While your team is battling New York, what better way to enjoy their strut and scoring prowess than with a flamboyant drink?
Andy Frye is a RedEye special contributor.
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