(What should have been a holiday cocktail party post has conveniently become a Super Bowl party post. *wipes hands in a self-satisfied fashion*)
So here’s the deal with these three. We did actually serve them all together. We also put out mixed nuts. And we made those lovely cookies. It was a good day.
The wings were tasty, but kind of a hassle. I mean, wings are always kind of a hassle, but the hassle of the glaze bears some mention. When you do the baking step, you should grease the sheet at least a little and/or put down foil to keep them from sticking. I lost a lot of skin and, frankly, quite a bit of meat just from trying to turn the wings. The glaze was the real troublemaker, though. I burned it on the first try. Badly. Like black ooze at the bottom of the pan, doors and windows open to clear the smoke and avoid waking the baby with the fire alarm bad. I think the key is to just be sure you can keep an eye on it. It goes from way too thin to burned really quickly, especially if you halve the recipe like I did. Once it’s done and not burned, the glaze is really tasty. The chili powder adds a lot. The cayenne mostly just adds heat, but that’s welcome here. We started rolling some roasted nuts in this glaze. That was extremely good. The glaze thickens a bit when it sits, so don’t get upset if it isn’t super goopy right off the range.
As for the cocktails, the spritzer was nice, but maybe a little forgettable. I would rather just have a glass of wine, really. I couldn’t taste the ginger ale and didn’t really even get a sense of the bubbles. The kirsch or maraschino does add a little bit of cherry flavor and sweetness. The maraschino adds a LOT of sweetness, really. I preferred the drier taste of the kirsch. We did a taste test with our guests, and we were evenly split between the kirsch kamp and the maraschino maniacs. (groan…) If you like something sweeter, pick maraschino.
Now, the tequila cran cooler was an unqualified success. I loved it. The Campari cut the sweetness of the juices and the sharpness of the tequila. Frankly, I might consider putting a little campari in margaritas next summer. Also, the sugared rim was definitely welcome because the other tastes in the drink started to lean toward sour and bitter once the Campari was in there. I think this would be some good training wheels for Campari. In other words, B, try this one. You’ll like it.
Go….let’s say Broncos.