“When March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb.”- This is certainly true for many of us around the United States with temperature records being set daily. This signifies the beginning of Spring and flowers, sun and longer days are not the only welcomed changes Spring opens up outdoor bars and a whole new world of drink choices.
The other focus of March is college basketball. The tournament brings friends and alumni together to share the excitement of a winner take all game. The drinks are ordered nervously before the tip off and depending on the outcome, the drink choices may change as the celebration begins or the agony of defeat ensues.
After 3 weeks of games, we are down to the Final Four: University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Kansas University and Ohio State University. These schools have storied basketball programs and also connections to some awesome drinks and beers. Drinkingweather.com offers you one more Final Four Bracket which will result with everyone being a winner. The following are some suggestions that capture the “spirit” of the four remaining schools. Hope your team wins.
University of Kansas – Lawrence, Kansas is home to the Jayhawks and the first legal brewery to open in the state since Prohibition. Amazingly enough it is only 23 years old! The Free State Brewery was open in 1989 (a year after Danny Manning lead his team to the championship in 1988). If Kansas wins, knock back a beer brewed at the Free State Brewery. Their lineup includes Cow Tippin Stout and Dubbel Trouble.
University of Louisville- The Cardinals are lead by Rick Pitino and are on an amazing winning streak that started with the Big East Tournament championship. The city may have two parties in the next two months, a national championship in April and the party of all parties, the Kentucky Derby in May. In honor of the first leg of the Triple Crown, we recommend a Mint Julep made with the local bourbon Early Times.
University of Kentucky- The basketball rich tradition at UK is legendary. From Rupp to Pitino to Calipari, the coaches have lead the blue and white to multiple championships. Wildcat fans are passionate for both the hard court and their drink of choice, bourbon. The closest distilleries are Wild Turkey and Four Roses, but feel free to celebrate with a Makers Mark or Jim Beam served neat. (No Early Times, that is for the Louisville fans.)
Ohio State University- The Buckeyes have the youngest team of the four with 4 of their 5 starters only sophomores. However, the drink we recommend is an old favorite in the state simply named – The Ohio. It is ¾ oz Rosso Vermouth, ¾ oz whiskey, 1 dash of bitters and 2 oz of champagne. The champagne is a nice touch should they cut down the nets.
Enjoy the games and make sure to toast the winner on Monday night.