Cocktails and Tall Tales: Reindeer Games and Super Mario Party

 Let's partyyyy!
 Welcome to Cocktails and Tall Tales, where we pair drinks (and sometimes food) with your favorite games, manga and anime!

How’s it going y'all. It’s winter and things are cooling down all over the place, so what better time than now to push out a holiday themed pairing? (Well maybe during the holidays would be a better time but! Better late than never.) This one’s a bit different since it’s a shot that I came up with on the fly behind the bar at work. 

It’s a Saturday night and I’ve been pouring wine, making drinks, cutting fresh garnishes, the works. Covid hasn’t really stopped people from coming out, so it’s a blessing I can still do what I love. Late in the evening, one of the servers comes to me and asks,

“Hey, so my table wants a shot, but they want it to be festive. So, what, do I just give them tequila?” 

Tequila? Festive for some, but not really seasonally specific.

I always aim to surprise and delight our guests, so the cogs started moving.

Holidays… Baby, it’s cold… Santa… Reindeer… Coffee.

And then it hit me! A shot for the ages, and one you can share with even your most discerning, alcohol sensitive palates. I call it Reindeer Games and there might be something out there kinda like it already, all cocktails are kinda derivative of a few core classics. I’m not saying it’s the only of it’s kind, but I definitely popped this one out in like 2 minutes. It’s spiced rum, coffee liqueur, Irish Cream and a little bit of mint liqueur all shaken and double strained for the extra smoothness. 

The party loved them, and proceeded to order three rounds before stumbling out into the cold toasty and tipsy. ‘Twas the night before Sunday and all wanted a funday. 

They were sweet, tasty, a little spicy with hints of nutmeg, vanilla, and of course, coffee. The mint liqueur’s freshness mellowed the sweetness carried by the other components quite well, and if I hadn’t been at work, I might have poured one for myself. Reindeer Games are fun for all, and ya know what else is fun for some in the family but might not always be child appropriate?

Super Mario Party for Nintendo Switch!

Super Mario Party, the eleventh installment of the Mario Party series is a great example for fun for the whole family. It takes the fun of a board game and mixes in that iconic Nintendo randomness for an experience that might have you calling you friends and family enemies by the end of the game. They say Monopoly has the same effect, but at least you’re not buying your opponents out of investments for future generations. 

The enchantment in the Mario Party series isn’t in the game board or in picking from a squad of Mario’s expansive cast to roll dice and explore each unique board. It’s in the mini games at the end of each 4-player round. You could be paired in teams of two, ganged up on in a 1-v-3 competition, or have every man for himself in a free-for-all. They span a range from card matching type games to races through tunnels with all sorts of obstacles. Every turn where you’re down on coins has a chance to turn the tides and set yourself up for bigger gains. Nothing feels better than being down a star or two and being able to make a sweet, late game comeback because of your mini game supremacy. 

And that’s why we’re pairing Reindeer Games and Super Mario Party! It can bring out the best in even the saltiest of competitors. I think it’s pretty hard to be mad at your friends and family when you have Reindeer Games right by your losing side, just to sweeten the deal a bit. How mad can you be in last place when you have a delicious wintry drink by your side? The kids get eggnog while the grown ups get something to take a bit of the edge off, but either way, everyone can get in on this reindeer party. 

So, the homework right now is to make a batch of Reindeer Games and sit down with some Super Mario Party and for every lost mini game, take a sip of your drink. And maybe even for the ones you win too. Just enjoy some Reindeer Games for the holiday season and let us know what else it pairs with!


Reindeer Games

.5 oz Giffard creme de menthe

1 oz St. George coffee liqueur

1 oz Bailey's Irish cream

1 oz Captain Morgan spiced rum

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