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Cocktail Thursday: South Carolina edition

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old fashioned

If your Georgia Bulldogs are getting ready to take on an opponent that often punches above its weight class in Athens, and you fear they may be distracted by all the gladhanding and backslapping that's going on since Tuesday's playoff rankings were released, you could probably use a drink. I can help you with that.

and now, the hard part. It has been easy for us to say that Georgia should not be distracted or overly confident to this pilot. But now Kirby Smart handiwork has been validated by a committee which chose the Classic City Canines as the number one team in all the land. ESPN talking heads, social media pundits, talk radio, whereever you look there’s someone talking about how great these Bulldogs are.

And it could all be gone in the blink of an eye. Don't get me wrong, I am fully on board with UGA fans celebrating how far this program has come. you should enjoy this. It has been a long time coming.

But looking ahead at playoff scenarios and booking hotel rooms for mom and dad are the last things we want the Red and Black to be doing themselves.

I was heartened that Kirby Smart said things got a little chippy at practice earlier this week. Because I’m looking for a Bulldog team that is motivated to silence anyone who doubts their ranking. Who believe they still have something to prove. The more physical team will likely win this one, and physical is right up our alley.

So what is the drink for beating the Gamecocks black and blue? A Tacchina Nera.

Start by muddling three basil leaves, a teaspoon of simple syrup, and a teaspoon of good, aged balsamic vinegar in a cocktail shaker. For the love of all that is holy, do not use some $1.99 store brand balsamic vinegar with artificial coloring for this recipe. That stuff is terrible. Good balsamic vinegar has a sweet complexity that's fantastic on everything from seafood to ice cream. Respect the distinction.

Add a handful of ice and two ounces of bourbon, shake, and strain into a chilled glass. Top with a splash of ginger ale, and garnish with an additional basil leaf. Then drink up.

As always, please feel free to use this as the open thread for your Thursday night college football, NFL, NBA and Grey’s Anatomy watching. Until later....

Go ‘Dawgs!!!