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Cocktail Thursday: Alabama Edition

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NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

If your Georgia Bulldogs are preparing to play a College Football Playoff elimination game against an undefeated Alabama team, you could probably use a drink. Or two.

I can help you with that.

I’m just going to put this right out there. There are a lot of things that have me worried about this game. The most significant one? The idea that the Crimson Tide are focused on this game. At times this season Alabama has looked, well, a little bored. The worst thing that could happen would be for Alabama to come into this game focused and looking to prove themselves.

Yeah. Like that.

Here’s the thing....Kirby was right when he said before the season that pressure is indeed a privilege. There are twelve teams in the SEC whose staffs would give their eye teeth to be preparing for a game this weekend. It sounds trite, but Georgia has a golden opportunity. Somebody’s gotta be the first Saban assistant to beat the old boss. Might as well be Kirby. And there’s never going to be a good time to take down the Tide. If it’s going to happen, we’re going to have to do it as an underdog, at least for the foreseeable future.

But even if Georgia falls to the Tide, it isn’t the end of the world. It probably means a trip to the Sugar Bowl. And as an SEC football fan I refuse to view any season that ends in the Sugar Bowl as a failure.

Additionally, we’re probably witnessing the new golden age of Georgia football. As Will Leitch noted recently, we as Georgia fans need to enjoy the moment. There’s no guarantee we’ll win this one but we’ve won a heckuva lot of football games in the past couple of years. And I’m willing to bet we’re gonna win a whole lot more in the next couple. So I intend to have a good time this weekend either way, with this sunny, festive punch. I’m calling it the Sol Tide. You’ll need:

  • 5 bags of Earl Grey tea
  • ½ cup honey
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 12 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ cups bourbon
  • 1 cup Cognac (or brandy)
  • 1 teaspoon orange bitters

Combine the tea and 1¼ cups boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Let steep 5 minutes, then discard tea bags (you should have about 1 cup of strong tea). Let cool. Bring the honey, thyme, 2 rosemary sprigs, and ½ cup water to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to combine. Do. Not. Boil. Let cool and discard herbs (easier if you don’t boil them to smithereens).

Now combine tea, honey syrup, lemon juice, bourbon, Cognac, and bitters in a large pitcher or punch bowl. Add 2 cups ice and stir until ice is melted and punch is very cold. Serve punch in tumblers garnished with rosemary sprigs and lemon wedges. Enjoy. And...

Go ‘‘Dawgs!!!