If your Georgia Bulldogs are taking on a talented Big Ten power with a shot to play for a national title on the line, you could probably use a drink. I can help with that.
All season college football observers have asked the question: who can keep up with Georgia? As often as not the answer seems to have been “the Ohio State Buckeyes.” Ohio State is probably the only team outside the SEC that matches the Bulldogs blue chipper for blue chipper in the recruiting department. They’ve got proven playmakers on offense and defense. There’s solid depth, and a proven coaching staff.
As between two very good teams, the one who executes best is the one likely to come away with the W. When asked for a score prediction in this one my standard like has been that I see it as about a 10 point game. But I don’t expect it to feel like anyone has a double digit lead, unless one or the other loses focus. Because both of these squads have shown the ability to put 21 points on the board in a hurry.
Ideally, Georgia would come out smoking and force Ohio State to play from behind. I’m curious after having things fall apart in the fourth quarter against Michigan how this Buckeye team would respond to having its back against the wall from the get-go. And what’s the drink for when you want the Bulldogs to come out smoking in downtown Atlanta? A Smoky Cherry Coke.
This one requires some precise execution of its own. Because not only are we going to mix a drink, we’re going to do a little cooking. Start by heating a wood-fired smoker or grill to 250 degrees. Then add half a pound of pitted raw sweet red cherries to the smoker in a skillet, foil pan, or other vessel capable of letting the cherries smoke and soften. I like to use hickory chips for this, and let them go for about 45 minutes before removing them to cool. The result will be fruit that’s softened, concentrated, and has a hint of smokey goodness.
Next you’re going to muddle three tablespoons of the cherries in a highball glass (set the rest aside for another few rounds or to put on your midnight ice cream). Add to it 2 ounces of your favorite bourbon or other whiskey (rye gives a nice spicy note) and top it with the very nectar upon which Atlanta was built: Coca-Cola Classic. It’s the cherry Coke you enjoyed as a kid and the whiskey and Coke you enjoyed in college all growed up. Enjoy responsibly, and…