It's hard to believe the Big Game is around the corner! It seems like just yesterday we were watching the 49ers battle the Chiefs, and oh yeah, J.Lo and Shakira at that epic Super Bowl LIV halftime performance.
This year, most of us will be watching the biggest football game of the year in the comfort of our own homes. But what's not to love about that? We think there is lots to love about game day gatherings or "homegates" if you will.
Check out our top tips on how to make yours epic.
Everyone who hosts a Super Bowl watch party wants to host the best party. And we don't blame you! You want to throw the kind of party that people will be talking about for months to come. You want to throw the kind of party that when the Big Game rolls around again next year, your friends will be hitting you up to host again, it was that good. That means great good, great drinks, great atmosphere (and decor), enough seating for everyone, maybe some game-within-the-game-friendly-competition, etc. Ideally, this is all achieved without spending a small fortune.
Here are some easy tips to consider before you kick off your Biggest Game of the Year festivities, no matter how small:
1. Work ahead
One of the most important party-throwing tips is not to get stuck in the kitchen. There's nothing worse than having your friends and family in the other room enjoying the game and the party atmosphere while you're stuck in the kitchen, missing the game. The key to serving great watch party food is to make as much of it in advance as you can. Hot or cold, make it the day before and keep all the food refrigerated until it's time to either reheat or set your food out.
PRO TIP: If you're going to serve hot food, have it already cooked and warming as your guests arrive. Once the coin has been tossed, and we're a few minutes away from kickoff, that's a good time to set out any hot food. Room temperature food and food that's been chilled is good to be set out as people start to come in. If you plan to serve more hot food during the second half, use the commercial time during halftime (if you want to watch the show, because who wouldn't), to heat everything up.
2. Split the cost
Throwing a Super Bowl party can be really expensive, especially if you're also providing the beer and adult beverages. Encourage your friends to split the cost by using apps like Venmo or Paypal. Setting up an account on both platforms is a piece of cake. Both usually charge a small fee for using a credit card, but using a bank account carries no additional fees!
PRO TIP: Since beer and alcohol tend to be much more expensive than food ingredients, consider throwing a BYOB watch party, especially if you're on the fence about asking your guests to split the cost with you.
3. Vary your food offerings
More and more, in today's age, people seem to have very specific food restrictions and allergies. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, tree nut allergy, organic only, pescatarian, no refined sugars, etc. While it is quite difficult to host a Super Bowl watch party that's sensitive to everyone's dietary needs without serving 12 different dishes, try to offer at least a couple dishes for the gluten-free folks and vegans/vegetarians.
PRO TIP: If you're serving chips and salsa, opt for 100% corn tortilla chips. They are gluten-free. If you're doing tacos, opt for corn tortillas for the same reason, and offer an all-veggie tortilla topper (like sautéed mushrooms and shaved Brussels sprouts) in additional to a meat/poultry. Crudité, AKA cut up veggies, are FANTASTIC for feeding everyone, especially those still committed to their 2021 New Years' resolutions to eat healthy. (Pair those veggies with some dip, and we are so all over that!)
4. Get crafty
Set out a bunch of koozies (insulated sleeves to keep cans cold) and Sharpies, and encourage people to decorate their own. For one, it's fun. And two, the more your friends drink, the easier it is for them to forget which beer is theirs. Personalized koozies are fun and clearly, they solve problems. 'Nuf said.
PRO TIP: This set of koozies is available on Amazon and comes in just about any variety of color you can think of. It's also $5.95 for 12. Can't beat that!
5. Make a game out of it
Everybody likes a football pool/bracket. It's fun to game-ify the game. There are forms online you can blow up (just Google "football pool sheets") or use a whiteboard and make one yourself. You can choose to run it with real money or just for bragging rights. Either way, people tend to get really into it, and it makes an already competitive game even more competitive and fun!
6. Remember the kids
If you have kids coming to your party, make a dish and beverage that is easily approachable for them. For example, you could make a fruit-ade. Take watermelon, honeydew, strawberries, or any other fruit and throw it into the blender or food processor. Purée and add in a little basil, honey, or maple, add in ice, and you have a slushie fruit-ade. The kids will have something fun and healthier than soda to drink. And grownups can add vodka, gin, or whatever kind of booze they want to it. (Just be sure, when adding the adult drinks into the blender not to accidentally forget and add to it or use what's left in the bottom for the kids! Give it a rinse and start again if making a new batch for the kiddos).
Check out this slushie machine we love!
7. Offer alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
Not everyone at your party will want beer, wine, or booze for that matter. So be sure to offer a variety of soft drinks, water, juice, or even flavored sparkling water. Be sure to include at least one kind of wine and/or hard seltzer for those who drink alcohol but don’t like beer. And as for beer, offer a selection of one lighter beer, like a Pilsner, and one perhaps darker beer, such as a stout. If you have guests coming who have specific specialty or craft brews they prefer, suggest they bring their own! Empty buckets or even trash cans (as in new ones…not ones you have used) filled with ice make for great coolers that you can set out near the food and/or TV so your friends can grab their drinks as they want without having to go back and forth in and out of the kitchen (and likely away from the TV).
No matter who wins the Super Bowl this year, with these tips in your back pocket, we're confident that you and your guests will 100%.
Disclaimer: Hungry Fan is not a sponsor of the NFL or Super Bowl LV.