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Cocktails To Get You Through The EUROS 2024 Final

Football (or Soccer, if you are across the pond) can evoke a very wide range of feelings in avid fans and casual watchers alike. As a Manchester United fan for my whole life, the last few years have been a slight improvement on the former decade. 

League football aside, nothing brings people together (or brings out their competitive spirit) quite like international football. Football fans across Europe have been feeling this particularly keenly in recent weeks, during the advancing stages of The 2024 UEFA European Football Championship, more commonly referred to as The Euros. 

The tournament so far has seen reigning champions, Italy, knocked out 2-0 by Switzerland, two own goals from France, and (much to our delight) England falling upwards to reach the semi-final. 

So, in preparation for the 2024 Euros Final this Sunday, July 14th, I will break down some cocktails that are designed to help you navigate the emotions of the first 90 minutes, and then the extra time. Hopefully not the penalty shootout. 

Anticipation – The Daiquiri  

Build up to the Euros final with a refreshing daiquiri.

There is no better cocktail to kickstart anything than a daiquiri. In the build-up to whatever Euros game you’re watching (hopefully it still involves England at this point), nothing will hit the spot better than a beautifully fresh and tart combination of rum, sugar, and lime juice. 

It’s easy to make, easy to drink, and you can batch-make it to ensure that everyone can have as much as they want. You can also get very experimental with rum in this drink. I prefer classic white rum to something as old as 12 years old to 15 years old. Feel free to play around with it to find your sweet spot. 

Daiquiri Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz (60 ml) of your favourite rum
  • 1 oz (30 ml) of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 oz (30 ml) of sugar syrup
  • Ice cubes

Equipment:

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Strainer
  • Coupe glass (or any other preferred glass)

Instructions:

  1. Pour the rum, lime juice, and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Fill the shaker with ice cubes. The ice should fill the shaker about three-quarters full.
  3. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker becomes cold, usually around 10-15 seconds.
  4. Strain into a coupe glass and serve. 

Elation – The Mint Julep 

That first ice-cold hit of a beer is a joy for most people in the world. But for me, the greatest joy is that first sip from an ice-cold mint julep. A simple concoction of bourbon, sugar syrup, mint leaves, and crushed ice is a true delight in warm weather. It is also the perfect celebratory cocktail for when your Euros team produces an unexpected equalizer. 

The Mint Julep does take a little longer to make than many other cocktails. You’ve got to muddle mint, stack crushed ice, and have a specific cup to serve. But much like the reason you’re celebrating, the final result is 100% worth the time you put into it. 

Mint Julep Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • 8-12 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 oz (30 ml) of sugar syrup
  • 2 oz (60 ml) of bourbon
  • Crushed ice
  • Mint sprig (for garnish)

Equipment:

  • Julep cup (or any sturdy cup)
  • Muddler or wooden spoon
  • Cocktail spoon

Instructions:

  1. Place 8-12 mint leaves in the bottom of your julep cup. Add 1 oz of sugar syrup and 2 oz of bourbon to the cup. Gently muddle the mint leaves with the sugar syrup and bourbon. Be careful not to crush the mint; simply press it to release the oils into the liquid.
  2. Taste the mixture to ensure the mint flavour is well-infused. Adjust sweetness if necessary by adding a bit more sugar syrup.
  3. Fill the cup halfway with crushed ice. Using a cocktail spoon, stir the mixture to chill and dilute the drink.
  4. Continue to add more crushed ice, stirring occasionally, until the cup is filled and a small mound of ice forms at the top.
  5. Garnish with a sprig of mint. To enhance the mint aroma, gently slap the mint sprig between your hands before placing it on top of the ice mound. Serve and enjoy.

Anxiety – The Negroni 

The Negroni is the pefect way to alleviate your anxiety when watching the final of the Euros 2024.

One of the best ways to get your head back into the game is the stunning blend of Campari, red vermouth, and gin.

When defenders keep passing back, the forwards think they’re midfielders, and your Euros team can barely string an attack together during those crucial moments, the best thing to bring you back to reality and take the stress away from your brain is a nice glass of ice-cold Negroni. 

The bitterness of Campari is a useful thing to bring you back down to earth. The gin provides gentle floral notes that should be quite calming, and then most things get better with red vermouth, adding a fruity, oaky note.

Negroni Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz (30 ml) of your favourite gin
  • 1 oz (30 ml) of Campari
  • 1 oz (30 ml) of red vermouth (kept in the fridge for freshness)
  • Ice (preferably a large ice cube)
  • Orange or lemon peel (for garnish)

Equipment:

  • Old-fashioned glass (or a mixing jug, if preferred)
  • Jigger or measuring tool
  • Stirring spoon

Instructions:

  1. Decide whether to build the cocktail directly in the glass or in a mixing jug.
    In the Glass: Place a large ice cube in an old-fashioned glass. In a Mixing Jug:Fill the jug with ice cubes.
  2. Measure 1 oz of gin, 1 oz of Campari, and 1 oz of red vermouth.
  3. If using a glass, pour the gin, Campari, and vermouth over the ice cube. If using a mixing jug, pour the gin, Campari, and vermouth over the ice cubes and stir until well chilled.
  4. Stir the ingredients gently with a stirring spoon until the mixture is well chilled. Taste the cocktail to ensure it’s balanced to your liking.
  5. If using a mixing jug, strain the chilled mixture into an old-fashioned glass over a fresh large ice cube.
  6. Cut a wide peel of orange or lemon. Twist the peel over the drink to release its oils, then drop it into the glass. Serve and enjoy. 

Frustration – Absolute Stress 

Those last few minutes of the Euros Final will have you sitting at the edge of your seat. So, for this part of the game, you are likely to want a stress-free cocktail. Luckily, this one is easy to make. You throw several ingredients into a shaker and strain it over ice in a chilled glass, and you are good to go, my friend. 

Absolute Stress Recipe 

You’ll need 1oz each of the following: 

  • Vodka. 
  • Dark Rum 
  • Peach Schnapps 
  • Orange Juice. 
  • Cranberry Juice 

You can get creative and switch out the rum for another style, or use more cranberry versus orange juice, etc. But this is a nice and easy drink to help cure. Whatever may be ailing you in moments of sports intensity. 

Disappointment – A heavy pour of your favourite spirit

I know this isn’t a cocktail. But if you’ve been knocked out of the tournament through a punishing penalty shootout, I don’t think you’re going to have the patience or the calmness to make some cocktail, be it elaborate or not. 

Grab a glass, something deeply set, and just pour. Grab a bottle of something good, or something you want to kill off (just like your team’s chances of winning the Euros) and have a hefty pour of it. This should calm the disappointment and make all of the intensity of a national tournament fade away for another two years. Bring on the World Cup 2026.

Jubilation – The Batanga

As I develop a strong love for all things agave in my life, this is the perfect recipe to celebrate anything, literally anything.

A simple combination of tequila, Coca-Cola, lime juice, and salt, this is a great, easy, joyous cocktail to get stuck into to celebrate with all of your friends and family as the final whistle blows (and if your team happens to win…Come on, England!) 

The Batanga Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lime wedge
  • Flakey salt
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 oz (60 ml) of your favourite tequila (Reposado preferred)
  • 4-6 oz (120-180 ml) of Coca-Cola
  • Additional lime wedge (for garnish)

Equipment:

  • Tall glass
  • Jigger or measuring tool

Instructions:

  1. Take a tall glass and rub the rim with a lime wedge. Roll the rim of the glass in flakey salt to coat it. Fill the glass with ice cubes.
  2. Measure 2 oz of tequila and pour it over the ice in the glass. Pour 4-6 oz of Coca-Cola into the glass, topping up the tequila.
  3. Squeeze a lime wedge over the drink and let the wedge float atop the drink. Enjoy! 

The Euros 2024 Final 

France vs. Spain, England vs. Netherlands. Who will come out on top?

The semi-finals of the Euros 2024 are looming. Tonight, at 8 pm BST, Spain and France will battle it out for a place in the final. Watch on the BBC

The winner will face either England or Netherlands, depending on the outcome of tomorrow’s match between the two teams, also at 8 pm BST and streamed on ITV.

Then, the all-important final will be played at 8 pm BST on Sunday 14th July. You can stream on the BBC.  

Safe to say that everyone in the UK will be biting their nails with anticipation. Is it finally coming home? Who knows. 

Phil Dwyer

Having worked in whisky retail for a decade, and running Whisky Wednesday on YouTube for nearly as long, Phil has always wanted to learn, talk and tell everyone as much about whisky as he can.

Whisky can be overly complicated at times. Phil wants to end that. Brands have pushed far too much jargon into the drinking atmosphere; it's difficult to breathe when whisky is mentioned at times.

Phil also manages The Whisky Shop Manchester stocking some of the best drams on the market.

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