The NBA Playoffs are winding down to the final two teams to battle it out for the Larry O’Brien trophy and depending on your squad of choice, a beverage in hand is necessary. Hennessy, the official spirit of the NBA, put together a collection of cocktails in honor of all the NBA teams but we’re putting a focus on the teams battling it out in the Eastern and Western Conference Finals.
Hennessy, which is delicious on its own or over a large rock, makes a fine base for classic cocktails such as the Sidecar or Sazerac, but also modern riffs on the beautifully crafted drinks of old.
Of the teams left, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets are currently tussling for the honor of representing the Western Conference in their best-of-seven playoff series, which hasn’t gone the right way for the Lakeshow. Still, few analysts and NBA fans had the Lakers getting this far so we’ll be raising our glasses to LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Austin Reaves.
The Denver Nuggets seemed to have gained momentum behind the playmaking wizardry of Nikola Jokic and the scoring punch of Jamal Murray. As of this writing (May 22), the Nuggets are up 3-0 on the Lakers which is an outcome few expected. The Lakers can win tonight and live to fight another day but it will be quite the battle.
On the other side of the map, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat also didn’t play out as many assumed given the fact that the Heat were not expected to be this close to the final goal of the NBA championship. The Heat went up 3-0 in their series on Sunday (May 21), and the final outcome of that series will be known very soon.
A sobering fact we’d like to share. No NBA team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit in the NBA playoffs. Still, NBA fans of the remaining teams should raise a glass to their squads all the same. Below, we’re featuring a quartet of cocktails from Hennessy to enjoy on their own and for the rest of the playoffs.
Fruit Of The Gardens – Boston Celtics
1 oz Hennessy V.S cognac
1 oz Cocoa Nib infused Rye
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
0.5 oz Maraschino Liqueur
2 dashes of chocolate bitters Garnish: orange twist
Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass.
Add ice and stir until ice cold.
Strain into an iced rocks glass.
Top Of The Key – Miami Heat
1 oz Hennessy V.S cognac
1 oz cream
0.5 oz Creme De Cacao
0.5 oz Vanilla liqueur
0.5 oz Lime juice
1 egg white
2 dashes of saline
Garnish: Lime zest
Combine all ingredients into a mixing tin without ice.
Dry shake to emulsify.
Add ice and shake until ice cold.
Strain into a Nick & Nora or cocktail glass.
Altitude Is Spicy – Denver Nuggets
4 parts Hennessy v.s cognac
4 parts Jicama juice
1 part lime juice
1/2 part ginger syrup
2 tsp green chillies
2 drops of saline solution
Pinch of cinnamon
Garnish: cinnamon dusting and lime slice
Combine all ingredients into a mixing tin, “whip and dump” with very little ice.
Double strain into an iced Collins glass.
Los Angeles Lakers – Pineapple Fresca
1.5 oz Hennessy V.S cognac
0.5 oz Velvet Falernum
5 oz Pineapple Aqua Fresco
1/8th tsp Edible gold powder
Garnish: Purple flower, gold cinnamon honey powder
Paint the lip of the glass with lemon juice, then dust with gold cinnamon honey powder over the outside of the glass.
Add all ingredients to a Collins glass with ice and garnish with a purple flower.
Learn more about Hennessy here.
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