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How to ‘homegate’ for the holidays: A step-by-step guide to throwing a festive Lions watch party

When it comes to catching a Lions game in the comfort of your own home, it’s up to you to make great calls—and here’s how you do it.

Arizona Cardinals vs Detroit Lions Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

How long has it been since you’ve even wanted to throw a watch party for the Detroit Lions this late in the season?

It’s been a while since the Lions have been this competitive and ‘In the Hunt’ as we enter the holiday season, and that alone is a cause for celebration. So why not take advantage of this opportunity to put a holiday twist on your Lions watch party when you invite family and friends over for a Detroit homegating experience?

Here are a few ways you can ring in the new year while watching the Lions from the comfort of your own home.

Drinks on drinks on drinks

From egg nog to hot cocoa, the holiday season certainly isn’t short on different kinds of drinks to enjoy. The difference here, of course, is coming up with a recipe large enough to share with your guests while also doing them a favor if you happen to be braving the elements of a Michigan winter.

Here are a few Smirnoff holiday drink options that will keep your guests cheerful while enjoying the game this holiday season.

  • Mexican Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3 ounces Mexican chocolate, grated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup Smirnoff Peppermint Twist
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate liqueur

Directions:

Start by bringing the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan under medium-low heat. Once it reaches a simmer, whisk in the grated chocolate and vanilla extract. Let it simmer for 8 minutes, then whisk in the vodka and the chocolate liqueur. Serve in a mug and top with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Serves: 4

  • Smirnoff Pomegranate Mimosa

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Smirnoff No. 21
  • 2.75 oz. Pomegranate Juice
  • 0.25 oz. Mint Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz. Prosecco

Directions:

Place Pomegranate Juice, Mint Simple Syrup, & Smirnoff No. 21 in a cocktail shaker.

Shake and Pour into a champagne flute. Top with prosecco and garnish with a mint stem.

Serves: 1

  • Smirnoff Green Apple Cider

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Smirnoff Green Apple
  • 2.5 oz. Apple Cider
  • 2 oz. Club Soda

Directions:

Rim a cocktail glass with caramel and crushed graham cracker. Add the Apple Cider and Smirnoff Green Apple into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass with ice. Top with Club Soda and garnish with an apple slice.

Serves: 1

Grabbing a Bite

Nobody wants to have dishes to clean after an afternoon of football and drinks, so why not just order out? Order a pizza from Jet’s, bust out the paper plates and napkins, and let people grab a slice when they need it most. If you’re looking to diversify your offerings for your guests, Jet’s has some pretty good chicken wings and an assortment of traditional sauces (BBQ, mild Buffalo, etc.) but consider spicing things up a bit with their sweet red chili sauce.

Watching the Game

If you’re going to brave the elements, hopefully you have something to provide some warmth for you and your guests. Building a bonfire of grabbing a propane tank and a heater attachment while help keep your guests comfortable while they’re watching the game outdoors.

For those Lions fans who are outside of the local television market, you’ll have to grab a subscription for NFL Sunday Ticket to stay up on the action—and it’s not a bad idea to have a subscription to NFL Red Zone in case things go sideways for the home team. And of course, getting a read on how large your party is going to be is important for choosing how you’re going to view the action. A large TV will do just fine for most smaller parties of 6-8 people, but anything bigger than that and you might want to think about going with a projector to blow up the action for your guests viewing entertainment.

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