Kicking the high balls: Drink your way through the World Cup

Kicking the high balls: Drink your way through the World Cup
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

This restaurant is really pouring it on for the World Cup.

Hunter’s Restaurant in Cobble Hill has created a specialty cocktail for every single team in the contest, and will also be giving away free drinks when their favorite teams score. Just make sure you are cheering for the right side if you want one.

“Anyone who roots against Argentina is getting kicked out,” said the restaurant’s Argentine-born co-owner Fernando Camberos.

The month-long international soccer tournament kicks off in Brazil on June 12, but the crew at Hunter’s has had its head in the game for some time. They have spent the last two months creating a soccer-centric drink list that contains a cocktail for each of the 32 teams playing. Some are complicated mixes with many ingredients, while others are simple and to the point. But each is an attempt to embody something about its country—or that country’s soccer players—through booze. Except for the Iranian beverage, which is alcohol-free.

“They don’t booze it up over there,” Camberos said. “So we gave them a lemonade.”

The speciality concoctions, which all cost around $10, are named after a star from each team. The US drink, “Dempsey’s Texan Wildfire,” is named after team captain Clint Dempsey. It contains vodka, spiced honey, lemon juice, champagne, and strawberry.

“I’m a big Dempsey fan, and I think it impersonates him really well,” Camberos said. “He’s grumpy and scrumpy.”

The Argentine drink is a little simpler — Fernet, cola, and root beer. It is named after the team’s captain Lionel “La Puga” Messi.

“Fernet’s like our Budweiser,” Camberos said about the Italian spirit, which is popular in Argentina. “And Messi is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy.”

The competing countries are split into groups of four, and all the drinks from that group will be available when any of those teams are playing. But once a team is eliminated, the drink is off the menu for good.

Free libations will also be handed out every time Italy, Argentina, or Mexico scores — Argentina for Camberos, Italy for the restaurant’s other owner, Angelo Schifilliti, and Mexico because they both spent time in the country. Hunter’s kitchen staff also contains some serious fans of Mexico’s team.

“We’re setting up a TV for them in the back, so they can watch and work at the same time,” Camberos said.

Camberos said he hopes the restaurant’s special cocktails will attract some like-minded world game enthusiasts to the restaurant.

“We’re incredibly excited about the World Cup,” he said. “And we just want to nerd out with some big soccer fans.”

World Cup Cocktails at Hunter’s Restaurant [213 Smith St. between Baltic and Butler streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 246–2221, www.huntersbrooklyn.com]. June 12–July 13 at various times.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.