Mmm, fall flavors for board game players! We believe that drinks can pair with board games, and they don’t have to be wines or beers. It makes these games that we love just so much better. For this season, we picked out three autumnal drinks and our favorite game to play while enjoying them.
Just because board game fans spend most of their free time inside doesn’t mean we’re not aware of the seasons changing. Here in the Midwest, the variety that the change in seasons bring can be wonderful. Now that fall is in full swing, we’re looking forward to combining the small pleasures of the season with our favorite pastime.
Pumpkin Spice Latte & Mariposas
Let’s be honest - the basic PSL is here to stay. Maybe it’s kind of a meme beverage, but you know what, pumpkin spice lattes are delicious. There’s a reason they blew up in popularity. Short of carrying a slice of pumpkin pie around with you, few things evoke autumn more.
And as pumpkin spice lattes return every fall, so do the wonderfully fall-colored monarch butterflies. Every fall they migrate from the US and Canada back to Mexico for more mild winters. Here’s an interesting bit of trivia, too: no one butterfly lives long enough to make the round trip. The instincts of the monarch butterfly guide individual butterflies through their segment of their yearly continental journey.
This generational migration is the focus of one of the most exciting board games this year: Mariposas. In this game, players are in charge of a family of monarch butterflies, and the game spans one of these annual migrations. The crux of the game is ensuring that your butterflies not only complete the trip, but also procreate so your descendants can complete the journey the ancestors started.
With the fall colors, the fall themes, and a little kick of caffeine to help players keep their focus up while contemplating their strategies, we love this pairing. This beverage that’s sweet but also a little complex complements this board game that’s also sweet and a little complex.
Apple Cider & My Little Scythe
One of the biggest sources of fall traditions is the yearly harvest. Cornucopias full of produce are stock autumn imagery, and some of the most iconic fall produce are shiny, crisp apples. Fresh-from-the-orchard apple cider is a classic fall beverage.
So what game goes well with apple cider? Something sweet and simple, right? And maybe a game with apples in it.
My Little Scythe hits all of those notes easily. My Little Scythe is a simplified version of the 2016 hobby hit Scythe. The original Scythe is a big, complex, sprawling strategy game. A talented Scythe fan streamlined the core experience into a game he could share with his kids. In 2017 the publisher for Scythe noticed this excellent adaptation and published it as My Little Scythe.
This all seems to jive with the experience of enjoying apple cider - simple, streamlined, and with a sweetness that evokes childhood.
And of course, apples. My Little Scythe has players gathering apples to use as a basic resource in the game. In the Kingdom of Pomme, apple cider is surely the drink of choice!
Hot Buttered Rum & Superfight
While hot buttered rum is enjoyed all over the world, it held special importance to early colonial Americans. They believed rum to be a nutritious potable that gave you strength, and the hot spiced version was their favorite way to enjoy it.
It’s also an alcoholic beverage, of course, so we don’t really want to pair hot buttered rum with a heavy, thinky game. In general, rum would work better with a party game, which gets more fun when players’ inhibitions begin to waver.
Superfight aligns almost perfectly with the qualities of hot buttered rum. It’s light and easy to enjoy, but has a kick. Watching tipsy players improvise ridiculous arguments is hilarious. And reinforce the themes of strength and Americana, Superfight gets its inspiration from the mythology of superheroes, one of America’s biggest contributions to world culture.
Superfight has become a highly recommended alternative to another American party game, Cards Against Humanity, as well. CAH is happy to truck with shock humor and gross-out humor to get its laughs. Superfight doesn’t need to, and is also fun playing in a family setting when the hot buttered rum isn’t available to younger players.
The Best Game/Drink Combos For Fall
So there are three games we love, and three drinks we love while playing those games. It’s a wonderful experience to combine two different things we love so much, especially when they mesh so perfectly together. They’re easy drinks to make, and plenty of recipes are available for people to make them at home. Although, we recommend getting fresh-squeezed apple cider right from the orchard, if there are apple orchards near you. And if you’re looking for your own copies of these wonderful fall-compatible games, check out Level One Game Shop.