Pandemic is a classic co-op game: A race against disease where you play the daring heroes of the CDC frantically curing viruses. And as much as we Moose enjoy a fantasy theme, it can be nice to have something on your shelves that doesn’t involve orcs, for those people in your life with just a drop less geek in their blood.
That said, Pandemic is not always the easiest game to win, so you may want a stiff drink before you start. Or you may need one after (as we did). So of course, dear reader, we have you covered:
Drink Your Medicine
Bitters are digestives. This — mostly — makes sense.
What you’ll need:
1 oz dry gin
2 oz citrus vodka
.5 oz lime juice (fresh is best, but we’re being lazy, remember?)
.5 oz simple syrup
2 oz cranberry juice
Pour your simple syrup, vodka, gin, and juices over ice in a shaker.
Add a few drops of Angostura, and only about two drops of Peychaud’s (seriously: unless you want a cocktail that tastes like cough syrup, don’t overdo it with the Peychaud’s)
Shake and strain. Garnish with a twist.
Now when we sat down to consider what meal should go with Pandemic we tried to think in terms of Georgian (as in the American state, not the former Soviet Republic) food, since players start in Atlanta, GA at the HQ of the CDC. But in the end we were really only enthusiastic about trying our hands at the desserts. To which, we thought: but surely we cannot merely do dessert?
And the response came: THIS IS OUR SITE, WE CAN DO ANYTHING WE WANT HERE!
After that brief bout of sparkling megalomania passed we decided to, indeed, focus on our dessert. So for the dinner we recommend snagging a pre-rotisseried chicken, smashing some potatoes, and sautéing a handful of green beans. Perhaps splurge and get cornbread too.
And then, you can tackle this beauty:
Cobbler is already pretty simple to make. We made it even simpler (with a bit of help from a cookbook by Sara Foster) and it’s still just as delicious. Whatever. We were really lazy this month.
What you’ll need:
For the filling:
1 ½ lb berries (or whatever fruit you desire – blueberries, raspberries and blackberries were our choice)
½ cup sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Juice of ½ a lemon
Wash the berries and then toss them with the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
Meanwhile… Melt the butter and pour it on into your casserole dish. Spread/brush it all over!
For the batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar (plus some extra to sprinkle over the top)
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Cut the butter into smallish chunks. Set aside.
Mix your dry ingredients in one bowl. Wisk the milk and the egg together in another! Stir the milk/egg mixture into the dry ingredients until they’ve combined into a soupy, runny batter.
Pour your batter into your buttered casserole dish and dump th berries/whatever fruit you used on top. Don’t stir it! Just dump it!
Sprinkle some sugar and scatter those butter chunks from earlier on the top.
Bake it in the oven at 375 for about 40-45 minutes. The batter should rise up and be golden-brownish and it should smell rather glorious.
With food and drink to hand, you are well fortified for your game night!
And now your game pairings: If you are finding Pandemic a little too chill, then Flashpoint is your friend. Or rather, your fiery nemesis. This slightly more chaotic cooperative game challenges you to save a family from a burning building and feels at least as intense as saving the world in Pandemic, if not more so. For something much lighter: Hey, That’s My Fish. There’s something cheerful about playing selfish resource happy penguins blithely backstabbing their friends in the arctic while the rest of the world descends into plague and horror in Pandemic. The setup is a bit of a bear, but there is fun to be had.
As to music — we suggest something jaunty to keep your spirits up and to provide a cinematically ironic background if things go poorly. If you don’t want to pick your favorite jaunty musician, the National Treasure soundtrack works well.
Here’s the condensed version:
The Game: Pandemic
The Drink: “Drink Your Medicine”
The Meal: Berry Cobbler!
The Soundtrack: National Treasure Soundtrack
Other Games: Flashpoint and Hey, That’s My Fish!
Enjoy your evening, my dears, and good luck saving the world!
You can check out our Moose Play for Pandemic here.