Get Your March Madness Party Essentials Ready: Cocktails, Beer + Snacks with RW Garcia Chips!

What I love about basketball (or as I call it, “hoops”) is that it’s a faster moving sport and the possibility for a change in the game is so much greater than most other sports. So when I get into NCAA basketball and also the NBA play-offs, I am all eyes and ears. It seems that basketball fans have different tastes than football or baseball mostly because the game moves so quickly. You could miss a huge move that changes the entire outcome of the game in less than 5 minutes. The question is what do you serve at a party to watch the game(s)?

Given that Gonzaga beat South Carolina today and Oregon & North Carolina are in the final minutes of the game I am sharing my suggestions for beverages (alcoholic ones) and great snacks to feature for the NCAA Finals on Monday. I am providing some brew recommendations, cocktail recipes and snack ideas from RW Garcia – the maker of great chips, crackers and lot of other fine natural foods. Thanks to RW Garcia for the chips they provided for this bit on March Madness. We guessed on the team colors. Unfortunately my alma mater, UCLA fell out in the 16 round. (sigh).


The photo above is what I served for the gathering at my house for the NCAA Final Four. The brew de jour was Fat Tire and if you prefer a couple other choices, almost anything from Samuel Adams is a GREAT choice. However, my choice of beverage typically revolves around cocktails. Scroll down for some great cocktails you can serve for the NCAA Finals!

Don’t forget the chips! RW Garcia chips are gluten-free and all natural. Nothing artificial in them. I found the brand at Natural Products Expo West a couple of years ago and I stay on top of this brand of great chips and crackers. They are delish.



These are the two flavors I featured for the larger photo. There are 3 flavors of these “Mixit Chips” but I got the 2 I thought would work. They don’t make a green chip that would represent Oregon so we were just out of luck!

Nacho Apple Cheese Salsa (Recipe from RW Garcia!)


-MixtBag Tortilla Chips (We had both the blue & yellow and the red & yellow chips) I have 2 bags and should have gotten more!
-1 small apple
-2 medium tomatoes
-1 habanero pepper (If super-spicy chilis bother you, then you might want to downgrade to Ortega green chile strips)
-¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese
-Chopped cilantro

How to assemble:
-Chop the apple, tomatoes and cheddar into similarly sized cubes and mix together
-Use a Julienne peeler to create thin strips of habanero pepper
-Dollop the apple/tomato/cheese mixture onto the cracker
-Top with habanero strips
–Garnish with chopped cilantro


While I didn’t display the chili I had in the crockpot, these chips work well with that dish, salsa, guacamole and other kinds of dishes. YUMMY is what they are! You can find RW Garcia chips and crackers at stores near you. Find the stores near you that carry this fabulou brand HERE:
Cocktails: tasty and noteworthy sips that work well because they are made with Nolet’s Gin! 

NOLET’S Winner’s Lemonade 




1.25 oz. NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
1 oz. Meyer Lemon Juice
4 oz. Filtered Water
1 Tablespoon Bakers Sugar

Combine all ingredients, except water, in a mixing glass with ice.
Shake and pour contents directly into a Collins glass.
Top with filtered water and grated Meyer lemon zest.




1 ¼ oz. NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
½ oz. Lime Juice
½ oz. Simple Syrup
3 Raspberries
Soda Water

Combine first 4 ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker.
Shake vigorously.
Pour (do not strain) all contents into a rocks glass.
Top with Soda Water. Add extra ice if needed.
Garnish with 2 raspberries.

NOLET’S Silver Bulleit



1 oz. NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
1 oz. Bulleit® Bourbon
1 oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
.75 oz. Simple Syrup

Muddle one slice of a grapefruit in an Old Fashioned glass.
Add ice and remaining ingredients.
Garnish with a grapefruit wheel.


Basil Smash



2 oz.NOLET’S Silver Gin
12 Fresh Basil Leaves
0.75 oz. Lemon Juice
0.33 oz. Simple Syrup

Muddle basil leaves with simple syrup and lemon juice in a mixing tin.
Add NOLET’S Silver, ice and shake well.
Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass.
Garnish with a basil leaf and lemon wedge.



Thanks to RW Garcia for the chips they provided for this bit on March Madness.  And thanks to Nolet Gin for all these great recipes.

Want to try some other cocktails featuring Nolet Gin? Visit this site:

Stevie Wilson,




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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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