Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know that this year's March Madness has begun. I'll be honest and say that I was living under said rock until last year when I was included in a group to make the brackets.

To give you a brief explanation, March Madness is the NCAA's Division I National Tournament for men's basketball. It's a pretty big deal for athletes, even more so for those who attend D1 schools such as UVA, UNC, UMiami, or Penn State.

I learned that March Madness is actually a great opportunity to get together with your friends and watch the games, especially towards the "Elite Eight" or "Final Four" stages of the tournament.

And what makes a watch party even better? Snacks! Here, I'll be sharing some crowd favorites for your March Madness watch parties that you can personalize to your own tastes. 

Starting Off Easy 

One of the easiest and quickest things to serve for your friends and family is a charcuterie board. You can't really go wrong with this option, since you can add or eliminate items that can make it a true crowd favorite for your March Madness watch parties.

While this may seem like a basic option, here's where personalization can take your board to the next level. Let's say, for instance, you have already added your favorite cheese and crackers to your board, as well as some deli meats. That's great, but this is where the fun begins.

Suppose you're rooting for the Auburn Tigers. Their colors are blue and orange, so a fun thing you could add to your board is a popcorn trail mix situation with blue and orange M&M's.

Another possibility is buying some pre-packaged orange and brown icing, the ones that come in the little bags with piping tips. Then, you could get some Reese's candy or Oreos and draw a basketball over them! The possibilities here are truly endless, and you don't even have to go through an immense amount of trouble to make your board enticing and personalized.

Below is an image of a charcuterie board I made for my family for Christmas. As you can see, I didn't do anything crazy besides carving the little tree on the brie cheese top. You can do something similar to this for your March Madness watch parties. It's the little details that can help your board be cool and special! 

Sofia Heras

March Madness Inspired Drinks

If you're not 21, or 18 depending on where you live, don't worry! These March Madness-inspired drinks can most definitely be turned into mocktails. Of course, people will be thirsty and will appreciate a little something to wash down your delicious snacks with. Enter the drinks!

Again, you don't have to put in an immense amount of work to serve drinks that are fun, memorable, and personalized. You can, for example, just get some team-colored straws at the dollar store to get you and your group in the spirit of the game! The possibilities to make your drink a crowd favorite for your March Madness Watch Parties are endless. However, if you do want to go the extra mile, here are two drink recipes that I found:

Coconut Madness

Mix 2.5 oz of coconut rum, 1 oz lime juice, .25 oz grenadine syrup, 3 oz lemon-lime soda, stir, and enjoy! You can also totally make this a mocktail; just leave out the coconut rum and replace it with some coconut water if you're into that flavor; otherwise, just leave it out altogether! 

The Courtside Punch 

This one works really well in case you want to make a big batch and call it day. However, you can most definitely adjust the quantities if you're looking to make less, just make sure to stick to the ratios.

For this one, combine 4 cups cranberry juice, 2 liters of 7UP, 12 oz limeade, and 12 oz orange juice with some ice cubes, stir, and enjoy! You may have noticed that this one doesn't have any alcohol, but if you'd like to make it a cocktail I'm sure some vodka or white rum would go well with it! 

Needless to say, your March Madness watch parties, or any watch party for that matter, can be taken to the next level with simple snacks and drinks. Not only will your friends and family be impressed with your creations, but they'll be looking forward to your contributions for all the watch parties to come! You can also stick to crowd favorites for your March Madness watch parties, such as chicken wings or dips. They're popular crowd favorites for a reason!