I t’s almost football season again and we all know that means tailgate parties. Most tailgaters crack open a beer or pop the cork on a bottle of wine, but you can get more creative in your libations without going to too much trouble. Whether you’re going to see the Bulldogs, Yellow Jackets, Tigers, Gamecocks, Eagles or some other favorite, try one of these.
You can make your setup as elaborate or as simple as you like. Some are as simple as mixing up a couple of ingredients and putting them in an insulated container. Or for frozen drinks you can get a portable blender like the TailGator that runs off a small engine like a chainsaw. Just don’t forget the food. Drink too much without eating, and you might not be able to walk up the stadium steps to your seat.
So get started on your tailgate planning. All you need is a thirst and some imagination. I’ve provided some recipes below. Have fun, and I hope your team has a great year. If you have any special drinks you’d like to share with the BottleReport faithful, put them in the comments section below.
First are the hot-weather drinks, then beer drinks and finally cool-weather drinks.
Muddle 1/2 fresh peach, peeled; 3 mint leaves; 2 Tbsp. sugar; and 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice in a 10-oz. glass. Fill glass with crushed ice, and top with seltzer water or club soda. Gently stir. Garnish with peach wedges and fresh mint.
South Carolina Foghorn Leghorn
Muddle 1/4 cup fresh raspberries; 3 medium strawberries, quartered; 2 Tbsp. sugar; and 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice in a 10-oz. glass. Fill glass with crushed ice, and top with seltzer water or club soda. Gently stir. Garnish with a fresh strawberry.
Take equal parts brandy and créme de menthe and shake with ice. Pour into your glass
2 slices fresh root ginger (thumbnail sized)
2 spoons of honey
2 shots Piedra Azul tequila
1 shot freshly squeezed lime juice
¾ shot chilled mineral water
Muddle ginger in base of shaker. Add honey and tequila, and stir until honey is dissolved. Add other ingredients, shake with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.
Eye of the Tiger
– 1 oz rum
– 1 oz coconut rum
– 1 oz cranberry juice
– 1 oz lemon juice
– 1 oz sugar syrup
– 1 oz orange juice
– 1/2 oz dark rum
Shake all ingredients (except dark rum) and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Sprinkle dark rum on top, and garnish with an orange slice. Serve with straws.
Freeze the mixer ahead of time, and keep the pre-prepared cubes in the cooler with the vodka bottle. When you’re ready to serve, just combine together in a cup.
12 ounces premium Bloody Mary mix
2 teaspoons hot sauce
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
12 ounces premium vodka
4 celery stick, for garnish
Freshly ground pepper, for garnish
In a medium measuring cup, combine the Bloody Mary mix, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray with large ice cube compartments, making eight equal cubes. Place the tray in the freezer for at least two hours to freeze solid.
When you are ready to serve, rim each glass with celery salt. Place two prepared ice cubes in each glass and fill with three ounces of room-temperature vodka.
Garnish with a celery stick and freshly ground black pepper. Swirl your drink with the celery to help get the blood flowing.
Make margaritas the easy way for a tailgate party. It is difficult to find electricity for a blender in the middle of a parking lot. Purchase a “drink bucket” at any liquor store. All you do is add tequila and freeze. Make these a couple days before the tailgate party and when it is time to go, transport them nestled in ice in a cooler. You simply scoop out the frozen concoction and enjoy. I like Piedra Azul tequila for a special taste.
Easy Jell-O Shots
Jell-O shots are a favorite type of mixed drink. One of the simplest varieties available mixes water, vodka and the contents of a packet of Jell-O mix. This mixture is poured into small shots and served to your guests. Use the colors of your sports team for a great impression.
Tipsy Arnold Palmer
2 oz. Sandeman Founders Reserve
1/2 oz. Ballentine’s Blended Scotch Whisky
3/4 oz. blood orange juice
3/4 oz. sweet honey-cucumber water (honey that has been diluted with water that has cucumber slices marinating in it)
Garnish: cucumber slice
Add ingredients to your carbonator of choice and carbonate. Then pour over ice into a tall glass.
1 750ml bottle fruity red wine
1 1/2 gallon carton orange juice
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup triple sec
1 bottle vodka
1/8 cup lime juice
2 apples, sliced
2 oranges, segmented
1 2-liter bottle 7-up or Sprite
Prepare a large pitcher or bowl. Pour in the red wine, orange juice, brandy, triple sec, vodka, lime juice. Add in the apples, oranges and grapes. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least two hours, and preferably overnight so the fruit flavors all soak into the liquids.
Just before serving, add in the 7-up or Sprite so the bubbles are fresh. Serve over ice.
Add 3/4 cup beer and 1/4 cup lemonade to a plastic cup; stir. Garnish with a lemon slice. Or buy bottles of Leinenkugels premixed Summer Shandy.
If you really want beer, you can get one of those mini-kegs to make the day more festive. For wine I would get some box wines like Bota Box, Octavin (Silver Birch, Seven or Big House) or Black Box.
Welch’s grape juice
Can top with a lime wedge if you want.
splash of Chambourd
2 parts coconut rum
1 part vodka
splash of grenadine
There are also some beer versions of mixed drinks. Here are a few of them:
Beery bloody mary
The classic Bloody Mary spiked with your favorite chilled lager. Combine the vodka and ingredients for the Bloody Mary mix together in a pitcher, then when you get to the party, add in the beer so that it doesn’t get flat.
Black and Tan
8 oz Guinness Stout beer
8 oz pale ale beer
Pour the pale ale into a pint glass.
Float the Guinness on top to fill the glass, by pouring it over a bar spoon (or Black and Tan spoon) over the pale ale.
24 oz. light beer (chilled)
1 cup grapefruit juice
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Juice the lemons and thinly slice the peels. Stir the sugar and the water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the lemon peels, remove from heat and cover for 5 minutes. Then remove the peels and add the lemon juice and the grapefruit juice. Stir and transfer in a pitcher. Cover and chill for about 3 hours. Just before serving add the beer. Serve over ice in beer mugs and decorate with lemon slices. This punch makes approximately 8 servings.
Beer Jell-O Shots
With only five minutes of prep time required, this is good for 12 shots.
One 6-ounce package lime Jell-O gelatin dessert
12 ounces water
12 ounces beer
Mix Jell-O with 2 cups of boiling water until fully dissolved. Add your favorite beer and pour into paper cups. Chill and transport on game day.
6 oz. vodka
6 oz. frozen limeade concentrate
12 oz. beer (any beer you like)
Put all ingredients into a blender and add ice. Blend and enjoy!
Lime beer cocktail
1 (6-pack) light beer
1 can frozen limeade
1 lime, sliced in half
Pour beer into a large pitcher. Add still-frozen limeade and stir to combine. Stirring with a metal utensil can reduce foam. Allow foam to settle.
Squeeze half a lime into pitcher.
Finely slice the other lime half and place into pitcher, for garnish. Pour into chilled glasses and serve cold.
Here are a few drinks for those late season games when there is a chill in the air. They can be made at home and carried in a thermos bottle.
Hot Chocolate mixed with
1 shot of Peppermint Schnapps
Hot apple cider with bourbon or rum
Recipe (makes 4 cocktails):
4 cups of apple cider
Juice of one lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup of bourbon (add after pouring the above into mugs)
Hot buttered rum
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
Dash of vanilla
Bottle dark rum
In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Refrigerate until almost firm. At the game spoon about 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture into 12 small mugs. Pour about 3 ounces of rum into each mug (filling about halfway). Top with hot water from a thermos bottle, stir well, and serve immediately.
Or you can mix it all at home and pour the whole thing in a thermos bottle.
Great Pumpkin Punch
Serve it in a hollowed-out pumpkin, but get it to the game in easily-transportable tupperware. This recipe makes around 15 servings.
1 bottle rum
2 bottles ginger ale
1 bottle apple cider
1 pumpkin, hollowed out but not carved
Mix all ingredients together and serve.
This drink is best mixed individually as needed, since it loses its fizz as it sits in a punch bowl. Simply mix one part Sambuca with two parts Pepsi and serve over ice. Amaretto is a popular substitute for Sambuca and gives the drink a mild almond flavor.
Some excellent drink ideas! Will definitely try the ‘Bleeding Mary’. Go ‘Cocks!