5 Tailgate Drinks & Cocktails To Make for the Next Game

Posted by Helena Hambrecht on

Everybody loves a good tailgate. The shining sun, the great games and festivities, and the delicious food that everybody works to create together. It’s one of the best parts of sports in the U.S., and there isn’t anything quite like game day. 

But for a lot of people, the drink selection at a tailgate is — let’s just say somewhat lacking. Most people have a lot of beer and hard seltzer and not much else. These drinks can leave you feeling bloated and full before the meal even starts, making it tough to get down the last bites of that delicious burger or hotdog.

We need to up our tailgate drink game, big time. And that’s what we’re here to talk about. By the end of this article, you’ll have a bunch of great ideas for drinks and cocktails to put together for your next tailgate so you can enjoy the festivities and friendship with the help of a delicious drink that doesn’t sit heavy in your stomach. Let’s get started. 

1. Lemon Lavender Spritz

One of the key things you want out of a drink during a hot tailgate at the end of summer is a feeling of refreshment. You want the drink to cool you down while you’re baking in the hot sun next to that fiery grill. Well, there isn’t much better for doing that than a spritz with bright, citrusy, and floral summer flavors. 

A spritz is an excellent drink for a tailgate because of its simplicity. You only need a few ingredients and a glass — no shaker required! You can leave the ingredients out on the table for people to assemble on their own, or you can make it in bulk and serve it up in a pitcher. 

How To Make It

A spritz is super easy to make. And to make this spritz shine with bright summery flavors, the main ingredient on display will be the Haus Lemon Lavender Apéritif. This delicious drink packs a low 18% ABV and is made from responsibly sourced ingredients with hardly any sugar. 

To make one serving, simply add three ounces of Lemon Lavender Haus, two ounces of prosecco, and a splash of soda water into a wine glass. Give it a good stir, top with some ice and a lemon wedge, and you’ve got a delicious spritz perfect for any sunny day.

2. The Classic Mojito 

We want cool, refreshing beverages during our hot tailgates parties and another simple drink that can get us there is the mojito. It’s one of the most popular summer drinks out there and for a good reason. 

It combines so many things we love: sweetness, citrusy flavors, and fresh herbs. What’s not to love? And it’s another drink great for making in large batches for easy refills once the party gets going.

How To Make It

Here are the six ingredients you need to make a single serving mojito:

  • 2 ounces of white rum 
  • 1 ounce of lime juice 
  • ½ ounce of simple syrup 
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 1-2 ounces of soda water 
  • 1 lime wedge

If you want to make it the proper fancy way, start with just the simple syrup and mint leaves in a shaker and muddle them together. After combining the flavors, add white rum and lime juice and shake with ice. Strain it into a glass with fresh ice and top it off with your soda water, and then garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint. 

But if you’re not feeling up to the task of muddling and mixing, it’s perfectly okay to just throw all the ingredients into a pitcher with some ice and give it a good stir. Whatever helps you enjoy the drink the most is the best way to do it!

3. Red Sangria

For all the wine drinkers out there, this one's forone is for you. If you’ve never had sangria, you’re missing out on a delicious summer drink you’ll want to make again and again. It’s rich, fruity, sweet, and fun to make too. 

The only way to make this amazing summer drink is in bulk, so it’s perfect for a tailgate on game day or any other summertime festivity with friends. This recipe requires a few more ingredients and a bit of forethought, but believe us: it’s absolutely worth it!

How To Make It

The first sangrias were thought to be made with red wine, fruits, spices, and a bit of sugar, but nowadays, people have gotten pretty creative with the things they add to this drink, from brandy and orange juice to apples and soda water. Here’s what we’ve included in our recipe. 

  • 1 bottle of red wine (preferably dry and not too oaky)
  • 1/2 cup of simple syrup (or to your preference)
  • 1/4 cup of orange juice
  • 3/4 cup of Spiced Cherry Haus
  • 1 chopped orange
  • 1 chopped lemon
  • 1 chopped apple
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup of soda water (optional)

Start off by taking your chopped fruit and your cinnamon sticks, and putting them all into a large pitcher. Then add your simple syrup, OJ, red wine, and Spiced Cherry Haus. Mix it all up until it’s combined and then let it sit in the fridge for six to eight hours before you bring it out. 

After your timesix to eight hours is up, take it out of the fridge, remove the fruits and cinnamon sticks and add your soda water, if you choose to use it. Serve it up in a wine glass over ice. It’s one of the best summer drinks imaginable!

4. Tequila Sunrise

Tequila sunrises are meant to be enjoyed both on and off the beach, whether you’re on vacation or not. This beautifully layered drink brings the perfect summer vibes and tastes delicious. 

And let’s not forget that it’s super easy to make for your game day parties and festivities. Now here’s how to make this orange and pomegranate masterpiece of a cocktail. 

How To Make It

You could make this drink in a large batch and put it in a pitcher if you want, but to get the iconic sunrise effect of this layered drink, it’s best to make them individually. 

To start, get a glass (preferably a highball glass) and fill it with ice. Add two ounces of tequila and then four ounces of orange juice. Finally, top it off with a quarter ounce of grenadine. 

The thick syrup will sink to the bottom and create those bright red and orange layers. And there you have it, a tequila sunrise! If you want to garnish it, use a nice orange round or a maraschino cherry. 

5. Grapefruit Jalapeño Margarita

There is just nothing quite like a margarita. For many of us, it’s our go-to cocktail at any restaurant or bar. It’s so simple but so delicious, and there are a million different ways to spice it up. Today, we’re going to spice it up with our Grapefruit Jalapeño Apéritif

This drink is for those who love adventure and a little spice in their life. This drink combines some amazing flavors that work together to cool you off, especially on a hot summer’s day. 

How To Make It

For this cocktail, we’re going to change the recipe just a little bit. A regular margarita is made with tequila, lime juice, agave syrup, and orange liqueur. But today, we’re going to sub out the orange liqueur with the Haus Grapefruit Jalapeño apéritif

It’s a pretty simple drink to make, but you will need a cocktail shaker on hand. Simply add two ounces of tequila, a half-ounce of Haus, one ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice, and a half-ounce of agave syrup to a shaker with some ice. 

Shake it until it’ is chilled. Now grab your margarita glass and dip the rim in some salt, preferably kosher. Pour your cocktail into your salted glass and garnish with a lime wedge. Now, you’ve got a sweet, tangy, and spicy drink that will absolutely knock your socks off. This cocktail is especially good if there are tacos at the tailgate!

Up Your Tailgate Drink Game

Gone are the days of getting super bloated after a bunch of beers at the tailgate. It’s time to make yourself a drink that you and your stomach will really enjoy. These amazing and refreshing cocktails will bring the house down and help you tot enjoy the game all the more, so get out there and add these must-have drinks to your arsenal. 

Sources

French Apéritifs, An Intoxicating History | French-American Cultural Foundation

Margarita | Cambridge English Dictionary

Sangria | Red Wine Spanish Cocktails | Spanish Wines