Tailgating won’t be the same for the 2020 college football season. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy a cocktail and have a good time.
As you’re crafting the menu for your backyard tailgate this season, don’t forget the adult beverages.
It’d be easy to go for a 12-pack of your favorite beer and perhaps some hard seltzers, but where’s the fun in that? With a trip to the store and a little effort, your homemade cocktails could become the talk of the neighborhood on game days.
DawgNation is here to lend a hand with some inspirational ideas for the season ahead. Here are 10 of the best cocktails to try at your home tailgate this year:
Jack and Coke
Nothing says “SEC football Saturday” quite like a whiskey and cola.
If you try hard enough, you probably can conjure up memories of that whiskey and coke aroma that seemingly permeates the student section of your favorite stadium each fall. That may be as close as many of us get this season.
And while the college budget may call for sneaking in a whiskey that is a little cheaper than Jack Daniels, we know you have a more refined taste for your backyard experience.
The best part about this one is that you get to eyeball everything. There are no wrong answers to how much Jack belongs in your Coke.
- A bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey
- A bottle of Coca-Cola Classic (or Diet Coke if you prefer)
Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri
Admittedly, this one is more of an early-season option than a late-November move. So try to get this warm-weather delight on the menu before the leaves begin to fall.
With a frozen daiquiri in hand, you can pretend you’re at an exotic, tropical location while you’re watching the Dawgs from your backyard.
We’re leaning on an easy frozen strawberry daiquiri recipe from The Spruce Eats:
- 2 ounces light rum
- 1/2 ounce lime juice (fresh)
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 1 cup ice
- 3 to 4 strawberries (sliced)
And, remember, you’re going to need a blender to unleash your island vibes for this one.
If you’re looking for a good starter cocktail, the Moscow Mule is as simple to make as it is delicious.
This vodka-based cocktail only requires ginger beer and some freshly sliced limes to get the party started. And if vodka isn’t your style, you could instead opt for one of the many variations to this drinks, such as the Kentucky Mule (bourbon-based instead of vodka).
Using Esquire’s recipe for this classic, here’s what you’ll want to have on hand:
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1/2 oz. lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 6 oz. ginger beer
For an authentic Moscow Mule experience, you’re going to want to serve these in copper mugs.
Do you like coffee? Chocolate? Coconut? Milkshakes?
If the answer is yes to one or more of those, then there’s a good chance that this is a worthwhile cocktail choice for your tailgate.
You’re going to need your blender to turn this rum and vodka concoction into a pregame milkshake for the adults at the tailgate.
You can find different recipe variations for this drink, but we decided to borrow the recipe from a website called “Rum Therapy.” With a name like that, surely they know what they’re talking about, right?
- 2 oz. Coconut Rum
- 2 oz. Vodka
- 2 oz. Bailey’s
- 2 oz. Kahlua
- 2 oz. Amaretto
- 2 oz. Cream of Coconut
- Chocolate syrup
- Whipped cream
- Pinch Nutmeg
If you’re planning on make some fresh-squeezed lemonade for the tailgate, you may as well step things up a notch by making a batch of lemon drops for the adults.
This one has its fans for a variety of reasons. Some like the sour of the fresh lemon, others love the sweetness that the sugar-garnished rim provides.
Using the recipe provided by Liquor.com, here’s what you’ll need for this one:
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1/2 ounce triple sec
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- Garnish: sugar rim
This may be the most polarizing cocktail on the list. And that’s what makes it a great tailgate debate. Are you in on the mint? Or are you out?
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the minty fresh cocktail. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t include it as a top option for this tailgating season.
All Recipes offers up this take on a Mojito recipe:
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- ½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
- 2 tablespoons white sugar, or to taste
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1 ½ fluid ounces white rum
- ½ cup club soda
Are you a tequila fan? And do you like to keep it straightforward when it comes to mixing your cocktails?
There’s nothing wrong with opting for a classic margarita at the tailgate. It has been a crowd pleaser for years and years, so why try to reinvent the wheel?
Warning: Some people hold their tequila better than others. You should probably conduct an informal poll of your tailgating partners before featuring this one.
Using the Food Network’s simple recipe for a classic margarita, you’ll want to have the following on hand:
- Ice cubes
- 3 ounces tequila
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon orange liqueur
- 1 tablespoon lime-salt-sugar
Speaking of tequila, here’s another option you could offer your guests if you have one of those early kickoffs that require a morning start for your home tailgate.
Orange juice is a staple in many brunch-fueled cocktail endeavors, and the Tequila Sunrise is no different in that regard.
The Food Network offers up this recipe for a Tequila Sunrise:
- 1 1/2 ounces tequila
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 3/4 ounce grenadine syrup
- Orange slice, for garnish
- Maraschino cherry, also for garnish
While this one may seem to follow that early drinking theme, the White Russian is a tasty choice at any time of day.
Featuring Kahlúa, which is a rum-based coffee liqueur, this one is sure to pique the interest of the coffee drinkers at your tailgate. And it’s really simple to make. Just pour over ice and enjoy.
- 2 ounces vodka
- 2 ounces Kahlúa
- 1 splash heavy cream
We began the story with whiskey cocktail recommendation, so it only makes sense that we’d end the list one with one as well.
But the beauty of this one is that once you make your homemade sour mix (which usually involves lemon juice and sugar) you can pretty much use it with any hard liquor. So you’re really adding more to the table than just a whiskey sour when you make this commitment.
According to the Food Network, here’s a list of suitable ingredients for your whiskey sour:
- 1 1/2 ounces whiskey
- 4 ounces sour mix (1 oz. lemon juice, 1 oz. sugar, 2 oz. water)
- Crushed ice
- 1 maraschino cherry
If you want to walk on the wild side with this one, you can also add egg white to the cocktail. This move is sometimes referred to as a Boston Sour.