The make-ahead tailgate drinks you need to try
The University of Georgia’s annual football game against the University of Florida, known for years as “The World’s Largest Cocktail Party,” is the perfect time to mix up and break out your best tailgate drinks.
Thousands of fans head to Jacksonville, Fla., and the Georgia coast to spend the late October weekend hanging out with friends and family in anticipation of the annual game.
And where there’s tailgating, there’s drinking, so here are seven refreshing easy-to-make-ahead drinks that will help make your tailgate a success.
Citrus beer sangria
Sweet and refreshing, this citrus beer sangria can be made with your favorite wheat beer or hard cider. Make this drink the day before your tailgate and chill overnight to save prep time in the morning. The citrus adds sweetness while the beer or cider makes it bubbly and light.
Use ginger ale to make your sangria without the alcohol, while still enjoying the fruity refreshment. Or you can set up a do-it-yourself sangria bar by having white wine, lemonade or even vodka as a base, and chopped fruit for guests to make their own sangria. For fruits out of season, substitute frozen or canned fruit. You can drain or keep the syrup depending on how sweet you like your sangria.
Though Jacksonville can be warm in late October, Georgia-Florida weekend is a fall event, so don’t miss out on ways to incorporate those seasonal flavors. This apple Manhattan is smooth and refreshing when served on ice, but gives your guests the taste of fall they desire.
Fizzy lime sodaritas
If tequila is your liquor of choice, but you’re craving something lighter than a margarita, these fizzy lime sodaritas are the perfect fit. A bubbly mix of lime, Mexican soda and tequila adds the kick you’re looking for while still saving room for those tailgating snacks.
Nonalcoholic Berry fizz punch
Make this kid-friendly berry fizz punch with the Mexican soda left over from your sodaritas. Not just for kids, this berry drink is easy to make in large quantities and combines the freshness of lemon-lime soda with the flavors of the berries.
Lavender Collins cocktail
A lovely blue color, thanks to the lavender-infused syrup, the lavender Collins cocktail is a great way for Florida fans to show a little gameday pride (although Georgia fans can drink it, too). The gin and lemon add zing to even out the sweetness of the lavender syrup. There is prep work involved to make the syrup, but it will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Mix two beach drink favorites in one with the beer-ita. This drink blends the crisp taste of Corona beer with the kick of tequila, while the limeade mellows the flavors, creating a cocktail sure to appeal to a variety of tailgaters.
Serving secret: Football field drink tray
Keep your drinks from spilling while you’re watching the pregame coverage or tossing the football. The football field drink tray is easy to make from a plastic storage container and ensures that your drinks remain upright while the space for ice keeps them cold. The tray is reusable and could also be used as a silverware holder.
Serving secret No. 2: Football mason jar
Feeling extra crafty? You can dress up your drinks by serving them in Mason Jars painted to look like footballs. This DIY project is an easy way to take your tailgate to the next level and show your school spirit at the same time. If you’re looking for another way to personalize it, paint your school’s mascot or team logo on the jar.