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Crafting Signature Cocktails for Your Tailgate

Tailgate Cocktails
Last Updated on February 1, 2024 by Ryan Conlon | 🕒 5 min Read Time

Tailgating won’t be the same for the 2020 college football season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t 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. Let DawgNation 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.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the best cocktails to try at your home tailgate.
  • Explore a variety of options, from classic cocktails to more adventurous choices.
  • Add a personal touch to your cocktails by experimenting with flavors and spices.
  • Enjoy the camaraderie and celebration that comes with sharing signature cocktails with friends and fellow fans.
  • Elevate your game day experience with delicious tailgate cocktails.

Jack and Coke

The iconic Jack and Coke cocktail is a perfect choice for a tailgate. It brings the classic combination of whiskey and cola, evoking memories of football Saturdays and stadium atmosphere. The best part about this cocktail is that you can adjust the amount of whiskey according to your preference. All you need is a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey, a bottle of Coca-Cola Classic, and some ice.

When it comes to tailgating, few drinks are as beloved as the Jack and Coke. This simple yet satisfying cocktail packs a punch of flavor and nostalgia. By combining the smoothness of Jack Daniels whiskey with the fizzy sweetness of Coca-Cola, it creates a perfect harmony of tastes that can transport you back to the excitement of a game day.

Whether you prefer a strong hit of whiskey or a more refreshing mix, the Jack and Coke gives you the flexibility to customize your drink. Simply adjust the ratio of whiskey to cola to suit your taste buds. Add some ice to chill it down, and you’re ready to enjoy.

The Jack and Coke is a versatile cocktail that pairs well with a variety of tailgate foods. From classic burgers and hot dogs to spicy wings and nachos, this cocktail can complement your favorite game day snacks perfectly.

So next time you’re getting ready for a tailgate, don’t forget to include the timeless Jack and Coke on your drinks menu. Raise a glass to good times, great flavors, and unforgettable memories.

Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri

For a refreshing and fruity option, try the Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri. This cocktail is perfect for early-season tailgates when the weather is still warm. The Spruce Eats offers a simple recipe that includes ingredients like light rum, lime juice, simple syrup, ice, and sliced strawberries. Blend them all together for a tropical treat while you watch the game from your backyard.

Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients:

Ingredients Amount
Light rum 2 ounces
Lime juice 1 ounce
Simple syrup 1/2 ounce
Ice 1 cup
Sliced strawberries 1/2 cup

To make the Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri, follow these steps:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour into glasses and garnish with a fresh strawberry.

Moscow Mule

The Moscow Mule is a popular and easy-to-make cocktail that is perfect for tailgating. It only requires vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. Serve it in copper mugs for an authentic Moscow Mule experience.

Esquire provides the following recipe for a classic Moscow Mule:


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 6 ounces ginger beer

Follow these simple steps to make your Moscow Mule:

  1. Fill a copper mug with ice.
  2. Pour in 2 ounces of vodka.
  3. Add 1/2 ounce of lime juice.
  4. Top it off with 6 ounces of ginger beer.
  5. Give it a gentle stir to mix the ingredients.
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Enjoy the refreshing and tangy flavors of the Moscow Mule as you toast to a successful tailgating season with your friends and fellow fans.


The Bushwacker is a decadent cocktail that combines flavors like coffee, chocolate, coconut, and milk. It’s essentially a boozy milkshake that will delight the adults at your tailgate. Rum Therapy suggests a recipe that includes ingredients like coconut rum, vodka, Bailey’s, Kahlua, Amaretto, cream of coconut, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and nutmeg. Blend it all together for a delicious treat.

Bushwacker cocktail

If you’re looking for a cocktail that’s indulgent and rich, the Bushwacker is the perfect choice. This creamy concoction combines the flavors of coffee and chocolate with the tropical sweetness of coconut and the smoothness of milk. It’s like sipping on a boozy milkshake while you cheer on your favorite team.

The recipe for the Bushwacker includes a blend of coconut rum, vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua, Amaretto, cream of coconut, and chocolate syrup. Top it off with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg for the perfect finishing touch.

Whether you’re hosting a tailgate party or enjoying a game day gathering at home, the Bushwacker is sure to be a hit. Its creamy texture and delicious combination of flavors make it a crowd-pleaser that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

So why not treat yourself and your guests to a taste of paradise with the Bushwacker cocktail? It’s the ultimate indulgence for any tailgate or football watch party.

Lemon Drop

The Lemon Drop cocktail is a refreshing option that combines the sourness of fresh lemon with the sweetness of simple syrup. It’s the perfect choice to quench your thirst during a tailgate party.

For this tangy and delightful cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Vodka
  • Triple sec
  • Simple syrup
  • Fresh lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well. Then, strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass with a sugar-rimmed edge for an extra touch of sweetness. The result is a vibrant and invigorating cocktail that will leave your taste buds craving for more.

The Lemon Drop cocktail is not only visually appealing but also incredibly delicious. Its bright and tangy flavors make it the perfect companion for cheering on your favorite team.

So, why not add a Lemon Drop cocktail to your tailgate menu this season? It’s a refreshing and indulgent choice that will elevate your game day experience. Cheers!


The Mojito is a classic cocktail that can spark a debate among tailgaters due to its minty freshness. Whether you’re a fan of mint or not, the Mojito is a top option to consider for your tailgating season. All Recipes offers a recipe that includes fresh mint leaves, lime wedges, white sugar, ice cubes, white rum, and club soda.

With its combination of tangy lime, refreshing mint, and a hint of sweetness, the Mojito is a crowd-pleaser that is sure to quench your thirst on game day. The crisp flavors and bubbly effervescence make it the perfect drink for outdoor gatherings and summer celebrations.

To make the perfect Mojito, start by muddling fresh mint leaves and lime wedges with white sugar in a glass. This helps release the essential oils from the mint leaves and extract the citrus flavors from the lime. Fill the glass with ice cubes, then pour in a generous amount of white rum. Top it off with club soda for some fizz and stir everything together to combine the flavors.

When serving a Mojito, it’s important to garnish it with a sprig of fresh mint and a lime wedge. This not only adds a pop of color but also enhances the visual appeal of the cocktail. It’s a refreshing and inviting drink that will make your tailgate party feel like a tropical getaway.

Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or a beginner, the Mojito is a versatile cocktail that can be easily customized to suit your taste. You can experiment with different variations by adding fruits like strawberries, raspberries, or even mangoes for a fruity twist. You can also try using flavored rums like coconut or pineapple to add an extra layer of complexity to the drink.

So why not raise a glass and toast to a successful tailgating season with a refreshing Mojito in hand? Its vibrant flavors and cooling properties make it the perfect companion for cheering on your favorite team from the comfort of your backyard.


The Margarita is a timeless cocktail choice for a tailgate. Its classic combination of tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, and orange liqueur creates a refreshing and tangy flavor profile that is sure to please any crowd. The drink is typically served in a salt-rimmed glass, enhancing the overall experience with a hint of savory saltiness.

If you’re looking to enjoy a Margarita at your next tailgate, follow this simple recipe provided by Food Network:

  1. Combine 2 ounces of tequila, 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 ounce of simple syrup, and 1 ounce of orange liqueur in a shaker.
  2. Add ice to the shaker and shake well to combine.
  3. Prepare your glass by moistening the rim with a lime wedge and dipping it into a mixture of equal parts salt and sugar.
  4. Strain the Margarita into the prepared glass filled with ice.
  5. Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge.

This classic Margarita recipe is perfect for tailgating because it can be easily scaled up to serve a larger crowd. Simply multiply the ingredients by the number of servings needed, mix in a pitcher, and pour over ice when ready to serve. This way, you can enjoy the game while sipping on a delicious Margarita without having to constantly prepare individual cocktails.

Put a Twist on Your Margarita with Flavorful Variations

While the classic Margarita is always a hit, you can also experiment with different variations to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few creative twists you can try:

  • Spicy Margarita: Add a kick to your Margarita by muddling jalapeno slices in the shaker before adding the other ingredients. The heat from the jalapenos will infuse into the cocktail, adding a delicious spicy element.
  • Fruit-infused Margarita: Incorporate fresh fruits like strawberries, mangoes, or watermelon into your Margarita by blending them with the other ingredients. This will give your cocktail a vibrant color and added fruity sweetness.
  • Frozen Margarita: Blend ice with the Margarita ingredients to create a frozen version of this classic cocktail. This is especially refreshing on hot game days or when tailgating in warm climates.

Regardless of the variation you choose, the Margarita is a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed by both casual and seasoned cocktail enthusiasts. Its bright flavors and customizable nature make it a perfect addition to your tailgating menu.

“The Margarita is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Its balanced blend of tequila, fresh lime, and subtle sweetness makes it a go-to choice for any tailgate.” – Food Network

Ingredient Measurements
Tequila 2 ounces
Freshly squeezed lime juice 1 ounce
Simple syrup 1 ounce
Orange liqueur 1 ounce

Tequila Sunrise

The Tequila Sunrise is a vibrant and refreshing cocktail that is perfect for early kickoffs and morning tailgates. This iconic cocktail features a beautiful sunrise-like appearance in the glass, created by the combination of orange juice, tequila, and grenadine syrup.

To make a Tequila Sunrise, follow this simple recipe:

  1. Fill a glass with ice cubes.
  2. Pour 2 ounces of tequila into the glass.
  3. Add 4 ounces of orange juice.
  4. Gently pour 1/2 ounce of grenadine syrup into the glass, allowing it to settle at the bottom.
  5. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

The Tequila Sunrise is not only visually appealing but also deliciously refreshing. The combination of citrus flavors from the orange juice and the smoothness of the tequila makes it a crowd-pleasing choice for any tailgate.

Tequila Sunrise cocktail

Ingredients Quantity
Tequila 2 ounces
Orange juice 4 ounces
Grenadine syrup 1/2 ounce
Orange slice (for garnish)
Maraschino cherry (for garnish)

White Russian

The White Russian is a creamy and indulgent cocktail that combines vodka, Kahlua, and heavy cream. It’s a great choice for coffee lovers, as it features a rum-based coffee liqueur. Simply pour the ingredients over ice and enjoy. This cocktail is versatile and can be enjoyed at any time of the day, making it a delicious addition to your tailgate menu.

If you want to add a twist to the classic White Russian, you can try variations like the Chocolate White Russian or the Salted Caramel White Russian. These variations infuse additional flavors into the cocktail, giving it a unique and decadent taste.


  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz heavy cream
  • Ice


  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes.
  2. Pour in the vodka, Kahlua, and heavy cream.
  3. Stir gently to combine.
  4. Enjoy the creamy, coffee-infused flavors of the White Russian!

Whether you’re sipping this cocktail during a morning tailgate or as an after-dinner treat, the White Russian is sure to satisfy your cravings for a rich and delightful drink.

Whiskey Sour

The Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail that combines the rich flavor of whiskey with the tanginess of homemade sour mix. This timeless drink is a favorite among whiskey enthusiasts and cocktail lovers alike, and it’s easy to see why.

To make a delicious Whiskey Sour cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 ounces of whiskey
  • 1 ounce of sour mix (made from equal parts lemon juice and simple syrup)
  • Crushed ice
  • A maraschino cherry for garnish

To prepare the cocktail, simply combine the whiskey and sour mix in a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice. Shake well for about 10 seconds to ensure the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and chilled. Then, strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry for an added touch of sweetness.

The Whiskey Sour is a versatile drink that allows for creativity and experimentation. You can customize it to suit your preferences by using different types of whiskey, such as bourbon or rye. You can also add a splash of orange juice or a dash of bitters for additional depth of flavor.

Why choose a Whiskey Sour?

“The Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail that strikes the perfect balance between the intense flavors of whiskey and the refreshing sourness of citrus. It’s a timeless drink that never goes out of style.”

Whether you’re a whiskey connoisseur or new to the world of cocktails, the Whiskey Sour is a drink that everyone can enjoy. Its smooth and tangy profile makes it an excellent choice for both casual gatherings and special occasions. So, the next time you’re looking for a sophisticated yet approachable cocktail, give the Whiskey Sour a try.

Pros Cons
Classic and timeless flavor May be too sour for some palates
Easy to make with few ingredients Not suitable for those who don’t enjoy whiskey
Versatile and customizable Requires a shaker and strainer


Tailgate cocktails are the perfect addition to your game day experience. Whether you’re a fan of classic options like the Jack and Coke or the Margarita, or prefer more adventurous choices like the Mojito or the Bushwacker, there is a signature cocktail for every taste. Don’t be afraid to get creative and infuse your cocktails with flavors and spices inspired by your travels. Personalize them to make them your own.

Sharing these signature cocktails with friends and fellow fans adds to the camaraderie and celebration of the tailgating experience. It’s a chance to connect, cheer, and enjoy the game together. So, raise a glass and toast to a memorable tailgating season filled with delicious drinks and unforgettable moments. Cheers!

Crafting Signature Cocktails for Your Tailgate