There are two essential tailgate items for any party: Food and drinks. What was once an easy grab of 24 packs of beer has evolved into providing a variety of drinks. If you love to bartend, this is great because it’s the perfect time to show off your skills. However, if you’d rather spend your homegate party watching the game, then batch cocktails are perfect for you. Making large batches of drink options keeps you enjoying time with your guests without the hassle of making drinks, one by one. Check out these essential tailgate item batch drink recipes that you can make ahead of your next homegate event.
How To Batch Your Favorite Cocktail
Before we get started, we just wanted to go over how you can turn any of your favorite cocktails into a pitcher cocktail. This guide from Cup of Zest goes into detail on how you can scale any cocktail with a few essential tailgate items. Just make sure that carbonation and fresh herbs are added last.
- 1 Pink Grapefruit
- 1 Navel Orange
- 2 Limes
- 1 Cup Cointreau
- 750 ML Bottle Prosecco
- 12-24 Oz Plain or Grapefruit Sparkling Water
- Slice the citrus fruit into half moons. Mix with the Cointreau in a pitcher that holds at least quarts. Add the Prosecco and cover the pitcher tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to serve, top off the pitcher with sparkling water and serve with lime or orange wedges.
Kicking off your homegate with an early party? Consider throwing a brunch theme homegate with this citrus-driven sangria. This boozy batch is easy to make the night before with prosecco and sparkling water for a refreshing, fruity drink. The best part is that the longer it sits the better it tastes!
Hawaiian Mai Tai
- 1 1/2 Cups Pineapple Juice, cold
- 1/2 Cup Rum
- 1/3 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
- 1/4 Cup Orange Liqueur
- 1-2 TB Agave Nectar
- 2 Tsp Almond Extract
- 1 Cup Lemon-Lime Soda
- Crushed Ice, for serving
- In a pitcher, combine the pineapple juice, rum, lime juice, orange liqueur, agave nectar, and almond extract. Stir well. Cover and place in fridge to chill until ready to serve (can be done several hours ahead of time.)
- When ready to serve, fill glasses with ice. Pour lemon-lime soda into the pitcher, gently stir, and divide into glasses.
Mai Tais are probably one of the more popular batch cocktails you can serve at a party. This tropical twist on a classic gives a refreshing blend of pineapple, lime, and orange flavors that is ideal for summer tailgating. Be careful though, they taste more harmless than they are!
- Lime Juice
- Club Soda
- Combine granulated sugar, water, and mint leaves in a saucepan, and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Stir until the sugar fully dissolves, then simmer another 3 minutes without stirring.
- Set up a mesh strainer over a large bowl, and pour the syrup through the strainer. Then let the simple syrup sit in the refrigerator to cool for about 30 minutes.
- Pour the cooled syrup into a pitcher.
- Mix in the rum and lime juice.
- Then let the full pitcher chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Let’s be honest, no one is going to expect you to muddle mint and make a classic mojito at a party. It’s too much work. However, including this essential tailgate item as a batch cocktail will be the talk of the party. Using the mint to create your simple syrup gives the perfect mint balance without the hassle of muddling each cocktail individually. It also won’t overwhelm the flavor.
- 2 Cups Light Rum
- 2 Cups Citron Vodka
- 12 Oz Can Frozen Lemonade Concentrate, thawed
- 1 Tsp Hot Sauce
- 1 Liter Club Soda, chilled
- Crushed Ice
- Lemon Slices and Sugarcane Sticks, for garnish
- Stir together first 4 ingredients in a pitcher. Add club soda just before serving. Pour mixture into 8 highball glasses filled with crushed ice. Garnish with lemon slices and sugarcane.
A common, and rather boring party “essential” is lemonade. This recipe will ensure your lemonade is a hit by adding some Southern Cajun spices! Surprise your guests with a mix of vodka and rum with lemonade and a splash of spice redefines homegate lemonade. These are perfect to serve with shrimp, gumbo, and cheesy grits.
Red, White, and Blue Big-Batch Cocktail
- 2 Cans Light Coconut Milk, well shaken
- 3 Cups Blue Curacao
- 1 Cup White Rum
- 1 Cup Coconut Rum or Coconut Liqueur
- 1 Cup Pineapple Juice
- 3 Cups Plain Seltzer, cold
- Maraschino Cherries, for garnish
- Divide the coconut milk between 2 large ice cube trays. Freeze until very solid.
- In a large pitcher, stir together the blue curaçao, white rum, coconut rum, and pineapple juice. Refrigerate until cold.
- Stir the seltzer into pitcher. To serve, place a few coconut milk ice cubes into a short glass. Pour in cocktail and garnish with the cherries.
Everyone loves a pina colada. This play on a pina colada adds some patriotic flare with festive colors from red cherries, coconut milk ice cubes, and citrusy blue curaçao. A sweeter option doesn’t need to be blended – just pour over ice and enjoy. It’s a perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day.
- 750 ML Bottle of Exotico Blanco Tequila
- Half A Cucumber, sliced
- 1 Lime, sliced
- 10 Basil Leaves, plus more for serving
- 12 Oz Can Frozen Limeade Concentrate
- 1.25 L Bottle Sparkling Water
- Edible Flowers, for serving
- Add cucumber slices, lime slices and basil leaves to a pitcher and gently muddle with the bottom of a wooden spoon.
- Add Exotico Blanco Tequila, frozen limeade, sparkling water and ice. Stir to combine.
- Divide into glasses. If desired, serve with basil sprigs and edible flowers.
Does your homegating team love refreshing, cool cucumber water? Surprise them at your next homegate with this delicious batched cocktail. The blend of tequila, cucumber, basil, and lime is a perfect summer drink for any event. Add a few cubes on ice and serve. Everyone will feel cool and relaxed.
STRAWBERRY WINE PUNCH
- 1 Bottle Moscato Wine
- 10 Oz Strawberry Daiquiri Mix
- 1/2 Liter Sprite
- Fresh Strawberries for Garnish
- Mix wine and daiquiri mix together in a pitcher, fill with soda and mix well.
- Serve with ice if you wish and garnish with fresh strawberries
Have you excluded strawberry daiquiris from your homegates? This boozy punch has the daiquiri taste without the hassle of blending a drink. We recommend making a double batch and making some strawberry sliced ice cubes to dazzle your guests.
Vodka mint lemonade
- 4 Limes or Lemons, quartered and any seeds removed
- Leaves from 1 medium sized bunch of mint
- 8 Cups Cold Water
- 1/2-3/4 Cup Honey or Sugar more or less to taste
- 8-16 Oz Vodka
- Ice Cubes
- Lime or Lemon Slices to garnish
- Place the quartered limes or lemons in the blender with 2 cups of water, sugar or honey, some ice, and half of the mint leaves.
- Blend until the limes or lemons are crushed, the mixture should be slightly foamy with a whitish color.
- Strain the lemonade and add the remaining 6 cups of water.
- Stir in the vodka or allow guests to add the vodka according to their preference
- Serve with ice and garnished with the remaining mint leaves and lime slices.
Don’t let the basic title trick you, this recipe has a couple of surprises to keep your guests drinking. The base is limes or lemons, fresh mint, honey or sugar, water, ice, and vodka, which you can add to the whole batch or let your guests add as they pour. This basic drink is perfect for any guest looking to watch their waistline but not be excluded from any of the fun!
Bourbon Rosemary Punch
- 1 Bottle Rosemary-Infused Aperol
- 12 Oz Bourbon
- 6 Oz Honey Syrup
- 6 Oz Grapefruit Juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 Bottle Dry Sparkling Wine
- 1 Bottle Soda Water
- 16 Grapefruit Wheels, for garnish
- 16 Rosemary Sprigs, for garnish
- Combine the rosemary-infused Aperol, bourbon, honey syrup and grapefruit juice in a punch bowl and add large ice cubes.
- For each serving, ladle 3 ounces of punch into a punch glass filled with ice cubes.
- Top with a splash of sparkling wine and a splash of soda water.
- Garnish with a grapefruit wheel and a rosemary sprig.
Bourbon is commonly overlooked as a cocktail ingredient but this boozy batch will become an essential for your whiskey-loving buddies. Enjoy a fresh drink with seasonal flavors and bright, beautiful garnishes, plus a whole lot of bubbles to make the whole thing feel more festive. The smokey herbal combination is perfect to serve as a complement to steak or prime rib.
Pineapple Party Punch
- 4 Cups Pineapple Juice, chilled
- 1/2 Cup White Rum or Coconut Rum
- 1 Bottle Prosecco, chilled
- 2 Cups Frozen Pineapple
- Pour pineapple juice, rum, and prosecco into a pitcher. Add frozen pineapple to keep it chilled. Serve the same day it’s made.
- Non-Alcoholic Version: skip the rum and prosecco. Use lemon-lime soda (regular or diet) or club soda instead.
Get ready to hear cheers of “Aloha!” with this tropical punch. Rum and prosecco meet pineapple in this bold batch guaranteed to be a hit at your next homegate. You can even elevate the drink with a few frozen pineapple cubes to replace the ice. Just make sure to keep extra ingredients on hand as these essential tailgate items go fast!
Sparkling Spiked Peach Lemonade
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup Water
- 3 Large Peaches
- 6 Cups Sparkling Water or Club Soda
- 1 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1 1/2 Cups Vodka
- In a small pot, combine the sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Remove the skins from 2 of the peaches: Cut an "X" in the skin on the bottom of each one. Drop in a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds. Transfer the peaches to an ice bath, and peel when cool enough to handle. Slice each peeled peach in half and remove the pits. Cut the peaches into cubes, place in a blender or food processor fitted with the blade attachment, and process until puréed. Pour into a large pitcher.
- Add the cooled simple syrup, sparkling water, lemon juice, and vodka. Stir to combine. Add ice and stir again. Cut the remaining peach into thin slices. Stir a few of the slices into the lemonade and use the others to garnish the glasses.
What is your favorite part of summer? If you said peach season, you are not alone. Fresh peaches are refreshing and sweet. They are perfect for cooling down after being out in the heat all day. This batch of lemons and peaches is the refreshing item to spotlight any homegate event.
COCONUT LEMON SOUR PARTY PITCHER
- 4 Cups Coconut Water, unsweetened
- 2 1/2 Cups Vodka
- 1 Cup Lemon Juice, fresh squeezed
- 3/4 Cup Simple Syrup
- Combine lemon juice and simple syrup in a large pitcher.
- Add vodka and coconut water, stir.
- Top with ice before serving.
- Garnish with a lemon slice or citrus peel.
Of all the lemonades on the list, this vodka-spiked drink adds tropical notes with coconut water perfect for those hot summer homegate parties. The coconut water adds a refreshing lightness to keep the party going. It’s also a great option for people looking to avoid drinking their daily calories.
The best part about all of these batch cocktails is they can be made a day or two before your party. That is one essential tailgate item you can stop worrying about. Many of them even get better the longer they steep. You can make a couple of different ones so that your guests can have a choice. That being said, it’s still never a bad idea to grab that 24-pack of beer for those who like a more classic beverage at their homegates.
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