9 Tailgate Drinks to Wet Your Whistle Before the Big Game

Get ready to pre-game with easy batch-style drinks and cocktails that'll feed a crowd on game day.

Published September 26, 2023

It's game day, baby! Time to pack up the cooler, grab some hots and hams, and put on your lucky jersey. You don't need to wait for kickoff or the first whistle to enjoy these tailgate drinks and cocktails.

Make these drinks ahead of time and bring them with you — in your team-themed cooler, of course. And don't forget to grab some cups in your team colors and some ice, too! Otherwise, you'll need to share straight from the jug. Definitely remember the cups. 

Bloody Hail Mary


Big plays will be made on and off the field today, especially if you mix up these Bloody Marys ahead of time. No one wants to juggle ingredients and mixers when you're trying to hang with friends. This makes approximately ten servings.


  • 2½ cups vodka
  • 5 cups Bloody Mary mix
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 5-6 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 5-6 tablespoons hot sauce, optional
  • Ice
  • Celery stalks for garnish


  1. In a large pitcher or resealable container, add vodka, Bloody Mary mix, lime juice, Worcestershire, and, if desired, hot sauce.
  2. Swirl to mix.
  3. Serve approximately 6½ ounces of mix in glasses over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish each with a celery stalk. 

Mimosas and Fuzzy Navels


No, you're not bringing Champagne flutes along with you. Although, if you feel so inclined, be as bougie as you want. Instead, you're going to enjoy those mimosas over ice and even take a walk on the fuzzy side with some peach schnapps. This makes approximately 16 servings. 


  • 1 gallon jug, empty
  • 1 gallon orange juice
  • 3 cups vodka
  • 2 cups peach liqueur
  • 750mL prosecco
  • Club soda
  • Ice


  1. Fill empty gallon jug halfway with orange juice.
  2. Add 1¼ cups vodka and ¾ cups peach liqueur to each jug.
  3. Top off each with jug with equal amounts of prosecco and club soda.
  4. Serve in glasses over fresh ice.

Tailgating Tea


This isn't anywhere close to a Long Island Iced Tea, because you have a long game ahead of you, and you don't want to miss that. You gave a whole paycheck to Ticketmaster, after all. This makes approximately 12 servings.



  1. In a container with a cap or dispenser, add spiced rum, iced tea, amaretto liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Just before serving, add ice.
  4. Serve 6 ounces of mix in glasses over fresh ice. 
  5. Garnish each with a lemon wedge.

Grapefruit Shandy: Beer Cocktail for Tailgating


Beer and juice make for a bittersweet shandy if you want a drink in hand but don't want to get too much of a buzz before you head into the stadium. This makes approximately 16 servings.


  • 12 pack pale ale or IPA
  • ½ gallon grapefruit juice
  • Ice
  • Citrus wheel for garnish


  1. In a glass filled with ice, fill three-quarters of the way with pale ale or IPA.
  2. Top off with grapefruit juice.

Scrimmage Line Lemonade


Lemonade! Get your ice cold lemonade here! And this isn't any regular stadium lemonade. This is the lemonade for getting amped up and pre-gaming before heading to your seats to help your team rally. This makes approximately 20 servings.


  • 1 gallon container, empty
  • 12 cups lemonade
  • 3 cups blueberry vodka
  • 1 cup whipped cream vodka
  • Ice
  • Lemon wheel for garnish


  1. In empty gallon jug, add lemonade, blueberry vodka, and whipped cream vodka. Mix well.
  2. Serve 6 ounces of mix in a glass filled with ice. 
  3. Garnish each with lemon wheel.

Gridiron Cocktail


Although you can trace its roots back to the jungle juice of college parties, it’s a little more refined because you can’t afford to lose track of time or where you are. This gridiron juice is easy to make up ahead of time, but be warned — it’ll be gone in a blink! This makes approximately 20 servings.


  • 1 gallon container or dispenser, empty
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 4 cups cranberry juice
  • 4 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups white rum OR coconut rum
  • 2 cups vodka
  • Ice


  1. In an empty gallon jug or dispenser, add orange juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, rum, and vodka. Mix well.
  2. If using a dispenser, add ice just before serving.
  3. Serve approximately 6 ounces of mix in a glass filled with ice.

Onside Mule for the Masses


You won't mix this up ahead of time, since you don't want to lose those fizzy bubbles before then. But all it takes is a pack of ginger beer and your favorite spirit to make up a mule. And best part? You can let friends and neighboring tailgaters know if they BYOB, they can make their own mule too. 


  • 12 cans ginger beer
  • 3 cups vodka, dark rum, or bourbon
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge for each drink


  1. In a cup filled with ice, add two ounces of preferred spirit.
  2. Fill with ginger beer. Stir.
  3. Squeeze lime wedge into drink.
  4. Bottoms up! 
Helpful Hack

Alternatively, drink a third of the can of ginger beer, then add the preferred spirit with a squeeze of lime into the can directly. 

Easy Beer Drink for Tailgating


Fall means football, pumpkins, and crisp flavors. Bring along a 12-pack of your favorite pumpkin beer and an equal amount of flavored liqueur nips for a beertail that doesn't need a glass. This makes approximately 16 drinks. 


  • 12 bottles pumpkin beer
  • 6 nips or shooters vanilla vodka
  • 6 nips or shooters caramel vodka


  1. Drink enough pumpkin beer down to the top of the label, or empty into a cup to enjoy later.
  2. Slowly add flavored vodka to the bottle.
  3. Sip away! 

Coin Toss Cider


A jug or two of apple cider is all you need to make some ready-to-drink tailgating drinks without needing anything more than a cup and maybe some ice to pour this right into. Sound too good to be true? Unlike your team leading after the first half, it isn't. This makes approximately 16 servings. 


  • 1 gallon container, empty, or beverage dispenser
  • 3 quarts apple cider
  • 3 cups bourbon OR spiced rum
  • 1 cup cinnamon liqueur
  • Ice


  1. In the empty container or dispenser, add cider, bourbon, and cinnamon liqueur. Stir.
  2. If in a dispenser, add ice just before serving.
  3. Add ice to a glass.
  4. Fill with eight ounces of apple cider mix.

Sipping and Tailgating


Tailor your tailgating day cocktail menu to score big before your team even hits the field. Your QB doesn't head out there without a plan. So why not follow in his steps to making and enjoying winning tailgating cocktails? Save, share, and savor the last guide to tailgating cocktails you'll ever need. 

Have an early kickoff? Try these tasty tailgate breakfast foods. 

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9 Tailgate Drinks to Wet Your Whistle Before the Big Game