During the summer heat, beer or wine can seem too heavy, especially when you’re tailgating in the sun all day. The solution? A creative cocktail. We spoke with three of Columbia’s bartenders to get the low-down on the best mixed drinks to tailgate with. Create these cocktails prior to heading to your tailgate spot, or set up your own mixing station so you can be sure not to run out! These drinks were compiled — and created — with tailgating needs in mind, including hot weather and long periods of time. They can all be adjusted to make batch drinks, just multiply the recipe by however many people you will be serving and be sure to find a large pitcher.
Barred Owl Bar Manager Andrew Ruth went for a simple approach when creating his tailgate margarita. “I don’t typically put orange juice in a margarita, but this addition adds a beautiful golden hue to the drink,” he says. And, he adds, “it lightens up the alcohol since you are typically outside drinking most of the day during tailgates.” If you really want to step up your team spirit, purchase edible gold flakes and add to your margarita to show off your sparkling team spirit.
.75 ounces Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao (Grand Marnier or Cointreau is great also)
.75 ounces fresh lime juice
.25 ounces agave nectar
Black lava salt and turbinado sugar for rim
Mix black lava salt and turbinado sugar together on a side plate for a black and gold rim. Use a lime wedge to wet the rim of the glass so the salt and sugar stick. In a shaker, shake all ingredients hard and fast, strain over ice into your rimmed glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
Booches’ Bloody Mary
No tailgate is complete without a Bloody Mary, and according to Inside Columbia magazine readers, Julia Seibel at Booches creates one of Columbia’s best. “Our Bloody Mary isn’t anything fancy,” Seibel says, “It’s classic, like everything we try to do here at Booches.” The best part of a Bloody Mary? The garnish. Booches’ recipe comes with olives and a lime wedge, but toppings can range from the more traditional, such as celery or pickles, to heartier toppings such as cocktail shrimp or sliders. “You can get crazy with garnishes for Bloody Marys — that’s why they’re fun,” Seibel says.
½ lime, squeezed
1 ½ ounces Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ ounces olive juice
5 dashes Tabasco
1 teaspoon horseradish
Salt and pepper
Gin or vodka
In a large jar with a lid, mix all ingredients and shake. For best results, make the mix a day ahead of time to let the ingredients stew and keep refrigerated. Give the jar a good shake before use. Over ice, pour 2 ounces of vodka or gin and 4 ounces of mix. Roll once in a shaker or a larger cup. Top with olives, cracked pepper and lime wedge. Mix makes four 12-ounce Bloody Marys.
This cocktail is a combination of two popular drinks, a screwdriver and a mojito. Flyover Principal Bartender Maddy Melton came up with this unique combination for tailgates because of its versatility. “The citrus and mint in this makes it very refreshing and light for drinking in the sun.” Plus, she adds, “It’s not complicated and it’s a people-pleaser.” Maddy chose vodka for the cocktail in the photo, but you can use gin or rum as well.
¾ ounce honey syrup
½ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce orange juice
For honey syrup, mix honey and hot water in a 3:1 ratio. In a shaker with ice, mix liquor, honey syrup, lime juice, orange juice and mint. Add a splash of prosecco and club soda. Strain over ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and fresh mint sprig.