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Tailgating Without Beer

We’re deep in football season this time of year, and it’s a beautiful excuse to gather friends and family together for a fantastic tailgate. Whether you’re tailgating at a big stadium or from your own home, you want to be sure that the food and drinks are fun and perfect for the day of the big game. You must have go-to options that are fast and delicious and ideally come in cans or a pitcher that you can pass around—cheers to your team, together with a fantastic drink this game season.

Beer isn’t the only option for your football game tailgate. Though it’s an old standard, plenty of other drinks can have you in the festivities if you’re not a beer fan. Hard seltzers are an excellent option for your gathering, and hard ciders are perfect for this crisp fall time of year. Any number of mixed drinks, from screwdrivers to lemonade and whiskey to spiking your favorite brand of sweet tea with vodka or bourbon, offer a perfect spice to your tailgate.

Ready-made cocktails are also a great option if you’re going away from home for the tailgate and cannot whip up your own cocktail. However, if you have the time and means for a leisurely cocktail, there are some great game-day options for a simple cocktail.

Grape Sparkler

Sweet and delightful to look at, this drink is a simple and sweet cocktail for the football bash.


  • 4 cups red seedless grapes, plus 1 cup sliced grapes
  • Two tablespoons lemon juice
  • Two tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups seltzer
  • ¾ cup vodka

Blend the whole grapes, honey, and lemon juice, and pour it through a strainer into a pitcher. Add seltzer, vodka, and sliced grapes, and stir. Pour into ice-filled glasses, and garnish with grapes.

Gatorade Margarita

You can use any sports drink for this margarita, and it’s perfect for a long day of cheering and celebration.


  • ¼ cup blue decorating sugar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1 20-ounce bottle of blue sports drink, cold
  • 1 cup limeade concentrate, frozen and thawed
  • 1 cup white tequila
  • ⅓ cup blue Curaçao
  • Orange slices garnish

Mix sugar and salt, and rim rocks glasses in the mixture. In a large pitcher, mix your blue sports drink, limeade concentrate, white tequila, and blue Curaçao. Stir, and then pour into the rock glasses over ice. Garnish with an orange slice, if you want.

Hurricane Cocktail

For a strong drink for your tailgate, look to this fruity cocktail.


  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 1-ounce lime juice
  • 1-ounce orange juice
  • ½ ounce passion fruit puree
  • ½ ounce syrup
  • One teaspoon grenadine
  • Orange slice and cherry garnish

Add both rums, fruit juices, passion fruit puree, syrup, and grenadine in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a Hurricane glass over ice. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.

For all the necessary supplies for an incredible tailgate this football season, visit your local Payless Liquor.