Can you tell there’s a theme this week? I can’t wait to get outta’ town, put on my tailgating outfit, and start drinking at 8 a.m. because some jerk-offs in the NCAA world decided to make the Clemson/VA Tech game at noon. But it’s fine–since we’re the #1 Tailgating School in the South, we can handle it. Cocktails are always tricky–you want to do something a little fancier than your standard bar bev for the occasion, but don’t want to imbibe 3,000 extra calories or black out on the boys’ bourbon. And they can’t be too complicated because no one wants to deal with 17 ingredients and the cooler space they take up. If alcohol was a sport (well, a PRO sport), these drinks would make my starting lineup:
Orange Crush: This world-famous libation comes to you from my homeland of Delaware (specifically Dewey Beach), and is just what you need to start your morning with nutrients (and vodka). Mix 2 parts orange vodka (I prefer Svedka Clementine), 1.5 parts triple sec, 1.5 parts fresh squeezed orange juice (See? Healthy.) and top with club soda. You can sub Sprite for soda, but I think that makes it too sweet. If someone asks why you just chugged six of these bad boys in an hour, let ’em know: I’m not an alcoholic, I just crush a lot.
Beerita: If you’re a tequila gal or guy but don’t want to lug around all the fixins for a good margarita and think mixes are too sweet, this drink saves the day. Mix equal parts tequila, low-cal margarita mix (I use Sinless for less calories and no sugar), and Bud Light Lime or Corona (this is what Bud Light Lime was made for ). The beer counteracts the too-sweetness of the mix, aaaaand, for a second there, you’ll feel like you’re on a beach vacay.
Whippet: No, I’m not talking about balloons filled with nitrous oxide (although I did do one of those in summer of 2K3). I’m referring to Atlanta’s beloved Whynatte latte and Pinnacle Whipped vodka for an extra boost of delicious energy when you’re in need. It basically tastes like Ryan Gosling looks: Pure amazing. The baller way to do this is with bomb cups (fill the shot with vodka, pour Whynatte around it) or you can just mix 2 parts Whynatte and 1 part Pinnacle whipped and drink up. If you don’t have Whynatte near you (for shame!), you can do this with Starbucks’ bottled Frappucino or Doubleshot.
Spiked Cider: If you’re going to bring a damn crockpot to the tailgate for the buffalo chicken dip/chili/whatever, you may as well throw in another one for booze. Nothing tastes like fall more than apple cider, and you can whip up an easy adult version by combining apple cider, brandy (or apple brandy), and cinnamon sticks and letting it simmer in the pot. I’d say about 3 cups of brandy for a half gallon of cider and would throw in 5-6 cinnasticks.
Consider it your warmup.