The Top 8 Cocktails for Your Next BBQ Bash

Jump to

Introduction

Welcome to the ultimate guide to elevating your BBQ experience with the perfect cocktails. From Texas heat to the smoky flavors of grilled delights, we've curated a list of 8 sensational cocktails that promise to complement your BBQ menu and impress your guests. Whether you're a fan of sweet, spicy, or smoky flavors, our roundup has something for every palate. Dive into our selection and get ready to mix up some unforgettable drinks for your next outdoor gathering.

TL;DR

Short on time? Our top picks for BBQ-friendly cocktails include the refreshing Strawberry Margarita, exotic Frozen Mango Margarita, bold Whisky & Coke, spicy Manzo Manzana, and the summery Pimms and Lemonade. Each offers a unique way to complement your BBQ flavors, from smoky brisket to spicy sausages. Dive deeper into our guide for the full scoop on making your BBQ bash unforgettable with these drink selections.

Criteria Breakdown

When selecting the perfect cocktails for a BBQ, consider factors like flavor compatibility with BBQ dishes, refreshment level, preparation ease, and guest preferences. A good BBQ cocktail should enhance the flavors of the food, offer relief from the heat, and be simple enough to prepare in batches, allowing you to enjoy the party too. This guide prioritizes these criteria to bring you cocktails that promise to elevate your BBQ experience.


Strawberry Margarita

Best Known for

The Strawberry Margarita is celebrated for its ability to balance the spiciness of dishes like Jalapeño & Cheese Sausage and the subtle bitterness of Pulled Pork. Its slightly sweet profile makes it a versatile companion to a range of BBQ flavors.

Strawberry Margarita cocktail recipe

  • 22.5 ml Lime juice
  • 22.5 ml Triple Sec
  • 45ml Tequila
  • 7.5ml Sugar Syrup
  • 5 Strawberry

Muddle the strawberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add all the ingredients and ice. Shake well for 10-15 seconds or until the outside of the shaker becomes frosted. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a whole strawberry and serve.

View the full recipe

Description

This cocktail is a refreshing blend of ripe strawberries, tequila, triple sec, and lime juice, served frozen or on the rocks. The natural sweetness of strawberries complements the heat of spicy BBQ dishes, providing a delightful contrast that enhances the overall dining experience.

Notable Features

The Strawberry Margarita's standout feature is its versatility. It can be adjusted to suit individual tastes by altering the sweetness level or adding more lime juice for a tangier profile. Its vibrant color and fresh fruit garnish also add a visually appealing element to your BBQ spread.

The Pros

  • Refreshing and Cooling
  • Easy to Customize
  • Visually Appealing

The Cons

  • Requires Fresh Ingredients
  • Can be Time-Consuming to Prepare

Reviews

Fans of the Strawberry Margarita love its refreshing taste and how it complements BBQ foods. Some note the preparation time as a downside but agree that the end result is worth it.

Price

The cost of making Strawberry Margaritas varies depending on the ingredients' quality. Opting for premium tequila and fresh, in-season strawberries can increase the price, but affordable alternatives are readily available.

Where to Buy

Ingredients for Strawberry Margaritas can be found at local supermarkets or liquor stores. For those looking to skip the preparation, pre-mixed versions are available online at websites like LiquorStoreOnline.com.


Frozen Mango Margarita

Best Known for

The Frozen Mango Margarita shines as the perfect companion to smoked turkey, offering a refreshing and not-too-sweet addition to your BBQ menu. Its tropical flavor profile brings a unique twist to the traditional margarita, making it a standout choice for those looking to impress their guests with something different.

Frozen Mango Margarita cocktail recipe

  • 30ml Cointreau
  • 15ml Lime juice
  • 30ml Tequila
  • Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 Mango

Chop up the mango into small pieces and add along with all other ingredients into a blender with crushed ice. Blend until the mixture is smooth and pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of star fruit and some redcurrants and serve.

View the full recipe

Description

This delightful cocktail combines the rich flavor of ripe mangoes with the smoothness of tequila, the tanginess of lime juice, and a hint of triple sec for depth. Served frozen or on the rocks, it’s a versatile drink that caters to a variety of taste preferences.

Notable Features

Beyond its delicious taste, the Frozen Mango Margarita is celebrated for its eye-catching appearance. The vibrant orange hue, complemented by a lime wheel or mango slice garnish, makes it a visually appealing addition to any BBQ. Additionally, its ability to be prepared in large batches makes it ideal for entertaining.

The Pros

  • Unique Tropical Flavor
  • Visually Appealing Presentation
  • Can Be Made in Batches

The Cons

  • Requires Ripe Mangoes or Quality Mango Puree
  • Might be Too Sweet for Some

Reviews

Enthusiasts of the Mango Margarita appreciate its refreshing tropical taste and the way it complements lighter BBQ fare like smoked turkey. Some caution that the sweetness level should be adjusted based on the ripeness of the mangoes used.

Price

Similar to the Strawberry Margarita, the cost of a Mango Margarita depends on the choice of ingredients. Opting for fresh, in-season mangoes and premium tequila can elevate the price, but the cocktail remains relatively economical to prepare.

Where to Buy

Ingredients for crafting a Mango Margarita can be sourced from local grocery stores or online retailers. Pre-made mixes are also available for those seeking convenience, with options found at TotalWine.com.


Whisky & Coke

Best Known for

The Whisky & Coke is renowned for its ideal pairing with smoked brisket, enhancing the meat's tender, oak-infused flavors without overwhelming them. This cocktail is a refreshing classic, offering a refreshing version perfect for BBQs.

Whisky and coke cocktail recipe

  • 60ml Whiskey
  • Top up Cola

Simply add the whisky into the bottom of a lowball glass with some ice cubes, then top up with the desired amount of coke. Stir and serve.

View the full recipe

Description

Utilizing a smooth bourbon, typically Jim Beam for its balanced flavor, this cocktail combines the caramel notes of bourbon with the sweet, fizzy kick of Coke. Served over ice, it provides a cool smooth that's both cooling and delightful on a hot day.

Notable Features

Its standout feature is its simplicity and the comfort of familiar flavors. This cocktail is easy to prepare in large quantities, making it an excellent choice for entertaining. Additionally, it's a versatile drink that can be adjusted to suit individual tastes by varying the bourbon to Coke ratio.

The Pros

  • Refreshing Classic
  • Easy to Prepare in Batches
  • Complements Smoky BBQ Flavors

The Cons

  • Not Suitable for All Palates
  • Can Be For non Whisky Drinkers

Reviews

Fans of the Whisky & Coke appreciate its refreshing quality and how it pairs with hearty BBQ dishes. Critics may find it too simple or prefer their whisky neat, but it remains a crowd-pleaser at casual gatherings.

Price

The cost-effectiveness of this cocktail is one of its appeals, as it requires minimal ingredients. The price can vary depending on the bourbon brand chosen, but overall, it offers good value for a party drink.

Pardon the interruption

Did you know that you can become a member for free, taking your cocktail making skills up to level 11. You can save your My Bar ingredients, make tasting notes, have personalised Tried and Want to try lists and more.

Where to Buy

Basic ingredients for a Whisky & Coke can be acquired at any local supermarket. For a ready-made option or quality whisky selections, check out Drizly.com.


Fuego Manzana

Best Known for

Its fiery kick combined with the sweet and tartness of apple, offering a unique twist on traditional tequila cocktails. Being a creation of Danny Smith from Che, London, showcasing innovative cocktail craftsmanship with its "Fire Apple" theme.

Fuego Manzana cocktail recipe

  • 15ml Lime juice
  • 30ml Apple Juice
  • Teaspoon Sugar Syrup
  • 15ml Apple schnapps
  • 60ml Tequila Reposado
  • 2 slices Chilli peppers

Muddle the red chilli slices into the base of a cocktail shaker before adding the other ingredients. Shake well with ice before straining into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with another chilli pepper and serve.

View the full recipe

Description

The Fuego Manzana is a bold, flavor-packed cocktail that blends the warmth of tequila reposado with the crispness of apple juice and the fiery heat of chili peppers. A dash of lime juice and sugar syrup balances the heat, while apple schnapps intensifies the apple flavor, creating a drink that's as complex as it is invigorating.

Notable Features

A harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors, making it a standout choice for adventurous palates. The use of fresh chili peppers for an authentic kick, contrasting beautifully with the smoothness of tequila and the sweetness of apple. The visual appeal of the garnished chili pepper on the glass, signaling the fiery flavor within.

The Pros

  • Offers a Spicy Twist
  • Offers a unique taste experience combining heat and sweetness.
  • Perfect for those looking to explore beyond traditional cocktail flavors.
  • Visually striking presentation that's sure to impress guests.

The Cons

  • May be too spicy for some, limiting its appeal to those with a tolerance for heat.
  • Requires fresh ingredients and a bit of preparation, making it less convenient than simpler cocktails.

Reviews

While specific reviews from patrons are not provided, a cocktail with such distinctive ingredients is likely to have polarized opinions. Enthusiasts of spicy and bold flavors might find it thrilling and refreshing, praising its complexity and the heat it brings. On the other hand, those with a lower tolerance for spice might find it challenging to enjoy.

Price

The cost of a Fuego Manzana can vary depending on the venue and the quality of ingredients used. Premium tequila reposado and apple schnapps might elevate the price, but the unique experience it offers can justify the cost for many. Generally, expect it to be priced similarly to other craft cocktails at mid to high-end bars.

Where to Buy

Ingredients for the Fuego Manzana can be found at most grocery stores. For those interested in pre-made mixes with a spicy kick, websites like BevMo.com offer a variety of options.


Pimms and Lemonade

Best Known for

Pimms & Lemonade is known for being a quintessential British summer drink, synonymous with garden parties, Wimbledon, and outdoor gatherings. Its refreshing and fruity taste, making it a favorite for sunny days and warm nights.y.

Pimms and Lemonade cocktail recipe

  • Top up Lemonade
  • 200ml Pimm's No. 1
  • Handful Mint Leaves
  • Handful Strawberry
  • Handful Cucumber

Add ice to a jug and half-fill with the Pimms, then top up with lemonade. Add mint, sliced strawberries and sliced cucumber. Stir and serve.

View the full recipe

Description

Pimm's and Lemonade is a light, refreshing cocktail that combines Pimm's No. 1, a gin-based spirit with a spicy and citrusy flavor, with sparkling lemonade. It's often served with an abundance of fresh fruit like strawberries, cucumber, orange, and mint, creating a vibrant and enticing drink that's as delightful to look at as it is to sip.

Notable Features

The inclusion of a variety of fresh fruits and mint, which not only adds to the flavor but also makes it a visually appealing drink. Its versatility in serving options, whether in large pitchers for groups or individual glasses for a more personalized touch. The balance of the bitter and herbal notes of Pimm's with the sweet and fizzy lemonade creates a harmonious and thirst-quenching beverage.

The Pros

  • Perfect for hot weather, offering a refreshing and hydrating option.
  • Easy to prepare in large quantities, making it ideal for parties and social gatherings.
  • Customizable with different fruits and garnishes to suit individual tastes.

The Cons

  • May be too sweet for some, depending on the lemonade used.
  • The alcohol content can be deceivingly low, leading to overindulgence if not consumed mindfully.

Reviews

Pimm's and Lemonade is often lauded for its refreshing quality and unique taste. Fans appreciate the tradition it represents and the festive, summery vibe it brings to any occasion. Some might find it a bit on the sweeter side, but this can usually be adjusted by the choice of lemonade or by adding more Pimm's to the mix.

Price

The price of a Pimm's and Lemonade can vary widely depending on the venue and the presentation. However, it's generally considered an affordable option, especially if making it at home or serving it at a private event. The cost-effectiveness is even greater when prepared in large batches, providing a delightful and budget-friendly option for entertaining.

Where to Buy

All ingredients for a Pimms and Lemonade can be acquired from local supermarkets. For those looking for convenience, pre-mixed options are available at online retailers like Amazon.com.


FAQs

Can I make these cocktails in large batches ahead of time?

Yes, most of these cocktails can be prepared in large batches. However, for the best taste, add elements like fresh fruit garnishes or soda just before serving to maintain freshness and carbonation.

Are there non-alcoholic versions of these cocktails?

Absolutely! Each cocktail can be modified to a non-alcoholic version by omitting the alcohol and substituting with a similar non-alcoholic ingredient, like sparkling water or a splash of fruit juice, to retain the flavor profile.

What's the best way to serve frozen cocktails at a BBQ?

For frozen cocktails, prepare them ahead of time and store them in the freezer. Serve in insulated containers to keep them frozen longer. Offer a scoop for guests to serve themselves, keeping the drinks refreshing and cold throughout the event.

How can I customize these cocktails to my guests' taste?

Encourage guests to adjust cocktails to their liking by providing a variety of garnishes, like lime wedges, fresh berries, or mint leaves, and additional mixers or syrups. This interactive element can make your BBQ more engaging and personalized.

Can I use store-bought pre-mixed cocktail mixers?

Yes, using pre-mixed cocktail mixers is a time-saving option that can still deliver delicious results. However, for the freshest taste, consider adding a splash of fresh juice or garnishing with fresh fruits to enhance the flavor.

Conclusion

Our roundup of the best cocktails for your next BBQ has something for everyone, from the refreshing Strawberry Margarita to the spicy Fuego Manzana and the classic Pimms and Lemonade. These cocktails are not only delicious but also add a vibrant touch to any BBQ gathering. By considering factors such as the ease of preparation, the ability to complement a wide range of BBQ dishes, and the preferences of your guests, you can select the perfect drinks to elevate your event. Remember, the key to a successful BBQ cocktail menu is in the balance of flavors, the quality of ingredients, and the joy of sharing good times with friends and family. Cheers to your next unforgettable BBQ bash!

Final Thoughts

As you plan your next BBQ, consider incorporating these cocktails to add an extra layer of enjoyment for your guests. Whether you're catering to a crowd that loves the heat or prefers something sweet and refreshing, there's a cocktail on this list that's sure to delight. Don't forget to play with garnishes and presentation for that special touch. Here's to creating lasting memories around the grill with delicious food, refreshing drinks, and great company. Happy grilling!

More to explore

The Travelling Cocktail Drinker: The Best Bars in Buenos Aires

When you think of artisan cocktails and speakeasy bars, Argentina might not be the first place that...

The History of the Mary Pickford Cocktail

A very fancy cocktail with an extremely glamourous namesake, the Mary Pickford cocktail was created...

Mastering the Shake

Cocktail shaking is an art that goes beyond a simple act of mixing ingredients. It's a fundamental s...

Bartender's top tip

Balance is key in mixology. Always measure ingredients. A dash less or more can transform a drink. Experiment with fresh garnishes; they can elevate even the simplest cocktails to new heights.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get tips straight into your inbox.