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Tailgate Recipe: Nine Versatile Crowd Favorite Recipes using Rum

Tailgating season is upon us and you likely have all of your favorite team gear picked out, the food planned, and the fold-up chairs ready to go.

But you may be wanting to bring some crowd-pleasing cocktails other than beer.

You are in luck!

Rum is an easy tailgate friendly alcohol that leaves many options available to you.

Thus, I have compiled several options and some handy tricks to have you cocktail ready for game day.

Classic Tailgate-Ready Rum Recipes to try

Okay, here we have some classic recipes that are prepared for an individual cocktail.

However, you likely have several people to serve. I am going to teach you a trick. This is definitely a life skill that is needed for serving up drinks.

You can thank me later.

Bartenders use a count to measure out alcohol allowing them to serve up drinks to thirsty patrons, post haste.

Are you familiar with counting one-one thousand, two-one thousand, and so on?

Yes? Good, then you are ready!

A shot is 1.5 ounces and is a four-count. When you need two ounces, you have a five-count.

Now all you have to do is line up your cups or glasses, and free pour like a pro.

Cuba Libre better known as Rum and Coke

Let’s start with the most basic and crowd favorite.

The Cuba Libre, better known as the Rum and Coke, is the most popular because of the simplicity in terms of prep and ingredients.

We have listed the lime, but if you don’t have it, don’t use it. It is simple. It is delicious. Perfect for partying.

Ingredients:

  • 1 part rum
  • 3 parts Coke
  • Lime

How to make:

  • Pour rum over ice.
  • Add Coke.
  • Squeeze ½ of one lime into the glass.

Captain and Ginger

The Captain and Ginger are also pretty simple but allows you a different taste, still with minimal ingredients. My favorite thing about this recipe is that you can use either ginger ale or ginger beer. Use what you have or what is easy for you to find.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces Captain Morgan
  • 4 ounces ginger ale or ginger beer
  • Mint
  • Lime

How to make:

  • Muddle half of the lime and the mint leaf in the bottom of the glass.
  • Add ice to the mint and lime mixture.
  • Pour Captain Morgan over the ice.
  • Add ale or beer.
  • Stir.
  • Garnish with lime wedge and mint spring.

Mojito

The Mojito is a perfect rum drink for a warm game day. This is classically sweet and ever refreshing. I have also included a few variations you may want to try, should you have some ingredients laying around and don’t know what to do with them. Or if you are looking for a twist on a classic favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces of white rum such as Appleton White or Bacardi
  • Lime
  • 1 teaspoon fine white sugar
  • 2-3 Mint leaves
  • Seltzer or club soda

How to make:

  • Muddle lime and sugar.
  • Add mint leaves, muddle with lime and sugar.
  • Add ice.
  • Pour rum over the ice.
  • Add seltzer or club soda.

Variations:

  • Muddle berries such as strawberry, raspberry or blackberries with the sugar and lime.
  • Replace mint leaves with basil leaves.

Rum Sunset 

It’s an early game, but you still want to serve cocktails. Boy, do I have the perfect option for you.

The Rum Sunset combines orange juice and rum with a little bit of sweetness to start your game day off right.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces orange juice
  • 1.5 ounces light rum
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine
  • Lime slices

How to make:

  • Mix orange juice and rum.
  • Pour 2/3 of the mixture over ice.
  • Stir in grenadine to the 1/3 reserved mixture.
  • Slowly pour grenadine mixture over the orange juice and rum for a ombre effect.
  • Garnish with lime.

Tailgating Cocktails That Take it up a Notch

I have compiled a few cocktail recipes that will have your tailgate buddies both impressed and thirsty for more. These are popular rum recipes that you have likely run into before but may not have thought to bring to your tailgate.

Now is the time to step up your game and knock the cocktail hustle out of the park.

These have a few more ingredients and are a bit more involved as far as prep goes, however, they are still relatively easy and quick to whip up.

Pro tip: remember to prepare all of your garnish beforehand such as cutting the oranges or strawberries and setting them in the cooler for game time. This will not only save you some grief but will leave you open to spend more time with your friends.

I promise these will not disappoint. Get out those red solo cups and let’s get fancy!

Old-Fashioned Hurricane: Makes 2

The Hurricane is another great option for early games. Also, this drink tends to be strong. They don’t call it a hurricane for nothing. Proceed with caution. Or throw caution to the wind. It’s up to you.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces agave
  • 2 ounces rum
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur
  • 6 dashes bitters
  • Orange slices

How to make:

  • Add ice to both the shaker and 2 glasses.
  • Add orange juice, agave, rum, orange liqueur, and bitters to the shaker.
  • Shake vigorously.
  • Pour over ice in the glasses.
  • Add orange slices for garnish.

Very Berry Brazilian

Doesn’t the Very Berry Brazilian sound delicious? Anything will very berry in the title has to be good, right? The combination of sweet agave and strawberries with a touch of cinnamon sounds like a perfect treat. Then add rum, yes please!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces Brazilian Rum
  • Strawberries cut into small pieces
  • 1 Teaspoon agave
  • Two pinches ground cinnamon

How to make:

  • Muddle strawberries, agave, and cinnamon into the shaker.
  • Add rum and ice, shake vigorously.
  • Strain into glass.

Crowd-Pleasing Rum Punches to Bring to the Game

Okay, let’s say you do not want to be preparing drinks.

You would rather be immersed in the experience and enjoying your time without all the hassle of in the moment cocktail preparation.

That is where the handy rum punches come in. Make these before game time. Pack them up and have them sitting out for guests to serve themselves.

Punches are meant to be easy for you.

Quick question: what will you put the punches in on game day?

This is the fun part.

Let’s run through a few options.

Perhaps a large Tupperware container and a ladle?

Maybe the same Tupperware container and a fancy punch bowl.

You could also grab beverage dispensers with a spout from any local grocery retailer on the fly and for little in terms of cost.

Get creative and have fun with it.

These may be my favorite in terms of tailgate options because of their ease of preparation and serving, but also because each option offers something so different in terms of taste.

Your tailgate buddies will love whichever or all that you choose.

Sunrise Punch

We already discussed the sunrise and this sunrise punch recipe takes all the best from the individual cocktail and adds more deliciousness. The best take-away from this recipe is to freeze the fruit to keep the drink cold longer. Genius!

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart orange juice
  • 32 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 liter seltzer water
  • 16 ounces coconut milk
  • 1 pineapples, cubed and frozen
  • 4 cups light rum
  • a pint of strawberries, hulled, halved, and frozen
  • 1 orange, sliced

How to make:

  • In a large punch bowl, combine orange juice, pineapple juice, coconut milk, seltzer water, and rum.
  • Stir until well combined.
  • Add frozen pineapple and strawberries.
  • Place orange slices over the top to float for garnish.

Jamaican Rum Punch

The Jamaican rum punch may have your guests confused whether they are in a parking lot on game day or on an island beach somewhere. This punch does utilize 3 different rums and several ingredients but is sure to please. Coconut cups are optional.

Ingredients:

  • 20 ounces pineapples juice
  • 20 ounces orange juice
  • 8 ounces 151 proof rum
  • 4 ounces dark rum
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces coconut flavored rum
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons grenadine
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

How to make:

  • In a large punch bowl combine the pineapple juice, orange juice, 151 proof rum, dark rum, coconut rum, and lime juice, and grenadine.
  • Mix well.
  • Float orange, lime, and lemon slices on top for garnish.

Samoa Cold Buttered Rum

Last, but certainly not least is the Samoa cold buttered rum. If you are anything like me, dessert is life. I don’t know the calories of this drink, but calories on game day don’t count. That is a rule, right?

Ingredients:

  • Coconut flakes, toasted
  • 8 ounces brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 liter coconut rum
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) butter

How to make:

  • Over low heat, melt butter in a medium saucepan.
  • Remove foam created by the melted butter off of the top by skimming it.
  • Allow butter to rest for five minutes.
  • Drain the liquefied butter, leaving only the remaining milky solids.
  • Raise to medium heat, while stirring constantly, add rum, sugar, cinnamon, and simmer for about four minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Freeze mixture in a tall, upright container.
  • Once frozen, remove solid butter from the top of the mixture.
  • Serve cold.
  • Top with whipped cream or toasted coconut flakes, if desired.

Do You Feel Slightly More Prepared for Game Day?

I just know there is something here that has resonated with you and the size and social makeup of your group of friends.

What is great about these options is their versatility and ease of preparation.

Whether you chose to make drinks on game day or prior to, you and your guests will surely be partying it up in no time.

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