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5 Sports Cocktails to Spice Up Your Summer

Paige McKirahan

Paige McKirahan

July 7, 2021

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This summer, we have a lot to celebrate. Our return to normalcy has been slow and long-awaited, but now that we are over halfway through 2021, it seems that we are finally entering a post-pandemic era perfect for parties, people, and plans! For your next #vaxxedsummer event, you may be wondering: what should I drink? How can I wow my friends with my next-level bartending skills?

Since sports were sent to the wayside for most of 2020 (and the beginning of 2021), we started to think about all of the classic cocktails that are typically associated with these events. What we found was the perfect inspiration for our summer cocktail list, which will allow you to prepare for 2022’s full sports schedule while enjoying a refreshing libation with your favorite crew. 

Let’s take a look at five of the signature cocktails for these major sporting events, and learn how we can enjoy them at home!

The Mint Julep

mint julep at the kentucky derby
Photo and recipe courtesy of The Kentucky Derby

This refreshing cocktail is a staple at the Kentucky Derby, the iconic Churchill Downs horse race that takes place every year on the first Saturday in May. Commonly known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”, the event typically draws a crowd of 155,000 people; over their two-day outing at the Derby, the crowd is served almost 120,000 Mint Juleps! To accomplish this feat, more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-serve cocktail, 1,000 pounds of mint, and 60,000 pounds of ice are required!

This cocktail has been a staple at the Kentucky Derby for close to a century, so why not make it a staple at your cocktail parties this summer? Check out their tried and true recipe for the iconic cocktail: 

Mint Julep Recipe:

  • 2 oz. Woodford Reserve® (or bourbon of your choice)
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 3 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Crushed Ice

Preparation:

Pack mint julep cup with crushed ice. In a mixing glass, combine bourbon, syrup, and mint leaves. Lightly bruise mint leaves with a muddler, strain contents into a julep cup. Garnish with 3 generous sprigs of mint. Make sure to slap mint and insert a straw into the ice near mint.

The Pimms Cup

Pimm's Cup cocktail with strawberries, cucumber and basil
Recipe and photo courtesy of The Modern Proper

Possibly the most seasonally relevant (and British) recipe on this list is that of the Pimm’s Cup. This herbal cocktail is the official drink of Wimbledon, which is the world’s oldest tennis tournament currently taking place from June 28 to July 11. More than 250,000 Pimm’s Cups are served at The Championship in England each year, and the drink became a Wimbledon staple starting in 1971.

This fruity and fresh cocktail is easy to mix and will undoubtedly offer a refreshing element to any outdoor event this summer as temps reach record highs. Here’s how to make this English elixir:

Traditional Pimm’s Cup Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Pimm’s No. 1
  • 4 oz. English lemonade or lemon-lime soda
  • Mint sprig, cucumber slice, a strawberry slice, and apple slice, for garnish

Preparation:

Add ice to a chilled tall glass. Add the Pimm’s and lemonade or lemon-lime soda. Stir gently, and garnish with the mint sprig, cucumber slice, strawberry slice, and apple slice.

The Honey Deuce

Grey Goose Toasts #HoneyDeuce Season At The 50th Annual US Open
Recipe and photo courtesy of Forbes

Another tennis-centric cocktail, the Honey Deuce has become a US Open staple. This beverage has been a integral part of the famed event since 2007, and more than a million have been served since! The qualifing round took place in June, but if you missed that, you’re in luck; the main portion of the tournament begins on August 30, meaning you have enough time to perfect this cocktail recipe before your US Open viewing party! Here’s how to make it:

Traditional Honey Deuce Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Grey Goose Vodka
  • 3 oz. Fresh Lemonade
  • 0.5 oz. Chambord
  • 3 honeydew melon balls for garnish (for that “tennis ball” effect)

Preparation:

Fill a chilled Collins Glass with cubed ice and add Grey Goose Vodka. Top with fresh lemonade and raspberry liqueur, and garnish with a skewer of frozen honeydew melon balls.

The Azalea Cocktail

Recipe and photo courtesy of Golf.com

For one of golf’s most exciting weeks, there is an unofficial signature cocktail that dominates at Augusta National: the Azalea. This colorful drink has become a favorite at The Masters as its citrus, sweet flavor perfectly complements the spring season and signature florals where the tournament takes place. Augusta boasts over 30 varieties of azaleas that are in bloom during the tournament season each year, and the cocktail is said to be named after the course’s famous 13th hole.

Even though not much is known about the history of this cocktail, that doesn’t mean you can’t create memories with it this summer on your own! Let’s take a look at the recipe:

Classic Azalea Cocktail Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 oz. vodka (or gin)
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • Splash grenadine until the desired color is reached

Preparation:

Shake it up (a lot!), then pour through a strainer into a tall glass filled halfway with ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge, but don’t use azalea leaves- they’re toxic!

The Pit Lane Lemonade

Pit Lane Lemonade
Recipe and photo courtesy of Inside Tailgating

A bottle of cold milk may be an Indianapolis 500 tradition, but a glass of Pit Lane Lemonade is their signature when it comes to cocktails to be enjoyed by the crowd. The Indy 500, which is held in Indianapolis during May, is referred to as the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and is the largest single-day sporting event in the world. 

This drink aligns with the victory party’s bright yellow theme and is perfect for those fun days spent in the sun. How can you make it? Read on!

Pit Lane Lemonade Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Limoncello
  • 1 oz. Vodka
  • 3 oz. Lemonade
  • Lemon twist or wedge for garnish

Preparation:

Mix Limoncello, vodka, and lemonade in a shaker with ice. Pour the mixture into a highball glass and garnish with a twist or wedge of lemon.

Want to learn how to make more fun cocktails like these? We can help you set up a virtual event for your team where you can learn how to make a plethora of drinks (and other things like desserts, too), all from the comfort of your own home!

This is just the tip of the iceberg in what we offer, and we are happy to help you create a one-of-a-kind experience for your team to enjoy. And since we facilitate the event from start to finish, you won’t have to lift a finger and will get to join in on the fun. Click here to learn more.

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