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18 Must-Try BBQ Cocktails

I always recommend a good BBQ cocktail to go with grilled dishes. These drinks blend perfectly with the smoky flavors from the grill, using herbs, spices, and fruity juices that mirror the aromas in your favorite BBQ rubs and sauces. They offer a variety, catering to those who love their drinks either sweet and tangy or robust and full-bodied. Perfect for any outdoor gathering, these cocktails enhance the summer vibe, making your meal unforgettable. Check out our roundup for the best BBQ cocktails to make your next cookout a hit.

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Fresh Watermelon ‘Rita

watermelon margarita

This cocktail is a fun summer twist on a classic margarita. You need crushed watermelon, your favorite tequila, and lime juice. To balance the flavor, the drink includes some simple syrup and Cointreau. To enhance the flavors of this refreshing cocktail, rim the glasses with coarse sea salt and impress all your guests with your bartending skills!


Grapefruit Bourbon Smash

grapefruit bourbon smash

Not only is this grapefruit bourbon smash cocktail yummy, but also beautiful. The bright pink grapefruit juice paired with lovely green mint leaves makes for an endearing glass that will make mouths water. The recipe uses bourbon instead of light alcohols like vodka or tequila, creating a warm but fruity taste that is hard to resist. 


Jungle Bird Cocktail

jungle bird tropical cocktail with rum

Looking for something more tropical to liven up your BBQ? Try this jungle bird cocktail recipe with fruity flavors and a classic tiki vibe. The rich flavor of dark rum is subdued by the brightness of pineapple juice, lime juice, and demerara simple syrup, which uses a special sugar for a toasty flavor. 


Whiskey Spiked Arnold Palmer

alcohol arnold palmer drink

Kick your Arnold Palmer up a notch by adding some alcohol! This spoked Arnold Palmer recipe adds bourbon and limoncello to this previously subtle beverage. With a scoop of honey and some soda water, it’s sweet and bubbly. When you want to utilize classic BBQ flavors in your BBQ cocktails, this recipe delivers. 


Kentucky Mule

kentucky mule in copper mug with mint and lime garnish

While mules are some people’s go-to cocktails, others have never experienced the refreshing, biting flavor of a classic mule. Treat your guests to this Kentucky mule loaded with ginger flavor and the perfect amount of bourbon. When making any mule, don’t skimp on the ginger beer, as it makes the whole cocktail!


Strawberry Lemonade Cocktail

Strawberry Lemonade Cocktail
Source: food52.com

There is no better drink when the sun is scorching at a BBQ than this ultra-refreshing strawberry lemonade cocktail. This cocktail is sweet and balanced enough that even the pickiest drinkers will love it. The key is the strawberry mix made with fresh berries, sugar, and lemon juice. This cocktail strikes the perfect harmony of sweet and sour. 


Guy Fieri’s Chipotle-Barbecue Margarita

Guy Fieri’s chipotle-barbecue margarita
Source: today.com

Guy Fieri’s chipotle-barbecue margarita doesn’t pull any punches. It’s super easy to make, as it follows your standard margarita recipe but adds a few dashes of Angostura bitters and barbecue sauce! Barbecue sauce in a margarita may sound odd, but after trying this fiery margarita, you’ll be a believer. 


Grilled Spiked Lemonade

grilled spiked lemonade front
Source: mantitlement.com

Grilled lemonade? It may sound weird, but it will be your new favorite barbeque cocktail. It’s a simple combination of tequila, triple sec, and lemonade, but it features caramelized lemon slices for a captivating flavor. It’s sweet with a slightly smoky flavor, an ideal pairing for BBQ food. 


BBQ Smoked Margarita

BBQ Smoked Margarita
Source: patrontequila.com

If a smoky cocktail sounds appealing, try this BBQ-smoked margarita. The key ingredient is liquid smoke, which brings depth and complexity to what is otherwise a classic margarita! If you know how to make a margarita, this cocktail is a breeze but will wow your tastebuds. 


Blackberry Tequila Cocktail

blackberry tequila cocktail
Source: aliceandlois.com

If you want a super easy cocktail for your next BBQ, it doesn’t get simpler than this delicious blackberry tequila cocktail. All you need is tequila, blackberry syrup, lime juice, and 7UP or a similar soda. The sweetness of the blackberry syrup with the punch of the tequila is a perfect combination with a rich but refreshing flavor. 


Blueberry Collins

Blueberry Collins
Source: cookbooksandcoffee.com

This recipe is a fruity twist on the classic collins cocktail. A collins is a typically sour gin cocktail with bubbles, and this cocktail adds vibrancy with the inclusion of fresh blueberries! No blueberry syrup or puree in this recipe. Instead, you muddle fresh blueberries for a bright taste that is brisk and bubbly. 


Blackberry Sangria

Blackberry Sangria
Source: cravingsomecreativity.com

You can find loads of delicious sangria recipes for your summer BBQ, but this blackberry sangria takes the cake. Sangrias are ideal for a BBQ because you can make them in large batches and keep the party going all night. This colorful sangria will be a hit at your next BBQ party. 


Limoncello Prosecco with Blueberries and Thyme

Limoncello Prosecco with Blueberries and Thyme

This limoncello prosecco is one of the more sophisticated BBQ cocktails you can try. It has a complex flavor, combining the sweetness of limoncello and blueberries with the earthy flavor of thyme. The addition of lemon slices adds a subtle bite that livens the cocktail. This cocktail is super easy to make and even easier to drink. 


Pear Bourbon Smash

Pear Bourbon Smash
Source: justalittlebitofbacon.com

This cocktail has a warm and inviting taste that is smooth on the palate and perfectly sweet. The maple syrup replaces typical simple syrup, making the taste deeper, and the vanilla extract brings all the flavors to life. While this pear bourbon smash is a wonderful BBQ cocktail, the flavors are versatile enough that you can continue making it into autumn! 


Rub & Rye

rub and rye
Source:  liquor.com

Taking a break from the fruity BBQ cocktails for a moment, check out this rub and rye cocktail for something more savory and robust. This cocktail combines rye whiskey, lemon juice, maple syrup, beer, and barbecue bitters. The cocktail encompasses classic Memphis barbecue flavors and is even garnished with a slice of beef jerky to round out the earthy, umami taste. 


John Daly Drink {Spiked Arnold Palmer}

Spiked Arnold Palmer
Source: julieseatsandtreats.com

This cocktail is the easiest one on this list, using only three ingredients. Combine your favorite lemonade, iced tea, and vodka, and start drinking! Hosting a BBQ can be a lot of work, so keep your cocktail table simple with a bunch of spiked Arnold Palmers. 


Bahamian Blaster Party Punch

Bahamian Blaster Party Punch
Source: aspicyperspective.com

Another easy way to satisfy your thirsty guests is with this massive punch recipe. It’s brimming with Caribbean flavors that are vibrant and mouthwatering. It combines a variety of rums with grenadine, grapefruit juice, and pineapple-orange juice for a myriad of delicious flavors. 


Mojito Pitcher

Mojito Pitcher
Source: munchkintime.com

The innovative cocktails on this list are outstanding, but there’s something about a classic mojito that will always hit the spot at a BBQ. While this recipe is for a pitcher of virgin mojitos, you can always add your favorite rum to make it alcohol. But it’s thoughtful to offer a virgin drink for the youngins or people opting not to drink. 


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A unique BBQ cocktail. In the foreground, a mason jar is filled with a smoky, dark red cocktail, embodying the flavors of a barbecue. The drink is garnished with a skewer of grilled fruits and vegetables, including a cherry tomato, a piece of pineapple, and a small chunk of grilled bell pepper. The jar sits on a rustic wooden table, alongside a small plate with various BBQ snacks like grilled sausage and corn. The background features an outdoor barbecue setting, with a smoking grill, a few lawn chairs, and a sunny garden with greenery and blooming flowers. In the distance, there's a glimpse of a suburban neighborhood under a clear blue sky.

18 BBQ Cocktail Recipes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
4.7 from 3 votes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: barbecue cocktails, bbq cocktails
Servings: 1
Author: Paul Kushner

Instructions

  • Pick your favorite recipe
  • Gather all the needed ingredients
  • Prep a bbq cocktail in less than 5 minutes
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let us know how it was!
18 Must-Try BBQ Cocktails
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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Follow them on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Google Guide and MuckRack.

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A vibrant Caribbean cocktail. The cocktail, in the foreground, is served in a tall, tropical glass, brimming with a colorful, fruity drink in shades of blue and green, reminiscent of the Caribbean sea. It's garnished with a slice of pineapple, a maraschino cherry, and a colorful paper umbrella. On a sandy table, there are also a small coconut shell filled with tropical fruits and a pair of sunglasses. The background features a breathtaking beach scene with white sands, clear blue water, and a row of palm trees. The sky is bright and sunny, adding to the tropical paradise vibe of the setting.

13 Caribbean Cocktails to Try