Cheers! A special liquid concoction for every SEC fan base
Specialized drinks with those cool names that are even cooler going down are a treasured part of the tailgating experience on fall Saturdays at sports bars and at tailgating sites around SEC stadiums. You just can’t have those funky, fun alcoholic mixtures inside the stadiums.
While the NCAA has experimented with relaxing its on-campus alcohol policy at certain schools, the SEC’s ban on alcohol sales at games in the general seating areas of stadiums and arenas continues. A month ago, though, at the SEC spring meetings, conference commissioner Greg Sankey was open to at least talking about the issue.
In other words, some season sooner than later you might see alcohol sales somewhere other than luxury boxes and suites in the SEC. But let’s say, in a fictional drinking fantasy world, the SEC’s policy didn’t exist, and you could throw down — drinking responsibly, of course — the same drinks inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium that you enjoy a few blocks away at The Grove.
We’ve uncovered a plethora of creative drinks made for each passionate Southern fan base, but we’re taking it slow here, so we’re giving a recommendation for just one specialized mix to be sold at every SEC stadium this fall. Maybe in a few years the menu will expand, who knows.
Alabama: ‘Crimson Cooler’
What an incredibly soothing name for a drink best served late in the third quarter as Jalen Hurts leads a drive to extend the Tide’s lead to about 20 points. No Saturday drama this week, just a big lead with a cool side order of Southern Comfort, vodka, coconut rum, raspberry liqueur, lemon-lime soda and cranberry juice. This drink can be served in a martini glass, but something tells me the passionate fanatics at Bryant-Denny would rather enjoy it in a beer mug or mason jar. After one of these, “Roll Tide!” will roll off the tongue fairly easily.
Arkansas: ‘The Woo Woo Pig’
After Calling the Hogs and screaming over long touchdown runs and some missed tackles, Arkansas fans’ throats are parched and ready for some liquid fuel. In steps the “Woo Woo Pig”, and how can this drink not do its job with that wonderful name? Two ounces of vodka doesn’t hurt either, along with raspberry liqueur, cranberry juice, an optional splash of sour mix and a lime wedge to keep you honest. Chilled with ice, it’ll keep the typical dramatic football Saturday in Fayetteville from getting the best of any Hog loyalist.
Auburn: ‘Eye of the Tiger’
Jordan-Hare can get pretty steamy, for day-time showdowns or those under-the-lights primetime battles, so we offer an “Eye of the Tiger” special that has zero to do with Rocky Balboa. An ounce of rum headlines the concoction, with another ounce of coconut rum, lemon juice, sugar syrup, orange juice and a half-ounce of dark rum for good measure. No, this drink wasn’t created to make you forget the score of the game, but rather to celebrate another dazzling run by Kamryn Pettway that gives the Tigers a two-score lead. We’re thinking positively here, and this drink will positively put any Auburn fan on another level of joy as the clock winds down.
Florida: ‘Gator Chomp’
Somewhere between the Mr. Two Bits cheer and the final, inevitable victory salute at The Swamp, you can enjoy a Gator Chomp of a different variety. This one isn’t a cheer but rather a cheerful reminder that life is good and it is indeed great to be a Florida Gator. Forget the martini glass on this one, though. You’ll want to throw this drink back with a shot glass, and the mix should be layered for full effect. Midori melon liqueur, raspberry liqueur and Jagermeister liqueur are the “big three” ingredients, with raspberry preferably sinking to the bottom and Jager rising to the top along with your general outlook after finishing this drink off.
Georgia: ‘Georgia Bulldog’ cocktail
It’s a simple-looking drink that packs a punch at Sanford Stadium, like a Sony Michel rumble through the defense or a Nick Chubb 3-yard run on third-and-2. Trust the man with the ball and trust the ingredients you’ll be enjoying: 1 1/2 ounces of stoli vanilla vodka, a half-ounce of peach schnapps and four ounces of coke. A lemon, orange or peach wedge is preferable and while the drink’s “playbook” says to put it all in a collins glass, this is prime Saturday passion in Athens with Uga watching, so it’s better to enjoy in something plastic if possible. There’s no excuse for getting hurt when you’re not even in Kirby Smart’s defensive rotation.
Kentucky: ‘The Tipsy Wildcat’
This one’s a winner on name alone. But we don’t want the Wildcats’ faithful getting too tipsy at Commonwealth Stadium because Mark Stoops is leading a revival of Kentucky football. Instead of wanting to wash away the pain of another home loss with this drink, it’ll be served up as sort of a victory shot: one ounce of Kentucky bourbon (of course), an ounce of Southern Comfort, a few ounces of sour mix, a splash of Blue Curacao and two ounces of lemon-lime soda. That’ll do the trick, along with another euphoric bowl bid in Lexington.
LSU: ‘Spiked Blueberry Lemonade’
When it gets dark and sometimes stormy in Baton Rouge on those fall Saturday nights in Death Valley, cool off with this wonderful blast as you scream your lungs out on another Derrius Guice highlight-reel run. Two ounces worth of vodka goes nicely here with a handful of blueberries, a pinch of sugar, 12 ounces of lemonade and another defensive stop in the fourth quarter to preserve your Saturday night sanity. The crowds at Tiger Stadium hardly need any alcohol to be at record fever pitch, but this drink should help break some decibel levels.
Mississippi State: ‘Bulldog Bloody Mary’
What a perfect drink name for a blood-thirsty football fan base like the one in Starkville. Two lemon wedges mixed with refrigerated horseradish, hot sauce and freshly ground pepper go in a 10-ounce glass with crushed ice and either seltzer water or club soda on top. We’ll leave the optional celery out, because then we’d have a mess at Davis Wade Stadium, and nobody wants that when you are trying to enjoy Nick Fitzgerald carving up defenses with his arm and legs.
Missouri: ‘Old Missouri Spiked Root Beer’
Root on that dynamic Tigers’ offense as you slurp down an exotic version of root beer. The scoreboard keeper will be dizzy with all those points and you might not be far behind with the wonderful blend of 12 ounces of root beer, a handful of ice and two ounces of rum. The whipped cream on top is optional but we’re guessing it might only be appropriate if victory is within the Tigers’ grasp. Either way, the Rock M Nation has its signature, no-nonsense drink to celebrate with now.
Ole Miss: ‘Ole Miss Ole Fashioned’
After ripping through all drink options in your pregame venture through The Grove, it’ll be time to enjoy this treat at Vaught-Hemingway while you watch the Rebels play. Two orange slices, turbinado sugar, some fresh orange juice and three dashes of bitters will be the proper blend to wash down all the fun libations from The Grove. Crushed ice and seltzer water are a must. The orange strip can be optional, but the maraschino cherry must be in play here, especially if it’s going to be a victorious Saturday in Oxford.
South Carolina: ‘Cocky Cherry Limeade’
Was this wonderfully labeled blend named after ever-so-confident Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley? Absolutely not, but the gritty (some would say cocky) signal-caller and the liquid choice inside Williams-Brice Stadium would seem like the perfect pair in Columbia. A drink properly colored, as the dark cherry comes close to matching those garnet home jerseys, this Gamecocks fan’s rocket fuel includes grenadine, vodka, limes, diet 7-Up and cherries. Just imagine how freakishly loud the “Sandstorm” ritual would get if done in the fourth quarter by an entire crowd that’s sipped the Cocky Cherry Limeade.
Tennessee: ‘Tennessee Rose’
Neyland Stadium is already an orange-colored sea of humanity on fall Saturdays, and now we can add another layer of that color to the Knoxville mix, as fans dressed in orange (and a little bit of white) hold this orange-colored drink in their hands. Two ounces of Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey (did you ever doubt this would be the main ingredient?), three ounces of pineapple juice, three to four ounces of fresh lemon juice and a touch of Creme de Cassis make up the powerful potion fans will be putting down as their football heroes chug toward those checkered end zones.
Texas A&M: ‘Texas A&M Howdy’
What a perfect way for the famous, loud and proud “12th Man” to introduce itself to a fall Saturday at Kyle Field than with a “Texas A&M Howdy.” And opponents thought Kyle Field was insanely loud before? Wait until the “Howdy” is mixed into the stadium’s vocal flavor. Three lime wedges, turbinado sugar and a half of a cup of ginger beer — with all that spice flowing through the crowd, the home-field advantage already enjoyed by Kevin Sumlin’s team will be strengthened, even if Myles Garrett isn’t punishing quarterbacks anymore in College Station.
Fans in Nashville can roar for the Commodores while slurping this blend named after their team. It seems too good to be true, but so did Ralph Webb’s superior running after one season, and he’s followed that up with two more stellar years. Webb is back for one more fall at Vandy. He’s proven to be the real deal, and so is this mixture of turbinado sugar, apple cider, orange juice and a pinch of ground cinnamon. This drink, as described, is non-alcoholic, but there are plenty of ways you could make it, shall we say, more spirited. The cinnamon stick atop the drink is fine but might be a bit dangerous for a night game at Vanderbilt Stadium with Webb running wild yet again. Don’t go putting an eye out, now!