Boozy Backyard BBQ

Think back to all the times you’ve entertained or participated in a potluck. You spend hours over the stove balancing a wine glass in one hand and a piping bag in the other in an attempt to craft the most gorgeous roses for the bake sale cupcakes. You arrive ready to show off what a little hard work and Merlot can do in the kitchen, only to be shown up by that one parent (codename: Sharon) who Ina Garten’s you with the most aggressive passive-aggressive-shade you’ve ever seen. Basically, we hate Sharon.

The worst part is, Sharon is always there ready to make you look basic. Nothing you ever come up with can top Sharon’s effortless, “something I just whipped up” bullshit.

Well guess what, Sharon, Fourth of July is upon us and this time it’s going to be different. It’s your turn to roll up at the barbecue with food to blow Sharon out of the water. There’s no better way to win the war of the potluck than spiking everyone’s favorite recipe with a little booze.

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Okay, maybe a lot of booze.

We’ve gathered our favorite recipes of tipsy temptations that will put Sharon in her place.

Take that Sharon.


Red White & Blue Sangria by Gimme Some Oven

Sparkling Red White and Blue SangriaThis sangria is festive AF. The recipe calls for Chardonnay and Champagne (because BUBBLES) but this would be the perfect opportunity to uncork that bottle of white that you weren’t sure what to do with.

Blackberry Lemonade Margaritas by Valerie’s Kitchen

Blackberry Lemonade MargaritasMargaritas are SO summer but can be SO overdone. Switch it up while still keeping the vacation vibes with some blackberries and citrus. The recipe calls for a sugar rim, but don’t be afraid if you’re #SaltSquad.

Strawberry Lime Rosé Sangria by Kitchen Treaty

Strawberry Lime Rose SangriaI know what you’re thinking, “seriously Jeff, another sangria?” but hold your sass. There’s a reason we’re surrounded by sangria all summer long. It’s because it’s delicious. This recipe uses a Rosé base and takes those natural flavors further with strawberries and a dash of lime. Do yourself a favor, and hop on the sangria train.


Hot Beer Cheese Dip by Cook The Story

Beer Cheese DipJust do yourself a favor and kill whatever summer diet you thought about trying. It’s a holiday, so obviously it calls for melted cheese and beer. Not in the recipe, but you could take it a step further (if you dare) and add some browned sausage.

Whisky Meatballs by Plain Chicken

whiskey meatballsWhile the history is up for debate, slow cookers were obviously made for one thing — less work in the kitchen equals more time to imbibe. Throw everything in your crockpot and you’ll be the king of the backyard before you know it.

Margarita Guacamole by Tablespoon

Margarita Guacamole Because everyone is still obsessed with avocados. This is a great twist on the classic without adding more steps. Better yet, bring everything to make it picnic table-side for that restaurant experience.

Side Dishes

Caprese Salad Over Grilled Eggplant by NutritiousEats

Caprese Side SaladFull disclosure here — this recipe doesn’t include booze. However, if my light culinary training taught me anything, it was that anything probably tastes better with a little wine. Here, we’re feeling a red wine reduction to drizzle on top. After all, cooking is all about improvising.

Boozy Tropical Fruit Salad by Real Housemoms

Boozy Fruit SaladRule #1 in taking over the cookout: Take something nostalgic and spike it. While some kids have mixed feelings about fruit salad, this recipe with coconut rum will have all of the adults asking for seconds, thirds, fourths…

Red Wine & Garlic Mushrooms by Jocooks

red wine and garlic shroomsYou can make anything taste better with a little garlic and wine. It’s a fact. These mushrooms are not only supremely simple, but also pretty damn decadent.

Main Course

Chili & Beer Barbecue Pork Ribs by Wholesome Cook

Chilli and Beer Barbecue Pork RibsBecause the only way ribs could get more American is by adding beer. The recipe calls for a light beer, but feel free to mix it up with your favorite beer to build up some flavor complexity.

Jacked Up Cajun Shrimp by This Ole Mom

Jacked Up Cajun ShrimpFinger-food is always ideal at a cookout and this shrimp recipe is going to sparkle in a sea of burgers and hotdogs. The classic Cajun spices are kicked up with a bourbon treatment that will leave you with a sauce to dip ~good~ French bread in for hours.

Beer Battered Fish Tacos by Taming Of The Spoon

beer battered fish tacosBeer battered fish is a classic and will be a good alternative to the other sandwiches at the cookout. Turn them into tacos with a chipotle lime chili sauce, and now you’re speaking the language of a full-on backyard takeover.


Sangria Cupcakes by The First Year

Sangria CupcakesListen close. Red wine buttercream. I could keep going, but I don’t think any words I have would do these cupcakes justice.

Watermelon Tequila Pops by The Little Epicurean

watermelon tequila popsThere is nothing more un-American than a Fourth of July barbecue that doesn’t feature watermelon. Keep your patriotism close with these popsicles that will also help you fight the heat.

Pina Colada Jello Shots by Bread Booze Bacon

Pina Colada Jello ShotsIt’s like college but way classier. These jello shots are full of coconut creaminess and look adorable with those little cherries on top. Here’s to making slightly bad choices as an adult.

Honorable Mentions

Fried Tequila Shots by Lemons For Lulu

Fried Tequila ShotsOkay, so hold on tight here. This may sound crazy, but when you truly think about it, how could you say no? Fried tequila soaked angel food cake with a zest of lime actually sounds really good. Will your friends be confused? Sure. Will they come back for more? Yes.

Bacon Bourbon Jello Shots by Bread Booze Bacon

Bacon Bourbon Jello ShotsA little bit less fancy than our Pina Colada shots, but they SCREAM America. Bacon, bourbon, and apples make up the patriotic triad of deliciousness.

Buzzed Cherry Bombs by Frosting And A Smile

Cherry BombsThese are kind of different but definitely also kind of neat. Just keep the kids away from these adorably festive poppers.