The Best Drink & BBQ Pairings for Summer

Summer calls for time spent outside. Hanging out at the beach. Tailgating at a baseball game. Even having a cookout in the backyard. All of these summertime favorites usually involve two things – refreshing drinks and some delicious barbecue. If you’re planning on grilling out, you’ll need some beverages to wash everything down. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of the best drink and BBQ pairings for summer.

Bourbon Lemonade

Rich, dark liquors like bourbon and whiskey go well with the smokiness of BBQ dishes like brisket and pulled pork. If you don’t want to drink it straight, we recommend mixing up a bourbon lemonade – the slightly tart taste of lemons cuts the smokiness of both the bourbon and BBQ.

black pepper pineapple lemonade

Add a sprig of mint for an even more refreshing take or try adding bourbon to our pineapple and black pepper lemonade recipe.

Kentucky Mule

Another summertime favorite, most are familiar with a Moscow Mule – vodka, lime, ginger beer and club soda. While you can certainly drink one of these refreshing drinks with your barbecue, we love subbing the vodka for bourbon, creating what we call the Kentucky Mule.

Whiskey and Cola

Some barbecue recipes actually call for cola or cherry-flavored dark soda to impart a sticky sweet flavor. What better way to play off these flavors than combining the sweet taste of cola with the caramel and smoky notes of whiskey?

cinnamon firestick cola

We love coming up with new ways to flavor classic drinks. Our Cinnamon Firestick Cola adds a hint of DaVinci Gourmet Cinnamon Bark Syrup and lime, which you could easily add whiskey to for an adult version of the drink.

Spicy Margaritas

A spicy margarita is a simple way to pack a lot of flavor into one drink! Muddle a few slices of jalapeño, add tequila and margarita mix for a drink that pairs perfectly with smoky sweet barbecue. 

Or turn up the heat with spicy habanero! Our Cilantro Habanero Margarita uses Island Oasis Margarita Mix and DaVinci Gourmet Habanero Syrup which makes it so easy to shake up a deliciously tart yet slightly spicy drink.

Skinnier Margarita

Barbecue can get a little heavy, especially if you’re pairing the meat with indulgent sides like mac and cheese and fried appetizers.

skinnier margarita

If you’re looking for something lighter to drink for your BBQ pairings, Joey’s Skinnier Margarita is a low-calorie way to enjoy a delicious margarita.

Rum Drinks

Dark rum is another flavor that pairs really well with the smokiness and savory flavor of barbecue. The warming spices complement the slight sweet flavor of classic barbecue sauce. Rum is a great pairing especially with Caribbean-style barbecue, paired with flavors like pork and pineapple.

captain chai cocktail

Our Captain Chai Cocktail provides a bit of sweet mango paired with rum and chai spices for a perfect pairing.

Looking for more recipe ideas and menu inspiration? Visit the Island Oasis Margarita of the Month and DaVinci Gourmet Tasty Trends pages for monthly tips and tricks, recipes and holidays to celebrate.