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Spirits-infused recipes for cookouts and football parties

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Nothing says party like food cooked on the grill – meat, chicken, vegetables, whatever. The smells alone make me want to invite people over. One way to put those meals over the top is to brush with spirits-infused sauces and toppings. And another way is to wash ‘em down with tasty cocktails made with matching spirits.

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Below are a few rum-, whisky- and gin-infused food and drink ideas for your next family and/or friends gathering. These food recipes are so good you don’t even have to have an outdoor grill - your oven'll work fine. You could even adapt them to cook in a big covered skillet if you don’t want to heat up the kitchen when your A/C is straining to keep up with blistering temps or soggy humidity (and yes, that can happen these days even in football season).

Thanks to the folks at Captain Morgan rums and Crown Royal whiskies, here are a few intensely flavored dishes and drinks to try for your next barbeque or football party.

Spiced rum barbeque

BBQ Chicken Bacon Bites

Recipe and photo courtesy of Georgia Johnson, The Comfort of Cooking

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 oz. (half pound) bacon, cut into thirds
  • 1/2 cup Spicy Sweet BBQ Sauce (recipe below)
  • Toothpicks

Instructions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Wrap each chicken piece with a small strip of bacon. Secure with a toothpick and place on the baking sheet. Brush with BBQ sauce. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven, brush bites with more BBQ sauce, and return to oven. Bake for 15 more minutes. Serve warm.

Spicy Sweet BBQ Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup Captain Morgan® Original Spiced Rum
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, or until thickened as desired. Stir occasionally. Use immediately as you wish, or store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Play Action Spiced Rum Punch

  • 1.5 oz. Captain Morgan® Original Spiced Rum
  • 2 oz. pomegranate juice
  • 1 oz. apple cider
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 oz. simple syrup

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a punch glass. Add ice and stir well to blend. Garnish with a mixture of orange wheels, apple slices or pomegranate ice cubes.

Whisky recipes

Photo courtesy of hirejoejohnson

Brats with “Maple-ized” Onions

  • 2 large onions
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 oz. Crown Royal® Maple Finished Whisky
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Buns

Instructions: Grill bratwursts over medium heat, turning them every three minutes until they turn golden brown or the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, melt butter and oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Thinly slice the onions and stir them in and add a pinch of salt frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5-10 minutes. Add Crown Royal® Maple Finished Whisky to the skillet and continue to cook onions, stirring occasionally, until well “maple-ized.” Simmer until there is very little moisture left in the pan. Place brats on buns and top with generous amount of onions.

Bull Rush cocktail

  • 1 oz. Crown Royal Black® Whisky
  • 0.5 oz. Triple Sec Liqueur
  • 1 or 2 splashes grenadine
  • 3 oz. club soda

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a punch glass. Add ice and stir well to blend. Garnish with a mixture of orange wheels, apple slices or pomegranate ice cubes.

Gin-infused cocktails

And not to be left out, Sapphire gin and Barking Irons, makers of the ultimate home mixologist’s bag of tools ($495), bring us a few other classic cocktail recipes:

Gin & Tonic Reimagined

  • 1 ½ oz Bombay Sapphire East Gin
  • 3 oz Fevertree tonic
  • Lime wedge OR different garnish (lemongrass, juniper, coriander, cassia bark, etc)

Press lemongrass stem and lime wedge into base of old-fashioned glass. Fill with ice and build. Garnish with lime wedge, lemongrass stem.

Sapphire Peppered Peach Tea Collins

  • 1 ½ oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • ¾ oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ oz. Simple Syrup
  • 1 ½ oz. Peach Iced Tea
  • Pinch of Black Pepper
  • Club Soda

Build with ice in a highball glass. Top with Club Soda. Garnish with peach slide and lemon twist

Bombay Negroni

  • 1 part Campari
  • 1 part Bombay Sapphire
  • 1 part MARTINI Gran Lusso

Stir the ingredients over ice. Strain into a lowball glass with a large chunk of ice. Garnish with an orange slices.

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