There are plenty of places in America where you can get a fine cocktail -- in fact, here are 21 of them. The cocktails you're moments away from reading about will never be served in any of those bars, because these were created by young, broke men and women with limited resources. Drinks like these aren't served in fancy glasses, they're made in kiddie pools and semi-clean trash cans, and drunk quickly in dirty backyards across the USA when the weather's nice. In short, they're magical.
These are the trashiest summer cocktails Thrillist staffers have ever imbibed. We had to dig deep into our memories for these suckers. You might have called these same concoctions by different names, but rest assured, it's the same old garbage drink they're probably still making at the house you and seven other people shared in college.
- 4 bottles of highly alcoholic rum (must be above 40%)
- 12 quarts of fruit punch
- Kiddie pool (if you're cool), or any other large bin (if you're not)
"You could make this not in a kiddie pool, but then you're missing out on the most fun part of this recipe: someone jumping in the kiddie pool early in the night and ruining the drink for everyone." -- Lee Breslouer, senior writer
Mountain (or Appalachian) margarita
- 1 bottle of bottom-shelf tequila
- 1 cup of Mountain Dew
- Salted rim
"This is actually delicious... or at least OK!" -- Cole Saladino, photographer
White Trash sangria
- 1 bottle of Boone's Farm wine
- 6 fruit cups
- ¾ cup of vodka (optional)
"Weirdly, I was an adult when I discovered this. Some friends of mine in Portland were in an all-girl band, and they had a country shit-kicker called "White Trash Sangria" that laid out this recipe pretty clearly: get the Boone's. Get some fruit cups. Dump it in Tupperware. If you want to make it for a party -- a party that will clearly include some sort of muddin' -- just up the ante. The vodka was my addition. Because sometimes you need to take it up a step. The band broke up years ago. The sangria still flows when the moon is right." -- Andy Kryza, senior editor
- 2.5 liters of Coke (or Diet Coke!)
- 2 bottles of cheap red wine
"In Northern Spain, [everyone] drinks Coke + cheap red wine. In Southern Spain, it's Lemon Fanta + cheap red wine. Both of these are way better than you'd think. Oh, and if you mix whipped cream-flavored vodka with coconut-flavored LaCroix and a splash of pineapple juice, you will hate yourself... but you'll also get something resembling a piña colada with 1/16th the calories." -- Jess Novak, cities editor
- Cheap liter of vodka
- 10oz of Country Time lemonade mix
- 12-pack of light beer
- Red Bull (to taste)
Cities Editor Alex Robinson submitted this recipe without explaining why it was called The Force. My guess is that drinking enough of it repels people away from you, like a Star Wars fan who won't shut up about Rogue One at a party.
- 9 32oz bottles of Lemon-Lime Gatorade
- 16 shots of tequila
Entertainment Editor Lauren Leibowitz submitted this recipe, which is genius in its execution. The Gatorade already has the lime flavors in it. Who needs a real lime? Also, it costs money! Like, 89 cents or something!
- 24 cans of beer
- 1 handle of cheap vodka
- 1 gallon of lemonade (the powdered stuff)
"[This drink] is used for massive college parties to feed a bunch of college kids with no standards. It's like an Arnold Palmer with vodka, except the iced tea is actually just beer. And if you think it tastes gross, you're not wrong." -- Jackie Freiberg, associate social media editor
"White wine sangria"
- White Franzia box
- Bottle of flavored vodka
- Diced peaches/liquid from a can
- 2 liters of soda water
- "The fanciest garbage can money can buy"
Thrillist founder Adam Rich suggested this cocktail -- the quotes are meant to convey that this is what he and his friends called the drink, despite knowing that it's as close to actual sangria as the movie Space Jam is to depicting life on another planet.
- A few-second pour of tequila
- An even shorter pour of margarita mix
- Your mouth
"On the beaches/glorified pond dirt of Westford, Mass, The Haircutter was born. Sit in a beach chair, have a towel wrapped around you barber-style, and then have your best friend dump bottles of tequila and margarita mix into your mouth until calamity ensues. So fresh, so clean, so delightfully trashy." -- Sean Cooley, senior editor
- 1 can of light beer
- 10 shots of vodka
- 1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
Editorial Director Ben Robinson recommends that you buy "as much ice as you can possibly find" to fully enjoy this recipe. He also recommends you pick up Tums, which is likely so that you can fully enjoy the day after enjoying this recipe.
White Trash Long Island iced tea
- Handles of every type of liquor you can afford, poured into a cooler
- RC Cola (to taste)
"This one was forged for a classy potluck among student journalists at Michigan State... basically, we scraped together $50, pocketed like $10 of it, and then bought $40 worth of the cheapest booze we could find to make one big-ass cooler full of Long Island. With a splash of RC, for color. Suffice to say, some deadlines were missed the following day." -- Andy Kryza, senior editor
- Any amount of leftover Blackberry Manischewitz
- Whatever's left in a vodka bottle
- 1/2 scoop of powdered lemonade
- 1/2 bottle of seltzer
Jess Novak also submitted this recipe, and mentioned that she and her friends used "whatever Blackberry Manischewitz was left over after Passover at the Hillel House." Thrillist does not recommend you stealing leftover Manischewitz from a Hillel House, as in my experience, the people running a Hillel House are so nice they'll probably just give it to you.
- Fifth of vodka
- 12 light beers
- 12oz of any kind of powdered lemonade
"[This recipe is from] my youngest brother, a Navy man: 'When I was right out of boot camp stationed in Pensacola, we would find a kids sand bucket on the beach and make a 'Jimmy Bucket.' This consisted of pouring a fifth of vodka, 12 super cheap beers, and one 12oz frozen lemonade concentrate into a bucket." -- Sam Eifling, Travel editor
- 8 shots of tequila
- 2 cans of energy drink
- 12 cans of cheap beer
- 6 cans of diet ginger ale
- 1 can of frozen lemonade concentrate
Thrillist's Restaurant Venues Editor Elaheh Nozari submitted this recipe, which may have the most annoying name of any cocktail ever created. Sorry, Sex on the Beach (which is also what this cocktail might result in).
- 12-pack of beer
- 1 bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill
- 1 liter of cheap vodka
- 1 can of powdered limeade
- 1 can of powdered lemonade
- 1 liter of Fresca
- Half a liter of Polar Raspberry Lime soda
"I feel like everyone has their version of this. We called it Mind Eraser, not knowing that Mind Eraser is an actual drink. We were losers. We used to buy a new trash can from Stop & Shop each time we did this. We definitely didn't wash it out beforehand, either." -- Kevin Alexander, national writer-at-large
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