My collection of Americana Inspired Drinks will help your American Inspired Feast go off with a bang louder than 4th of July fireworks! This collection features everything from soft drinks to alcoholic milkshakes, short and long cocktails and even recipes for homemade eggnog!
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Just like with the food, the key to serving drinks is to set things up so that guests can help themselves as much as possible. You should have less waste and everyone gets exactly what they want. Whilst relieving you of some running around.
First make sure that you’ve read all of my advice about hosting a Big Americana Feast. I’ve included three suggested menus, advice about getting ahead, the music and much much more!
I would also recommend downloading my comprehensive checklist to help you plan your Big Americana Feast. Even I use my checklist and this is my feast!
This post was so easy to put together. Drinks which I think of as being typically “American” are so prevalent. I really didn’t have to think too far out of the box. I’ve included so many suggestions that easy as it was, it has taken me a long time so I really hope that you find it super useful!
Americana Inspired Beers
Is there anything more American than popping the lid off an ice cold bottle of Bud? I think probably not!
A bucket of beers will always form the main drink at my Americana Feast. Pop a few bottles in a bucket of ice along with a bottle opener and everyone can just help themselves. Easy peasy.
Plus you don’t have to stick with light lager. There are loads of options available nowadays, including a good number of craft ales.
The most commonly available options in the UK are:
- Budweiser/Bud Light (Lager)
- Coors/Coors Light (Lager)
- Samuel Adams (Lager)
- Brooklyn (Lager/Pale Ale)
- Sierra Nevada (Pale Ale)
- Blue Moon (Canadian Wheat Beer)
- Goose Island (Pale Ale)
- Flying Dog (Various)
You could of course serve the beers in glasses but I think just embracing the casual and drinking from the bottle is the better way. And involves much less washing up! Saying this, I would always keep a few glasses to hand. There is always a picky one!
Don’t miss a great suggestion for a lager cocktail in the “Something Unusual” section below!
Americana Inspired Wines
I added this section to the post as a bit of an afterthought. I probably wouldn’t bother with wine as I drink beer and cocktails etc. And so I feel like they’re more ‘on theme’. But I do appreciate you or your guests might prefer wine.
The problem that I do have is that wine is not my area of expertise! I would really recommend heading to a wine retailer and asking them to recommend something to go with what you’re serving.
Obviously I do think you should try to stick with American wines! California is the obvious option and I’ve certainly enjoyed some time trying out options in Napa Valley.
But there are lesser known/more unusual options to look at too. Oregon, Washington State, New York and even a number of southwestern states have great wine growing regions.
Americana Inspired Soft Drinks & Mocktails
Whether you need to cater for someone younger, designated drivers, non-drinkers or not, having a nice non-alcoholic drink option on hand is always a good idea.
Here are some of my favourite ideas. Don’t forget that most of these can always play double duty and work as both a non-alcoholic option and as a mixer for booze. I am particularity partial to some golden rum in my peach iced tea!
Peach Ice Tea – Lauren Caris Cooks
Lemon Iced Tea – Recipes From A Pantry
Old Fashioned Lemonade – Fab Food 4 All
Peaches & Cream Soda – Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Pomiteeny Mocktail – Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy
Americana Inspired Cocktails
I found so many great cocktail ideas that I have to break this section down further.
What you serve at your feast will depend on how much you enjoy making cocktails, how well stocked your booze cabinet already is and how much time and effort you’re willing to spend on cocktail making.
To really go for it, I’d serve something short on arrival. Have a pitcher of something long ready to go throughout the meal and then serve a hardshake either with or after dessert.
Or, I’d serve something frozen on arrival. Stick with a pitcher of something long for throughout the meal and then serve a short either with or after dessert.
But if you decided that a non-alcoholic long drink and beer is enough for you to serve, then do that. Cocktails are brilliant and you can really have fun with them but they’re not an actual requirement.
Shorts are generally served in a small tumbler, with or without ice, or in a martini type glass. They’re strong sipping drinks so go steady!
Fairytale of New York – Smitten Kitchen
Maple New York Sour – Cookie and Kate
The Bootleg Cocktail – Cookie and Kate
Kentucky Mint Julep – The Chunky Chef
Strawberry Infused Bourbon Mint Julep – Cookie & Kate
Passion Overload Margarita – Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy
Lemon Drop Martini – Christina’s Cucina
Typically served in a highball glass, most of these cocktails are perfect to be made up in advance, kept in a pitcher and then poured over ice to serve. Perfect for fuss free entertaining.
Long Island Iced Tea – Super Golden Bakes
Cilantro Jalapeno Margarita – With Spice
Sparkling Spiked Peach Lemonade – The Kitchn
A slushie cocktail feels very American to me. Its impossible to go out in New Orleans or Las Vegas without seeing masses of people walking down the street supping on frozen cocktails the size of their heads!
Slush cocktails are probably best reserved for the summer when their cool and refreshing qualities are most in demand.
Bourbon Slush Punch – Smitten Kitchen
Cherry Bourbon Slush – Dessert For Two
Frozen Rose Wine Slushies – Mommy’s Kitchen
Frozen Margarita – Isabel Eats
Mix it up! I especially love the sound of the bacon pisco, even if it does involve some pre-planning and effort. It would certainly be a talking point!
Classic Gin Rickey – Veggie Desserts
Maple Bacon Pisco Sour – Honestly Yum
The Orange Buddy Beer Can Cocktail
Americana Inspired Dessert Drinks
I call these desserts because you need to leave room for them and I really wouldn’t recommend having one before the food! I’ve made that mistake before. See also mango lassies at Indian restaurants. Really big mistake!
Non-Alcoholic Dessert Drinks
Oreo Milkshake – The Salty Marshmallow
Peanut Butter Milkshake – Honey and Birch
Coca Cola Ice Cream Floats – The Forked Spoon
Alcoholic Dessert Drinks
These sort of boozy milkshakes are also called “Hardshakes” and I just love them. They’re always such a treat and a total double decadence!
Boozy Pumpkin Milkshake – Broma Bakery
Boozy Key Lime Pie Shake – She Knows
Bananas Foster Milkshake – Savoring The Thyme
I couldn’t let this section go without talking about Eggnog. I think it is such a mysterious thing to those of us in the UK. The whole of America (according to Hollywood!) appears to be supping on this drink for a good month and we don’t really have it at all.
Advocaat is probably the nearest thing we have. But it is much thicker and stronger than eggnog. I’ve found both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions for you to try. Probably most appropriate in the winter. I don’t get the impression is is a great summer drink!
Best Eggnog – Jamie Oliver
Non-Alcoholic Eggnog – Ahead Of Thyme
Americana Inspired Hot Drinks
Coffee is absolutely ubiquitous in North America. I’ve been to the original Starbucks shop in Seattle. It was poorly designed with the queue a mess and they got my order wrong. It explained a lot for me!!
But to me, it is regular drip filter coffee that screams Americana. You can be as snobby as you like about coffee but I’m quite happy with some bottomless diner coffee. In fact, I think I prefer it.
I don’t tend to do a lot of coffees after meals but if it is something you want to serve, then just go ahead and serve your favourite kind.
On the basis that you are unlikely to have a filter coffee machine, use whatever you have available like a cafetiere or stovetop espresso maker. Or just use instant. Alternatively, if you have a pod coffee machine, that could be plugged in somewhere convenient.
I’d serve it with single cream for a little extra decadence. But for true authenticity, you probably need to pick up a tub of “non-dairy creamer”. Or go with single cream but call it half-and-half!
I once made the mistake of asking for tea with my breakfast in the dining cart of an Amtrak train heading south to Memphis. I got a pint of sweet iced tea.
This English lady weeped a little then asked for ‘hot tea’ instead. When it came, it was a glass jar with no handle filled with lukewarm water with a teabag on the side. I sobbed a little more but gave it a go. Then I ordered a coffee instead. This is not a mistake I made again.
The moral of the story is that it is very difficult to get good tea in the US. (Any Americans that tell you otherwise are just accustomed to the ming that they’re used to, don’t believe their hype!). And so this isn’t something that I would serve as a matter of course.
Stick with Long Island Iced Tea.
Even More Americana Inspired Drink Ideas
Because I’m extra helpful, I even have a dedicated Pinterest board just for Americana inspired drinks! Have a look and let me know if you think I’ve missed anything. Don’t forget to follow all of my boards while you’re there!
Drinkware for Americana Inspired Drinks
What drinking vessels you need will obviously depend on what drinks you are choosing to serve.
Mugs, Cups and Saucers
If you are planning on serving coffee after the meal, you will need suitable sized cups or mugs. I think I’d be fine with mugs as informality really is key.
For a larger crowd, unless you can hire some mugs or are willing to buy a bunch of cheap ones, you could buy some disposable (recyclable) cups which are available in a few different sizes.
Again this will be very dependent on what you choose to serve…
I would expect to have a minimum of one small tumbler available per person. This allows for a water glass each.
If serving a short cocktail, you’ll need another tumbler each. I often use some slightly fancier glasses for my cocktails. Or my current favourite option is to use these lovely jam jars.
Hi-ball tumblers are ideal for soft drinks, longer cocktails, slushies, milkshakes and hardshakes. One per person, per drink will be needed.
For larger crowds, glasses can often be hired from wine shops and supermarkets so this might be worth looking into. Otherwise children’s or picnic tumblers can made a handy substitute.
You will likely wish to have at least one pitcher/jug of water on the table. This cork lidded number is my current favourite option from Ikea. A similar jug can also be used for any pitcher cocktails that you wish to serve.
Alcohol – When the Fun Stops, Stop!
As I’ve provided you with a whole bunch of alcoholic drink suggestions, it would be remiss of me to not remind you to be sensible.
Please don’t pressure your guests into drinking, drinking more than they want to or having ‘just one more for the road’. Especially if they’re driving.
The industry standard is to tell you to “drink responsibly”. To me that sounds like they want you to recycle all wine bottles.
I much prefer the gambling industry’s slogan. “When the Fun Stops, Stop”. I think that applies to both drinking on the day and generally in life.
So if the fun has stopped, do indeed stop. Have a look over at www.drinkaware.co.uk if you need some help doing just that.
Still Have Questions?
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Love this collection of drinks! I want them all!
Ha thanks. I would advise you to maybe not try them all in one go!!! Could be dangerous!
Christina | Christina's Cucina says
Holy American festivities, this is truly a great roundup of so many American beverages of every type! Great job! Thank you for including my lemon drop martini recipe (that one’s a bit “dangerous” as it is so easy to drink)!
You’re right, there were just so many great options, I couldn’t not include them. Dangerous ones are my favourite ones!
CAMILLA HAWKINS says
What a glorious array of drinks and cocktails, I want to try the Banana one first! Congratulations of your new blog, it looks amazing! What a lot of hard work has gone into this!
Thanks! There are def still a few I want to try! Your Old Fashioned Lemonade made a perfect soft drink for my last feast. Easy to prepare in advance too 🙂
And thank you for your kind words – lots of hard work for sure but already absolutely worth it!