Scrabble & Margaritas: The Best Drinks for Any Game Night

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

I love playing hostess any night of the week, but my favorite party to throw is, hands-down, a game night. An entertaining and relaxing way to spend time with friends and family, game nights are the perfect opportunity to get together, unwind, and have fun without the pressures of a formal dinner or cocktail party.

All you really need for a successful game night? Games, yes. And some friends. The last thing? Drinks! You can do some simple beers or wine — or you can try to pair a signature cocktail with the night.

Whether it has a vague nod to the game, or it’ll just help keep players on track, here are some suggested pairings for whatever board you’re unboxing.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

1. Classic Old Fashioned + Monopoly

You’ll be spending the night having fun the old-fashioned way, so it’s only fitting you drink the same way. A simple but classic Old Fashioned is the most appropriate drink for a throwback game night — and it’s easy enough to mix up between turns.

Other game suggestions: Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

2. The Income Tax Cocktail + The Game of Life

This is a real drink! The Income Tax Cocktail includes gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, orange juice, and a dash of aromatic bitters. The general consensus is that the bitters in the recipe are a nod to the “bitterness” of tax season. (So glad that’s over, by the way!)

Other game suggestions: Monopoly or Mall Madness

(Image credit: Maureen Petrosky)

On any given game night, things are bound to get a little competitive, a little heated, and just maybe, a little bloody. While it may seem like an unorthodox choice for an evening get-together, a Tomato Water Bloody Mary is the perfect cocktail for a night of competition among friends.

Other game suggestions: Battleship, Dead of Winter, or Mansions of Madness

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

4. Irish Coffee + Settlers of Catan

If you guys are gonna be a while, you better have a pot of coffee ready to go. Better yet, make it an Irish coffee. Sweet, creamy, and with just the right amount of caffeine, this cocktail is exactly what you’ll all need to get to the finish line.

Other game suggestions: Monopoly

(Image credit: Maureen Petrosky)

Was it Mrs. White in the study with the wrench? Who knows! But this all-white Frozen Gin & Tonic will be with you guys while you try to figure it out. Also consider serving pretzels with a big ol’ bowl of mustard.

Other game suggestions: More rounds of Clue. (Clue is the best! Why would you want to play anything else?)

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

6. Strawberry Basil Margaritas + Cards Against Humanity

Maybe you’re playing a game that’s timed? Or you just don’t want to miss a second of the action? Go with this super-simple recipe for Strawberry Basil Margaritas. It can be made a day in advance and it makes a giant pitcher, which you can set out on the game table so no one has to get up for a refill.

Other game suggestions: Scattergories or Times Up!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

7. Lillet Liberté Cocktail + Carcassonne

Build your own version of the South of France while sipping this oh-so-appropriate Lillet Liberté Cocktail. A cross between an old-school Classic Martini (gin, dry vermouth, orange bitters), and the Vesper Martini (gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc or the quinine-tinged Cocchi Americano), the Lillet Liberté is fresh and light-tasting with a bit of orangey warmth.

Other game suggestions: Ticket to Ride

What’s your go-to game night game? And what drink(s) do you serve with it?