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Bottoms Up: 6 Pickleball-Inspired Beverages To Up Your Bar Game

Bottoms Up: 6 Pickleball-Inspired Beverages To Up Your Bar Game

  • Whether you’re celebrating a win, or commiserating over a loss, these cocktails (and a mocktail) are perfect for post-game toasting.
InPickleball Issue 3 | Feature Story | Bottoms Up | Pickleball Cocktails | The Kitchen Sink

WATER IS, of course, the best thing you can drink directly after a pickleball match. But once you’ve finished hydrating, you may want something a little stronger, to either toast your victory or drown your sorrows. Here are six recommendations for a post-match tipple, including one mocktail.


4 sprigs fresh mint 

2 oz simple syrup

2 oz gin

2 oz vodka

2 oz light rum

2 oz triple sec

8 oz soda water
(plain or citrus)

4 lime wedges, for garnish

The Kitchen Sink

As the name indicates, this is the pickleball version of the Long Island Iced Tea—it has a bit of everything in it—and can be a great way to ease whatever soreness (physical and emotional) remains from a hard-fought match. This adapted recipe, which comes from Geoffrey Zakarian of the Food Network, is for a pitcher (four servings) and includes gin, vodka, light rum, and triple sec, with flavors added by using mint, simple syrup, and lime wedges, topped off with soda water. Muddle the mint in the shaker, then add the spirits and shake vigorously. Strain into iced glasses and finish with soda and a lime garnish.

Traditional Shandy

I have always loved a post-match shandy, especially on a warm afternoon. It’s just the right mix of froth and sweetness, with a low alcohol content. And it’s simple: half lager, half lemonade. You can use traditional or nonalcoholic beer and lemonade. Pour in the beer first, then give it a lemonade top, and throw in a slice of lemon for more refreshment.


2½ oz peach juice

2½ oz strawberry lemonade

2½ oz lemon soda water (or 7UP or Sprite)

1 splash grenadine syrup

The Pink Dink

A little on the sweeter side, this tasty nonalcoholic drink calls for a mix of peach juice and strawberry lemonade, plus citrus soda water, and a dash of grenadine for color. Combine equal amounts of peach juice and strawberry lemonade in an iced shaker. Pour into a tall glass filled with ice and add the lemon-flavored soda water. Add the grenadine. If you want to give it a kick, substitute peach schnapps and strawberry lemonade vodka for the peach juice and strawberry lemonade, and add a 1-oz shot of framboise liqueur for depth. Mix it all in a shaker with ice. Makes two servings.


3 oz gin or vodka

2 oz dry vermouth

1 oz pickle juice

1 quartered pickle,
for garnish

Dirty Pickle-Tini

Everyone who likes martinis has their preference: vodka or gin, on the rocks or up, dry or sweet, dirty or clean. My preference is a vodka martini, dry, up, with olives and a little dirty, meaning you add a bit of olive juice. So for the Pickle-tini, we replace the olive and brine with a pickle and some pickle juice. That gives you even more choices. Dill? Hot and spicy? Sweet? Enjoy the experimentation! Always preferred shaken, not stirred, in a cocktail shaker with ice. Serve up. Makes two servings.and add a 1-oz shot of framboise liqueur for depth. Mix it all in a shaker with ice. Makes two servings.


2 oz dark pineapple rum

1 oz spiced rum or
clear light rum (options!)

1 oz Falernum  

1 oz peach liqueur
(not schnapps)

½ oz lime juice

½ oz lemon juice

2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

1 dash aromatic bitters

1 pineapple wedge,
for garnish

Punch Shot Punch

Punch Shot Punch is flavor-forward (like your paddle) and, like the shot itself, can be soft or hard, depending on the circumstances. In my view, it is always a winner—really one of my favorite drinks. It’s based on a Bermuda punch and the use of Falernum, which you can buy in an alcoholic or nonalcoholic version. Both are great and add a little spice. Dark rum is the base; then add either spiced rum or light rum (optional and to taste—the hard or softer version of the punch), peach liqueur, lime and lemon juice, Peychaud’s bitters, and aromatic bitters. Mix everything together in a shaker and pour over crushed ice. Garnish with a wedge of pineapple. Makes two servings.


5 dill fronds (3 for muddling, 2 for garnish)   

2 oz gin 

½ oz simple syrup

½ oz lime juice

2 dashes celery bitters

1 dash cardamom bitters

Soda water to taste

Dill Delight

From sweet to herbaceous. This soothing concoction is just the right drink for a calm conversation about the best shots of the day, or maybe a salve for those that went awry. It requires muddling some dill fronds in a shaker, then adding gin, simple syrup, lime juice, and a dash or two of celery bitters. I also use cardamom bitters to give it a little zing. Add ice and shake well, then pour unstrained into a glass filled with ice. Top it off with some soda water and another dill frond. Makes two servings. Cheers! 

Daniel Rivkin is an aspiring pickleball player and mixologist and the author of the forthcoming Crisis Cocktail Compendium.

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