3 Gameday Coffee Recipes to Kick Off Football Season

Reading time: 2 minutes

There’s a certain excitement rising in the air that can only be the anticipation of the most wonderful time of the year…. No, we’re not talking about winter holidays – this is the South, people. Clearly, we mean football season.

While you dust off your old, lucky jersey and work on forgiving the ref for going blind and making that terrible call which cost you the big game last year (this is why you don’t stare at the solar eclipse, REF!), our team has been hard at work formulating a playbook for you to WIN tailgating this season. Remember: not all heroes wear capes – some wear aprons.

Take these three recipes with a big glass of sweet iced tea, and get cooking.


Coffee-Glazed Maple Bacon Strips

We say COFFEE, you say BACON! Does it get any better than the goodness of coffee complementing the sweet, salty splendor of bacon? Wake up your bacon with a coffee glaze – then use it as a topping for burgers, an ingredient in other go-to gameday recipes, or just enjoy it in all of its coffee-bacon glory (three strips a day keeps the doctor away).

Ingredients (makes 12 bacon strips):

  • 12 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 shot Royal Cup espresso
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


Stir together the espresso, maple syrup and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved.

Brush on half of the coffee glaze on one side of the bacon.

Bake on a parchment-lined tray in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes.

Flip bacon and brush on the remaining maple and coffee glaze. Preheat oven to 400°F.

Put the pan back in the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes at 400°F for a crispy finish.

Sweet and Spicy Coffee Burger Rub

No tailgate is complete without a classic gameday burger. Put this spicy coffee rub in the game before your meat hits the grill, then top with the secret sauces, veggies and buns of your choice to win over the crowd. True coffee fans know that our coffee bacon recipe above would make this a real crowd-pleaser!

Ingredients (makes seasoning for 8 patties):

  • 3 tablespoons Royal Cup ground coffee
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon coriander


Mix together all seasonings and rub on both sides of a formed hamburger patty before grilling.

Top grilled burgers or sliders as desired. (Insider tip – barbeque sauce is a secret weapon that complements the coffee flavor and really amps up your flavors!)

Hot Chocolate Coffee

This is one rivalry game that will make fans of both hot chocolate AND coffee let out a cheer. Please all your tailgate guests with a hot chocolate + coffee combo that will keep them toasty warm until it’s time to head in the stadium.

Ingredients (serves 4, multiply to serve large groups):

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup brewed Royal Cup Coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Marshmallows


Bring the milk, cocoa powder, and semi-sweet chocolate to a simmer in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Watch carefully and do not let the chocolate boil. 

Add coffee and stir until combined. Pour into mugs, topping with marshmallows as desired. If you are serving a crowd, keep warm using a slow-cooker and allow guests to serve themselves.



If your mouth isn’t watering uncontrollably at this point, you’d better check your pulse. Either you’re not breathing, or you’ve already had a heart attack from excitement. One thing’s for sure – no matter who you cheer for, adding coffee to your roster is the best way to keep your tent energized and ready to bring home the W!

Already a tailgate hero, or think you can do better? Let’s dish it out on Twitter – send us your ideas at @RoyalCup!