How to Make Barkaritas and Other Dog Drinks

Dalmatian DIY New Year's Eve dog mocktail drink

Barktender, pour us another round! Today we’re sniffing our way to Barkaritaville and looking at how to make a barkarita, cosmopawliton, and other doggone silly dog-friendly drinks. If you’re looking for an extra fun idea for an extra special occasion, why not mix up a special dog-friendly and raise (well…lower) a toast with your favourite fufriends? Cheers to the barkday boy or girl, hooray for ringing in the New Year, and paws up for the pawty animals celebrating special events, holidays, and more.

Starting the Doggy Drink Bar Tab

We’ve been sharing special dog treat drinks with our boys for many years, but dog-friendly mocktails are a newer addition to our furfamily traditions. Puppuccinos during morning coffee were Oli’s gateway drink and Humphrey’s current coffee time favourite is warm goat milk. The mocktails all began as a joke when we celebrated Oli’s 14th birthday during NZ’s COVID lockdown. The infamous Quarantini was given a dog-friendly spin for the party, and a new tradition was born. Sadly, that was senior Oli’s final birthday, but Humphrey has toasted him at birthdays and New Year’s celebrations since, occasionally with visiting furfriends sharing an extra glass in honour of Oli and of the occasion.

Oli the Dalmatian drinking from a glass of chicken stock for his 14th birthday toast

Pawesome Puns on the Doggy Drink Menu

In most cases, your dog-friendly drinks won’t have much in common with their namesakes, but it’s hard to resist putting a few punny names on the doggy drink menu. Well, it is for me anyway. When Humphrey and I toasted the New Year in 2021, we shared pictures with his drink on our Instagram, and loved bringing a few giggles to our furfriends near and far after a hard year. Although you can use your favourite unbreakable drinkware and dog-friendly garnishes, we suggest you dub your doggy drink whatever fits your mood and your occasion (or your own favourite tipple) rather than trying to dogify the drink. Dog drink making tips are below and a few favourite doggy drink names include:

  • Barkarita (Pawgarita)
  • Barkhatten
  • Barktail
  • Cosmopawliton (Pawsmopolitan or Pawsmo)
  • Pawtini (Puptini)
  • Pina Doglada
  • Pupjito
  • Pupsecco
  • Pupperol Spritz
Got another great dog drink name suggestion for the list? Drop it in our social media comments or messages so we can laugh like crazy and add-it to our list in a future update. Woofs! We also love names that are a more dog-unique play on puns, for names, nicknames, breeds, and more. For example, Humphrey has one black nail, so the Black Claw is a joke in our family. 

Tips from the Barktender

Our Favourite Homemade Dog Drink

Our favourite special occasion dog drink is pretty simple. Most special event are already busy enough without going too crazy on mixology for dogs when what Humphrey really cares about is scent and taste. Our favourite drink to serve from the doggy bar is just simple diluted dog-friendly stock or bone broth with a few fancy garnishes to dress up the glass. Depending on the season and preferences, it can be served warm, cool, with ice, or with the stock or broth as frozen cubes instead of as the base liquid. Easy to make, easy to customise with your pup’s favourite garnishes, or theme the colours and style for a particular holiday or event.  The feature photo at the beginning of this post is the New Year’s Eve barkarita pictured below, made with diluted chicken stock on ice (New Year’s is summertime here in New Zealand) garnished with a few cranberries, cucumber slices, a celery stick and a star-shaped stock gummy treat. We’ll deep dive garnish ideas below.

A homemade New Year's Eve dog-friendly mocktail drink with chicken stock in a garnished class.

Presentation is Everything (But Not to the Dogs)

What’s the difference between a barktail and a normal bowl? The presentation and styling. The contents of a typical barktail could easily be served in a bowl or as meal toppers. The dogs don’t care much about how things look, just how they taste. Our dogs do, however, always know when something special is being prepared for them in the kitchen and this makes rare extra special occasion treats, like our dog drinks, extra exciting for both them and for us. 

Style, Safety, and Serving Factors

In addition to looking great, serving the dog drink in a see-through glass gives extra giggle factor of watching the dogs lap up their treat. Humphrey can’t hold his licker. Haha! For big boys like mine, a small wide-mouth glass (either unbreakable or hand-held for safety) work well for drinks. Select and supervise carefully, and not just for the fun of watching. You don’t want to spoil the fun with hazardous broken glassware or accidentally redecorate your drinkware with gnawing teeth marks on your plastic patio tumblers.

As always, this might not be suitable for some pets due to safety or dietary concerns. Be particular conscious of serving sizes and don’t overindulge. Make sure that any ingredients are dog-friendly and suitable for your particular pup, including size, safe chewing, sensitivities, and digestion. Don’t use ingredients or garnishes that might pose a choking risk based on size, texture, or your dog’s eating (gulping) habits. 

Serving drinks can be rather messy business, so choose a suitable surface for spills and easy-clean-up or head outdoors for al fresco bevvies. Pup having trouble emptying the cup? Anything that isn’t easily lapped out can be tipped into a bowl at the end of the drink.

Dog lapping a fancy drink out of a glass with long visible tongue

Dog-Friendly Drink Ingredient and Recipe Ideas

Anything goes as long as it’s dog-friendly and suits your pup’s preferences and diet! But for this post, the barktender is going to focus on tips and ideas for mixing mocktail-inspired special occasion drinks for dogs. These usually include a base liquid (or liquids) and garnishes for flavour, looks, or both. Unlike human cocktails and mocktails, we don’t want anything with alcohol, fizz, added sugar, added salt, and other doggy no-nos anywhere near our doggy drinks. So let’s explore at how you can create a lux looking drink using dog-friendly substitutes.

Dalmatian dog staring at a mocktail dog drink in a glass

Doggone Delish and Decorative Rims

This is not something that I’d usually do for making drink, whether for people or for pups, but I know some of our readers out there will probably be keen to dogify the decorative rim, so let’s demo! Cocktail rim coatings usually include sugars and/or salts that melt and stick to a moistened rim. For dogs, rim garnishing options are a little more tricky and less sticky. You’ll want to use something dry, powdery, light weight, and (of course) doggone delish. We’re going to use ground dog biscuits to decorate the rims of our drink glasses.

Bowl of dog biscuits

You can pulse your dog biscuits (or other chosen coating) in a food processor or crush them by hand using something like a kitchen mallet or a mortar and pestle. I’m using a mini food processor (affiliate link). Once you’ve ground them into powder, put them on a plate that larger than the rim of the glass. Wet the rim of the glass (I’m using plain water) to the depth you’d like coated, then dip it into the ground biscuits. Press the coating against the glass if you’re having difficulty with contact. Since the rim coating doesn’t get stick when wet like a sugar would, the coating will be looser and you’ll need to handle with care while prepping and serving. 

Base Liquids for Dog-Friendly Mocktails

As detailed above, our favourite base is diluted dog-friendly stock or bone broth. It’s doggone delish and can be served straight-up without any extra fussing with styling or garnishing. Simple, but simply irresistible. Easy as! 

Creamy-looking drinks can be made using diluted kefir, yogurt, coconut milk, or other ingredient that your pup enjoys. You can also use goat milk powder, coconut milk powder, or similar to add a creamy look to a base liquid. Remember to keep your scent and flavour combos tasty.

Water can also be used as the base and then seasoned with add-ins, like the frozen bone broth ice cubes in the demo-drink I mixed for these post photos. I don’t have any step-by-step pics from mixing drinks on past special occasions (although you’ve probably seen some behind the scenes snaps in our Instagram stories) but Humphrey and a visiting furfriend were very happy to oblige a bonus drink mixing session for post prep. Blog dog life is rough indeed!

Depending on the season and preferences, your drink can be served warm, cool, with ice, or with frozen add ins (cubes, fruit, etc).

Layering Liquids for Visual Effect

I don’t usually bother with anything fancy like layering and just lean on the garnishes to make my dog-friendly drinks look extra special. I don’t usually use liquid combos, as noted above, and as soon as the dogs get their tongue in there, it’s game over for layering anyway! But for you, furfriends, we’ll do a little demo. We’re going to use a small amount of pureed dog-friendly fruit to create an example base layer for mixing a drink. If you already have ready-to-use purees for meal toppers or treats, you can shortcut the prep.

Rimmed cocktail glass with a spoonful of pureed fruit at the base

Just like mixing a cocktail, you want to pour (or spoon) the heaviest liquids into the base of your glass, then carefully fill from there. If you’re using alcohol, the base is often a heavier liquid like a liqueur or a syrup. We’re going to create a dog-friendly fruit puree for a similar effect. I didn’t add extra liquid to my fruit for this demo, but the smoother the puree, the closer to a liquid layer effect you can create. 

I like to tip the glass whilst gently pouring to reduce the disturbance on the base layer. You can also use a buffer, like a spoon, to help protect the base layer from the flow of liquid. Not quite perfect? Fortunately, the pup patrons are very forgiving. You can set it aside to settle while you prep any extra garnishes before styling and serving. Not that the dogs will mind if things are a little cloudy or swirly in there!

Collage demo of layering drinks for dogs using pureed fruit and water.

Going Barking Mad for Garnishes

Ahhh…back into one of my favourite territories. Garnish is my go-to for dressing up a drink. For the dogs, I like to keep everything edible. This means any swizzle or trim is dog-friendly and could be eaten. I also know the dogs well enough that some things (like a leafy sprig) might technically be edible but really will be just for looks and lapped out of the way so they can focus on the good stuff. Haha!

Anything can be used to dress up the drink as long as it’s dog-friendly, suitable for your particular pup, and combines well with the scents and flavours of your drink. Little slices of cucumber or carrot make excellent rim substitutes for cocktail citrus. Smaller fruits, like strawberries, can be used whole. Celery sticks, carrot sticks, or jerky strips make tasty substitutes for swizzles and stirrers, noting that it’s best to add anything dry, like jerky, right before serving. With care and pre-cutting, treats like biscuits or gummies can slide onto the rim, too. 

Ice cubes or broth cubes can be added to cool drinks, and fruits (fresh or frozen in lieu of ice), veggies, or dog-friendly herbs can be floated in the drink for extra taste or style. Remember to keep everything sized and suitable for your pup, and don’t overdo it on the treats all at once.

Collage demo of garnishing a dog-friendly drink

Bottoms Up!

Or, in the case of our dog-friendly drinks, glasses down and tails and bottoms up! We hope that this post has given you some fun ideas for mixing your own special occasion doggy drinks. As you can see in the collage below, Humphrey’s New Year’s Eve order from the bar got a lot more special prep and attention than mine, haha! But toasting our times together is more than worth the effort. Cheers, furfriends!

Collage of Dalmatian with a special New Year's Eve broth drink

Hungry for more tasty treats?  There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. Other special event and occasion ideas, too! You can explore through the categories and tags or use our internal search to sniff out something specific. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas from treats that we’ve made ourselves for our pets, but different animals have different preferences (likes/dislikes), just like people. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what’s suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.

How to make dog-friendly drinks with Dalmatian DIY

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