The air is crisp, the leaves are turning, and it’s socially acceptable to be drunk and standing by a grill at 9am. That’s right — it’s tailgating season.

Be the hero of the parking lot with this recipe for grilled bacon-wrapped shrimp. The best part is that it’s easy. Or maybe it’s the fact that it’s served with a beer cocktail sauce. We’ll let you decide.

This is a pretty basic, classic recipe that you should feel free to mess with. Change up the seasoning on the shrimp by adding BBQ rub instead of fresh herbs and garlic, or use a curry powder or steak seasoning. If you’ve seen Forrest Gump you know the options with shrimp are pretty much limitless.

However you season your shrimp, the addition of bacon and our beer cocktail sauce will make it even better. The beer adds brightness and makes it a little runnier than other cocktail sauces — which just means it’s better for dipping.

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Beer Cocktail Sauce

One pound uncooked shrimp (about 24)
12 slices of thick cut bacon, cut in half
Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt
Pepper
Toothpicks

For the Beer Cocktail Sauce:

1 cup ketchup
1 cup chili sauce
¼ cup beer
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ tablespoon garlic powder
½ tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon horseradish (or more if you want it to give it more kick)

Bacon wrapped shrimp

To prepare the cocktail sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and place in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

To prepare the shrimp, de-vein and shell each one. Add them to a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and thyme, then mix well to coat each piece with seasoning. Wrap each shrimp with a piece of bacon, using a toothpick to hold it in place. Place the shrimp in a cooler on ice, toss the cocktail sauce in the cooler, and head out to the stadium with grill in tow.

Cook the shrimp over indirect heat for about 15 minutes. (We like to add a little hickory wood to the grill to add a smoky flavor.) Serve with the cocktail sauce and more beer.

Check out all our Cooking With Booze recipes here.