Football season is here and that means tailgating season is back in full swing. America’s favorite pregame ritual is the place where you get to kick back, relax with good friends, good food and some great drinks. To commemorate this great tradition, the folks over at Lee Jeans partnered with ESPN’s Mike & Mike for a national tailgate survey and discovered that there are many things to debate about when it comes to tailgating. And we all know whenever there is a great debate there are sure ways to fail. Don’t make a mess out of your next tailgate experience by doing anything to screw up. With that in mind, we’ve selected the four best drinks you need to try at your next tailgate and the four worst fails you need to avoid.
VIDEO: On the Set with Mike and Mike – Who Has the Best Tailgating?
Fail #1: Your clothes
If you show up to a tailgate wearing a blazer or sandals, you’re going to look more out of place than a hockey stick. The national tailgate survey found that 82% of respondents said comfort was most important when dressing for a tailgate. We agree and that’s why we recommend the Lee Modern Series with Active Comfort. You’ll look good and match up with the more than 70% of people who tailgate according to the survey.
Fail #2: Forgetting the essentials
If you plan on tailgating, there are certain essentials you can’t afford to forget. Aside from the food and drink, you need the core serving and hygiene items to make it work. More than half of the people surveyed indicated they forgot paper towels. BBQ sauce isn’t fun when it’s smeared all over your shirt and face.
Fail #3: Are you pregaming or postgaming?
If you’re planning on sticking around after the game, you’ll be in the minority. Only 16% of respondents prefer postgame tailgating. It makes sense, too. Pregaming is earlier in the day, you’re hyped up about the game and you want to get some good food. After a game, your team may have lost and you may just want to go home or relax.
Fail #4: Play the right tunes
As with most parties, the right music is key. Don’t over think it. Make it something everybody can agree on. Skip the hip-hop, gangsta rap or symphonies and just play some classic rock and you’ll be good to go!
Man does not tailgate by beer alone. Here are some of the smartest drinks you can have ready for your next pregame fun. Enjoy responsibly!
Cocktail #1: Spiked Ice Tea w/ Vodka by Voco
Vodka may not be the first beverage you look for at a tailgate, but this drink will change that in a flash! Take your tea up a notch with this vodka-infused creation that’s sure to make your tailgate a lot better in no time.
1 can of Voco Vodka
1 black tea bag
½ juicy lemons
Preparation: Pour 1 can of Voco Vodka into a mason jar. Add tea to jar. Screw on the lids and allow the vodka to sit for one hour. Remove the tea bag. Add simple syrup and the juice from your ½ lemon to jar. Screw on the lids and give the vodka a good shake. You can also garnish it with fresh sugarcane or pineapple slices.
Cocktail #3: Tailgate Tea by Jack Daniel’s
There may not be a better time to serve this amped up tea than at your next tailgate. People are going to be coming back for seconds of this soon-to-be favorite.
1.5 oz Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
1.5 oz lemonade
3 oz of unsweetened tea
Squeeze of lemon
Preparation: Mix and garnish with lemon wheel (optional)
Cocktail #1: The Bitter-End Zone by Diplomatico
There’s no better spirit to help you celebrate a win or get over a loss than Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva. This is some of the best super-premium rum you’ll ever find at a tailgate.
2 oz Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
.75 oz freshly squeezed lime
2 dashes Angostura bitters (optional)
6 oz ginger beer preparation
Preparation:Pour contents into a highball glass filled with ice. Add Reserva Exclusiva, a dash of Angostura bitters (optional) and ginger beer. Top with a squeeze of lime and garnish with fresh lime and ginger slices.
Cocktail #4: Spiced Fruit Punch by Jim Beam
There’s nothing wrong with fruit punch, especially if it has an adult twist. Thank the folks at Jim Beam for this one. It’ll quickly become a drink you’ll want on days when you’re not tailgating.
1 and 1/2 part Red Stag by Jim Beam Spiced
1 ½ part pear puree
3 part fresh lemon sour
Preparation: Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pear slice.