Tailgate the Right Way

And just like that, summer is wrapping up and football season is upon us. As the weather cools down, now is the perfect time to build your perfect tailgating kit (which of course includes some Parker’s Hangover Tonic).

  • A portable grill. Obviously charcoal will make things easier, but there are some nice propane versions on the market now. If you’re working with charcoal, be sure to pack some lighter fluid and either matches or a lighter.
  • Folding table and chairs. If you’re lucky enough to be using an actual tailgate, invest in a sturdy tailgate table, which gives you a smooth and sturdy surface to work on. Folding chairs in your team colors gives you extra points.
  • A cooler. For the frostiest drinks, pack it with some dry ice and keep a second cooler with clean ice just for drinks.
  • Burgers, hot dogs, cheese, etc. Pick your favorite tailgating foods and stock up–with such a killer set up, you very well may be making new friends.
  • Pack up your grilling tools, like tongs, spatulas, grill brush, etc. Skewer two wine corks on the tips of any grilling forks for safer transport.
  • Invest in a sturdy, slip-free cutting board, and use it for tailgates. As long as you don’t prep raw meat on the board, it should be good with a quick rinse in between games. If you plan on prepping meat, invest in two boards.
  • For easy clean up, use disposable flatware and dishes. If tailgating is a big part of your fall, go ahead and bring some more substantial dishes.
  • Don’t forget your clean up supplies: paper towels, wet naps, disinfecting wipes, garbage bags, and extra water.
  • It’s not often that a tailgate leaves you with extra food, but you should be prepared with some plastic bags or Tupperware for leftovers.
  • For sunny locations, take a look at a shade canopy or pop-up tent–sun, you’ve met your match. (Don’t forget your sunscreen, glasses, and hats.)
  • Even the neatest cooks look better in a team apron–these make great gifts, too. While you’re at it, grab some pot holders and disposable gloves for food prep.
  • For safety, grab a first aid kit and fire extinguisher before you head out.
  • Sound system of your choice–you can jam to music or stream the game.
  • Bring some rain gear if you’re expecting bad weather. Rain pnchos, warm hats, gloves, and extra clothes like sweatpants or socks can help you make it past half-time.

If you’re really looking to wow with your tailgate party, mix up some Parker’s To Go (freeze some in icecube trays for Parker’s Martinis) with a few different spirits (scotch, anyone?). Pack some garnishes on ice and set up a DIY Bloody Mary Bar. Tailgating is a time-honored tradition, and Parker’s takes it from good to great in a snap. Setting up your perfect tailgate is easy when you have everything packed and Parker’s on your side. As always, please drink responsibly.