The 3 Pillars of Tailgating

Fall is here! But is it football season, or tailgate season? We think it’s all in how you look at it!

Here are the facts: if you’re planning a tailgate, you better come prepared. Whether you like to keep things classic, or a little bit extra, it’s going to be a long day with a lot of room for error. So, how do you do it? How do you throw an epic tailgate that stays true to your taste?

Much like a seven-layer dip, there are a lot of layers to a good tailgate, but the most essential aspects are food, drinks, and games. You might call them the 3 pillars of tailgating. Read on for tips and tricks, and remember to stick to what you like, whether you’re into the classic tailgate scene, or something a little more extravagant.

  1. Food

We’re willing to say food is the most important part of any tailgate. If you forget the food at home, or botch the burgers, it’s all downhill from there. It takes sustenance to tailgate, and without it, people will start to wander away in search of something to eat.

Classic: You can’t go wrong with burgers, slow-cooked wings, different types of dips, grilled veggies, and a fruit salad. Simple is sometimes better. The people just want flavor! For inspiration, check out a few of these game day recipes.

Tailgate Hack: Put all necessary condiments in an empty six pack for easy transportation.

Extra: If you’re trying to get a little extra, then you better have it all. Appetizers, steaks, dessert, and other snacks. Be imaginative! For example, if you make a Bloody Mary the right way, it can function as more of an app than a drink.

To top it all off, grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Tailgate Hack: Bring a big plastic tub and fitted lid to store all washable cookware. This makes it easy to store all your dirty dishes.

  1. Drinks

There are some ambitious tailgaters out there that will say food, while important, comes second to drinks. A cold beer or a mixed drink can be just the thing to pump you up for the game, or warm you up on a cold day.

Classic: Make sure you have enough beer for everyone, and keep it cold! It’s better to have too much than not enough. Verify that all of your fellow tailgaters are of legal drinking age, and once you get that taken care of, bring out the jello shots. They’re easy to store, and fun to make in your team colors.

Tailgate Hack: Use frozen water bottles as ice packs in your drink coolers. That way, when the water melts, you can stay hydrated with a cold, non-alcoholic drink.

Extra: Get creative. There are more mixed drink recipes in the world than you can possibly imagine. If it’s a winter game, go with Irish Coffee. Feeling the heat? Stick to classic vodka and lemonade. You can even mix up your own signature cocktail for the game.

Tailgate Hack: For inspiration, check out these 13 college-specific cocktails, like the Boozy Buckeye.

  1. Games

If you want to throw an epic tailgate, you absolutely need games. Everybody loves a little friendly competition before the main event. It’s just a matter of how much prep time you want to put into your games.

Classic: Some classic includes Ladder Toss, Pocket Passer, Cornhole, and Kan Jam, but you’re really only limited by you’re only imagination. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with just tossing a football or a frisbee back and forth.

Tailgate Hack: You can make your own affordable phone speakers out of two cups and a paper towel roll. Just follow directions, then put the finished product in the back of your truck for extra amplification. It’s a simple way to bring music to the party!

Extra: If you want to go the extra mile, turn your game into a decoration. For example, if you’re playing Cornhole, you can make the bags out of your team’s colors, and paint the boards to look like a football field.

Tailgate Hack: You’ve probably heard it before, but there is nothing like a Pinterest board to get ideas flowing. Check out these DIY football decorations to put your tailgate over the top.

No matter how you decide to prep before the game, there is no such thing as a bad tailgate as long as there are food options, drinks, and games! Ultimately, you’re there to root for your team, and that’s why we love sports, right -- the comradery of game day, from tailgate to final buzzer.

If you want the chance to win an epic game day experience this Thanksgiving, check out GIVBAK’s first campaign!

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