It’s September, and if you live in the south, you know what that means! Along with the official end of summer and onset of cooler weather, it’s time for football and all the great things that go along with it; friends, fun, and of course, game day, and the infamous Tailgate Party.
Whether you’re a transplanted southerner or native, knowing how to throw a Tailgate Party is essential! So here are a few incredible tips on how to execute a game day extravaganza.
Where to Start….
Pick a theme – of course you know the “main” focus is your team, so that’s a given. Next, decide if you want classic, rustic, or vintage theme – and go from there.
The Rustic Tailgate is just that, due to the décor that sets the tone for food and fun. Think old Chevy pickup truck, dressed with a quilt as your centerpiece, and a place to display food or beverage–and bales of hay as seating.
Rustic Tailgate Menu: Any great party begins with the right beverage, and in this case bourbon is the base for the Tailgate Sipper.
4 cups cubed fresh pineapple
1 cup bourbon
1 cup chilled lemon sparkling water (such as Perrier)
1/2 cup Southern Comfort
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice + Vanilla Extract
Rustic Tailgate Menu
Make all of this from scratch, or if you’re like the rest of us with too little time – call on Saws Soul Food in Avondale, which is a quick 10 – minute drive from The Retreat at Mountain Brook. Let them cater the BBQ and “fixings’’, leaving you time to decorate & visit your guests!
Classic DIY Tailgate
There’s so many ideas on Pinterest and other sites for the perfect tailgate party —-and if you’re a crafty sort of person, Classic is your ticket!
A classic tailgate is all about your team and its mascots, branded corn hole games, lawn chairs and pick up food.
How about these adorable Alabama Mason Jars for a festive addition to table décor to get you started?
A classic cocktail begins with the basis of any great tailgate party, beer. Serve by keg placed in a galvanized tub, or fancy it up with Beer Punch. Either way you are sure to score high marks with your guests.
4 strawberries, chopped
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons grenadine
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 (12-ounce) bottles beer, cold (recommended: Corona or a pilsner)
Classic Tailgate Menu
Southern Fried Chicken
Classic Baked Beans
Southern Fried Chicken
I personally love southern style fried chicken, but to cook it, I feel as though I must put the fire department on notice that there could be an incident.
However, if you want the best fried chicken ever— and don’t want a spectacle, I would highly recommend forgoing the fire department scenario, and leave the fried chicken to the experts at Dots. Check out Miss Dots, located at 49 Church Street, Mountain Brook Alabama 35213 (205)739-2232. Miss Dots is a classic
If you’re feeling brave, try this fabulous at home do it yourself southern fried chicken recipe, found in the New York Times.
Potato Salad from the Queen of Southern Cooking
Baked Beans – OK, we could get really fancy here, but unless you have that kind of time on your hands, which we do not, here is a great recipe from Pioneer Woman. (Secret: canned baked beans dolled up; and they are delicious!)
Slaw – When it comes to slaw keep it simple! Buy pre-shredded, whip up the dressing & be finished before kick-off.
6 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 cup sugar
I can’t think of one single reason to make cheese biscuits from scratch. When you can get Jim n’ Nick’s Cheese biscuit mix at your local grocery. Yum. Southern Goodness in a bag. Jim n’ Nick’s Cheese Biscuit Mix can be found at the Publix at Montclair – just 5 minutes away from The Retreat at Mountain Brook.
The history of tailgating – as best as we can tell, goes back 100 or so years and is a uniquely American Experience. The roots of this unique cultural activity are chronicled during the first college football game between Rutgers and Princeton. Apparently, spectators spent their pre-game ritual grilling sausages at the “tail end” of the horse. This is quite an interesting theory, that apparently caught on, and well– there you go!
Speaking of sausage, the very best, in our opinion is made right here in Alabama – and that is Conecuh Sausage which can be purchased at most grocers, but if you’re a member of SAMS Club Irondale – you might want to check with them for specials!
Another Southern vintage favorite is Granny Hester’s Sweet Potato Biscuits—add Conecuh Sausage to one of these delectable little biscuits with a little spicy mustard, allowing the sweet and savory tastes to blend, for pure southern goodness with a twang!
So with that last little tidbit, we’ll leave it to you to show us what you create in the name of the holy southern grail – football. SEC football, that is.