Football season is officially underway, but, really, what’s a football game without a tailgate party? Whether you’ll be serving friends in your apartment, out of the trunk of your Jeep in the stadium parking lot, or out of a rented UHaul, check out the list below for go-to snack, wings, sandwich, and booze recipes that are easy to make, transport well, and will definitely score touchdowns with your friends.
**The 7 Best Tailgate Eats & Drinks**
1. Jonestown Punch
Buy a $10 disposable punch bowl and make this Jim Beam-based punch on site. The actual cocktail, which is served at The Violet Hour in Chicago, has lots of nuanced tastes from the expensive liquor in it. Ours may not be as complex or refined what with our choice of budget liquors and bottled lemon juice, but no one seems to mind.
2. Mexican Chicken Tortas
Mini sandwiches are one of the best items on any tailgating menu. Theses tortas are composed of many recipe parts, but it’s the combination of them that make the sandwiches stand out. Spiced refried beans, smoky chipotle mayo, cumin-scented chicken thighs, and sweet-and-sour red cabbage crunch conspire to create an addictive, filling sandwich.
3. BBQ Chicken Satays
The secret ingredient in these chicken skewers is cheap, cheap barbecue sauce. Bettered by an entire head of garlic, jalapenos, and cilantro, the sauce transforms in the oven to a sauce of such complexity and flavor that the secret recipe could only have been passed down by someone’s grandmother.
4. Ginger Honey Chicken Wings
If you’re not looking to deep fry anything this tailgate season, these wings will be a great addition to your spread. They are also a great option if you are laying low and watching the game with just a few friends–try serving the wings over Coconut Rice, like we did, for an excellent game time, indoor dinner.
5. Autumn Brisket Chili
To shake things up a little bit, this recipe uses pumpkin in addition to butternut squash, and plus chipotles which pack on the smoky heat. It’s not super spicy or anything, but it’ll warm you to the bone if you’re standing outside for hours.
6. Spicy Black Bean Dip
A dip or two rounds out the tailgate offerings, and this one makes a nice gesture to the poor, hungry vegetarians in your group. Make a big batch of this–it’s super easy and cheap–and let people go at it with tortilla or pita chips throughout the day.
7. Oatmeal Stout & Apple Cake
You’ll be drinking, sure, but why stop with alcohol in your cup? The beer in this cake helps keep it moist and delicious, even while you’re on the go. If you want to go nuts, add whisky to whipped cream and dollop it on top.