It’s that time of year again; Saturday’s and Sunday’s fully dedicated to our most highly acclaimed American ritual –tailgating. Whether you are getting the gang together to trash talk during your favorite college football rivalries or taking it to the parking lot of your pro team, nothing beats this modern day miniature rock concert and bonding party all rolled into one. Speaking of good things rolled together, no tailgate party can be complete without a couple of stogies for your crew.
Here’s 9cigars list of tailgating necessities and some gratuitous information that will make your next tailgate party second to none.
1. Bring Cigars for the Crew!
Given that smoking cigars is up there on your nine favorite things to do list, you knew that it had to be first on ours. Grab as many cigars as you feel comfortable sharing with your posse; you are not obligated to be the ‘tailgate tobacconist,’ but it is always more fun to smoke socially. Remember what your first grade teacher taught you about sharing and be sure to bring all of the same stick so none of your friends feel outclassed!
Without getting ahead of ourselves it is also important to recognize that you will be pairing your cigars with food and drinks, so it may serve you well to bring some medium bodied cigars. Pairing an Oscuro with light beer and snacks might not be the best for all palates.
2. Pack Adult Beverages
Right after your cigars, your thirst quenchers might just be the most important item on this list. Everyone has their own taste, but if you are in charge of entertaining a diverse crowd a good combo of drinks could include: a quality single malt, a pony keg of light beer, and some good mixing liquor and mixers. For the early risers or the post-game nightcap, nothing beats a Bloody Mary.
3. Getting Your Grub On
The third thing on this list has to be food! The most advanced tailgaters have mastered BBQ meats and often marinate them hours before the activities begin. For a more rounded culinary selection… you know what? Screw a rounded selection! How about the tailgating go-to foods like chili, steaks, burgers, dogs, pork chucks and all the dy-no-mite snack foods you can fit in a bag!? Don’t forget to split up the food items between friends; things like condiments, buns, silverware, plates and napkins cannot solely depend on the backing of one dedicated fan.
4. Nothings Cooler than a Cooler
For all of the beers, sodas, mixers, snacks and frozen corpses of the other team’s mascot, bring some hefty coolers packed with ice. Coolers double as seats for when you have to sit out your turn on the beer pong table or when you need to guard your single malt with your keister.
5. Propane or Charcoal Grill?
Most grill masters will tell you that the best-tasting meats come from a charcoal grill. These types of grills are generally easier to transport than propane and are quick additions to the back of the tailgate truck. However, charcoal grills do have their cons; they take much longer to heat up and require bags of charcoal and lighter fluid. Choose one over the other depending on how much grill space you need, the flavor you are seeking and the amount of storage you have on your tailgate-mobile. For the truest tailgating experience always go with the charcoal grill… just sayin’.
6. Entertainment Devices
For a tailgate party that rocks, don’t forget to pack your electronic entertainment devices. Some portable speakers that go along with your mp3 player, tablet or mini TV will go a long way in keeping your crew jamming. Plus, it’s never a bad idea to listen to the pregame show or the game itself if your tailgate activities run later than planned. Don’t be that guy who opens all of his truck doors and blasts country music at one million decibels. Your musical selection may not be consistent with that of the entire parking lot.
7. Fun and Games
Entertainment doesn’t stop with audio/visual devices either; beer pong, cornhole, beersbee, throwing the football or ‘beat the other team’s mascot’ (just kidding) are all fun pastimes that can complement your cigar-smoking, adult-beverage-drinking, food-eating good time. Plus these are all games that you or your friends are bound to have in the garage somewhere.
8. Cigar Accessories
You have done the good deed of bringing smokes for all of your friends now take it a step further by providing the crew the accessories to smoke in style. Unless you are partying on John Madden’s bus it is likely that your party is outside. For this reason a wind-proof torch lighter is essential to you getting a good light. Additionally, the cigar cutters that you bring should be appropriate to the cigars you brought (remember when we told you to bring the same cigars?). If you are smoking Torpedo’s, use a straight cut. Corona? A V-cut. If you are not sure, bring the straight cut, it’s almost always the right choice. Here’s some more information on how to get a perfectly cigar cut.
9. Designate a Driver
Ok, ok, ok, THIS is probably the most important tip on this list and something every veteran tailgater knows is a good call. Your tailgating day of fun can be all for not if you get caught breaking the law or don’t get home safely (What!? You thought we were all ‘beat up your mascot?’ We have our sensitive side too). All jokes put aside, safety is the number one concern and makes the day that much more enjoyable. Reward your driver with a free cigar, ticket to the game, and all the chili-cheese dogs they can eat for their job well done.