Turn Up Your Tailgating

Turn Up Your Tailgating

Let’s think about the ingredients that make up your best summer days. Sunshine. Warm breeze. Friends. Tunes. Maybe a concert or a ballgame.

A great time comes in endless shapes and sizes. Whether you’re bringing together your crew for a day at the beach, a marathon music festival or some pre-game parking lot revelry, part of the fun is not knowing what comes next. Pull out the grill. Unfold the lawn chairs. Crack open the cold drinks. Let’s see where this tailgate takes us.

Making memories doesn’t come with an itinerary. But a little preparation goes a long way. Got grub? Burgers and hotdogs are a staple. Seafood like shrimp can be quick and easy. But it’s not just about the protein you’re throwing on the grill, instead how you prepare it.

Try an awesome seasoning like Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel. It goes great on, well, just about anything. Throw on veggies or burgers and get that “everything but the bagel” flavor without, of course, the bagel itself. Rub with Love is a great line of grill rubs that boast individual products depending on the protein. The Seattle-based company has offerings that include great add-ons to many foods.

There are tons of awesome plant-based items these days for grilling as well, and we’re not just talking about corn on the cob or marinated portobellos; a bunch of delicious cholesterol-free burgers, sausages and other “meat replacement” products—including shrimp—are now generally available in your local supermarket. Not the grilling type? A slow cooker can get you where you want to go: chili, pulled pork or jackfruit, dip for nachos. Don’t forget plates, bowls and utensils. Check out the eco-friendly options available for your tableware. Finger food is fine, but it can’t be your whole spread. You have a reputation to uphold.

Of course, it’s all not possible without a grill. We like the CUBE by Everdure. It has some interesting portability features, cool-to-the-touch handles and integrated storage.

Drinks? You’ve got to have drinks. And for those adult beverages, lean toward the light and refreshing—the kind that play up sunny flavors. Make the gathering special, not sloppy. Pack a sleeve of cups, but maybe leave the glass at home. Bring something for everyone: lemonade, soda, water. Keep in mind that some of us avoid sugar, so flavored seltzer is good to have available. You never know who might drop in.

And don’t forget some furniture to lounge in because, well, people need a place to sit—even at a tailgate. Camping chairs are great and Amazon has some great deals. For those cold-weather tailgates, you’ll want your squad to stay warm too. You can find portable space heaters for under $100.

Beats? Covered. You have the Bluetooth-enabled POW Mo™ speaker, so your music travels easy, sets up anywhere and really brings it. Make a playlist ahead of time. Make three, just in case you need an instant mood changer. Slip the Mo from your pocket, expand and place it on virtually any sturdy surface. Sit it on a table. Use the Universal Mount to customize where Mo hangs out, or simply stick it onto any magnetic metal object—a lounge chair, a car trunk or, yeah, a tailgate. DJ from your phone or let your squad connect to take turns. You can pump out the tunes for up to eight hours. Maybe you’ll lure over some new friends with that track you recently discovered. When the party turns out, you can sync two Mo speakers together to immerse the crowd in true stereo sound.

Make sure to account for the elements: blankets for the cold, a simple canopy for the heat. If the rains come, be ready with a quick exit strategy. Taking down your sound system is quick work: The Mo easily detaches and collapses back to pocket size. And be sure to clean up after yourself. Whether you’re setting up camp for full-on festivities or just hanging for a few before the game, no tailgater worth their margarita salt leaves a mess. Remember, you’ve got that reputation to uphold.